More than three decades after ABBA broke up, the Swedish band’s four members — Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Anni-Frid — have announced that they’ve been back in the studio together and have recorded two new songs.
But you won’t be seeing them, in flesh and blood, on the road. Instead, they’re sending hologram avatars out on tour. One of the new songs, called “I Still Have Faith In You,” and the avatars will be featured on a December television special, which is being produced by NBC and the BBC.
“We all four felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the studio,” the band said on Instagram.
“And it was like time stood still.”
Abba’s spokesperson Gorel Hanser told the BBC the atmosphere in the studio was “magic”.
“It was like no time had passed at all,” she said. “It was like the olden days. They were happy, it was easy and warm-hearted, and it was actually quite moving. I wasn’t the only one with tears in my eyes.”
But she said said the group would not perform live, other than as holograms in the forthcoming Abba Avatar tour.
“It’s a studio moment, I can promise you,” she said. “Don’t expect too much.”
The band have resisted pressure to reform since they stopped recording together in 1982, despite a reported $1bn (£689m) offer to tour in 2000.
In an interview with the BBC in 2013, Agnetha Faltskog said she preferred to leave the band in the past.
“It was such a long time ago, and we are getting older, and we have our different lives,” she explained.
News of the new material comes in a bumper year for Abba fans. An immersive exhibition based on the band’s career is running on London’s South Bank, while Chess, the musical Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson wrote with Sir Tim Rice, is being revived in the West End.