This week, Abba will release their first album of new music in four decades, Voyage.
The Swedish pop group returned earlier this year with two new singles and the announcement of a world-first virtual residency at a purpose-built arena in London.
Voyage is being released on 5 November in what marks one of the biggest musical comebacks in recent memory.
It was recorded at member Benny Andersson’s studio Riksmixningsverket in Stockholm, and includes the recently released singles “I Still Have Faith In You”, “Don’t Shut Me Down” and “Just a Notion”.
The 10-track album will be the group’s first studio album since The Visitors, and will be released via Polydor/Universal Music.
“The years after [the split in 1982] it was very quiet,” Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus told CBS over the weekend. “I thought that was the end of it. I honestly did.”
Ulvaeus and Andersson revealed in an interview with The Guardian last week that “this is it” for the band, and once their virtual residency is completed they will be done for good.
“This is it,” Andersson said. “It’s got to be, you know.”
Referring to an interview on Noel Edmonds’ Late Late Breakfast Show, he pointed out that he “didn’t actually say ‘this is it’” in 1982.
“I never said myself that Abba was never going to happen again,” he said. “But I can tell you now: this is it.”
The virtual concert series will show all four members of the band appear on stage digitally. The group will appear with a live 10-piece band, in a purpose-built arena in London from 27 May 2022.
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The group teamed up with the Star Wars creator George Lucas’s studio to develop digital representations of themselves using this first-of-a-kind, “revolutionary” technology. A preview of what the digital versions of Abba look like can be seen in the accompanying video for “I Still Have Faith In You”.
The avatars were created following weeks of motion-capture and performance techniques with the four band members and an 850-strong team from Industrial Light and Magic, the company founded by Lucas, in what is the company’s first foray into music.
The concert will open at the Abba Arena, a state-of-the-art 3,000-capacity arena located at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
Voyage is released on 5 November.
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