ABBA: Happy New Year!

ABBA: Happy New Year!

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Global super group ABBA are the biggest band in history to come out of Sweden. They first came to prominence after winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo, which went to number one in the charts across Europe.

The band didn’t enjoy overnight success and had worked hard since the 1960s to earn their legendary status. The band’s origins date back to 1966, when Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, aged 21 and 20 respectively, were both members of different groups.

After meeting, they began song writing together, but it was 1969 before the collaboration truly came to fruition. This was when they met 19-year-old singer Agnetha Fältskog, who was an established Swedish recording artist who had released her debut single in 1967.


© roger tillberg / Alamy Stock Photo


Birth of ABBA

They then met a second female vocalist, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, 24, who was from Norway originally, although she had moved to Sweden as a child with her family. The quartet hit it off and not only did they form ABBA (based on their initials), Ulvaeus went on to marry Fältskog and Andersson later married Lyngstad.

The band had to ask permission from the Swedish seafood company called Abba before they could use the name for the band! The Gothenburg-based company had no objections, so ABBA the pop group was born.

As a unit, they conquered the world, with their Eurovision Song Contest win opening many doors. Around 18 months after their success, they charted again with SOS and then Mamma Mia. They topped the UK singles chart nine times between 1974 and 1980 and were officially one of the top groups in the world.

Famous singles such as Money Money Money, Knowing Me Knowing You, Fernando and Dancing Queen were some of their biggest hits, while they went on sold-out tours all over the world and made a film, ABBA – The Movie, in December 1977.


Festive hit

The band released a festive song, Happy New Year, in 1980, which almost had an entirely different title. It was one of the tracks on the Super Trouper album.

After its release as a seven-inch single, it was reported that the band had wanted to call it the rather more humorous Daddy Don’t Get Drunk on Christmas Day! However, the more traditional title was used in the end.

Written by the usual ABBA song writing team of Andersson and Ulvaeus and frequently performed by Fältskog, it summed up how many people were feeling after the fun of the festive period was over. The song begins with the words, “No more champagne and the fireworks are through, here we are, me and you, feeling lost and feeling blue.”

It was the traditional “January blues” song about when the anti-climax hits us. It’s back to work and the fun is all over for another year: “It’s the end of the party and the morning seems so grey”, but it’s not all doom and gloom, as the narrator makes a wish for a better world “where every neighbour is a friend” and hopes that all of our hopes will come true.

The song has been re-released several times – in fact, it has been released annually every New Year since 2007 and has charted in Europe each time.


Virtual tour

Despite splitting up in 1982, ABBA’s music remains as popular today as it ever did and fans have always begged the band to reunite. It was eventually announced in 2017 that a virtual reality tour was being organised for 2019.

The ABBA tour would use the same technology that produced a hologram appearance by Tupac at Coachella in 2012. Virtual representations of each ABBA member in their heyday would appear on stage with a live band. No official announcement has been made about dates for the tour.


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From everyone at Page1, Happy New Year!

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KWABBA: Happy New Year!

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