Abba, the Swedish pop trio whose “Mamma Mia!” reunion last year did not propel the group into the mainstream, is preparing to embark on a live tour.
Though the group has been in and out of the public eye for more than 40 years, still possesses a bankable repertoire of hits, including “Waterloo,” “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me,” and more.
Despite the relatively low rate of interest for their songs, diehard fans of the band say that Abba’s longevity is a proof of their music’s timelessness. “I don’t think ABBA songs have lost their appeal for the previous generation,” musicologist Lotta Pagel told the website THR.com. “If anything, they’ve become more popular over the years and radio stations that didn’t play them in the past are now giving them play.”
For fans the band’s lack of commercial hit has made it an anomaly in a band landscape dominated by a new Swedish wave (Shakira, the Swedish House Mafia), nostalgia (The Spice Girls, Take That), synth-pop (Eminem, Adele), and dance-pop (Justin Timberlake, Zayn Malik). With very few new music releases, the group’s legacy has mostly faded away.
That is why, as Variety reports, the group is leveraging their place in the history books to introduce a new audience to some of their most popular songs.
According to the agency WME, the 90-minute show will take fans through a retrospective and offer up new footage of the group. It will also feature Abba-inspired costumes by Maia Chunn, who designed for the band in the late 1980s and early 1990s, among other outfits. The tour includes six shows in the U.S. before wrapping up in Scandinavia.
The group decided to do the tour to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Their visit to NYC’s Central Park on July 20th also included a special appearance at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, where they performed five songs including “Waterloo.”
MAMMA MIA! opens July 21st in London. The single is here.