ABBA

1972-1983
Björn UlvaeusGuitar, vocals
Benny AnderssonKeyboards, vocals
Agnetha FältskogVocals
Anni-Frid "Frida" LyngstadVocals
  • Songs
  • Artistfacts ®
  • The girls attained fame in Sweden as solo singers; Björn was in The Hootenanny Singers and Benny was with the Hep Stars, who were known as the "Swedish Beatles." In 1972, Björn and Benny released the single "People Need Love," which featured Agnetha and Anni-Frid on backup vocals. This single was credited to "Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid," and was included on ABBA's debut album Ring Ring.
  • When the band formed, Benny and Anni-Frid were a couple, as were Björn and Agnetha. The band name is their initials as an acronym.
  • Quickly popular in Europe, ABBA became more famous when "Waterloo" won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. The Eurovision stigma held them back for a year, but they followed with a remarkable run of 18 consecutive Top 10 UK singles (eight at #1), and eight #1 albums.
  • They formed the Polar Music Company, which houses a recording studio that is still in use today. Led Zeppelin, Genesis, and The Backstreet Boys have all recorded there.
  • The group faded after the couples divorced (Björn and Agnetha 1979; Benny and Anni-Frid '81). The members then took on various solo projects: Phil Collins produced Frida's 1982 solo album Something's Going On 1982. Agnetha released Can't Shake Loose in 1983, and the boys collaborated with Tim Rice on the musical Chess, which was recorded in London 1984 and staged 1986. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bob - Knoxville, TN, for all above
  • Benny and Björn did the songwriting for the group. They were known for writing catchy songs that got right to the chorus.
  • Anni-Frid's second husband died of cancer in November 1999, 2 years after her daughter Lisse-Lot, together with Ragnar Frediksson died in a car accident in the US. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Moya - Zoutleeuw, Belgium
  • A national fish-canning company in Sweden had the name ABBA, but they allowed the band to use it.
  • When ABBA was active, only the Volvo car company made more money in Sweden.
  • ABBA-mania returned with the opening of the 2008 film Mamma Mia!, which was based on the group's songs. This pushed ABBA's Gold album to #1 on the UK album chart over, a position it held 16 years earlier. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 3
  • After Chess, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus wrote a musical in Swedish called Kristina from Duvemåla. In Sweden it is considered by many as one of the greatest musicals ever - a very serious musical with 39 songs and hardly any of them Pop. It is based on Wilhelm Moberg's Utvandrarna (The emigrants) about Swedish emigrants going to America in the 19th century. It premiered in Sweden in 1995. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Stefan - Stockholm, Sweden
  • They conquered America even though they hardly ever played there - their only North American tour lasted just 18 dates in 1979.
  • Many bands write a bunch of songs and gradually whittle down the ones they want to release, but ABBA would write only about 12 songs a year, and just about every one was released. Their approach was to write a small number of songs and then focus attention on those.
  • Frida is a mezzo soprano and Agnetha sings in a high soprano, which helped create a nice contrast in their vocal sound.
  • Anni-Frid's father was a German soldier in Hitler's army. When they invaded Norway, he met Synni Lyngstad, who relocated to Sweden when Anni-Frid was an infant, and died of kidney failure when Anni was 2. Anni-Frid's father was presumed dead, but he turned up in 1977 when he was reunited with his daughter. These children of German soldiers were derided as "Tyskerbarnas" by many Norwegians. There were an estimated 12,000 children in this group, and many suffered human rights abuses for many years.
  • The foursome reunited in 2016 to celebrate the opening of Bjorn's Stockholm-based restaurant Mamma Mia! The Party, inspired by the long-running musical.
  • Although ABBA became a worldwide phenomenon on the pop charts with their disco-flavored hits and polyester jumpsuits, they weren't welcome in the grittier music scenes. "It was the era of punk rock and ABBA were to be beheaded," U2 frontman Bono recalled in the documentary ABBA: The Winner Takes It All. "And I probably would have held the axe."

    Bono eventually changed his tune and U2 even covered "Dancing Queen" during the band's Zoo TV tour in 1992, with Bjorn and Benny joining them onstage in Stockholm.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 14

  • Miles from Vancouver, CanadaOne night in December '07 while I was riding the bus home after being held up for hours at Zulu Records, I was listening to Greatest Hits Vol. 2 on my iPod. A beautiful female classmate of mine was on the same bus as me. We didn't talk very much but before she finally got off at her stop and we were in a passionate hug, she jerked her head over and GAVE ME MY FIRST KISS! I barely talked to her at all during high school, so this literally came out of nowhere. When I released her and she left the bus, the next and last song to listen to on the album was..."Thank You for the Music"! I'd heard that song lots of times before and thought it was a beautiful wonderful song, but because of this particular night, the meaning of the song changed for me forever. I wept a lot when I went home because it was such a happy and special time for me. I believe it's because of this song and my first kiss that I've become so kindhearted towards others, even if they treat me like s--t.
  • Melody from Derby, United KingdomDid you know that there are over 50 ABBA Tribute bands in the UK alone?
    My favourite is ABBA Sensation, they are young, fresh and sound just like ABBA.
    Check them out.
  • Ericka from Chicago, IlI saw the Abbasalute tribute band too and couldn't believe how much like the records it was! They were on the news on channel 9 in Chicago.
  • Huma from New Delhi, IndiaABBA is my fav band,andmost fav song is "one of us".II like the soft music of abba.I don't think in today's world somebody can make a popular & beautiful bank like this
  • Paul from Warren, Mi Abba is one of my favorite disco groups. I have their 2 Greatest Hits albums and I enjoy every song on both of those albums, especially Dancing Queen and Winner Takes All. They did Sweden proud.
  • Angel from Somewhere In, AzAnyone diggin the new Madonna song that samples "gimmie gimmie gimmie"? Its actually a pretty good song.
  • Cool Dude from Ottawa, CanadaABBA: the greatest Swedish group of all time
  • Raven from Millville, UtMy best friend loves the ABBA Generation sung by the A-teens, but the original group, not so much.
  • Juan Loire from Vallarta, MexicoA beautiful band...ABBA thank you for the Music!
  • Marcia from Chicago, IlABBA is one of the best bands of the 70's. And I own alot of their records

  • Candice from Vancouver, CanadaTheir song "Dancing Queen" is probably the best dance song ever.
  • Tanya from Rotterdam, NetherlandsABBA was my first musical love. I collected all their pictures (still possess them) and I played their records every minute I could. Their music made me feel happy. They are a very important part of my memories, of my teenage years. Almost as if they where family. Although after them other groups came I learned to love, ABBA has always stayed special, and I still enjoy their records. I think they're often underestimated.
  • David from Dublin, IrelandAt one point,in their peak time,the band had record sales than any band on the planet.Their income from the sale of their records was worth more to Sweden's economy than it's leading car manufacturer...Volvo.

    Between 1974 and 1982,they earned nearly twice the GNP of Sweden,yet were NOT self made millionaires,as most of their income went to the record company,& on taxes.
  • Josh from Hauula, Hiyes good observation its called a palindrome...and theres a good cover band called Bjorn Again
see more comments

Joe Elliott of Def LeppardSongwriter Interviews

The Def Leppard frontman talks about their "lamentable" hit he never thought of as a single, and why he's juiced by his Mott The Hoople cover band.

Carol KayeSongwriter Interviews

A top session musician, Carol played on hundreds of hits by The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Frank Sinatra and many others.

Artis the SpoonmanSong Writing

Even before Soundgarden wrote a song about him, Artis was the most famous spoon player of all time. So why has he always been broke?

Kevin GodleySongwriter Interviews

Kevin Godley talks about directing classic videos for The Police, U2 and Duran Duran, and discusses song and videos he made with 10cc and Godley & Creme.

Songs Discussed in MoviesSong Writing

Bridesmaids, Reservoir Dogs, Willy Wonka - just a few of the flicks where characters discuss specific songs, sometimes as a prelude to murder.

Mick Jones of ForeignerSongwriter Interviews

Foreigner's songwriter/guitarist tells the stories behind the songs "Juke Box Hero," "I Want To Know What Love Is," and many more.