ABBA – Too Old For A Tour?
ABBA, the Swedish pop music group, when they won the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 at The Dome in Brighton, UK, giving Sweden its first triumph in the contest – Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images.
Even though the unexpected announcement of ABBA last week that the legendary quartet had reformed to record two songs had no mention of a tour beyond the virtual one scheduled for next year, rumors and anticipation for one began to build, according to Jem Aswad, senior music editor at the well known entertainment industry news magazine Variety.
Yet any hopes that ABBA — Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Björn Ulvaeus, three-fourths of whom are in their 70s — would mount its first tour since 1979 were dashed by their rep on Monday.
“No — definitely not,” said Gorel Hanser, the manager and spokesperson of ABBA, told the U.K.’s Mirror. “We should remember them how they were in the 1970s, and listen to how they sing today.”
One of the new songs will be unveiled in a forthcoming two-hour BBC documentary in December, followed by a tour featuring holograms of ABBA — dubbed ABBAtars.
Gorel added that ABBA had been “happily surprised” by the reaction to their announcement of new songs. “Everyone is so joyful,” she added. “It was great to spread a happy word in the world right now. They are happily surprised, all four of them.”
She described ABBA’s new ballad, “I Still Have Faith in You,” to the paper as “melancholic”, while the second song, “Don’t Shut Me Down,” is “uptempo” but not dance music.
Gorel, who worked with longtime ABBA manager and publisher Stig Anderson beginning in 1969, also told TT News Agency that hearing the four record the two new songs was “just like in the ABBA days.”
“It was the same wonderful chemistry. It was as if time had stood still,” she said. “Everyone got into their role and sang, and sang and sang.”
The last known time ABBA had performed together was in 1999, at Gorel’s 50th birthday party. In June of 2016, lead singers Fältskog and Lyngstad gave a brief performance of the group’s 1979 song “The Way Old Friends Do” at a party in Stockholm commemorating the first meeting of songwriters Anderson and Ulvaeus, although the latter two did not join them.