ABBA (formed 1972)
ABBA was a Swedish pop band made up of Agnetha Fältskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.
Formation: ABBA first began when Benny Andersson of The Hep Stars and Björn Ulvaeus of The Hootenanny Singers collaborated on an album in 1970. Ulvaeus then married singer Agnetha Faltskog who also collaborated with the pair, and the line-up was completed when Anni-Frid 'Frida' Lyngstad met Andersson at Melodifestivalen and they began dating. The name ABBA is an acronym of the band members' first names (Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid). Before they were officially formed, they played their first live performance on holiday in Cyprus in front of some United Nations soldiers. There first hit was 'Hej, gamle man' though it was credited only to Björn & Benny.
Musical career: ABBA released their debut album 'Ring Ring' in 1973 and it reached number 2 in the Swedish charts - the only album not to reach number one. They attempted to enter Melodifestivalen with the title single, but failed to qualify. The following year, they won the Eurovision Song Contest with their single 'Waterloo' which became a UK number one chart hit. Their follow-up single 'Honey Honey' was not as successful, and neither was their subsequent European tour during which some dates had to be cancelled due to lack of demand. They were, however, warmly welcomed in Scandinavia. In 1975, their self-titled album and single 'SOS' brought them more UK recognition with the album reaching number 13 and the single reaching number 6. Their later single, 'Mamma Mia', reached number one. They gained popularity in Australia when the videos for 'I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do' and 'Mamma Mia' were played on the music show 'Countdown'. In 1976, they reached number 1 in the UK charts with their first compilation album 'Greatest Hits'. On it was a new single, 'Fernando', which topped the charts in 13 countries, sold 10 million copies and tied with The Beatles' 'Hey Jude' for longest-running number one in Australia. That year they released their fourth album 'Arrival' - another number one which garnered much attention from rock based publications. It produced the hits 'Money, Money, Money', 'Knowing Me, Knowing You' and 'Dancing Queen which became their biggest selling single topping the charts across the world. In 1977, they were nominated for a BRIT Award for 'Best International Album of the Year'. In 1977, they embarked on a major Europe and Australia tour which attracted much media attention and for which the box office received 3.5 million ticket requests for their Royal Albert Hall gig which would've been enough people to fill the venue 580 times. They played a gig at Sydney Showground in spite of a downpour of rain which caused Lyngstad to slip on stage. Later that year, the film 'ABBA: The Movie' was released directed by Lasse Hallstrom. They also released their fifth album 'ABBA: The Album'; another UK number one which included the hits 'The Name of the Game' and 'Take a Chance on Me'. In 1978, they converted a movie theatre into Polar Music Studio and performed with Andy Gibb on Olivia Newton-John's TV show in America. The following year, they performed 'Chiquitita' at the Music for UNICEF Concert and subsequently donated the single's copyright to the charity. That year, Ulvaeus and Fältskog announced their divorce but they insisted that it wouldn't affect the group. The released the album 'Voulez-Vous' which included the songs 'Does Your Mother Know' and 'Angeleyes'. They also released 'Greatest Hits Vol. 2' debuting new single 'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) ahead of their North American and Europe tour. In 1980, they released the single 'The Winner Takes It All' which was speculated to be about Ulvaeus and Fältskog's divorce, though Ulvaeus has strongly denied this. Their final UK chart-topping single was the title track from their seventh album 'Super Trouper'. In 1981, Ulvaeus married Lena Källersjö while Andersson and Lyngstad announced their divorced, after which Andersson married Mona Nörklit. The band also released their final album 'The Visitors' which was not as commercial successful as their previous works. They never officially split up, but they made their last performance together on 'The Late, Late Breakfast Show' in 1982. ABBA have been revived in several movies including 'The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' and 'Muriel's Wedding' in 1994 and the 2008 box office musical hit 'Mamma Mia!' In 2010, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Coldplay's new album charts Chris Martin's split from wife Gwyneth Paltrow. Does it have the heartbreak factor to join our five best breakup albums?
Coldplay’s new album Ghost Stories has been released, to quite a mixed bag of reviews. When just three weeks after the album’s track listing had been announced Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow announced their “conscious uncoupling” we all had a pretty good idea what the tone of the album would be like. With tracks like “Another’s Arms,” “Always in my Head” and “Magic,” it became pretty self-explanatory that "Ghost Stories" was going to be a breakup album.
"Ghost Stories" focuses on the marriage breakup between Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow
Perhaps he was inspired to call the album “Ghost Stories” as some of these breakup albums have been the some of the most hauntingly heartbreaking albums ever released.
Continue reading: Coldplay's 'Ghost Stories' And The Five Best Breakup Albums Of All Time
It has been 40 years since a virtually unknown Swedish foursome changed the music world forever, by winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest.
In 1974 the virtually unknown foursome got on a Brighton stage to compete for their home nation of Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest, and they left victorious after performing their now famed track 'Waterloo'.
Bjorn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad of Abba
The Brighton Dome audience would not anticipate who the Swedish singers would eventually become, the packed-out crowd was in anticipation to see the British entry perform, which was Olivia Newton John singing 'Long Live Love.'
The veteran performer scored his tenth UK No. 1 with the new album
Bruce Springsteen released his latest album, High Hopes, in the UK last week and at the first time of asking the latest collection of songs from The Boss soared straight to the top of the album chart. Springsteen is now among an elite club of artists who have managed to score 10 No. 1 albums in the UK, with High Hopes unlikely to be his last either.
High Hopes is Springsteen's 10th No. 1 in the UK
Bruce has now surpassed David Bowie, Abba, Queen and Michael Jackson in the race for double figures, with these four each earning nine No. 1 albums to date. Springsteen is now on par with U2 and the Rolling Stones, but still places behind Elvis Presley, Robbie Williams (with 11 each), Madonna (who has 12 No. 1's) and The Beatles, who lead the way with 15 No. 1 albums in total.
Continue reading: Bruce Springsteen Back At No. 1 With 'High Hopes'
The new album knocks Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heartclub Band from the number two spot and is less than a million sales away from knocking Queen from the top spot.
Abba's greatest hits collection, Gold, edged past the The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band this weekend to become the second highest selling album in UK history. The band have now sold over 5.1million copies of their greatest hits album, with the Official Charts Company indicating over the weekend that the album has surpassed Sgt. Pepper's by 15,000 sales.
The album now only sits behind another best of collection, Queen's Greatest Hits, which has so far sold 5.9million copies. The rest of the top five consists of Adele’s 21, which is 4th having sold 4.6million copies, with Oasis’ 1995 sophomore release (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? completing the top five, selling slightly less than Adele. Speaking to OfficialCharts.com, ABBA founder and songwriter Björn Ulvaeus spoke of his shock at the achievement, saying, 'It’s feels unreal - outselling the greatest record of all time!'
Björn Ulvaeus couldn't believe the news of Gold's success
Former Abba star Agnetha Faeltskog announces that she is to leave retirement to release her first album in over nine years.
Agnetha Faeltskog, the reclusive former star of Abba fame, has decided to return to the studio following a nine year absence from recording music. The Swedish songstress announced her retirement from the music industry nearly a decade ago, but her distance from music has proved unsuccessful as the lure of the recording studio was clearly too much for Faeltskog, who is believed to have already returned to her place in front of a microphone to begin recording the new release.
Although being known as 'the quiet one' to the press for most of her life, especially after ABBA disbanded in 1982, she recently told the BBC that this view of her is a disconception. She said, "I have been described as a very mysterious human being and that hurts a little bit, because it's not like that at all."
The singer also discussed how she has taken to writing some of her own material too, although most of the credit for song writing goes to her producers. She told the BBC, "For this album, we had an idea that maybe I should try to write one song. I didn't want to do more. I'm not that composer that composes every day. But it was very exciting to see if it still worked - and it did!"
Continue reading: Agnetha Faeltskog, Former ABBA Star, Set To Release Comeback Solo Album
The former Abba star has announced an unexpected pop comeback
Abba singer Agneta Faltskog is staging a pop comeback, at the age of 62. In May, the Swedish singer will release a new album entitled simply ‘A.’ The news has fuelled speculation that we may have an ABBA reunion on our hands but right now, it’s all about Agneta. “Never thought that I’d ever sing again. But hearing the first three songs, I just couldn’t say no!” said Faltskog, in a statement. "I hadn’t written any music for a long, long time,” she explained. “But I sat at the piano, and suddenly it was there."
She has a stellar team on her side; she’s been working with Jorgen Elofsson, who has worked with Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, Westlife and Celine Dion and a marketing team have nudged the veteran pop star into the world of social networking and building an online presence. Elofsson explains that they approached a new album from Agneta as of she were a new songwriter, without her pedigree. “We wanted to make this as if Agnetha hadn’t entered ABBA,” he said. “We were interested in what she 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.”
Watch the video for new single 'When You Really Loved Someone'
Continue reading: Surprise Comeback: Abba's Agneta Faltskog Announces New Album 'A'