ABBA reunited for the first time in eight years, and seeing the four former members of the iconic Swedish pop group together again has sparked many reactions in fans. Even though Agnetha Fältskog, now 65, Björn Ulvaeus, 70, Benny Andersson, 69, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, 70, did not perform during Wednesday night’s appearance at the opening of a new restaurant in Stockholm, seeing the four once married stars together on a stage was an unexpected treat.
ABBA member Benny Andersson told reporters that he never expected the four to reunite and “insisted that he didn’t think the four of them would be getting back together on stage,” reports The Guardian on January 20. “We are here to party,” said ABBA member Björn Ulvaeus.
ABBA (standing for the initials of Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad), formed in Stockholm in 1972 and gained fame when they won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 with their song “Waterloo.” Following more hit songs like “Mamma Mia,” “Dancing Queen,” and “The Winner Takes It All,” ABBA’s final performance together was on December 11, 1982.
Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus had met in May 1969 and were married from 1971 until 1979. Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad were also married, but their marriage fell apart in 1981.
Except for a TV appearance in 1986, ABBA did not come together again publicly until the Swedish premiere of the “Mamma Mia!” movie on July 4, 2008. Following the premiere, Björn commented that there was no reason for the four to appear together again on stage. “We will never appear on stage again. […] There is simply no motivation to re-group. Money is not a factor and we would like people to remember us as we were. Young, exuberant, full of energy and ambition.”
ABBA reunited on Wednesday for the opening of Björn Ulvaeus’ new restaurant Mamma Mia! The Party, which offers the energy and ambition that the group provided once for its fans:
“A tasty Mediterranean buffet is placed on your table. Glasses are being raised across the room. Everything happens on a magical evening in several acts filled with singing and dancing, daredevil stunts, Greek Gods, flirty waiters, and perhaps a Zorba and an Ouzo or two. The rest is up to you. Because no evening is like any other. And no one knows how it ends. It all depends on where ABBA’s songs take us! But one thing’s for sure: you can count on a Summer night city. The temperature at Nikos Taverna is always set on Greek high summer, regardless of season. Ready to make history? Opa!!”
Fans’ reactions to ABBA getting together in public again after eight years reflect a similar energy – and a lot of memories:
“I don’t think many realize that this may be the first time the four of them have been photographed as a group together in over 30 years.”
“Abba recordings still rate high in BitTorrent downloads. They are pleasant to listen to, especially since you can understand what they are singing. Nice to think they are even talking to each other after their less than happy personal lives.”
“I had the pleasure of visiting the abba museum in Stockholm last year. It was a fascinating insight into the lives of four extremely young and talented kids who met along the way of their musical journeys…..fell in love….became famous overnight….However, their fame took over their lives …..which for some was not what they wanted after all. I left the museum enriched, bopping to the tunes and yet somewhat saddened as to the way in which the Abba phenomenon become much bigger than the four of them could personally cope with. Fascinating museum if you get the chance…..”
“Wow. Never thought I’d see all four of them together again. Bloody fantastic. #ABBA”
“Great to see them together even for one brief moment! ABBA was the first group I fell in love with!”
“O my gosh I am getting old. The guys look better than they did when they were young …..or am I just seeing them differently through my +2.50s.”
“It gives me joy to see this photo. They brought happiness and pleasure to me and millions of people. Their music will live for ever! Their songs brings back memories,” writes another fan on ABBA’s Facebook page.