×

Abba’s New Music Delayed Until Later This Year

Abba fans rejoiced last April when the group, which split up 35 years ago, announced that they had recorded two new songs for a “Virtual Abba” experience in collaboration with “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller. The project first announced in 2016, and was scheduled to premiere, via digital versions of band members, on NBC and ABC at the end of last year.

However, in September the group announced the project was delayed until 2019, and now comes news that the songs — which are called “I Still Have Faith In You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down” — may be delayed until autumn.

“No release before the summer,” a rep for the group tells Variety. “Hopefully this fall.”

While the rep did not respond to questions about the reason for the delay, the group’s Benny Andersson recently said in an interview posted on the fan site IceTheSite legal complications had delayed the release.

“When that press release [about the TV show and recordings] came out, everything was up and running smoothly, then it didn’t run as smoothly,” he said. “We are still trying to establish the agreement that needs to be done to be able to continue. We are good. It’s the other side, everything that has to be done, everything that has to be drawn. It’s delayed. It’s not our doing.” The group’s rep did not respond to a request to confirm this account.

In a separate interview, Andersson said that the group could record a third song as well.

“We may do another one when the show [launches],” he said in an interview posted last month. “And that’s gonna take another six – eight months. The reasons we did the new songs was to put them in the new show. Now when this show comes up these songs will be old because they [will have been released when the show launches]. So we said we need to do another one for the show.” He admitted that he had not yet spoken with singers Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad about the songs but said he thinks they would approve.

He also spoke again of the pleasure the group felt in recording together again, saying singers “We had such a good time, we really, really did, we were all back to where we ended, having fun. It was just like no time had passed, we all felt that and we were all happy about feeling that.”

In a statement last April, the group said: “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.”

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.

 

 

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Amy Sherman-Palladino, Daniel Palladino, Robin Urdang.

    The Emmys Allowed Music Supervisors In, But Tension With the TV Academy Remains

    It’s been a long road to Television Academy acceptance for music supervisors. In 2015, after years of lobbying, music supervisors gained entry to the music branch. In 2017, they got their own category at the Emmys, but weren’t allowed to vote in any other music competition. This year, music supervisors can vote in all seven [...]

  • Shazam

    Apple Music Launches 'Shazam Discovery' Chart, Focused on New Artists

    Apple Music today launched the “Shazam Discovery Top 50,” a weekly, global ranking of 50 artists that it describes as “on the move and trending” — in other words, new and emerging artists. While the company wouldn’t say much specifically about how the chart is tabulated, it uses “Shazam’s proprietary algorithms [to offer] a unique predictive view [...]

  • Taylor Swift

    Taylor Swift's 'Lover' Has Sold Nearly a Million Copies Before Release (EXCLUSIVE)

    Taylor Swift has not given up on the full-length album as an indicator of success as well as art form, and judging from pre-release sales for “Lover,” which comes out Friday, her belief in the ongoing viability of the format is not in vain. “The anticipation of this album is extraordinary, with pre-sales quickly approaching [...]

  • The Chainsmokers Production Company

    Chainsmokers’ Catalog Acquired by Fast-Growing Hipgnosis Songs

    The Chainsmokers’ writer and publishing rights have been acquired by the fast-growing Hipgnosis Songs and its investment adviser, The Family (Music) Limited, for an undisclosed amount, the company announced today. The company has acquired 100% of the Chainsmokers’ interest in 32 of the duo’s songs, including ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) income in [...]

  • Disney Music Group Launches 'For Score'

    Disney Music Group Launches Composer Podcast Series

    Disney Music Group, in association with Treefort Media, will debut “For Scores,” a new podcast series featuring interviews with film and television composers from Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox. Set to launch this week, the podcast is hosted by Variety contributor Jon Burlingame and “will give voice to award-winning visionary composers, exploring [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content