ABBA confirm they are retiring and new album Voyage will be their last

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Pop group ABBA. From left, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Foltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad (AP)
Pop group ABBA. From left, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Foltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad (AP)

ABBA have confirmed they are retiring from the spotlight and their upcoming album will be their last.

The four-piece Swedish pop group - who first shot to fame in 1972 and are known for hits Dancing Queen, Waterloo and Lay All Your Love on Me - are set to release their first album in 40 years, Voyage, on November 5.

They will also then perform a series of digital concert shows in Stratford in May 2022. The band recently spent weeks performing on stage together to capture material for the show - which will consist of life-like digital versions of the stars performing on stage in a state-of-the-art stadium.

Speaking to The Guardian, two members of the supergroup - Benny Andersson, 74, and Bjorn Ulvaeus, 76 - said there will be no more music from the foursome following the release and concerts.

Andersson said: "This is it... It’s got to be, you know.”

Speaking about how the group - which also comprised of Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad - disbanded in 1982, he continued: ““I didn’t actually say that, ‘This is it’ in 1982. I never said myself that ABBA was never going to happen again. But I can tell you now: this is it.”

It comes after Faltskog, 71, suggested the group’s future was “uncertain” while appearing on Radio Sweden. "I don’t really dare to say... We’re a bit older now and have our minor ailments,” she said.

ABBA in the suits used to film material for their upcoming digital tour (Baillie Walsh)
ABBA in the suits used to film material for their upcoming digital tour (Baillie Walsh)

"We struggle on. But I don’t dare say, because it’s a bit uncertain.

"At the moment we feel happy that we got this together and let’s hope everything goes well in London at the premiere over there."

Andersson also spoke about filming for their digital concert with the Guardian.

"None of us probably knew what to expect but we’ve worked with it a lot so you grew into it eventually. We stand there doing these songs with I don’t know how many cameras and people.

"It felt great to do it in the end because it was so different.

"Also there was a vibe, one felt that maybe it’s the last thing we do. Same thing with the album."

The Voyage concert experience will open on 27 May at the ABBA Arena - a 3,000 capacity venue in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

It will feature ABBA’s best-loved hits from throughout the years.

Last month, Ulvaeus called for songwriters to be paid properly for their work.

The star launched the Credits Due initiative at the Ivor Novello Awards in London.

Created by the Ivors Academy and the Music Rights Awareness Foundation, it aims to create a unified industry approach to ensuring metadata is attached to songs when they are created – ensuring songwriters get paid properly.

He told the PA news agency: “The song is as big a star as the recording and the artist. But it is treated unfairly in comparison. The song gets much less than the recording does and that is not good for the ecosystem.”

Referring to young songwriters missing out, he added: “That could happen and that is happening as we speak. But it is a big and complex business and it is very hard to change anything. But it is getting there.”

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