Abba singer Agnetha Fältskog’s new album A has reached number six in the UK album charts, making it her highest-charting solo record in Britain.
The 63-year-old blonde member of Abba withdrew from public life after the hit Swedish band split, but has been tempted out of retirement by lyricist Joergen Elofsson, who has previously written songs for Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson and Westlife.
The album also features a duet with Gary Barlow, whose vocals were recorded separately, which has been described by critics as “annoyingly good”.
A is Fältskog’s fifth solo album and her first in almost ten years after she recorded My Colouring Book in 2004, which reached number 12 in the UK album charts. Her previous 1988 record I Stand Alone came in at number 72.
Speaking about her decision to re-emerge on the music scene she said: “It is nearly 10 years since my last album, and almost 25 years ago since I recorded my original material. I thought at the time that maybe that would be the last one. And after that, I really didn’t think that much about it.
“My life contains so many other things, I have my children, my grandchildren, my two dogs and a big place in the country. I have my own life.”
Fältskog was one quarter of Abba along with her former husband Björn Ulvaeus and her friends Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson. Together they sold 370 million albums and singles worldwide.
Her distinctive vocals can be heard on “Waterloo”, "The Name of the Game", “Chiquitita” and “The Way Old Friends Do” among others.
Fältskog and Ulvaeus divorced in 1980 but they continued to perform as Abba until late 1982.
“We wanted to make this as if Agnetha hadn’t entered Abba," said lyricist Elofsson about A. "We were interested in what she would have sounded like if she hadn’t been in the group. And yet it’s important that she comes across as we remember her to be.”