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ABBA: Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus (from left to right), 1974
ABBA: Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus (from left to right), 1974
General information
Genre (s) pop music
founding 1972, 2018/2021
resolution 1982 (de facto)
Current occupation
Agnetha Fältskog
Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad
Keyboard , piano , accordion , vocals
Benny Andersson
Guitar , vocals
Bjorn Ulvaeus

ABBA is a Swedish pop group consisting of the former pairs A gnetha Fältskog and B jörn Ulvaeus and B enny Andersson and A nni-Frid Lyngstad consists and in 1972 Stockholm was formed. With around 400 million records sold, it is one of the most successful bands in music history .

The group has helped shape the history of pop music . Until the 1970s there had been no other Scandinavians with comparable success. Despite American and British dominance in the music business, ABBA achieved its international breakthrough. After her victory at the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 with Waterloo , she was particularly successful in Europe and Australia and later also in Latin America and Japan . In the second half of the 1970s in particular, ABBA was considered to be the co-founder of new international pop music because of its complex and sophisticated music productions.

Her best-known songs include SOS , Mamma Mia , Fernando , Dancing Queen , Money, Money, Money , Take a Chance on Me , The Winner Takes It All and Super Trouper . Characteristic for the group were also their colorful and poppy costumes, which the quartet wore during performances and in music videos , which were unusual for the time . While Ulvaeus and Andersson were mainly responsible for the compositions and texts, Fältskog and Lyngstad mainly acted as lead singers .

Released in 1992, the best-of album ABBA Gold is one of the world's most successful albums with sales of 31 million and made a significant contribution to the ABBA revival in the 1990s . In 1999 the musical Mamma Mia! premiere in London , which is one of the most successful musicals in the world with over 60 million viewers. The film adaptation of Mamma Mia! from 2008 is also one of the most successful musical adaptations .

In 1982 the group members temporarily ended their musical collaboration due to private differences and only announced in 2018 that they would be working together again on new material. Although there were no band appearances or new music for nearly 40 years, their songs were still popular. Her pieces continue to be produced in a wide variety of interpretations and cover versions and are mostly marketed very successfully; Since 2013 there has been an ABBA museum in Stockholm . In 2021 the band announced their comeback as part of a virtual concert show, released two new singles and announced a new studio album for the same year.


The time before the band was founded (1966–1972)

In June 1966 Björn Ulvaeus , who at that time was a member of the Hootenanny Singers in the Swedish folk parks, met the musician Benny Andersson , who was the pianist with the nationally successful Hep Stars . At their second meeting three weeks later, after a party at Ulvaeus 'parents' house, they wrote their first joint piece, Isn't It Easy to Say , which was later published by the Hep Stars. Norwegian-born Anni-Frid Lyngstad (Frida) won a national talent competition in 1967 and also became a well-known, albeit less successful, jazz and folk singer in the years to come. Agnetha Fältskog , who mainly played Swedish pop music during her solo career, had her national breakthrough as a singer and composer in 1968. Fältskog and Ulvaeus met several times on tours in the same year.

In 1969 Andersson and Ulvaeus jointly produced the song Ljuva Sextital for the artist Brita Borg as well as part of the soundtrack for the Swedish film Inga II and also appeared several times with the Swedish singing duo Svenne & Lotta . Lyngstad reached 4th place in the Swedish preliminary decision for the Eurovision Song Contest in March 1969 with the song Härlig Är Vår Jord (“Our world is glorious”), while Andersson was the composer. During the event, Lyngstad and Andersson met and soon began a love affair. In May 1969, Ulvaeus and Fältskog worked together on a television program and also began a relationship. At the same time, Andersson left the Hep Stars and became engaged to Lyngstad in August 1969, who shortly thereafter recorded the single Peter Pan as part of his production .

In 1970, She's My Kind of Girl was released as the first joint single by Andersson and Ulvaeus. In April 1970, Fältskog and Ulvaeus got engaged. In addition, Ulvaeus took part in Fältskog's solo album Som jag är , while Andersson was the producer of Lyngstad's debut album Frida . Around the same time, Andersson and Ulvaeus recorded their first album together with Stig Anderson's record company Polar Music, entitled Lycka ("Luck"). With this LP production began the collaboration with the sound engineer Michael B. Tretow , who later played a key role in the sound development of ABBA. They were already supported by Fältskog and Lyngstad, who sang various backing vocals on some tracks . The Swedish song Hej Gamle Man (“Hello, old man”) is the first piece of music in which all four members of ABBA can be heard. On his single cover and on the album Lycka only "Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson" are mentioned.

In addition to the recordings, the four musicians staged the show "Festfolk" in the same year and appeared as a group for the first time on November 1, 1970 in Gothenburg . The four Swedes had one of their first joint television appearances in December 1970 under the band name "Festfolket" in a Western nostalgia show, where they presented the American song classic California, Here I Come in Western costumes. Fältskog and Ulvaeus were married on July 6, 1971 in Verum, southern Sweden. In 1972 Fältskog took on the role of Maria Magdalena in Gothenburg in the Swedish version of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar .

Formation into a band (1972–1973)

"Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid" at an appearance with Ring Ring , 1973

Andersson and Ulvaeus' singles were not hits in Sweden except for Hej Gamle Man . But in 1972 She's My Kind of Girl was released in Japan and reached number 7 on the sales charts there, as well as topping a number of other hit parades. The fact that one of their English songs was successful in another country was a reason for the two musicians to focus more on English pop songs from then on. Realizing that the voices of Fältskog and Lyngstad harmonized well with their own on some of their earlier pieces, Andersson and Ulvaeus wanted to include their partners in upcoming productions. The title of the first song the four musicians recorded as a group in March 1972 was People Need Love . However, they did not see themselves as a “fixed” group, because everyone involved was busy with their own productions at the same time.

People Need Love was published in June 1972, with only their first names "Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid" being listed on the cover instead of a band name. The single reached number 17 in the combined Swedish single and album sales charts and number 3 in the "Tio i Topp" hit parade. The four artists took this relatively great success as an opportunity to record a joint album. Ring Ring was produced between autumn 1972 and spring 1973, and the first single He Is Your Brother was released in November 1972.

In order to achieve higher sales figures on the German market, they took - as was common with many international artists at the time - their Swedish songs Hej Gamle Man (Hey, musician) and Livet går sin gång (What love says) as well as the English-language songs Ring Ring and Another Town, Another Train (Whoever stands in the waiting room of love) also with German lyrics. The group had their first appearance on German television on January 6, 1973 in the music show Disco with their first single People Need Love . Moderator Ilja Richter introduced the unknown Swedish band by name, but on stage were Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Frida Lyngstad and Inger Brundin - a friend of Lyngstad who appeared instead for Fältskog, as she was eight months pregnant and therefore not traveling wanted to. The band was unknown in Germany at the time, so nobody in the audience noticed the change.

In February 1973 the four musicians entered the Swedish preliminary decision of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Ring Ring - Fältskog was nine months pregnant at the time - but were voted 3rd place by the jury of experts. Just a few days later, Ring Ring was released as a single in Swedish and English. When the album was released on March 26, 1973, the two singles had already been sold around 100,000 times. Together with the album they took the first three places on the Swedish sales charts. Ring Ring was released in 15 countries and also reached number 1 in the singles charts in Denmark and Belgium. Due to the continued success of the group in Scandinavia, the four musicians and their now manager Stig Anderson planned to take part in the Melodifestivalen again the following year.

"Grand Prix" victory and first international successes (1974)

ABBA on April 26, 1974 on a promotion tour in the Netherlands

In September 1973, the four artists began recording their second album after they decided on their new band name "ABBA" in the summer. At the same time they were invited again to write a contribution for the Swedish preliminary round of the Eurovision Song Contest next year. In the winter of 1973/74, the title Waterloo was born . Originally, the group also considered the song Hasta Mañana , as this ballad was quite similar to the style of the winning titles from previous years and it was hoped that it would have great chances of winning. Ultimately, however, they decided on Waterloo because it broke out of the ballad scheme with its new and innovative style. In addition, Fältskog sang the lead vocals alone in Hasta Mañana , while Waterloo performed a duet of both singers and thus strengthened their image as a group.

With Waterloo , the group initially prevailed at the Melodifestivalen in February 1974. On March 4, 1974, both the new album, which was also called Waterloo , and the single was released. To make sure that the band could not be confused under their new name, their first names ( Björn, Benny, Agnetha & Frida ) were put in brackets after their new name ABBA. The LP quickly topped the Swedish charts and broke the sales record, while the singles (in English and Swedish) took second and third place on the combined singles and album sales charts. In the run-up to the song contest, Stig Anderson traveled through several European countries to place the single.

On April 6, 1974, ABBA took part in the “Grand Prix” final in Brighton, England . After a performance that was musically atypical for the competition, but was staged very effectively, ABBA dominated the points evaluation and finally took first place among the 17 participating countries with a clear lead. This victory marked the beginning of her international career. The single Waterloo was released in 54 countries and reached top positions in the charts in many of them. It sold over 5 million copies and even became a top ten hit in the United States . After this success, the album Waterloo was also released in some countries , although with a few exceptions it was not particularly successful in the charts.

The single Honey, Honey , also released in April 1974, was only successful in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In the summer of 1974, the recording of a next group album began, from which the first single So Long was released in November . At the same time, ABBA started their first major European tour, during which the group also made guest appearances in seven German cities between November 18 and 30, 1974, including in Frankfurt, Bremen and Hanover. The enthusiasm of the audience was cautious, however, and the hoped-for success outside of Scandinavia was initially largely absent. None of the concerts were sold out; in the Wiener Stadthalle , for example, less than a quarter of the available seats were occupied. The concert in Düsseldorf and the only concert scheduled in Switzerland were even canceled due to the weak advance sales.

There were also television appearances in the GDR : In November 1974 ABBA appeared in the television entertainment program Ein Kessel Buntes . The band presented the three tracks Waterloo , So Long and Honey Honey as well as an excerpt from Waterloo in the German version. It was one of the few stage appearances in which Andersson was on stage and not at the piano. Also in November 1974, the band made a guest appearance in the youth television program Rund of the television station DDR 1 .

Setbacks and Return to the Charts (1975)

ABBA on promotion tour (1975)

ABBA continued to be very popular in Sweden. The concerts on their tour through Scandinavia in January 1975 were all sold out. On the other hand, however, the local press began to take an increasingly critical stance towards the emerging pop group, as their opinion was that the group was “too commercial” and the music was “too superficial and uncritical”. As before, none of the artists worked exclusively in this group association, but each initially kept further options for their own careers open. Fältskog and Lyngstad released a Swedish solo album each in 1975 ; Lyngstad also worked as a background singer in the production of the song Moviestar by Harpo .

The third group LP , simply titled ABBA , was released on April 21, 1975. By the end of the year 450,000 copies had been sold in Sweden, more than any other album at the time. Outside of Scandinavia, however, it was a slow seller and it seemed as if ABBA's international career was quickly over. The single I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do , released at the same time , initially only reached number 1 in the charts in Switzerland and South Africa . In the British market, which is very important and influential for pop groups, neither the singles nor the new album met with great response, as the winners of the “Grand Prix” (today: Eurovision Song Contest) were considered a one-hit wonder there . Meanwhile, ABBA had a large number of spectators on their Folkpark tour through Sweden in the summer of 1975 and, for example, set a visitor record in the Stockholm amusement park Gröna Lund with over 19,000 spectators. At the same time, SOS was released as the third single from the album. This new type of pop title reached number 6 in the British charts and number 1 in Germany, and it was the trend-setting for ABBA's further song productions in terms of both the arrangement and the sound quality.

In addition to the television appearances that the group used to advertise their new albums and singles, music videos were produced for four songs from the latest album , which were primarily intended for broadcasting in countries outside Europe. When Mamma Mia was shown on the Australian music show Count Down in August 1975 , the ABC television station received numerous calls asking for it to be broadcast again. The request from the Australian record label RCA to Polar Music for the release of the corresponding single was initially rejected because Stig Anderson was of the opinion that enough singles had already been decoupled from the album and that they should promote the ABBA album as a whole. Releasing too many singles would only cause profits to decline from albums, which are the record company's main source of income. The inquiries from RCA as well as the immense demand from the Australian audience did not decrease, which is why Polar Music finally agreed to a single release.

Due to the rapid increase in interest in the previously unknown Swedish group, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do reached the top of the Australian chart in October 1975. Three weeks later sparked Mamma Mia them and took ten weeks number 1 , thus became one of the most successful singles of the year. As a result, Mamma Mia also appeared internationally and also made it to the top of the charts in Germany and Great Britain, among others. In addition, the group released their first compilation entitled Greatest Hits in November 1975 , in some countries under The Best of ABBA . This album also helped ABBA achieve an international breakthrough on the LP market and became one of the greatest sales successes of their career. In Sweden alone it held the top position in the album charts for eight weeks and sold almost 300,000 copies. In Great Britain it became the second most successful album of the 1970s , while in Australia it set a new sales record with over a million copies sold. In 1981, it was the group's best-selling album in an official Polar Music statistic with over 7 million copies.

Peak of the international career (1976–1977)

ABBA at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, 1976
Agnetha Fältskog in the Ekeberghall in Oslo on January 28, 1977

With the great success of Mamma Mia and Greatest Hits , ABBA's most successful period began in 1976. The great popularity of the group led to Abbamania or "ABBA fever" in Australia and Great Britain . In March 1976, ABBA released the new track Fernando as the first single of the year . This song had previously been written with Swedish lyrics for Lyngstad's solo album Frida ensam ("Frida alone"). In its English ABBA version, Fernando became a worldwide hit and sold over 600,000 times in Germany alone. There the group had four number one singles in the same year, which had only been achieved by the Beatles before. Fernando was one of the first singles in Germany to be awarded a gold record by the Federal Association of the Phonographic Industry , while in Australia she took first place for 14 weeks in a row and became the country's best-selling single up to then.

The international popularity of the band also increased through promotional trips and TV specials. In Australia, the TV show The Best of ABBA had an audience rating of 58 percent when it was broadcast, more than the broadcast of the moon landing in 1969 . The German TV show Musikladen was the only band to devote a complete episode to ABBA, and the TV special ABBA-Dabba-Doo was produced in Sweden , which the audience voted best show in 1976. Numerous television appearances in Europe, such as the British Top of the Pops or the German Disco , promoted the group's singles.

An Australian TV team even traveled to Stockholm several times to interview the four Swedes. In the summer of 1976, ABBA signed a contract with the Japanese-Australian electrical appliance manufacturer National for an extensive advertising campaign in which the four Swedes were used as testimonials . ABBA received one million Australian dollars for this advertising contract, according to newspaper reports . In addition to five different commercials in which a promotional song to the tune of Fernando can be heard, there were also advertisements , brochures and other advertising material with motifs of the band members.

On June 18, 1976, ABBA performed their new title Dancing Queen at the Royal Opera in Stockholm , which had actually been finished since the beginning of the year and had already been presented on German TV. It was the eve of the wedding of the Swedish King Carl Gustaf and his fiancée Silvia Sommerlath , on which the four members presented themselves in late Baroque costumes. Dancing Queen was released on August 16, 1976 and is often referred to as the typical, catchiest and most popular disco pop track of the group. The ABBA logo with the mirror-inverted "B" was used for the first time on the cover . This single also became a bestseller and sold over 6 million times worldwide. In Australia, Great Britain and Sweden it rose to the top position within a few weeks and reached number 1 in the US charts in April 1977 as the first and only ABBA title .

On October 11, 1976, the group released the album Arrival , which was pre-ordered 600,000 times in Australia alone. In Germany, too, more than 500,000 copies were delivered to retailers at the start of sales, while Poland only used its quota of 800,000 records with "Western music", which were allowed to be imported annually, for this one album only. The group even made a special trip to Poland to promote Arrival and produced their own TV special. In other Eastern Bloc countries , ABBA was also very popular and musically successful. However, their commercial success there was limited, as the respective national currencies were only convertible to a limited extent. Through further promotional trips to the USA, Germany, France, Great Britain and the Netherlands, the new singles Money, Money, Money and Knowing Me, Knowing You also became international hits. In the Netherlands, ABBA had meanwhile sold more records than any other band before.

The ABBA world tour through Europe and Australia had been in preparation since November 1976 and had been sold out everywhere for months. For the two concerts in the Royal Albert Hall in London on February 14, 1977 with a total of 12,000 seats, there were more than 3.5 million ticket inquiries. The European tour began on January 28, 1977 in Oslo and included 16 more concerts in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Great Britain in front of over 84,000 spectators. Among them were another five concerts in Germany, among others. in Essen and Cologne.

The Abbamania peaked in Australia : the group gave a total of eleven concerts in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth within nine days, all of which were sold out and had 145,000 spectators. At the time, this corresponded to 1 percent of the Australian population and was the country's largest concert tour to date. As there were six open-air concerts , many thousands of other spectators followed the performances outside the barriers. In addition, the feature film ABBA - The Movie was made under the direction of Lasse Hallström , which was originally only intended to be a touring documentary. In addition to the main story about the reporter Ashley, there are many concert recordings from Australia and impressions of the fan hysteria there.

When the band returned to Sweden after their tour, the musicians devoted themselves mainly to further filming and composing new songs. Due to their multiple obligations, they were exposed to increasing time pressure. Despite her second pregnancy, Fältskog worked up to twelve hours a day, which in the summer of 1977 almost led to a miscarriage. The work on the fifth ABBA album was therefore delayed for a few weeks. The first song of the new record was released in October 1977, The Name of the Game , which reached the top of the British charts as the sixth ABBA single.

ABBA - The Album was first released in Scandinavia on December 12, 1977. While Arrival was a typical pop album with disco sounds, the new LP featured mostly "more mature" songs. Four pressing plants were commissioned in the Stockholm area to produce a total of 760,000 copies of the album. The world premiere of ABBA - The Movie took place on December 15, 1977 in the Australian cities of Sydney and Perth , in which their manager Stig Anderson also took part. The enthusiasm for ABBA had noticeably waned in Australia, which is why the film did not generate much box office revenues. The European premiere was on December 26, 1977 in Stockholm.

Promotion trips and first private crises (1978)

At the beginning of 1978, Fältskog in particular withdrew more and more from the public. The great media interest in the new ABBA album made extensive promotion tours unnecessary, so that the band did not travel to Great Britain until February 1978 to attend the premiere of ABBA - The Movie . The single Take a Chance on Me and ABBA - The Album both topped the UK charts and went platinum. ABBA then went on a promotional tour to Germany, where the album was awarded gold . The last single from the album was released in May 1978, Eagle , whose playing time was reduced to a "radio-friendly" length for this release. At the same time, the marriage of Fältskog and Ulvaeus was already in a serious crisis. The tensions also led to loud arguments between the two in the recording studio, which made working together extremely difficult.

Despite the difficult situation within the band, ABBA traveled to the USA for two weeks at the end of April 1978. After three promotional trips in the past few years had not brought the desired breakthrough, Stig Anderson worked with Atlantic Records on a 500,000 US dollar advertising campaign. A billboard was posted on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles promoting ABBA as the top-selling band in studio music history. The group also appeared on a show with Olivia Newton-John and Andy Gibb , where they held a jam session and performed some of their songs. Take a Chance on Me particularly benefited, reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was awarded gold. The two albums Greatest Hits and ABBA - The Album also entered the US charts and achieved platinum status. Between May 1977 and May 1978, Polar Music made a profit of 50 million kronor , mainly with ABBA , which, according to Billboard magazine, was the equivalent of $ 12 million.

On May 18, 1978, Polar Music Studios opened on Eriksgatan in Stockholm. After the previous recordings for their next album had been unsatisfactory, the band was now offered a steady working environment. Several songs had been composed and produced since the beginning of the year, but many of them had been discarded. Fältskog and Ulvaeus' marital problems also overshadowed the recordings. In the summer of 1978 they undertook couples therapy, but it did not change the situation. The two initially continued to appear as a couple to the public. In September 1978, Summer Night City was released as the first song of the recording sessions. However, this single did not achieve the chart success it was used to from previous years, so that the song was not considered for the planned LP. Jerry Greenberg , the responsible manager at Atlantic Records , did not even want to release the single in the USA as long as no album was announced.

On October 6, 1978, Lyngstad and Andersson married after nine years of engagement. A month later, ABBA undertook another promotion trip to Japan, where, in addition to television appearances, radio and television interviews, their own TV special was shot, which increased the band's popularity in Japan. By the time their next album was released, more than 5 million ABBA records had been sold in Japan. On December 25, 1978, Fältskog and her children left the villa they shared with Ulvaeus and moved to the nearby Polar Music guest house. For the time being, however, the private separation of Ulvaeus and Fältskog had no effect on the continued existence of the group.

New world hits and last major successes (1979–1980)

Music video “Chiquitita” (1979)
ABBA on September 13, 1979 in Edmonton

On January 8, 1979, the group officially presented their new song Chiquitita at a UNICEF gala in New York , which was released as a single a week later. Since many critics no longer believed in a successful continuation of the ABBA career, it was extremely important for the group at this point to release another world hit. Due to its Latin American influence, ABBA Chiquitita also recorded with Spanish text. This version became one of the biggest hits in Latin America by then and sold over 500,000 times in Argentina alone. The song was also a hit in many European countries, for example in Spain, where the single reached number 1 and was awarded a gold record for 100,000 copies sold . ABBA donated the entire proceeds from the sale of this single to UNICEF, which has since been the owner of the license rights to this song. By 2004 it grossed an estimated £ 1 million for the organization.

In February 1979 ABBA traveled to Switzerland for a few days to shoot the TV special ABBA in Switzerland . a music video for Chiquitita was created. The group also presented some songs from their new album Voulez-Vous as part of the stage performances . The new LP was released on April 23, 1979 and contained eight songs, the arrangement of which largely corresponded to the disco songs of the time . In addition to Chiquitita , I Have a Dream was just another ballad on the track list. During the year, three singles were released from the album, including Does Your Mother Know and Voulez-Vous , which reached the top 10 of the charts in several countries around the world. In addition to Sweden and Great Britain, the album also reached the top of the album charts in Japan. In the autumn of 1979 the compilation Greatest Hits Vol. 2 was released , along with the new single Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) , which topped the charts in six countries.

In the late summer of 1979 ABBA embarked on another major tour with a very elaborate stage setting, which initially took them to North America and Europe. It began on September 13, 1979 in Edmonton (Canada) in front of an audience of 15,000 and comprised 25 songs, mainly from their albums Arrival , The Album and Voulez-Vous . During this tour, there was a momentous incident: On October 3, 1979, the group flew from New York to Boston and got into the most severe storms, so that the plane almost crashed. It landed in the US city of Manchester and the group continued the journey in a van , which meant that the concert in Boston could only begin 90 minutes late. Although Fältskog, who had suffered from fear of flying for years , was on stage in the evening, she was still so traumatized the next day that the next concert in Washington DC had to be canceled. Fältskog was also unable to attend a reception in the White House on October 5, 1979 due to the aftermath of her anxiety attack.

ABBA's third European tour started in Gothenburg in Sweden in mid-October and also took them to Germany for five more concerts, including Dortmund and Böblingen near Stuttgart. The tour ended on November 15, 1979 with the final concert in Dublin and was followed by over 300,000 spectators in almost 40 concerts that had taken place during the two sections. The total of six concerts at the Wembley Arena in London were also filmed and edited for the documentary ABBA In Concert . A recording of the complete concert on November 10, 1979 was released as a double CD in 2014 under the title ABBA Live at Wembley Arena . In March 1980, the group went on a tour of Japan, where they, among other things. performed six times at the Nippon Budōkan in Tokyo. The total of eleven sold out concerts were followed by more than 100,000 spectators.

At the beginning of 1980 Andersson and Ulvaeus traveled to Barbados and began to compose songs for a new album. Meanwhile, Fältskog and Lyngstad recorded eight more ABBA songs with Spanish lyrics, after I Have a Dream was released in its Spanish version ( Estoy soñando ) in 1979 and, like Chiquitita , had sold very well in Spanish-speaking countries. In June 1980 the album Gracias por la música was released , which had been produced especially for the Latin American market and contained all ten songs of the group with Spanish lyrics that had been recorded up to that point. Although Ulvaeus and Andersson had little involvement in this project, the album became a huge success. It reached the top five on the album charts in Argentina, Mexico and Spain and made it into the top 30 in Japan.

The recordings for the next album Super Trouper began in February 1980 and progressed relatively quickly. The first single from these sessions, The Winner Takes It All , was released in July 1980 and became a top ten hit in 21 countries, including the USA. The song is often counted among the ABBA songs with the best lyrics, although the songwriter Björn Ulvaeus said it only needed an hour for it. Fältskog and Ulvaeus were officially divorced on July 2, 1980. The new album was released on November 3rd, 1980 and was pre-ordered 1 million times in the UK alone, ultimately making it the best-selling album of the year. The title already existed when the idea of ​​the song of the same name had not yet arisen. By the end of the year, 4 million copies of the LP had been sold worldwide. The single Super Trouper was also a number one hit in many countries, including Germany and Great Britain.

End of active career (1981–1982)

After the divorce of Fältskog and Ulvaeus became final in July 1980, Lyngstad and Andersson also separated in February 1981. Nevertheless, the four members did not want to give up their joint projects and so ABBA began recording their eighth and final album The Visitors in March 1981 . As early as April 1981, two new songs from the sessions were presented in a TV special with US presenter Dick Cavett . The LP was finally released on November 30, 1981 and contained nine pieces with which the group had significantly developed their musical style. Some of the songs sound gloomy and gloomy; the lyrics are profound and tell of the pain of parting and the fear of war. Even the songs with more cheerful elements have a melancholy undertone. No song on the album was consistently sung by Fältskog and Lyngstad together, only in the chorus of the songs both can be heard. With Like an Angel Passing Through My Room , a song was sung completely by Lyngstad alone for the first time. With the single One of Us , ABBA was also able to place itself in the British top five and at the top of the German chart for the last time. The album The Visitors was one of the first audio CDs in music history.

In January 1982 ABBA Compatible with artists such as Paul McCartney and Frank Sinatra as well as high-ranking politicians such as the former US president Ronald Reagan , the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt , the initiative Let Poland be Poland , which as part of a charity -Gala has been broadcast by American television in over 40 countries. The communist leaderships of the People's Republic of Poland and the USSR, inter alia. criticized for their repression against the Polish freedom and strike movement Solidarność . In his message, Andersson also indirectly mentioned suppression in El Salvador by the US government, but this was removed from the finished article for a short time.

In the spring of 1982 ABBA went into the studio again as a group to record a new album. But the four quickly lost interest in the project. Only three tracks were recorded before the summer break: Just Like That , You Owe Me One and I Am the City . In these recordings, their previous musical style was expressed more, there were more common song passages, and the pieces were all a bit happier again. At the same time, Lyngstad recorded her first English solo album Something's Going On with Phil Collins as producer, Fältskog starred in the Swedish film Raskenstam and Andersson and Ulvaeus were planning to compose another musical together. More and more often there was speculation in the media about an imminent separation of the group, which the four band members denied at this point in time.

"Even if the individual ABBA members have their own projects from time to time, there is no intention of breaking up the group."

- Press release from June 14, 1982 (Görel Hanser)

So the four members met again in the studio in August 1982 to record more songs. Of the three new tracks, The Day Before You Came and Under Attack were released as singles and on the album The Singles - The First Ten Years , which was released in November 1982. The tracks Cassandra and You Owe Me One were used as B-sides of the two singles. On November 6, 1982, the four ABBA members appeared on Noel Edmonds' British television program The Late Late Breakfast Show and were asked about their favorite songs in an interview. Fältskog named Fernando , Lyngstad Dancing Queen , Andersson Chiquitita and Ulvaeus The Winner Takes It All . In a later interview, Fältskog said that in retrospect, The Winner Takes It All was her favorite ABBA song. In the same broadcast, Andersson and Ulvaeus denied the question of a possible separation of the band, which has already been speculated in several newspapers.

ABBA's first and only live appearance on West German television on November 11, 1982 in Show-Express with Michael Schanze was the last joint stage appearance in Germany and the penultimate stage appearance at all. An appearance on Showexpress that had been planned two years earlier had to be canceled at short notice due to a kidnapping threat to the ABBA members and was replaced by a 20-minute live broadcast to Sweden.

On December 11, 1982 ABBA performed together as a group for the last time with the songs I Have a Dream and Under Attack on The Late Late Breakfast Show . However, they were in a studio in Stockholm and were connected live via satellite. In the interview, the artists announced “a break” for ABBA, which, in retrospect, was considered to be the separation of the band for a long time. Because after 1982 the members worked on their own music projects: Lyngstad (now as Frida) and Fältskog recorded English-language solo albums, Ulvaeus and Andersson wrote the musicals Chess (texts by Tim Rice ) and Kristina från Duvemåla . Officially, however, the band was not dissolved.

"Break" from 1983

Since their separation there have been regular rumors of a possible reunion of the band, which the former members have been categorically excluded for decades, although they continued to speak of a "break" in the first few years after the last gig. As early as May 1983, Fältskog stated on the British television program Breakfast Time that ABBA was currently on pause, but would continue to work together. In 1984 Lyngstad, Ulvaeus and Andersson were on the German TV show Na sowas! as a guest, Ulvaeus also emphasized in the interview that the temporary separation of the group was just a break, but they did not know how long this break would be. In 1985, the group refused to reunite for a joint appearance at the Live Aid concert in July 1985, which was organized by the musician Bob Geldof on the occasion of an acute famine in Ethiopia .

In January 1986, ABBA sang the first hit he produced, Tivedshambo, on the Swedish television show Här Ar Ditt Liv , which was dedicated to its former manager Stig Anderson . This appearance was filmed in the top floor of the Polar Music offices in Stockholm and is ABBA's last joint TV appearance so far. In August 1986 Polar Music released the album ABBA Live . on the Australian tour in 1977, on the world tour in 1979 and on the television show Dick Cavett meets Abba in late April 1981. However , there were no promotion dates with the previous band members for the live album , which contributed to its commercial failure. Nevertheless, the publication led to widespread speculation around the world about an imminent reunification of the group. By the end of the 1980s, many ABBA records were out of print and were no longer produced due to the largely changed taste in music.

Dolls from The Last Video Ever (2004) in the ABBA Museum in Stockholm

At the beginning of 2000, the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet reported that ABBA had received and rejected a $ 1 billion offer from an American consortium for a world tour of 100 concerts. On April 6, 2004 - the 30th anniversary of the “Grand Prix” victory with the song Waterloo and the fifth anniversary of the musical performance by Mamma Mia! in London - the four musicians were invited to an anniversary celebration in the Prince Edward Theater . But only Lyngstad, Andersson and Ulvaeus came. Fältskog had canceled her participation at short notice. After the musical performance, the three band members went on stage and received a symbolic award from Universal Music for the large number of ABBA records sold. A few days earlier, during the live broadcast of the preliminary rounds for the Eurovision Song Contest, a video depicted with caricature dolls (ABBA - The Last Video Ever) had its world premiere. Although there was no joint recording date, all four former band members can be seen as real people in the film for a few seconds due to the production technology used.

In March 2010, Lyngstad and Andersson appeared for ABBA's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. In his speech, Andersson replied to the Times ' question whether the group would perform live in front of a select audience with: "Sure, why not?" Swedish Crown Princess Victoria . Exactly 34 years earlier, ABBA had performed their hit Dancing Queen on Swedish television in honor of Queen Silvia . That same year, Fältskog also said in an interview, "Reuniting on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, perhaps for a good cause, is something I think we could all consider."

In 2011 there was again speculation about a possible appearance at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton . In November 2013 Fältskog told Die Welt am Sonntag when asked whether there were plans for a reunification on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the victory at the Eurovision Song Contest 1974: “I know that there are some plans.” (“I know, there are some plans going on. ”) On December 14, 2013 Björn Ulvaeus was at Wetten, dass ..? to guest. When co-moderator Michelle Hunziker asked whether he was still in contact with the other group members, he replied that they had met two weeks earlier and talked about a reunion: “But unfortunately [there is] no reunion. I want people to remember us as the young, dynamic group we used to be. "

On January 20, 2016, all ABBA members appeared for the opening of the Mamma Mia! The party . It was the first time since 1986 that Fältskog, Lyngstad, Andersson and Ulvaeus appeared side by side in public. However, the four of them did not allow themselves to be photographed together by the press. In June 2016, all four appeared together at a private party at Berns Hotel in Stockholm and sang the song The Way Old Friends Thu .

On April 27, 2018, 35 years after their last recordings, the four members surprisingly announced that they had recorded two new songs with the titles I Still Have Faith In You and Don't Shut Me Down . One of them should be performed in December 2018 on a TV show produced by NBC and BBC of holograms of the artists with their appearance from 1979. From spring 2019, these holograms should complete a tour, including in Australia. Ultimately, neither the publication nor the announced hologram tour took place in 2018. The release of the new songs was postponed repeatedly in 2019 and 2020.

Comeback in 2021

On May 7, 2021, Björn Ulvaeus said in an interview with the New York Times that new ABBA music would be released this fall. On September 2, 2021, the two new songs I Still Have Faith in You and Don't Shut Me Down were presented for the first time in a live event broadcast via the Internet and released as singles on the same day. The release of the studio album Voyage , ABBA's first since The Visitors in 1981, was announced for November 5, 2021.


The ABBA revival in the 1990s

Cover by ABBA Gold

In 1992 the British synth-pop duo Erasure released the EP single Abba-esque with cover versions of the four ABBA songs Lay All Your Love on Me , SOS , Take a Chance on Me and Voulez Vous . The single reached a. No. 1 in Great Britain, No. 2 in Germany (a total of 19 weeks in the charts ), No. 1 in Austria (8 weeks) and No. 3 in Switzerland. As a result of this unexpected success, ABBA songs were also covered by various artists. Artists like U2 , Nirvana , REM , Madonna or Tina Turner publicly admitted their sympathies for the Swedish pop group. On June 11, 1992 Andersson and Ulvaeus came on stage during a concert by the Irish rock band U2 at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm and sang the song Dancing Queen with singer Bono .

In autumn 1992 - about ten years after the separation from ABBA - the music label Polygram published the compilation ABBA Gold as a reaction to the beginning ABBA revival . It sold so well around the world that it reached top positions on the sales charts in many countries. The album took first place in twelve countries, including Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Australia. In Germany, the album held the top position for eleven weeks. For the four ABBA members, the success came as a complete surprise, as the CD only contained material that had already been published and there were no promotional appointments with the previous band members. At the end of July 2008, 16 years after its release, due to the popularity of the Mamma Mia! first place on the Billboard Pop Catalog Album Charts in the USA and for the fourth time first place on the British music charts . With 31 million copies, it is the group's best-selling album.

As a result, interest in the band and their music increased worldwide, and the revival continued. ABBA parties or 70s parties were held again in discos, at which so-called tribute or revival bands performed. Although the group itself was no longer active, in 1993 ABBA received awards from all over the world as the most successful international pop group of the year, including the World Music Award . There were platinum and multi-platinum awards just like in ABBA's successful days. The second compilation CD, More ABBA Gold , made it into the top ten in Germany and France at the end of 1993 and reached the top 20 in Great Britain and Australia. There the music became popular again through the 1994 films Muriel's Wedding and Priscilla - Queen of the Desert . In 1999, the Swedish pop group A * Teens , which had initially been founded as ABBA Teens, was a young group that entered the music scene and initially only played ABBA songs. Their first album The ABBA Generation reached the top of the sales charts in many countries.

The musical and the film series Mamma Mia!

ABBA and actor in the film Mamma Mia! at the premiere in Stockholm (2008)

Another pillar of ABBA's long-lasting success after its dissolution is the globally successful musical Mamma Mia! , in which many well-known ABBA hits like Dancing Queen , Super Trouper and The Winner Takes It All can be heard. The backstory of single mother Donna and her daughter Sophie, who is about to get married, comes from British author Catherine Johnson . The world premiere took place on April 6, 1999 at the Prince Edward Theater in London. In the meantime, the musical has made guest appearances - in addition to several permanent venues - as a tour production in over 150 cities worldwide. The accompanying soundtrack album also made it into the charts in many countries, including: in Germany (5th place), Austria ( 1st place ), Switzerland ( 1st place ), Great Britain (1st place in the compilation charts) and the USA ( 1st place ).

On February 12, 2005, all four ABBA members came to Stockholm's Cirkus Theater for the premiere of the Swedish version of the musical. It was the first time in almost 20 years that Fältskog, Lyngstad, Andersson and Ulvaeus were seen together in public. In particular, Fältskog's visit was not expected. At the end of the performance, however, only Andersson and Ulvaeus went on stage. Fältskog left the theater. There is also no photo from this event that shows all four together. On June 30, 2008, the film adaptation of Mamma Mia! Premiere and was also released in German cinemas on July 17, 2008. The film became a worldwide success and for years held the record as the most successful musical adaptation with grossing over 600 million US dollars . For the premiere of the film in Stockholm on July 4, 2008, all four ABBA members appeared and appeared for about two minutes together with some film actors on the balcony of the Stockholm Theater Rival.

Issue of ABBA memorabilia

Copy of the "Waterloo costumes" in the ABBA Museum

After the planned opening of an ABBA museum in Stockholm in 2008 did not materialize, it was announced in December 2008 that the exhibition would instead be shown on a world tour. The traveling exhibition under the name "ABBA WORLD" presented over 750 exhibits to the visitors. In addition to original costumes and instruments, various memorabilia and merchandising items from the pop group were shown. The 1974 Song Contest medal was also on display. The exhibition also offered various interactive presentation elements, including a replica of the previous recording studio.

The first stop of the exhibition was from January 26th to March 28th 2010 the Earls Court Exhibition Center in the British capital London, on June 19th 2010 ABBA World was opened in Federation Square in Melbourne , Australia . From December 4, 2010 to April 3, 2011, the memorabilia could be seen in the ETO Park in Győr, Hungary , and since May 6, 2011 the exhibition location has been in the Slovanský dum shopping center in Prague, Czech Republic . From March to December 2011, large parts of the exhibition were on display at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia. On May 7, 2013, the museum opened under the name ABBA The Museum as a permanent part of the Swedish Hall of Fame in Stockholm. A special attraction here is the "Ring-Ring-Telefon", on which the four former ABBA members call at irregular intervals. Visitors thus have the chance to speak to the members at random.

Artistic work

Musical style

Since all four musicians from ABBA and their manager Stig Anderson had their own musical careers before the joint music period, the group had a broad musical repertoire . All artists also had several years of experience in the conception, composition, production and interpretation of various styles of commercial light music. But although all four musicians had already written their own pieces, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus formed the composing team almost exclusively for ABBA, with Andersson mainly composing and Ulvaeus writing the lyrics. Their role models were, for example, Lennon / McCartney from the Beatles , as well as Elvis Presley and the Beach Boys . Old Swedish folk songs as well as the classical composers Mozart , Verdi and Bach also influenced the artists in their work.

Due to their musical past, they experimented steadily with different music genres in the early years: In some early pieces such as People Need Love or He Is Your Brother , the influence of the flower power era of the late 1960s can still be heard. From the hit ballad Hasta Mañana to pop hits like Honey, Honey or I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do , reggae pop like Tropical Loveland to rock songs like Waterloo or So Long , they covered a broad spectrum of pop music away. They also produced unusual pieces such as Watch Out (almost glam rock ), Sitting In The Palmtree or the King Kong Song - but also rather undemanding "Happy-Pop". With the title SOS and Mamma Mia , created in the summer of 1974 and produced in March 1975, they finally found their own style of music in pop music, which they steadily developed further in the following years.

The process of composing Andersson and Ulvaeus is often described as "inspired and unconventional", but also as "obsessively perfectionist". To compose, the two musicians mostly retired to a hut on the small archipelago island of Viggsö near Stockholm, where they initially played chords and harmonies together on their instruments (guitar and piano) for hours . Sometimes they sang simple English words or phrases , which, however, rarely corresponded to the later song texts, in order to hear the effect as a pop song. Only when both had the feeling that they had found an interesting and catchy approach did they try to develop it further to the finished piece. Since neither Andersson nor Ulvaeus could read and write sheet music, they memorized their new songs while they were being composed, so that they could later play them by heart to their studio musicians for further arrangements. Both artists later said of this method “that a piece is only really good if you can memorize it well as it is being created”.

After finding the melody, Ulvaeus mostly withdrew alone to write a suitable basic text for the melody. Ulvaeus endeavored to harmonize the individual words and text syllables with the rhythm of the melody in such a way that the speech melody largely corresponded to the melody of the song. After Ulvaeus, whose mother tongue is Swedish , had completed the English-language texts, they were checked by native speakers and, if necessary, adjusted slightly.

In the early years, in which her manager Stig Anderson also wrote some lyrics or parts of them, simple, sometimes undemanding lyrics dominated with stories about life and love. Later on, Ulvaeus developed more demanding, sometimes profound texts. The lyrics of The Winner Takes It All are considered to be one of his best. Even if the lyrics often show parallels to the relationships between the two earlier ABBA couples and their lives, according to Ulvaeus the song Slipping Through My Fingers is the only truly autobiographical song he has ever composed. The sensitive ballad, which addresses the fast growing up of one's own children from the parents' point of view, is dedicated to his daughter Linda .

Although their songs often have the typical basic structure in which stanzas and chorus follow in simple alternation, they showed with the instrumental piece Intermezzo No. 1 or songs like The Name of the Game that they can also compose pieces with a more complex structure. During production, they finally perfected their pieces and their sound. In addition to the typical instrumentation of the music groups from this time, which consisted of various electric guitars, bass guitar, piano and drums, Andersson and Ulvaeus also used instruments from classical orchestras as well as the newly emerging electronic synthesizers with their diverse and hitherto little widespread sound effects .

The catchy songs were sung almost exclusively by Fältskog and Lyngstad, both of whom had professionally trained voices with a large range (Fältskog: soprano ; Lyngstad: mezzo-soprano ). The two men sang more often in earlier pieces, but ABBA soon realized that the female voices in particular, which harmonized well with each other, led to an unmistakable independence of their songs and their sound. After the band's experimental early days, Andersson and Ulvaeus almost only took on accompanying vocals in the choruses, backing vocals or imitating, noise-like vocals such as in the pieces Take a Chance on Me or Super Trouper . Exceptions were, for example, the songs Rock Me from the third album ABBA and Does Your Mother Know , in which Ulvaeus sings the verses alone and takes over the lead in the chorus. Also on the last studio album The Visitors from 1981 Ulvaeus takes over the vocals for a song ( Two for the Price of One ).

With elaborate studio technology, sound engineer Michael B. Tretow produced different variants of the pieces by recording the voices and instruments on several tapes or slowing down some sound elements or playing them back slightly in time (see also overdubbing ). Tretow's way of working was inspired by the American music producer Phil Spector and his sonorous wall-of-sound arrangements. In the ABBA songs, completely new sound elements were often created that could not be copied without knowledge of these manufacturing techniques, which gave their songs a unique and unmistakable sound.

By realizing how important modern studio technology was for ABBA music, they always invested a lot of money in the production of their titles. They went to renowned recording studios for the recordings and built their own recording studio in Stockholm, the Polar Music Studio, in 1977/1978. In order to be more successful in the US market and to perfect the typical sound of the early “eighties” pop, they went to Miami to do some recordings at Criteria Studios and worked there with the best music producers. In this way, ABBA produced almost timeless music with a high entertainment and recognition value (" catchy tunes ") based on the current state of studio technology. However, if a new title was too similar to a song that had already been recorded, it was not even produced. Proof of this is the list of unreleased songs by ABBA . Due to their artistic work and their elaborate production methods, the band ABBA is now regarded as a co-founder of modern pop music.

Band name

First band logo on the LP Ring Ring

Since the four musicians did not see themselves as a permanent group at the beginning of their joint careers, they simply appeared under different lists of their four first names. They were called "Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid", "Anni-Frid, Agnetha, Benny, Björn", "Björn + Benny + Agnetha + Frida" or "Björn + Benny + Anna + Frieda". On the windshield of their first Opel - "Tour-Wagen" was until 1973: "BJÖRN BENNY AGNETHA FRIDA".

On early record covers in the USA, “Björn & Benny” are sometimes referred to with the addition “med svenska flickor” (“with Swedish girls”). The reason for this was that at that time Fältskog was still exclusively under contract with the record company CBS-Cupol and was their most successful star, so that royalties and license fees from Polar to CBS-Cupol would have been due. These contractual commitments were conditionally still in effect during the successful ABBA period until the end of 1975, so that later still high royalties had to be paid to CBS-Cupol. Lyngstad's record deal with EMI Music ended in 1972.

At the beginning of the 1970s, the four Swedes appeared together in public at some music festivals in the local “Folkparks” under the names “Festfolk” or “Festfolket” (more rarely: “Festfolk Quartet (t)” or “Festfolk Kvartett”) had occasional appearances as "Engaged Couples" in Swedish clubs and bars. In Mexico, their records in 1972 and 1973 were initially released under the simple group name "Los Suecos" ("The Swedes"). Only after they had their first successes as a group in their home country Sweden, a suitable band name was looked for. Above all, her manager Stig Anderson was increasingly annoyed to always have to mention the awkward name "Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Frida" to the press.

As early as March 1973, a Swedish magazine published an invitation to send in suggestions for the name of the now nationally known group. "Friends and Neighbors", "Alibaba" and "BABA" were initially the most serious suggestions. In the summer of 1973, at the suggestion of Stig Anderson, the band name "ABBA" was finally set, with which the group first appeared in February 1974 in the Swedish preliminary decision for the Eurovision Song Contest. In Scandinavia and also by Andersson and Ulvaeus, the name was initially judged rather cautiously, as there is a large and well-known food company in Sweden called Abba Seafood . Anderson had to get permission from this company to use "ABBA".

The term " Abba " is also a biblical word for "father". This word meaning is mentioned in ABBA - The 1977 film in an interview scene by an elderly passerby. But in the end the band name also caught on very quickly internationally - not least because it is pronounced easily and identically in almost all languages ​​and is always very prominent in alphabetical lists. This simple, very distinctive and concise word "ABBA" is a palindrome and also an acronym which is composed of the initials of the four name derives of the band members in the following order: A gnetha, B jörn, B enny, A nni-Frid → ABBA . Occasionally the composition of the band name was also interpreted in reverse order (Anni-Frid, Benny, Björn, Agnetha), as for example with the formation of the band members in some photo shoots for posters and record covers such as Waterloo or Gracias por la música , early 1976 for one Part of the photos with the initial letters of Wolfgang Heilemann or with red letter flocking on the back of the overalls that the ABBA members wore when they arrived in Australia in 1977.

Band logo as a trademark

After the group found their band name ABBA, this was initially only shown typographically on covers, posters and other promotional materials. Before appearing on the German music show Disco in February 1976, the photographer Wolfgang Heilemann was commissioned to take some pictures of the group in a nearby studio for the German youth magazine Bravo . A photo series was also planned with a large silver-colored initial letter in front of each of the four band members. In these recordings, Andersson accidentally put the "B" "upside down" - in second place - which was only noticed after the photos were taken. After Heilemann had informed the band members about the mistake, Andersson and Ulvaeus talked briefly, decided to adopt this "mistake" and thanked Heilemann for the "great marketing idea". On the basis of this idea, the graphic artist Rune Söderqvist developed the ABBA lettering with the mirror-inverted “B” from the News Gothic Bold font and explained that “the two 'B' harmoniously turn towards the two 'A'”.

The ABBA logo was officially presented on August 13, 1976 and has been used on all official ABBA records, publications and fan articles since the single Dancing Queen to this day. Since the release of the CD single Dancing Queen and the album ABBA Gold in 1992, a version of the ABBA logo developed from the Helvetica Roman font has been used, the letters of which are a bit slimmer in font weight, but slightly wider in font style. In later releases of the album ABBA Gold , however, the former original logo was used again. The ABBA logo with the mirror-inverted "B" is mirror-symmetrical and, along with the lettering of the rock bands AC / DC and Kiss and the " Stones tongue ", is one of the most famous trademarks of music groups around the world. Andersson and Ulvaeus had the new ABBA logo protected under trademark law immediately after completion , which is why it is often also marked with the registration symbol ®. After the ABBA logo was entered as a trademark, the rights belonged to ABBA's own marketing company. With some original sound carriers - especially in Asia -, various licensed sound carriers and the unofficial sound carriers, the ABBA logo is often not used, but only a graphic adaptation of the original logo.


Economic success


A key success factor for ABBA's international breakthrough was initially the victory at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 , through which the group and its simple but distinctive band name ABBA became internationally known almost overnight. At the same time, through their song Waterloo and the unusual, flashy costumes , they conveyed a new, modern image that was largely judged positively by the European audience. The two singers Fältskog and Lyngstad, who were two completely different, but equally attractive and personable types of women, performed with a fresh and positive charisma. For years, ABBA cultivated the image of two happy and very good friends who always appeared nice and friendly in public, at TV shows and towards their fans , without the usual scandals for many bands such as love affairs , drug consumption , etc. And even after the separation of Fältskog and Ulvaeus, the four musicians presented themselves as a group who, despite personal differences, worked together on a music project.

While many bands were still playing music in the early 1970s that borrowed from popular English rock music of the 1960s, ABBA endeavored to produce more modern, catchy, and commercially successful popular music. After ABBA experimented with very different styles of music on their first records - from the glam rock number Rock Me to the international hit song Honey, Honey - the group found their own pop sound with their third album ABBA in 1975, which had not yet been produced . Supported by a versatile selection of instruments, modern arrangements and sophisticated studio technology, which was very complex compared to many other pop and disco musicians of their time, ABBA achieved a very high quality standard, both in music recording and in production. The group also had a very good feel for the selection of singles and their releases as well as for the further development of their music. Only when a song seemed "promising" to the production team was it released. The ABBA team placed high demands on the songs that were released as single before a new album. But the later single releases also had to have "hit level".

As part of a global marketing strategy, the ABBA management around Stig Anderson relied on releases that were as uniform as possible from the first greatest hits album at the end of 1975, but different tracks, singles and albums - as at the beginning of their career - were recorded very country-specifically and published. There are many titles that were sung in different languages, differing titles on the B-sides of the singles as well as many special productions and compilation albums for individual countries. In addition, the band had a high media presence in the countries that were commercially most important to them. The group gave countless interviews and performed live on major television and music shows to present new songs and albums. They also used the medium of music video like hardly any other group. At the same time, the group appeared on worldwide tours in 1977 and 1979 with elaborate stage and spotlight shows, something that was only known from very few artists in this dimension.

Several factors mainly contributed to the success at the compositional level: first, the syllabic style; H. one note per text syllable in each song. Second, the correspondence between text content and song structure (text structure = song structure). Thirdly, in most of the songs there is a very balanced proportion between melody and syllable tones and pauses and instrumental sections. Fourth, a melody design with simple and small tone intervals without chromatic tones, so that overall an almost folksong-like, particularly vocal, easily comprehensible song results, in which the vocal melody itself already contains the underlying harmony structure completely or largely itself, even without instrumental accompaniment.

The "ABBA Empire"

In the course of the - also financially - very successful years, the four Swedes and their manager Stig Anderson built a barely manageable conglomerate with different companies, company holdings and other capital investments, which was also often called the "ABBA empire". These included, for example, the company "Sannes Trading", which Stig Anderson founded after the group's success in Eastern Europe together with the Swedish businessman Anders Wall, with the aim of doing compensation transactions with the countries of the Eastern Bloc. However, the company was not successful because the products offered by the Eastern Bloc countries were not marketable in Sweden. At the end of the 1970s, Sannes Trading was renamed "Pol Oil" and henceforth focused on the oil business. The purchase of 55,000 tons of crude oil at the beginning of 1980 brought the company a loss of 30 million kroner , whereupon it had to close.

Shortly after the band split up, superficial and sometimes uncontrolled management as well as dubious financial management (including tax claims, speculative borrowing, dubious stock market speculations) resulted in a massive crisis with high financial losses also for Fältskog, Andersson, Ulvaeus and their manager Anderson. Only Lyngstad remained largely harmless, as it had already sold its capital shares in the course of the separation from ABBA. In January 1990, Stig Anderson finally sold Polar Music with almost all exploitation and licensing rights to the registered ABBA brand for 300 million kroner to the media group Polygram . The sale was overshadowed by a lawsuit by former ABBA members against their ex-manager when it became known that the label had paid out only 3 percent over the years instead of the agreed 9 percent royalty . The conflict was settled out of court in July 1991, but led to a rift between Stig Anderson on the one hand and Fältskog, Ulvaeus and Andersson on the other.

Sales figures

Record awards for record sales by the group at the ABBA Museum (Stockholm)

There is no standardized information on the number of ABBA phonograms sold: the estimates range from around 140 million to over 500 million. At the beginning of 1977, the sales figures in a television report were given as 44 million (14 million albums, 30 million singles). In the spring of 1978, calculations by Polar Music resulted in a total of 53 million units, while the US label Atlantic Records stated the sales of sound carriers as part of the band's promotional trip at 120 million. This figure was also used in the TV special ABBA in Japan , but it is questionable, not least because of the advertising fraud that was common in the USA at the time and the label's calculation method. In 1983, according to an estimate by the Guinness Book of Records, ABBA had sold 125 million records. As of May 1985, their phonogram sales of the same were put at 215 million pieces.

In 1992 it is said to have been 250 million, as was the case, among other things. mentioned in the 1993 documentary Thank You ABBA . The ABBA revival allegedly increased sales again to 350 million, which is also viewed as questionable. Since the official sales of ABBA Gold , which made a significant contribution to the success of the ABBA revival, amounted to 15 million copies by 1999, 85 million other ABBA albums and singles would have had to be sold to match this number. Based on this calculation, ABBA received a symbolic award in 2004 for 360 million phonograms sold, and in 2010 the group was presented with another for 375 million phonograms. In 2013 Björn Ulvaeus reported sales of 380 million records, referring to Universal Music . It is estimated that over three million ABBA records are sold annually. In 2019, the number of records sold was estimated at around 385 million.

International success

The worldwide popularity of ABBA from 1975 onwards was not only commercial but also remarkable in that there was no other band from Sweden or Scandinavia that had achieved comparable success until the 1970s. The success of Swedish music artists had been mostly confined to their homeland since the 1950s, with sales of 50,000 copies of an album already being viewed as a great success. Her second album Waterloo set a sales record in Sweden in 1974 with 250,000 copies, and her fourth album Arrival was sold 750,000 times two years later. By 1979 the group had sold 2.9 million records in Sweden.

ABBA managers Stig Anderson as well as Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus had the intention of achieving success on the international and especially the English-speaking music market at an early stage. As a result, it quickly became the goal of the musicians to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest , in order to at least gain popularity among a large, international audience. Against this background, many of the group's hits emerged in the first years of their career, while Anderson, as a manager, used his worldwide contacts to bring the songs out as singles in all markets. After the first successes outside their home country had already shown themselves in 1973, especially in Scandinavia and the Benelux countries, the success of ABBA after the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 was enormous, especially in Germany, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Australia. But the band was also able to record great chart and sales successes in small to medium-sized music markets such as Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland and New Zealand.

In 1976, the most successful of its career, ABBA had three number one hits each in Great Britain , Ireland , Belgium and the Netherlands , four number one hits each in Germany and New Zealand and five number one hits in Australia . In addition, in 1976 at least one single in the group occupied the top position in Norway , Sweden , Austria , France and Switzerland .

In Germany, the group had regular promotional appearances in various popular music shows on television. In addition to occasional guest appearances in shows such as Amlauf Band with Rudi Carrell or the Current Schaubude , there were mainly appearances in music programs such as on ZDF in Disco with Ilja Richter, in the music store of Radio Bremen or in the Star Parade , which was presented by Rainer Holbe . In Great Britain, all singles from 1974 to 1981 placed at least in the top ten of the charts, eight of them reached the top position. With a total of 11.3 million pieces, ABBA is now number 3 among the bands with the best-selling singles in Great Britain. It is Dancing Queen with over one million units sold in the most successful single. By 1982 eight albums in a row reached the top position. To date, a total of 17 million ABBA albums have been sold in the UK. The publication of their phonograms in Great Britain was always accompanied by appearances and interviews on television and a total of 15 concerts in 1977 and 1979.

In contrast, the band never had a similar breakthrough in the United States. As early as 1972, the US label Playboy Records released the group's first records, but none of them reached the charts. In 1974 Stig Anderson first signed a three-year contract with Atlantic Records , which from then on sold all records in the USA until the band broke up. Although ABBA took promotional trips there in 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1978 , none of their albums made it past the top 20. The success of their singles was also clearly limited with a number one hit and three top ten hits; six more made it into the top 20. In an interview in 1976, Benny Andersson expressed his assessment that the US music market was generally more difficult for bands from Europe to reach than, for example, the European or Australian market. Not only music videos and television appearances are important here, but above all the live presence of a group. The demand for ABBA records did not increase that much, even after their 1979 US tour. In Japan, the main reason for their success was the promotion tour in autumn 1978, the television appearances and specials of which were released on DVD in Japan in 2009 under the title ABBA . Their concerts in 1980 were completely sold out. In addition, numerous licensed LPs by ABBA have been released in Japan, some of which are difficult to come by today and are therefore collector's items.


In Sweden in the 1970s , music was strongly influenced by the progressive “Music Movement”, or “Progg” for short, which included music publishers , record labels , newspapers and radio stations . The left-leaning character, which was reflected in political texts and was by no means geared towards commercial success, was characteristic of this genre. This was in contrast to ABBA, which the Progg movement made countless allegations. As the youth editor-in-chief of the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation said: “Your [ABBAs] music does not express feelings and the commercial idea shimmers through steadily. Music thus becomes a dispassionate, cold product […] ”(Palm, 2006). The Eurovision Song Contest 1975 , which was held in Sweden, led to the organization of the alternative festival as a counter-event and to Sweden not taking part in the Song Contest the following year.

Especially after ABBA's victory in the Song Contest and in the following years, the group and their manager were criticized for their performance. The music has been described as "talented crap" that "lacks personal expression" (Halling, 2014). The group has been described as “the result of a hardened cynicism” and has been accused of the fact that their music “primarily aims to fill the accounts of the authors without giving anything to the listeners in return” (Halling, 2014). In 1975 an article in a Swedish newspaper read: “ I love you sing ABBA and point to the audience. But that is a lie. ABBA don't love us, only the 20 crowns that they pull out of our pockets […] ”(Palm, 2006). The progg movement went so far that musicians like Janne Schaffer , Mike Watson or Ulf Andersson who worked with ABBA were ostracized. Schaffer was forbidden to play in halls that were under the influence of the movement. ABBA created a “two-class society” of music in what was then Sweden, in which a distinction was made between “commercial” and “non-commercial” artists.

In contrast to Sweden, ABBA was received largely positively in the USA soon after their victory in the Song Contest. At that time, many critics were already complaining that rock music had developed into an "often presumptuous and pompous art form." B. wrote Ken Barnes in Rolling Stone : "With their succinct and fast-paced pop numbers, ABBA are much closer to actual rock'n'roll than many of these exaggerated guitar cannons or these soul-friendly groups who want to bring cosmo-dynamic enlightenment to the confused masses" (Palm, 2006). Other critics also wrote that Waterloo "clearly stands out from this whole swamp of soul ballads and trivial country music [...]" (Palm, 2006). Later albums such as Arrival and ABBA - The Album also received good reviews, including in Billboard magazine , in which Arrival was referred to as an “album that shows signs of artistic development.” The songs on The Album were praised for “never having the catchy, thoughtful lyrics with the strong support of keyboard / synthesizer with strings, guitar and bass get lost in the background. "

In Great Britain, critics of rock music in particular were surprised that ABBA had great success in the British market. A pop group that "just wanted to entertain" disappointed expectations of a continuation of the line in rock music. ABBA has been accused of not being rooted in the traditions of blues and soul music (Palm, 2006). On their concert tour of Great Britain in 1977, critics wrote that the group would “manipulate cleverly and ruthlessly” and bring out “one single after the other with the precision of a robot”; they attested to a "lack of warmth, an almost icy atmosphere in the technically perfect live shows" (Palm, 2006).

Awards and honors

For nine consecutive years (1974–1982), ABBA received a Bravo Otto in the “Band” category from the youth magazine Bravo , but never reached first place (“Golden Otto”) in the Bravo readers' poll.

  • "Silver Otto" (2nd place): 1974, 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1982.
  • "Bronzener Otto" (3rd place): 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1981.

On April 18, 1977, ABBA took part in a gala for the Spring Festival of the newspaper Expressen and received a "Golden Wasp" for the television documentary ABBA-DABBA-Doo! which was voted the best show of the year by the audience.

In 1983 a stamp pad Musik i Sverige was issued in Sweden , which also contains a stamp with a motif by ABBA, which shows the band on a stage in front of a cheering audience. The motif is based on a photo taken by Anders Hanser on September 18, 1979 at a concert in Portland (Oregon) ( USA ). Another stamp with a motif by ABBA was issued in Sweden in March 2000. The theme of this stamp is musical development - especially at the Eurovision Song Contest (at that time still Grand Prix Eurovision de la Chanson). On the stamp, ABBA in the costumes from 1974 is juxtaposed with a young artist in a “ New Wave / Techno outfit”.

In 2002, ABBA was inducted into the Sharon ( Pennsylvania , USA) Vocal Group Hall of Fame , which honors the best vocal groups in the world.

On January 23, 2009, Fältskog and Lyngstad jointly received the Rockbjörnen ("Rock Bear") award in Stockholm , which the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet awarded the pop group for their life's work .

In 2010, ABBA was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame .

In September 2012, Madame Tussauds made four ABBA wax figures . The characters wear the outfits that the group performed in 1975 as part of the promotion tour for their third album ABBA . Since October 2012 they can be seen in London. In January 2013 the figures moved to Vienna, where they were until mid-March. From April 20, 2013, the figures were exhibited in Berlin for two months. At the end of April 2015, the characters moved to Vienna again for three months, where they could be seen as part of a special song contest exhibition.

Environment of the group

Group manager, early songwriter and president of Polar Music ; also acted as an advisor to the band members on financial matters. On his 50th birthday on January 25, 1981, ABBA presented the song Hovas Vittne in the costumes with which the group performed in 1974 at the Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo .
ABBA drummer
ABBA bassist. According to information on the ABBA website, Brunkert and Gunnarsson were the only musicians who were present on all of the band's recordings.
  • Görel Hanser (née Johnsen)
Assistant to Stig Anderson, personal assistant to the band members and later Vice President of the company Polar Music, and to this day on friendly terms with all four ABBA members. For Hanser's 30th birthday, ABBA sang the song Sång Till Görel in 1979 , of which 50 maxi singles were later produced. The four band members had another joint musical appearance in June 1999 when they presented the Swedish folk song Med En Enkel Tulipan as a musical congratulation on the occasion of Hanser's 50th birthday . All four musicians later emphasized that it was not the ABBA group, but - as on their 30th birthday - four good friends of the birthday boy who sang together.
Director of almost all ABBA music videos and the film ABBA - The Film
Mainly responsible and executive studio sound engineer as well as sound developer for all ABBA titles; musically is considered the "fifth member" of the band
Background singer at ABBA, now solo artist
  • Slim Borgudd
    Slim Borgudd (ATS) at the Dutch Grand Prix in 1981, the ABBA logo can also be seen on the rear wing
The former ABBA studio drummer is an avid motor sportsman who took part in ten Formula 1 races between 1981 and 1982 . In the 1981 season, Borgudd and the Dutchman Jan Lammers drove in an ATS Ford with the ABBA logo on the front and side pods.
  • With the choreography by Graham Tainton and the costumes by Owe Sandström, the group had not only drawn attention to the music from the start.


Studio albums

year title Top ranking, total weeks / months, awardChart placementsChart placementsTemplate: chart table / maintenance / monthly data
(Year, title, rankings, weeks / months, awards, notes)
DE DE AT AT CH CH UK UK US US SE SE NO NOTemplate: chart table / maintenance / charts non-existent
1973 Ring ring - - CH- aCH - - SE2 b (12 weeks)
NO10 (15 weeks)
First published: March 26, 1973
1974 Waterloo DE6th

(9 weeks)DE
- CH- aCH UK28

(3 weeks)UK
US145 (8 weeks)
SE1 b

(29 weeks)SE
NO1 (24 weeks)
First published: March 4, 1974
1975 ABBA DE31 (3 months)
- CH- aCH UK13

(10 weeks)UK
US174 (3 weeks)
SE1 c (34 weeks)
NO1 (62 weeks)
First published: April 21, 1975
1976 Arrival DE1
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(37 weeks)DE
AT12 (32 weeks)

(93 weeks)UK

(50 weeks)US
SE1 (32 weeks)
NO1 (35 weeks)
First release: October 11, 1976
# 1 album in New Zealand and the Netherlands
1978 ABBA - The Album DE2

(41 weeks)DE
AT2 (40 weeks)

(61 weeks)UK

(41 weeks)US
SE1 (18 weeks)
NO1 (20 weeks)
First release: December 12th, 1977
# 1 album in New Zealand and the Netherlands
1979 Voulez-Vous DE1

(58 weeks)DE
AT2 (40 weeks)

(43 weeks)UK

(27 weeks)US
SE1 (26 weeks)
NO1 (21 weeks)
First release: April 23, 1979
# 1 album in the Netherlands
1980 Super trouper DE1
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(52 weeks)DE
AT3 (34 weeks)

(43 weeks)UK

(38 weeks)US
SE1 (22 weeks)
NO1 (29 weeks)
First release: November 3rd, 1980
# 1 album in the Netherlands
1981 The Visitors DE1

(31 weeks)DE
AT3 (18 weeks)
CH93 a d (1 week)

(22 weeks)UK
US29 (17 weeks)
SE1 (16 weeks)
NO1 (14 weeks)
First release: November 30, 1981
# 1 album in the Netherlands
d in CH only placed in 2012

shaded in gray : no chart data available for this year

a The chart archive for the Swiss album charts begins on November 6, 1983. For this reason, no or only limited chart data is available for all publications before this point in time.
b Between July 10, 1962 and August 19, 1975, combined charts of albums and singles were published in Sweden.
cBetween the setting of the Kvällstoppen on August 19, 1975 and November 14, 1975, there were neither singles nor album charts in Sweden. For this reason, no or only limited chart data is available for all publications during this period.

Film documentaries

  • A for ABBA . BBC, July 20, 1993
  • Thierry Lecuyer, Jean-Marie Potiez: Thank You ABBA. Willow Wil Studios / A2C Video, 1993
  • Barry Barnes: ABBA - The History. Polar Music International AB, 1999
  • Chris Hunt: The Winner Takes it All - The ABBA Story. Littlestar Services / Lambic Productions, 1999
  • Steve Cole, Chris Hunt: Super Troupers - Thirty Years of ABBA . BBC, 2004
  • The Joy of Abba . BBC 4, December 27, 2013 ( BBC page )
  • Carl Magnus Palm, Roger Backlund: ABBA - When Four Became One . SVT, January 2, 2012
  • Carl Magnus Palm, Roger Backlund: ABBA - Absolute Image . SVT, January 2, 2012
  • ABBA - Bang a boomerang . ABC 1, January 30, 2013 ( ABC page )
  • Thank you for the music . Sunday Night (7 News), October 1, 2019


  • Christer Borg: ABBA (with discography, lyrics and 20 b / w photos). Bastei Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 1978, OCLC 164785262 .
  • ABBA 5 years. In: Billboard Magazine , Sep. 8, 1979, pp. 23-46; Excerpt (Google).
  • Carl Magnus Palm: ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions. Verulam Publishing, 1994, ISBN 0-907938-10-8 .
    • New edition: ABBA - The Complete Recording Sessions. Revised and Expanded Edition. 1st edition. CMP Text / CPI Group, 2017, ISBN 978-91-639-2656-3 .
  • John Tobler: ABBA Gold - The Complete Story . 1st edition. St Martins Pr, 1994, ISBN 0-312-11227-0 .
    • German: ABBA Gold - The Success Story. 20 years of ABBA . Translated by Anna-Maria Dahm. Heel Verlag, Königswinter 1994, ISBN 3-89365-371-6 .
  • Andrew Oldham, Tony Calder, Colin Irwin: ABBA - The Name of the Game. Trans-Atlantic Publications, 1st edition, London 1995, ISBN 0-283-06232-0 .
    • German: ABBA - Thank you for the Music . Translated by Heike Steffen. Ullstein Verlag, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-548-35950-7 .
  • Anders Hanser, Carl Magnus Palm: Från ABBA till Mamma Mia! 1999, ISBN 91-89136-06-3 (Swedish).
  • Jean-Marie Potiez: ABBA - The Book. Aurum Press, 1st edition London 2000, 2nd edition 2003, ISBN 1-85410-698-8 .
  • Carl Magnus Palm: Bright Lights, Dark Shadows - The real Story of ABBA. Omnibus Press, 1st edition 2001, 3rd edition 2014, ISBN 978-1-78305-359-9 .
    • German: Licht und Schatten: ABBA - The true story . 1st edition. Bosworth Musikverlag, 2002, new edition Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-86543-679-5 .
  • Wolfgang "Bubi" Heilemann : ABBA - A career in pictures . 1st edition. Achterbahn Musik Verlag, 2001, ISBN 978-3-89719-408-3 .
  • Frédéric Tonnon, Marisa Garau: ABBA - On speaking Terms . 1st edition. The House of Books, 2002, ISBN 90-443-0463-1 .
    • German: ABBA - your whole story . Translated by Ilja Braun. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-89602-640-2 .
  • Robert Scott: ABBA - Thank you for the Music. The stories behind every song. Carlton Publishing Group, 1st edition 2003, reprint 2009, ISBN 1-84222-793-9 .
    • German: ABBA - The Music Still Goes On. The story of their songs . 1st edition. Translated by Karin Miedler and Ursula Pesch. Rockbuch-Verlag Buhmann and Haeseler, Schlüchtern 2004, ISBN 3-927638-18-8 .
    • New edition: ABBA - Thank you for the Music: The stories for all songs. edel-Rockbuch, 2011, ISBN 978-3-8419-0105-7 .
    • New edition: ABBA. All the songs and their stories. Koehler published by Maximilian Verlag, Hamburg 2020, ISBN 978-3-7822-1362-2 .
  • Wolfgang “Bubi” Heilemann, Sabine Thomas : ABBA - Photographs 1974–1980. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2004, ISBN 978-3-89602-490-9 , 512 pages.
    • New edition: ABBA - Photographs 1974–1980. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-89602-902-7 , 216 pages.
  • Elisabeth Vincentelli: Abba's Abba Gold. Continuum International Publishing Group, New York 2004, ISBN 0-8264-1546-6 .
  • Carl Magnus Palm: Abba - The Complete Guide to their Music . 1st edition. Omnibus Press, 2005, ISBN 1-84449-505-1 .
  • Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Judy Craymer: Mamma Mia! How can I resist you? The story of Mamma Mia! and the songs from ABBA. Krüger Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2006, ISBN 3-8105-0185-9 .
  • Chuck Klostermann: ABBA 1, World 0 . Scribner (Simon & Schuster), 2009, ISBN 978-1-4516-2473-1
  • Sara Russell: The ABBA Guide to Stockholm . 1st edition. Premium Forlag, 2010, ISBN 91-89136-54-3 .
    • German: The ABBA travel guide to Stockholm . 1st edition. Premium Publishing, translated by Liska Cersowsky, 2010, ISBN 978-91-89136-69-4 .
  • Ingmarie Halling, Carl Magnus Palm: ABBA - The Backstage stories . 1st edition. Bonnier Fakta, 2014, ISBN 91-7424-411-6 .
  • Jan Gradvall, Petter Karlsson, Bengt Wanselius, Jeppe Wikström: ABBA - The Official Photo Book . 1st edition. Max Strom, 2014, ISBN 91-7126-282-2 .
    • German: ABBA - The whole story in 600 pictures . 1st edition. National Geographic, 2014, ISBN 978-3-86690-404-0 .
  • Anna Henker (Ed.), Astrid Heyde (Ed.): Abba - Das Lexikon ( Memento from March 25, 2017 in the Internet Archive ; PDF) Nordeuropa-Institut, Humboldt-Universität Berlin, 2015.
  • Steve Harnell (Ed.): Classic Pop Presents Abba: A Celebration . In: Classic Pop Magazine (special edition), November 2016
  • Tracy McMullen: Haunthenticity: Musical Replay and the Fear of the Real . Wesleyan University Press, 2019, ISBN 978-0-8195-7854-9 , pp. 46-57 (chapter The Case of Abba and ABBA-Mania All Over Again )

Web links

Commons : ABBA  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

Palm: "light and shadow"

Carl Magnus Palm: Light and Shadow. ABBA - The real story. Bosworth Edition, 2006, paperback edition, 638 pages. ISBN 3-86543-100-3 .

  1. p. 105 f.
  2. p. 144 ff.
  3. p. 170 f.
  4. p. 126 f.
  5. p. 128
  6. p. 156 f.
  7. p. 172
  8. p. 183
  9. p. 187 f.
  10. p. 184 f.
  11. p. 190 f.
  12. p. 204 f.
  13. p. 210 f.
  14. p. 218
  15. pp. 228-231
  16. p. 232
  17. p. 228
  18. p. 241 f.
  19. p. 254
  20. p. 258.
  21. p. 256
  22. p. 281.
  23. p. 287 ff.
  24. p. 326
  25. p. 284
  26. p. 316
  27. p. 310 f.
  28. p. 311 f.
  29. p. 408
  30. p. 347
  31. p. 369
  32. p. 360
  33. p. 380
  34. p. 379
  35. p. 413 f.
  36. a b p. 423 ff.
  37. p. 427
  38. p. 426
  39. p. 437
  40. p. 445
  41. p. 438
  42. p. 465
  43. p. 455
  44. p. 446f.
  45. p. 442
  46. p. 448 f.
  47. p. 451
  48. p. 459 f.
  49. p. 472 f.
  50. p. 478 f.
  51. p. 482
  52. p. 489
  53. pp. 486-488
  54. p. 497
  55. a b p. 502
  56. p. 499
  57. p. 506
  58. p. 523 f.
  59. p. 524
  60. p. 525
  61. p. 529 f.
  62. p. 568
  63. p. 606
  64. p. 579
  65. p. 581
  66. p. 610
  67. p. 597
  68. a b p. 300
  69. a b p. 251
  70. a b p. 242
  71. p. 303
  72. p. 225 f.
  73. p. 219
  74. p. 213
  75. p. 215
  76. a b p. 241 f.
  77. p. 333
  78. p. 314
  79. p. 474
  80. p. 313
  81. p. 434 f.
  82. a b p. 490 f.
  83. p. 539
  84. a b p. 570 f.
  85. p. 575 f.
  86. a b p. 438 f.
  87. p. 480
  88. p. 246
  89. a b p. 354
  90. p. 318f.
  91. p. 309
  92. p. 280f.
  93. a b p. 281
  94. p. 351

Palm: "Story & Songs compact"

Carl Magnus Palm: Abba - Story & Songs compact. Bosworth Edition, 2007, 156 pages. ISBN 978-3-86543-227-8 .

  1. p. 24.
  2. p. 99
  3. p. 50 f.
  4. p. 52 ff.
  5. p. 66
  6. p. 70 ff.
  7. pp. 77-85
  8. p. 102 f.
  9. p. 40
  10. p. 18 f.
  11. p. 21
  12. a b p. 27 ff.
  13. a b p. 37
  14. p. 35 f.
  15. p. 82 f.
  16. p. 53
  17. pp. 110-117
  18. p. 39 f.
  19. p. 34
  20. p. 51

Gradvall / Karlsson: "ABBA in pictures"

Jan Gradvall, Petter Karlsson: ABBA - The whole story in 600 pictures. G + J NG Buchgesellschaft mbH, Hamburg 2014, 400 pages. ISBN 978-3-86690-404-0 .

  1. p. 172
  2. p. 184
  3. p. 233
  4. p. 366
  5. p. 86/87
  6. p. 204

Russell: "ABBA Travel Guide"

Sara Russell: The ABBA Travel Guide to Stockholm. Premium Publishing, Stockholm 2010, 155 pages. ISBN 978-91-89136-69-4 .

  1. p. 100
  2. a b c p. 14
  3. p. 34 f.
  4. p. 20
  5. p. 112

Halling: "ABBA Backstage"

Ingmarie Halling, Carl Magnus Palm: ABBA Backstage - Approved by ABBA. HEEL Verlag GmbH, Königswinter 2014, 80 pages. ISBN 978-3-86852-878-7 .

  1. a b c d p. 20 f.

Chart sources

Trent Nickson: ABBA Charts

  1. a b Japan ( memento of April 26, 2012 on WebCite ) (summary), see MURAKAMI Chifumi Oriental ABBAland Discography Japan, 1996, accessed on November 13, 2015
  2. a b c Sweden ( Memento from April 5, 2012 on WebCite ) (summary), see Combined Swedish Charts 1966–1975 , Swedish Charts from 1975 and Eric Hallberg, Ulf Henningsson: TIO I TOPP - med de utslagna “På försök” 1961 –1974 (Swedish), Premium Publishing, Stockholm 2012, 560 pages. ISBN 978-91-89136-89-2
  3. a b c d e f g h overview ( Memento from April 6, 2012 on WebCite )
  4. USA ( memento of February 29, 2012 on WebCite ) (summary), see Billboard and Allmusic
  5. a b Australia ( memento of March 10, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) (summary), see David Kent: AUSTRALIAN CHART BOOK 1970–1992 (English), Australian Chart Book Pty. Ltd., 444 pages. ISBN 0-646-11917-6
  6. a b c Germany ( Memento from July 7, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (summary), see Official Charts and Chartsurfer
  7. a b c Great Britain ( Memento from June 20, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) (summary), see Official Charts (website of the Official Charts Company)


  1. The four members announced in 2018 that they would be recording new songs together again in the studio, these were released in 2021
  2. The band has not officially split up, but has been on hiatus since 1982
  3. Retrieved on April 27, 2018
  5. a b History of ABBA at Retrieved April 27, 2018
  6. Carl Magnus Palm: Abba: Bright Lights Dark Shadows . Omnibus Press, revised and updated edition 2014, ISBN 978-1-78305-359-9 , p. 6
  7. New Abba songs after decades. Accessed April 27, 2018
  8. ^ David V. Moskovitz: The 100 Greatest Bands of All Time: A Guide to the Legends Who Rocked the World . ABC-CLIO, 2015, ISBN 978-1-4408-0340-6 , pp. 1-6
  9. “Lycka” / Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson. Text accompanying the CD, 2006 Polar Music International AB
  10. ( Memento from February 24, 2018 in the Internet Archive ) Lycka - the only Björn & Benny album
  11. ABBA The official site People Need Love / Merry-Go-Round
  12. "Waterloo"
  13. ABBA Plaza concert dates (1974–1975 TOUR OF EUROPE)
  14. a b c Billboard Magazine 1979 special article ABBA 5 Years in the Billboard issue of September 8, 1979, accessed on April 13, 2017
  15. ABBA Charts: United Kingdom - Additional Information ( Memento from March 10, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) End of Decade Charts (below), accessed on April 13, 2017
  16. ^ Billboard Magazine Sept. 8, 1979. Retrieved April 13, 2017
  17. ^ Billboard Nov. 6, 1976
  18. a b Peter Charley: THE ABBA ALBUM Horowitz Publications, January 1977 (?)
  19. The ABBA Phenomenon in Australia The National Gallery. Retrieved September 8, 2016
  20. Abba - Dancing Queen, 1977
  21. ^ The Hot 100, April 9, 1977, accessed August 4, 2017
  22. ABBA Plaza concert dates (1977 EUROPEAN AND AUSTRALIAN TOUR)
  23. ^ British Phonographic Industry Database
  24. Federal Association of the Music Industry Database
  25. a b Gold & Platinum - RIAA . In: RIAA . ( [accessed August 5, 2018]).
  26. ^ Billboard Magazine September 8, 1979 issue, accessed May 4, 2016
  27. ABBA 5 YEARS in Billboard Magazine September 8, 1979
  28. ^ The Chiquitita Story
  29. ABBA Plaza concert dates (1979 NORTH AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN TOUR)
  30. Music in the age of “copy and paste” | NZZ . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . August 24, 2007, ISSN  0376-6829 ( [accessed August 5, 2018]).
  31. Original text: “Even if the ABBA members from time to time are doing things on their own, there is no intention whatsoever to break up the group” - Görel Hanser: Press Release 9. In: Abba Annual Homepage. June 14, 1982, accessed March 14, 2009 .
  32. ABBAonTV ( Memento from February 8, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Description “Na Sowas! - Extra ”, accessed February 8, 2016
  33. Abba: "Mamma Mia" not for a billion dollars on Spiegel Online on February 2, 2000.
  34. Abba - The Last Video Ever
  35. For an exclusive show - Comeback for Abba? Article dated March 26, 2010, accessed August 7, 2015
  36. ^ "Dancing Queen" Victoria? - Speculation about Abba appearance . Hamburger Abendblatt , June 16, 2010, last accessed on September 29, 2010.
  37. Speculation about ABBA appearance at Swedish royal wedding . Neue Zürcher Zeitung Online, June 16, 2010, last accessed on September 29, 2010.
  38. ABBA back on stage together? Article dated December 29, 2010, accessed August 7, 2015
  39. ABBA to perform at royal wedding? Article dated December 28, 2010, accessed August 7, 2015
  40. Martin Scholz: "Abba is a large part of us all" (German) article from November 11, 2013, accessed on October 3, 2014.
  41. a b Basellandschaftliche Zeitung 380 million albums sold - but ABBA does not want a reunification. Article dated December 15, 2013, accessed October 8, 2015
  42. ABBA Intermezzo News 2016
  43. Legendary pop band from Sweden: ABBA is reunited - for one evening. Article of January 21, 2016
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