Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA says that the group’s recent release Voyage will be their final album.
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The Swedish pop band, consisting of Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, and Benny Andersson, reunited for their first album of new music, Voyage, in four decades in 2021. Ulvaeus said Voyage will be their last journey together as a group and that there will be no more appearances or live performances with the four members after this final project together.
“I don’t think there will be any more music with ABBA,” said Ulvaeus in a recent interview. “I think that was definitely our last album.”
Ulvaeus added, “When you do a thing like that, you don’t know how people will receive it. It was with such pride that we released that album.”
Released at the end of 2021, Voyage marked ABBA’s 10th number one album in the U.K. for the group and their first in more than 40 years since the release of their eighth album The Visitors in 1981.
The group is currently set to kick off a series of holographic shows, performed by avatars of all four members, or “ABBAtars” (circa 1979), along with a 10-piece live band, at the custom-built “ABBA Arena” at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The 90-minute show will feature a setlist featuring many of ABBA’s hit songs, in addition to newer Voyage tracks like “Don’t Shut Me Down” and “I Still Have Faith in You.”
Though the show is performed by avatars, the four members of ABBA will attend the premiere, along with longtime fans like Sir Elton John, Kylie Minogue, and more.
“It will be so special, we are all gearing up for it,” said Ulvaeus, now 77. “Frida saw a preview and Agnetha hasn’t seen it yet. We are going to enjoy the show together with lots and lots of fans. We just want to sit back and enjoy it.”
Ulvaeus admitted that it was “very emotional” to see his younger self digitized and performing.
“It’s very emotional at times,” he said. “The life-size avatars that you see on stage together with the live musicians, you have to pinch yourself. Even I get the feeling that they really are there. There seems to be a common reaction of, ‘What the hell was that?’ Jaws were dropping to the ground.” He added, “This is layer on layer of music, emotion, and illusion in a beautiful texture.”
On the idea of retiring, Ulvaeus said he has no plans to stop working and hopes that he and Andersson, 75, can continue to write more music together after ABBA.
“Would I rather potter in the garden? No thank you,” said Ulvaeus. “I’m a songwriter first and foremost and a music entrepreneur I suppose, and I will die with my boots on, definitely. I hope in some context or other, Benny and I would write a few more songs. I think there’s much more in us. We can write for other people and other projects.”
Photo: Universal Music Group