Guardian takes it all
June 19, 2022

Abbatars changing the future of music!?

How will digital technology shape the future of live music - that's the theme of the Guardian podcast about Abba Voyage, a digital Abba tour which debuted in London last month. The production cost £140m. The Guardian’s head rock and pop critic, Alexis Petridis, and the Guardian’s deputy music editor, Laura Snapes, were there. Was it history in the making?

The biggest pop band never reached the top
November 15, 2021

Abba have largest sales week for an album by a group in 2021

ABBA earn their highest charting album ever on the Billboard 200 with their first album in 39 years, as 'Voyage' debuts at No. 2 on the chart, Billboard reports. 'Voyage' starts with 82,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. Of that sum, album sales comprise 78,000, making it the top-selling album of the week and the largest sales week for an album by a group in 2021. Another big feat on Billboard 200 chart this week - Summer Walker earns her first No. 1 album as the singer’s second studio LP, 'Still Over It', arrives atop the list with 166,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. It marks both the first R&B album by a woman to top the Billboard 200 in more than five years and the largest streaming week ever for an R&B album by a woman, Billboard reports.

Abba's long-awaited 'Voyage' - their first album of new material for 40 years - shot straight to number one on the UK album chart, earning them the biggest opening week of sales for any album in four years, the UK Official Charts reports. Its 204,000 first-week chart sales is the highest since Ed Sheeran's 'Divide'. Aside from Abba, Sheeran and One Direction, only Adele's '25' has breached the 200,000 barrier for first-week sales in the past decade. 'Voyage' is also the fastest-selling vinyl release of the century, overtaking the Arctic Monkeys' 'Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino' from 2018.

LGBTQI royals
November 06, 2021

How Abba became gay icons?

"Lesbian separatists and gay male misogynists might grumble, but most of us relish ABBA’s unmatched gender parity and equality. Being strong women and sensitive men who love and respect one another is central to the group’s alchemy as well as its enduring LGBTQ appeal" - LA Times argues in its article about how two Swedish hetero couples became gay icons.

ABBA have released two songs, their first new music in 40 years - 'I Still Have Faith In You' is a big nostalgic ballad, whereas 'Don't Shot Me Down' is a dancey song. Both of these will be released on their new album 'Voyage' on November 5, NPR reports. ABBA has also announced a virtual tour Abba Voyage, which will open next year in a specially-built arena in east London. Playing six nights a week, it will feature digital versions of Abba's band members, accompanied by a 10-piece live band performing 22 of their greatest hits. The digital Abba show will initially be staged in London, but could tour the world. The so-called "Abba-tars" were designed by Industrial Light and Magic - the visual effects company founded by Star Wars creator George Lucas. More than 850 people worked on recreating Abba "in their prime" using motion capture technology to scan "every mannerism and every motion" of the musicians, who are now in their 70s, as they performed.

The winners take it al, again
July 05, 2021

ABBA 'Gold' is the first album with 1,000 weeks on U.K. chart

ABBA's greatest hits album 'Gold' reached a landmark 1000 weeks on the Official Albums Chart Top 100, the first album to do so in UK chart history. ABBA's 'Gold' was released in September 1992, debuting at Number 1, and has gone on to be the UK's second best-selling album of all time -behind Queen's 'Greatest Hits' - with pure sales of 5.61 million, according to Official Charts Company data.

Money is really funny in this case
September 18, 2020

A method to the madness - how ABBA got their costumes

An amusing article on the Messy Nessy blog about ABBA's outlandishly-designed stage-clothes. It's all about the money - according to the Swedish law regarding costumes, as long as the outfits were too impractical for everyday wear and couldn’t be worn outside a performance, they were tax-deductible. The legal loop hole thus encouraged ABBA's designer Owe Sandström to make ABBA’s costumes as colourful and unwearable as possible. And did he!

BBC viewers have selected Abba's 'Waterloo' as the greatest Eurovision song of all time. The Swedish foursome won it in 1974 in Brighton, and the track went on to sell nearly 6m copies. This year's competition was cancelled in March amid the coronavirus pandemic. None of the 2020 songs will be carried over to next year. Instead, countries will select new entrants for the 2021 contest.

Grandmaster Flash, one of the architects of hip-hop, accepted the prestigious Polar Music Prize from the hands of His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden on tuesday. Grandmaster Flash acknowledged his mother for encouraging him to study electronics and his father for inspiring him with his impressive collection of records, which he wasn’t allowed […]

A pop song should come in at between two and three minutes - 'We Will Rock You' comes in at a stupendously slender 2min 2sec. It leaves you wanting more, and that’s precisely what the perfect number is supposed to do, Guardian writers says, and gives a few other examples.

Guardian has an interesting article about how artists are unable to stop politicians to stop playing their songs at political rallies. It just so happens that's it's mostly conservative politicians who played songs that they weren't allowed to: Donald Trump played Pharrell Williams' 'Happy', John McCain played Abba's 'Take a Chance on Me', and so […]

Swedish pop-gigants ABBA announced their reunion 35 years after their farewell single 'Thank You for the Music'. The original four -  Agnetha Faeltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Bjoern Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad - have recorded two new songs, first of which, 'I Still Have Faith in You' comes out in december, they announced on Instagram. They plan a […]