Anyone familiar with musical theater, Mamma Mia! or classified as an old soul should know all about ABBA. Their influence knows no limits and can be seen in various mediums. While the group was active in the 1970s and quietly disbanded in the early 1980s due to personal reasons, their music has been popular for many years. Much of the modern generation learned of ABBA through films such as “Mamma Mia!”, which featured much of their biggest hits. Witnessing film icons like Meryl Streep sing such stellar music influenced viewers to wonder where these songs came from, and they were directed to ABBA.
The Swedish pop group was formed in 1972 by Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad in the heart of Sweden’s capital, Stockholm. The group enjoyed decent success with some of their early releases, “People Need Love” and “Ring Ring.” But it wasn’t until their overwhelming triumph in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, with an upbeat tune titled “Waterloo”, that their success multiplied across Europe and eventually the entire world. Today, there are considered one of the most popular and successful musical groups of all time, with signature themes such as “Dancing Queen,” “Lay All Your Love on Me,” “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!,” “Mamma Mia” and “Chiquitita.”
ABBA broke up in 1982 due to personal reasons, but that didn’t stop their influence from spreading across the globe. For instance, it’s very common to use the term “dancing queen year” when referring to a girl’s seventeenth birthday in reference to their iconic song. Users of TikTok have also been utilizing the group’s famous tracks to create remixes and edits. But now, ABBA fans like myself can rejoice because the musical group has reunited, bringing a new album that was released this past November.
I can’t believe I’m alive to say those words out loud. ABBA is coming back with a new studio album titled Voyage, which is said to be an ambient blending of the retro and distinctive sound we all love with a futuristic melody. Joyous listeners can enjoy the wondrous sounds of “I Still Have Faith in You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down”, among other innovative tracks. In addition to their historic return, the group further establishes their historic reunion with a revolutionary concert experience starting in May 2022, titled ABBA Voyage. It features a digital version of each band member alongside a 10-piece live band.
I’m a sucker for older music, and most of my playlist consists of tunes that my parents grew up with. So ABBA was always a group that I occasionally listened to. This past year, however, I was put in situations where ABBA was all I could turn to. “Chiquitita” actually got me through a very rough patch this summer when nothing else seemed to uplift my spirits. ABBA has the unique ability to bring people together in harmony and uplift the miserable. They inspire the world to forget their hardships and celebrate the idea of just existing. We become unified through our search for peace through music and none of our differences matter anymore.
I’m very excited for this return, like many other ABBA fans, and feel blessed to be witnessing such legends take the stage again after forty dormant years.