ABBA has officially announced their return, after a nearly 40-year hiatus. The band previously teased something called Voyage was on the way, and we now know that this is the name their new album, which will be released on Nov. 5. The iconic pop group is also debuting a new concert project, dubbed “ABBA Voyage,” which will start in London on May 27, 2022, per Variety.
“It’s been a while since we made music together. Almost 40 years, actually. We took a break in the spring of 1982 and now we’ve decided it’s time to end it,” the members of the group — Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad — said in a joint statement. “They say it’s foolhardy to wait more than 40 years between albums, so we’ve recorded a follow-up to [1981’s] ‘The Visitors.’ To tell the truth, the main inspiration to record again comes from our involvement in creating the strangest and most spectacular concert you could ever dream of. We’re going to be able to sit back in an audience and watch our digital selves perform our songs on a stage in a custom-built arena in London next spring. Weird and wonderful!”
The two new songs, “I Still Have Faith in You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down,” will both feature in the concert. They are the first new material from ABBA since “Under Attack” in 1982, although the members, now in their 70s, have released several solo projects. https://t.co/lMDmY7pO0C pic.twitter.com/S8Nieet0eX
— Variety (@Variety) September 2, 2021
Abba was originally founded in Stockholm, Sweden in 1972, quickly becoming a worldwide phenomenon after winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, with their hit song “Waterloo.” Between 1973 and 1981, the group released a total of eight studio albums and embarked on multiple major tours. Abba disbanded in 1983 but announced a reunion in 2017.
Back in 2014, the group sat down for an interview with The Guardian and reflected on their career, 40 years after winning the Eurovision Song Contest. “The music scene changed with us — something like Abba didn’t exist before; pop like that was not invented yet,” Lyngstad said. “If you look at the singles we released straight after Waterloo, we were trying to be more like the Sweet, a semi-glam rock group,” Björn added. “Which was stupid because we were always a pop group.”
At one point in the conversation, Björn also addressed criticisms the group has faced throughout the years regarding the structure of their songwriting. “‘Waterloo,’ ‘Mamma Mia,’ ‘Fernando,’ ‘Dancing Queen,’ ‘The Winner Takes It All’ … are they made to a formula?” he asked. “What is that formula?! It’s totally the opposite. We never repeated ourselves. We worked so hard to find different styles every time.”