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ABBA News

ABBA Will Never Take to Stage Again
2009-07-06

just like that the day before you came

London, July 6 : Even with the success of the Mamma Mia stage show and film, two members of the Swedish pop group ABBA are determined that they will never regroup again.

In a recent interview, former band members Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson revealed that the group has no plans of reuniting.

"We will never appear on stage again. There is simply no motivation to re-group. Money is not a factor and we would like people to remember us as we were," the Daily Express quoted Ulvaeus, as telling the Sunday Telegraph.

"Young, exuberant, full of energy and ambition. I remember Robert Plant saying Led Zeppelin were a cover band now because they cover all their own stuff. I think that hit the nail on the head," he added.

The group has hits including ’Dancing Queen’, ’The Winner Takes It All’ and ’Money, Money, Money’, which have sold more than 370 million records worldwide.


The London News.Net
Website




Abba Album Tops The Charts For A Fifth Time, A Record-breaking 16 Years After Release
2008-08-03

just like that the day before you came

Pop sensation Abba made UK chart history today with the return of their greatest hits album to the number one spot - for the FIFTH time.

Gold - Greatest Hits was first released 16 years ago and is the oldest album ever to reach the top spot. It is the fourth biggest-selling album of all time in the UK and one of the top 40 worldwide, with sales topping 26 million, according to The Official Charts Company.

This is the second time that the Swedish band has achieved a number one selling album in the last few weeks. The soundtrack to the hit Abba-inspired film Mamma Mia! took the top spot in July.

The album's success saw Coldplay's Viva la Vida pushed down one place to number two.


Daily Mail UK.
Website




Giving Up the Fight
2008-07-17

just like that the day before you came

At Waterloo, as you may have heard, Napoleon did surrender. Oh, yeah, and America has met its destiny in quite a similar way. Having held out admirably for decades, the U.S. has at last fully succumbed to the charms of the stickiest thing to come out of Scandinavia since the sauna. When 14-time Oscar nominee Meryl Streep is in 3,000 cinemas nationwide singing Dancing Queen, it’s time to break out ze white flag, mes frères.

This capitulation is perhaps a more important moment in U.S. history than it first appears. I have a theory: a country enjoys Abba's music in inverse relation to its own global significance. I observed this firsthand growing up in the world’s most Abbaricious country, Australia. In 1976, 54% of my compatriots watched the local TV special The Best of Abba. That's as many of them as watched the moon landing. The album of the same name is still Australia’s best-selling ever.

The rest of the world soon caught the bug. Except the U.S. When the band finally toured here in 1979 (ABBA, SWEDISH QUARTET, IN NEW YORK DEBUT, observed the New York Times), critics compared the foursome unfavorably to Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles and the Beach Boys.

But where is your precious Fleetwood Mac now? Does the Internet list more than 50 Eagles tribute bands? (Or any with as good a name as Abbaration?) Did the Beach Boys have a musical on Broadway? They did, actually. It died. Meanwhile, Mamma Mia! has been on Broadway since October 2001. Note the date--a moment when America sorely needed comfort food. It was as if the country had sent out a national sos and Abba supplied the perfect rescue vehicle: sos.

Yes, it’s easier to revive the things that were reviled the first time. The Beatles and Shakespeare need no comeback and thus have less nostalgia value. But Abba has been making these incursions into American culture (Muriel’s Wedding! The Gold album!) for 35 years. That persistence suggests the band offers an appeal beyond the obvious one of watching unathletic people in white catsuits and platform boots. Why the cultural valence?

Oh, we could talk about the deceptive simplicity of Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson’s melodies. How their exchange-student lyrics imbued the songs with an innocence that is one of pop’s purest pleasures. How the really powerful cultural forces are those that make you forget your dignity. (Yes, Meryl, we mean you.) We could observe that Abba’s music is best enjoyed by those who know that events are not entirely in their control. Hence America, the unassailable superpower, had no use for it until recently.

Or we could just admit that America was overpowered, like Napoleon, by the strategic superiority shown in Waterloo, a song about 19th century Belgium that makes you want to dance. Sometimes, as that song says, you feel like you win when you lose.


time.com
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