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.
A Piano Used By Swedish Pop Legends Abba To Write Many Of Their Greatest Hits Is To Be Sold At Auction Next Month (Dec15).
The Abba stars installed the instrument in a cottage on a Swedish island where they spent time writing hits including Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia, Fernando and Money, Money, Money.
The listing at Bonhams auction house in London, where the piano will go on sale on 10 December (15), describes the modest instrument's important place in music history and estimates the selling price at between $48,000 (£30,000) and $64,000 (£40,000).
Continue reading: Abba Piano Up For Auction
A Piano Used By Swedish Pop Stars Abba On A Number Of Their Hit Singles Is To Be Sold At Auction In London Next Month (Sep15).
The instrument was housed at the Metronome Studios in Stockholm, Sweden and featured on some of the band's most famous songs including their breakthrough hit Waterloo, Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia and Knowing Me, Knowing You.
The rosewood grand piano comes with a certificate of authenticity from Abba star Benny Andersson, who called it a "one of a kind and a great source of inspiration".
The piano is expected to fetch between $960,000 (£600,000) and $1.3 million (£800,000) when it is sold by Sotheby's auction house in London on 29 September (15).
Former ABBA singer Bjorn Ulvaeus has revealed he supports euthanasia and would choose to end his own life rather than endure a long painful death.
The 70-year-old Swedish star - a co-founder of the pop super-group - has become a supporter of assisted suicide after watching his parents and mother-in-laws prolonged and agonising deaths.
He is quoted by the Daily Mirror newspaper as saying: ''It's the thought of the endless pain and suffering that I am afraid of. This should not be necessary. I have seen this misery up close. My parents lived long but would have preferred a more painless and dignified ending.
Continue reading: ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus Supports Euthanasia
Veteran Musician Rutger Gunnarsson, Who Played Bass For Abba, Has Died At The Age Of 69.
Gunnarsson, who performed on every album by the Waterloo hitmakers and also joined them onstage, passed away at his home in Sweden on Friday (08May15).
In a post on Facebook.com, Abba paid tribute to Gunnarsson, writing, "His unique way of playing his bass, his beautiful string arrangements and thorough work as a producer for countless Swedish and foreign artists and musicians have colored pop music from the early 70s up until today.
"Rutger got the most attention through his long and intimate cooperation with Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and ABBA, participating in all of their albums, numerous singles, tours, movies and musicals... Rutger's three children, Rickard, Mimmi and Joanna, all mourn their father along with a music world that suffers the loss of a great musician, colleague and a dear, dear friend. Keep plying your magic bass where ever you are Rutger. Rest in peace!"
Continue reading: Abba Bass Player Rutger Gunnarsson Dead
Stereophonics have announced they are releasing their new album 'Keep The Village Alive' this September.
Stereophonics are releasing a new album.
The band have announced that their ninth LP 'Keep The Village Alive' will come out on September 11, 2015, through their own Stylus Records label through Ignition Records.
Frontman Kelly Jones has penned all the tracks on the album and shared production duties with long-time collaborator Jim Lowe during recording sessions at ICP Studios in Brussels, Belgium, and at Stylus Studios in London.
Continue reading: Stereophonics Announce New Album
Bjorn Ulvaeus Has Unveiled Plans To Create An Immersive Restaurant Based On Hit Abba Musical And Film Mamma Mia!.
The eaterie, named Mamma Mia! The Party, will recreate the Greek taverna setting used in the stage musical and 2008 film starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried.
Patrons of the restaurant will be welcomed by waiting staff who play characters from the musical and diners will be able to take part in the show during an evening of Greek food, music and performance.
Ulvaeus tells The New York Times, "I've been sitting in theatres around the globe since we started, and have experienced that happy mood in the audience, where people stand up in the aisles and dance and sing, and I hear constantly about women who gather and have Mamma Mia! Saturday nights... This is the next extension from that: transfer the mood to a restaurant - a Greek restaurant, of course - have a gigantic party, and tell a little story in real time."
Continue reading: Bjorn Ulvaeus To Launch Mamma Mia! Eaterie
Hit Broadway Musical Mamma Mia! Is To Close After Almost 14 Years On The New York Stage.
A documentary film charting the achievements of music mogul Jerry Greenberg is in the works.
Greenberg became the youngest president of a major record label when he was named the boss of Atlantic Records in 1974 at the age of 32, and he was responsible for signing acts including Abba, Genesis, Chic, Nile Rodgers and Motorhead.
He also worked with some of the biggest names in rock including AC DC, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, as well as King of Pop Michael Jackson, and his exploits are to be detailed in a new film, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.
Continue reading: Jerry Greenberg Documentary In The Works
The list of 27 classic singles or albums, aged 25 years or older, have been chosen by bosses at The Recording Company for being "memorable, inspiring and iconic" and becoming a part of the public's "musical, social, and cultural history."
The list includes singles such as Le Freak by Chic, Dancing Queen by Abba, School's Out by Alice Cooper, Try a Little Tenderness by Otis Redding and Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed, who will also be posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year (15).
Continue reading: Bob Dylan, Abba And Chic Recordings Join Grammy Hall Of Fame
Swedish pop stars Abba have refused to lend the first vinyl of their hit single Waterloo to an exhibition marking the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.
The Dancing Queen hitmakers were approached by organisers of Waterloo 200, who asked them to help celebrate the milestone next year (15) by handing over the first vinyl cut of the track to their exhibition from its current home at the Abba Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.
The pop stars refused because they are convinced their song was not about the Battle of Waterloo, despite referencing the name 'Napoleon' in the track.
Continue reading: Abba Turn Down Battle Of Waterloo Exhibition Request
Ute Freudenberg and Abba - Ute Freudenberg, Stefan Mross, Stefanie Hertel performing as Abba revival band Berlin, Germany - ZDF TV show Willkommen bei Carmen Nebel at the Velodrom Saturday 15th March 2008
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