Following a 40 year hiatus, Swedish pop masters ABBA have officially returned with a new collection of music after dropping their latest album, Voyage, on Friday, November 5.
With all four original members taking part in the new era of ABBA, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad offer longtime fans and new acquaintances ten brand new tracks, their first collaborative work since 1982's "Under Attack."
The Voyage singles “I Still Have Faith in You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down,” were released at the beginning of September, along with the news that the group would be performing a unique concert experience featuring digital versions of themselves. "Just a Notion" followed soon after to get fans ready for the main event, which will take place at a custom theatre in London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, opening on May 27. “To tell the truth, the main inspiration to record again comes from our involvement in creating the strangest and most spectacular concert you could ever dream of,” the group shared earlier this year.
"We're truly sailing in uncharted waters," Benny Andersson said in a statement. In a new interview with the New York Times, Andersson explained how the group simply planned on recording only two new songs to be included in the new custom production but decided to keep the magic alive while they were together after such a long break.
“We said, ‘Shouldn’t we write a few other songs, just for fun?’” Andersson says. “The girls said, ‘Yeah, that will be fun.’ So they came in and we had five songs. And we said, ‘Shouldn’t we do a few others? We can release an album.’” Björn Ulvaeus echoed his sentiments, adding, "when we got into the studio after 39 years it was like no time had passed... we had a great time," he says. "I speak to Frida and Agnetha, and know they’re extremely happy having done this.”
Unfortunately for fans hoping to be gifted more studio releases from the masters of pop-infused love songs, the London event may, in fact, be the final curtain call for the group. "I think the other three will say 'this was the last time'," Ulvaeus told Reuters in another conversation. "I'm not saying never," he added. "There is always some open door somewhere. I hate to say this is it ... I'm just saying I don't think we will record anymore."
"It was the avatars that made it," Ulvaeus says of the final product. "It was kind of a natural thing to do to give these people something new to sing."
ABBA's Voyage is on shelves and streaming everywhere now.