ABBA Voyage

Yes, ABBA Voyage is actually happening! After four decades apart, Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad have reunited for a new album and virtual tour.

The new ABBA album: When’s it out?

The 10-track Voyage will be released on 5 November, 40 years after their last LP, The Visitors (read our feature on The Vistors here). The band also revealed details of a “revolutionary” set of concerts where virtual avatars will perform many of the group’s classic songs.

ABBA Voyage: When is the tour?

The live show, ABBA Voyage, will open on 27 May 2022 at the ABBA Arena, a state-of-the-art 3,000 capacity arena located at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. Tickets for the concerts are available here.

“It’s been a while since we made music together,” the band said in a statement. “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.

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“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. 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!”

What are ABBAtars?

ABBA won’t be performing as themselves, instead the new and old songs will be sung by what they’re calling ABBAtars, digital, de-aged versions of the four members.

Industrial Light & Magic – the team behind Star Wars’ special effects – are responsible for reviving ABBA in their 70s pomp using motion-capture suits. 

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Commenting on the hours ABBA spent creating the new footage Agnetha said: “None of us really knew what to expect, but we’ve worked with it a lot now, so you grow into it eventually. We stand there, doing these songs, with – I don’t know how many cameras and people. Then somehow it was technologically transferred, in some way that we don’t understand. It felt great to do because it was so different. Also, there was a vibe, one felt that maybe it’s the last thing we do. Same thing with this album.” 

Björn was the driving force behind the live show.

“What attracted me, personally, in the beginning, was that I have a kind of scientific curiosity,” he explained to Apple Music. “I had a vision of, ‘What if I, as in my 1979 self, could speak to any audience and I could watch that sitting in the audience, watching myself do that? And if we create that, what can we do next, and next?’ There‘s vision upon vision of strange and weird and wonderful things you can do. And knowing that we’re the first to do it is also a factor why we were so attracted to the idea.

“This is a new frontier in live entertainment, I think, with these avatars together and the audience not knowing what is what, in the end, and being uncertain where the screen starts and where it ends. It’s going to be a wonderful concert experience, but something people have never seen before.”

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What songs are on Voyage?

The band have only shared three tracks so far, Don’t Shut Me Down, I Still Have Faith In You and Just A Notion, a song originally recorded for their sixth album, Voulez-Vous, but left off the finished record.

“When Benny played the melody, I just knew it had to be about us,” said Ulvaeus, explaining origins of I Still Have Faith In You. “It’s about realising that it’s inconceivable to be where we are. No imagination could dream up that, to release an album after 40 years and still be the best of friends, and still be enjoying each other’s company, and have a total loyalty. Who has experienced that? Nobody.”

Recalling stepping back into the studio, Agnetha Fältskog says: “It’s very much the ABBA sound. It becomes very ABBA when Frida and I get together. It’s almost like a marriage between our voices, and almost hard to tell them apart at times.”

Björn agrees: “Everything came rushing back, like it was yesterday. I looked into Agnetha’s and Frida’s eyes and there was the same kind of feeling, the warmth, the friendship and the bonds.”

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The full tracklisting for ABBA’s ninth album is:

  1. I Still Have Faith In You
  2. When You Danced With Me
  3. Little Things
  4. Dont Shut Me Down
  5. Just A Notion
  6. I Can Be That Woman
  7. Keep An Eye On Dan
  8. Bumble Bee
  9. No Doubt About It
  10. Ode To Freedom

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Read more: Making ABBA’s Waterloo

Read more: Making ABBA’s Ring Ring

Read more: ABBA Albums – The Complete Guide

Read more: Top 40 ABBA songs

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