Movie Songs

Abba: Who are the Swedish superstar pop band and why are they so big?

April 4, 20244 Mins Read

Image source, AFP/Getty Images

Abba are one of the world’s most famous and best-selling pop bands.

They’ve had loads of hits that have made it into playlists, theatre shows and even films.

In 2024 they are celebrating a big anniversary – 50 years since they first grabbed the world’s attention at Eurovision.

On 6 April 1974, the Swedish foursome won the European singing contest with their song, Waterloo.

So if you want to know more about them, then don’t worry, Newsround has you covered. And if you are an Abba fan already, let us know your fave song in the comments!

Who are Abba?

Image caption,

These avatars – or Abba-tars – were designed by the visual effects company, ILM, founded by Star Wars creator George Lucas

Let’s start with the basics… Abba were a pop group from Sweden, in northern Europe. They were made up of four people – Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid ‘Frida’ Lyngstad.

And if you look closely at those names you’ll know why the band was called Abba – it’s the initials of all of their first names!

They were actually two married couples too – Anni-Frid was married to Benny and Agnetha was married to Björn – but both pairs eventually divorced.

The band officially formed in 1972 and split in 1982.

Abba won Eurovision in 1974

Image caption,

Here’s Abba performing Waterloo at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest

The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the longest-running TV shows in the world, first appearing on TV screens way back in 1956.

In 1974 the then little known Swedish pop group Abba took to the Eurovision stage with their song Waterloo.

The contest took place in the UK, in Brighton, and the group won the competition!

You’ll have heard the song, it’s one of those that gets stuck in your head, “Wa-Wa-Wa-Wa-Waterloo…”.

They were a huge hit in the UK

Image caption,

They even came to CBBC – here’s Abba on Blue Peter in 1978

After their Eurovision win, their fame sky-rocketed and they enjoyed lots of success in the UK. Their debut single Waterloo topped the charts, and over the years the band had nine No. 1 singles.

Success even after the band split

In 1982 the band members went their separate ways but it wasn’t the end of the public’s love for their songs.

Ten years after the group split, a compilation, ABBA Gold, was released, becoming a worldwide best-seller.

In July 2021 it become the first record to spend 1,000 weeks in the UK’s album chart.

Released in 1992, the record is the second biggest-seller of all time in the UK with sales of more 5.6 million.

Theatre and films

Image caption,

Heard of the film and theatre show called Mamma Mia? It features Abba songs!

In 1999, Abba’s music was adapted into Mamma Mia! a successful musical that toured worldwide – and it’s still on stage in London today, more than 20 years on!

A film of the same name was released in 2008 and a sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, was released in 2018. They feature lots of famous and catchy songs from the Swedish group.

And they’re still going strong

Video caption,

ABBA are back, so what do these superfans from Sweden think of the news?

In 2021 Abba surprised fans by announcing their first studio album for 40 years – Voyage – which went straight to the top of the charts.

“At first it was just two songs, and then we said, ‘Well, maybe we should do a few others,'” said Benny Andersson.

In the end, they recorded 10 tracks, including I Still Have Faith In You about the bond the four band members share.

Image caption,

Abba now – they had to wear special costumes to create the new virtual concert

The band’s also announced that they would break new ground as they put on virtual concerts, also called Abba Voyage, in a specially-built arena in east London.

It features digital avatars of Abba’s members.

More than 850 people worked on creating Abba avatars using motion capture technology to scan the musicians as they performed the songs.

In the show, the avatars are accompanied by a live band where they perform their greatest hits.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts


Get our latest downloads and information first.
Complete the form below to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

No, thank you. I do not want.
100% secure your website.