Mamma Mia! Thursday (Sept. 2) brought some great news for ABBA fans across the globe. The mega-selling Swedish quartet announced that they have reunited after almost four decades apart and recorded a new album, Voyage, which they will perform a run of shows in a specially built arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London beginning on May 27, 2022.
According to a statement, the group that split in 1983 — featuring Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstad, Agnetha Fälskog and Björn Ulvaeus — will be reborn as avatars that will take the stage with a live 10-piece band for the shows celebrating their new studio album, Voyage, the long-awaited follow-up to 1981’s The Visitors. The 10-track album of new songs is due out on Nov. 5 and it will feature two tracks dropped on Thursday, the sweeping ballad “I Still Have Faith in You” and the bouncy pop tune “Don’t Shut Me Down.”
The digital versions of the quartet were created during months of motion-capture sessions featuring the four band members and an 850-person team from Star Wars creator George Lucas’ famed Industrial Light & Magic effects shop in the company’s first dip into music. The album was recorded by all four members at Andersson’s Riksmixningsverket studio in Stockholm. Tickets for the shows in the 3,000-capacity arena will go on sale to the general public on Sept. 7 on AbbaVoyage.com.
“From the very beginning of my career, and having had the privilege to work with them directly for many years since, it’s been a tremendous joy to be surrounded by ABBA and their music,” said Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman & CEO of the Universal Music Group in a statement. “Their boundless creativity and timeless melodies makes us want to partner with them on everything they do because we know it will be simply great.”
The group who famously turned down millions — some have suggested billions — to reunite, most recently sang the song “Me and I” at a private gala in 2016. “It’s been a while since we made music together,” they said in a statement. “Almost 40 years, actually. We took a break in the spring of 1982 and now we’ve decided it’s time to end it. They say it’s foolhardy to wait more than 40 years between albums, so we’ve recorded a follow-up to The Visitors.”
A spokesperson confirmed that the Voyage experience will be a residency-like run of shows, but the length of the run was not available at press time. “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,” they continued. “We’re going to be able to sit back in an audience and watch our digital selves perform our songs on a stage in a custom-built arena in London next spring. Weird and wonderful!”
Listen to the new songs below and watch the sentimental video for “I Still Have Faith” (directed by Shynola) below: