UPDATED: Some 35 years after their split, the four original members of Abba announced today that they have recorded two new songs. One, “I Still Have Faith in You,” is set for release in December.
That song will be part of a “Virtual Abba” experience in collaboration with “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller first announced in 2016, and it will premiere, via digital versions of band members, on NBC and ABC at the end of this year. There are no details as yet about the second song.
In a statement, the band wrote:
“The decision to go ahead with the exciting ABBA avatar tour project had an unexpected consequence. We all four felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the recording studio. So we did. And it was like time had stood still and that we only had been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyful experience!
“We may have come of age, but the song is new. And it feels good.”
Also on Friday morning, Abba co-lead singer Anni-Frid Lyngstadt (a.k.a. Frida) released a Spanish-language version of the group’s 1980 song “Andante, Andante” with Cuban-American trumpeter Arturo Sandoval as a preview from his forthcoming album “Ultimate Duets,” which also features Stevie Wonder, Pharrell, Ariana Grande, Prince Royce and others (listen here).
Abba are one of the most popular musical artists in history, having sold hundreds of millions of albums worldwide since their formation in Sweden 1972. The group’s simple-sounding but highly sophisticated songs have endured since the group, consisting of two married couples, split amid the breakup of the two couples in 1982. They set a template for pop music that has risen to prominence in recent years, exemplified by the work of countrymen Max Martin (who has worked with everyone from Britney Spears to Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake over the past two decades) on the commercial side and Robyn on the innovative side.
While songwriters Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus continued to work together (including a musical, “Chess,” with lyricist Tim Rice in 1984), the four members did not appear together publicly onstage again until 2016.
The virtual reality tour is scheduled to begin next year.