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Tag: ABBA (1-8 of 8)

Is ABBA finally due for a comeback?

It’s been a good week in ABBA-world.

Yesterday, news broke that the good people of Sweden would be erecting a museum in ABBA’s honor, a development that gave Swede-pop enthusiasts to break out celebratory bottles of Absolut. And today brings word that ABBA member Agnetha Faltskog is returning to the recording studio for the first time in eight years.

According to the AP, the 62-year-old Faltskog will collaborate with fellow countryman Jorgen Elofsson, the songwriter who’s worked with the likes of Brtiney Spears and Celine Dion. And while ABBAmaniacs will certainly be interested to hear new material from Faltskog, many are wondering: Why won’t ABBA just reunite already?

The quartet — Faltskog, Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, and Björn Ulvaeus — disbanded thirty years ago to pursue other projects, but the ABBA brand has enjoyed renewed levels of popularity in recent years. Compilations of their hooky, highly agreeable hits were already trending upwards for years (ABBA Gold, anyone?) before the band’s comeback status was cemented in musical form with 1999′s Mamma Mia!, which, needless to say, led to a successful Broadway run and one of the highest-grossing movies of 2008. That movie’s soundtrack, composed solely of ABBA’s music, ended up topping the Billboard 200 albums chart, meaning that the band’s first No. 1 album in America came 26 years after they stopped putting out music. Two years later, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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ABBA will have its own museum in Sweden soon

Guess which Swedish pop act is getting its own museum? Assuming A traveling ABBA exhibit is to get a permanent home in a new museum dedicated mostly to the Swedish quartet that has sold nearly 400 million records since its heyday in the 1970s.

Former band member Bjoern Ulvaeus said Wednesday that “ABBA The Museum” will be part of a Swedish music hall of fame to be inaugurated in Stockholm next spring.

The museum will feature some of the band’s glitzy stage costumes, instruments and other mementos that were displayed in the ABBAWORLD exhibition that toured Europe and Australia in 2009-2011.

Ulvaeus said he hoped all four former ABBA members would attend the opening, set for April or May, but ruled out any chance of a stage comeback.

“We are the only group of that status that has never been reunited. I think that is cool,” Ulvaeus, 67, told The Associated Press after a news conference in Stockholm. “It is a strength for ABBA that you remember those young, ambitious, energetic people during the ’70s rather than some feeble old folks who feel compelled to get up and play all the time.”

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Eurovision: Europe is obsessed with winner Lena's 'Satellite' -- and I am, too!

Who else loves Eurovision? What—you don’t know what Eurovision is?!? For shame! Well, here’s what you need to know: It’s the crazy-delicious European singing competition that coalesesces into an extravaganza pitting European country against European country, and was initially responsible for the discovery of a little Swedish pop group called ABBA, which won the songwriting contest with “Waterloo” back in 1974. (See our coverage of last year’s winner here.)

Out of 39 countries participating this year, Germany’s Lena won with her performance of “Satellite.” True, she was crowned the winner back at the end of May. So that’s not news. But I write this post because I just returned from a two-week jaunt through Denmark, Germany, and The Netherlands, and Lena was more ubiquitous in Europe than pommes frites. They’re obsessed with her and her ridiculously infectious pop ditty! Literally, I heard it everywhere from the train station to bakeries to gay bars.

I got sucked in and have been listening to “Satellite” on repeat for days now. How can you not love a trifle with lyrics like this:

I went everywhere for you
I even did my hair for you
I bought new underwear, they’re blue
And I wore ‘em just the other day

Anyway, just thought—in case you hadn’t heard it—that you all might want to. Lena’s already burning up the European Billboard charts and the video of her song that I’m embedding below (watch it!) has snagged almost 17 million views:

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony: Eyewitness report

hall-of-fameImage Credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images“The class of 2010 represents diversity!” So said Rock and Roll Hall of Fame head honcho Jann Wenner at the start of this year’s induction shindig, which was held Monday evening in New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Whether that was the sound of a man relishing rock’s rich pageant or making lemonade out of some collectively strange-tasting lemons is a debatable point. But there’s no doubt this year’s crop of inductees—Genesis, the Hollies, the Stooges, Jimmy Cliff, and ABBA—had very little in common, save a willingness to turn up and be feted by their musical peers at the annual celebration of rockitude.

The performances were as varied as the terpsichoreal stylings. Genesis, for example, didn’t play at all, leaving Phish to competently tackle chunks of the prog-rockers’ back catalog. Meanwhile, reggae legend Jimmy Cliff tore the place up with renditions of his classic tracks “You Can Get it if You Really Want,” “Many Rivers To Cross,” and a Wyclef Jean-assisted “The Harder They Come.” Cliff and his fabulous silver jacket even topped Iggy Pop, who, it is perhaps needless to note, went shirtless fronting the Stooges as they stormed through “Search and Destroy” and “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” ABBA were represented musically by Benny Andersson, who accompanied Faith Hill on piano for a version of “The Winner Takes It All,” and the Hollies sounded merely like an agreeable-ish wedding band, despite boasting the vocal talents of both Graham Nash and Adam Levine from Maroon 5.

Actually, attending the chicken dinner-featuring event was very much like going to someone’s nuptials, except that instead of the best man making a speech about the time the groom got an unfortunate rash in Amsterdam, Phish’s Trey Anastasio illuminated us on the excellence of Genesis’ complex time signatures. And that was by no means the end of the speechifying.  Steven Van Zandt took time out to note the current “spiritual bankruptcy” of the record business when he inducted the Hollies, Billie Joe Armstrong recited a lengthy list of the acts that had been inspired by the Stooges—one that concluded with “…and my own f—ing band”— and Iggy Pop himself appeared close to tears as he ruminated on his reformed combo’s “lovely, lovely, second act.”

Finally, Benny Andersson pointed out that while his native Sweden may not be steeped in blues music, it is steeped in being darned cold, which he claimed explains both the films of Ingmar Bergman and the more melancholic moments of ABBA’s own oeuvre. Thank you for the entertaining amateur psychology, Benny! And, of course, the music.

So, what do you think of this year’s Hall of Fame inductees? And who would you like to see get the nod in 2011? Let us know!

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
The Lonely Island and Julian Casablancas’ “Boombox” comes to SNL (finally!)
The Specials: Terry Hall and Lynval Golding on the ska-rock legends’ reunion shows—and why their absent keyboard player is a ‘Scrooge’
Craig Robinson from ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ sings ‘Jessie’s Girl’
OK Go depart EMI following criticism of the company, set up own label with two dogs
Adam Lambert ‘Unplugged’: Watch his VH1 performances here
Lady Gaga’s ‘Telephone’ video

ABBA: New album on the way! (Well, sort of.)

Ever since I saw 2008′s Mamma Mia! — an all-time great music movie, and I don’t care who disagrees — I’ve been wishing ABBA would reunite already and write some new tunes that were half as much fun as their old ones from the ’70s. Well, I might be waiting for a while on that one. But! At least I can look forward to the Benny Andersson Band‘s Story of a Heart, due March 2.

Benny Andersson, of course, is one of the original Bs in ABBA. The other B, Björn Ulvaeus, co-wrote every song on Story of a Heart with him. Think it’s a stretch to call this an ABBA reunion without their ex-wives Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog? I admit their absence is a shame, but take a listen to the title track from Story of a Heart below and tell me that’s not the classic ABBA sound you’ve been missing. Make sure you stick around til the chorus kicks in around the 0:55 mark. There, now that sugary Scandinavian pop hook is going to be all up in your head for the rest of the day, like it is in mine.

Any other ABBA fans out there excited by this news? (Don’t be ashamed, you can admit it.) Am I kidding myself to think this is as close to a new ABBA album as we’re likely to get?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Taylor Swift wins Album of the Year: Did the Grammys get it right?
Lady Gaga and Elton John: What did you think?
Taylor Swift and Stevie Nicks’ Grammy duet: out of sight, or out of tune?
Grammys pay tribute to Michael Jackson with help from his kids: A fitting salute?
Grammys: the complete list of winners
Grammys backstage report: which star ‘thought I was going to fall on my nude butt’?

Guilty Pleasures, Round Three: George Michael/Wham (6) vs. ABBA (2)

EW’s Music Mix is searching for the Greatest Guilty Pleasure Musical Act of All Time. With eight seeded contestants remaining (see all the matchups), this tournament is continuing to change hearts, minds, and lives, as well as make some people remarkably agitated! Read/listen to the following, and then cast your vote in the poll after the jump; reader comments will be used from here on out, so we encourage you to also post a comment explaining why you chose the way you did. Note: In case of a tie, please select the artist you feel more ashamed to adore.

George Michael ABBA

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Guilty Pleasures, Round Two: Styx (7) vs. ABBA (2)

EW’s Music Mix is searching for the Greatest Guilty Pleasure Musical Act of All Time. With 16 seeded contestants remaining (see all the matchups), this tournament is continuing to change hearts, minds, and lives, as well as make some people remarkably agitated! Read/listen to the following, and then cast your vote in the poll after the jump; reader comments will be used from here on out, so we encourage you to also post a comment explaining why you chose the way you did. Note: In case of a tie, please select the artist you feel more ashamed to adore. Also note: Yes, the bracket was rearranged to be in proper bracketing order. Thank you.

Styx ABBA

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Guilty Pleasures, Round One: ABBA (2) vs. Hootie & the Blowfish (15)

EW’s Music Mix is searching for the Greatest Guilty Pleasure Musical Act of All Time. With 32 seeded contestants (see all the matchups), this tournament is sure to change hearts, minds, and lives for weeks to come. Read/listen to the following, and then cast your vote in the poll after the jump; reader comments will be used in subsequent rounds, so we encourage you to also post a comment explaining why you chose the way you did. Note: In case of a tie, please select the artist you feel more ashamed to adore. Thank you.

ABBA Hootie

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