Despite having new music and a supposedly industry-changing tour on the horizon, ABBA has announced that they are once more disbanding.
“This is it,” supergroup member Benny Andersson, 74, told The Guardian, simultaneously hyping the group’s much-anticipated 40-year reunion, how wonderful making music together again was — and how they plan to never do it again. “It’s got to be, you know.”
This second breakup is different than the one the group had in 1982: This one is amicable (the first one came amid group-wide divorce) but final. Whereas Andersson “didn’t actually say that ‘this is it’ in 1982,” he is stating that now.
“I never said myself that ABBA was never going to happen again. But I can tell you now: This is it,” he declared with finality.
While the beloved Swedish songsters may be pitching their swan song, the world still has a lot to look forward to from them in the near future. The 10-song album “Voyage” — the ‘70s pop stars’ first new music in four decades years — is set for release on Nov. 5, and tickets are now on sale for an accompanying, eponymous tour of sorts starting in 2022.
Formally a “concert residency,” the “Voyage” show involves the construction of a 3,000-person arena, a 10-piece live band, 800 animators — and the creation of digital “Abbatars” of the foursome, who famously don’t enjoy performing live or traveling.
“So we literally filmed ABBA, then Wayne McGregor took all their movements and extended those movements into younger body doubles, so you’ve got the soul of ABBA in these younger bodies, and we blend them all together, but it’s not in 3D,” film director Baillie Walsh told The Guardian about the purportedly pop-changing event. “They gave me this building where we would do a live concert that isn’t holograms, that people are going to want to come to again and again, with a flat screen. That was my biggest challenge: How can we make this experience immersive, a live experience, with essentially a flat screen?”
Fans can find out what exactly he’s talking about beginning May 27, 2022, when ABBA’s “Voyage” is set to open at London’s new ABBA Arena.