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ABBA new songs hologram tour should reform in real life: Angela Mollard | Daily Telegraph

ABBA new songs hologram tour should reform in real life: Angela Mollard | Daily Telegraph

ABBA new songs hologram tour should reform in real life: Angela Mollard | Daily Telegraph
May 06
11:55 2018

THEY’VE been at loggerheads for decades, opponents with such a long history of grievances that reunification seemed impossible.

Tensions simmered, shots were fired and the rest of the world could only look on with despair at their catastrophic impasse. Together they had been invincible but apart they were a shadow of their former selves — a casualty of arrogance, greed and an unwillingness to reach a compromise.

How extraordinary then that they are now talking peace, of a reunion that, even a few years ago, seemed impossible to imagine. No wonder it has made global headlines. No wonder we are craning to see what happens next. Because if there’s an international reconciliation that will define the 21st century, it’s ABBA getting back together.

Never mind North and South Korea — like that’s ever gonna work — the fact that ABBA has moved on from their personal Waterloo to Take A Chance on Me, sorry, themselves, is grounds for us to cheer and say a massive Thank You For The Music.

It’s clearly not about the Money. Er, Money, Money. Nope, The Name of the Game in 2018 is rapprochement and the Swedish quartet who beguiled us with their unpronounceable names, excessive hair and crotch-hugging white jumpsuits have announced a comeback that could only be matched if modern cryogenics brought John Lennon and George Harrison back from their graves. In any case, The Beatles were never a patch on ABBA in the fashion stakes.

So what’s happened and where can we see them?

ABBA: good in 1974, still good now. The Swedish pop group have announced they recently reunited to record two new songs, 35 years after their last single. (Pic: Olle Lindeborg)

Well they’re yet to book the Tweed Heads RSL but with a new track called I Still Have Faith In You it’s clear this is the real deal. No more of the back-to-back posturing in Mamma Mia, no more post-divorce angst in The Winner Takes It All — though, granted, it’s the best divorce song ever.

Just the fact that they’re releasing their first new music since 1982 is cause for celebration. “We all four felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the studio,” they announced on Instagram. “And it was like time stood still and that we only had been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyful experience!”

Oh Agnetha, Anna-Frid, Bjorn and Benny — sorry lovelies, my keyboard had a conniption trying to spell your surnames — you’re bloody awesome. I can forgive you the dire Dum Dum Diddle and the fake fire in the Fernando video and the fact that every photo of myself the year I turned 13 features a leopard-print sweatshirt, because YOU ARE BACK TOGETHER.

My parents gave me the Arrival album for my 9th birthday and I swear I spent every waking hour of that year wondering what it might be like to wear a white jumpsuit and fly in a glass helicopter. Bugger Dorothy and her stupid red Wizard of Oz shoes and annoying Joanie from Happy Days. I was going to be Agnetha from ABBA. (Or, if the feedback from my singing teacher was accurate, maybe Lindsay Wagner from The Bionic Woman).

ABBA’s Agnetha Faltskog in a glorious white jumpsuit. (Pic: Gai Terrell)

To a girl on the brink of adolescence, ABBA were all the looks and all the feelings. They made adulthood look sexy and playful and as if the greatest dilemma was whether to wear blue or green eyeshadow. If four Swedes singing in their second language could get the whole world on their feet and singing along to Dancing Queen then anybody could do anything.

Before they were dismissed as kitsch by the sort of music critics who write for NME and enjoy 47 readers to Abba’s 200 million record sales, the quartet were the ultimate ‘couples’ band. Only Fleetwood Mac matched them at melancholy and while no one does boho break up like Stevie Nicks, first Agnetha and, later, Anna-Frid made heartbreak look like the most exotic thing you could ever experience. What’s more they understood branding long before The Spice Girls and Take That pulled on their manufactured personas and pumped out hits to a PR-bludgeoned public. ABBA’s brand, from their name to their lyrics to their hand-knitted jumpers, was true to them.

Which is why I want them to tour in person, not as the digitally-created avatars they’ve proposed. The hologram nonsense is apparently the brainchild of pop Svengali and American Idol creator Simon Fuller. I’d rather they played three concerts at Wembley as themselves. The Rolling Stones, combined age 1407, seem to manage it, and ABBA are perfect for the consciously uncoupled, ‘let’s be grown-ups’ world we now find ourselves in. When last photographed two years ago they looked like empty nesters on their way home from a cosy dinner at their local Italian: ordinary; friendly; us. Well, the women did. Benny and Bjorn looked like academics who sideline in porn.

ABBA don’t need the money — in 2000 they reportedly turned down an offer of $1 billion to reform. Now in their 60s and 70s, they know that life is precious, fame is ephemeral and that old grievances are best as bygones. Even if their new material is rubbish, no one will care. They’ve already been the soundtrack to our lives.

Hasta Manana, ABBA. Til we meet again.

Source: ABBA new songs hologram tour should reform in real life: Angela Mollard | Daily Telegraph

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Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

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