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ABBA confirm new album ‘Voyage’ will be their last

"I can tell you now: this is it"

By Hollie Geraghty

ABBA in the motion capture clothing for live show 'Voyage'
ABBA will feature in a new concert experience with digital versions of the band members. (Photo: ABBA Voyage/ Instagram)

ABBA have confirmed their plans to step back from the spotlight, sharing that new album ‘Voyage’ will be their last.

The legendary pop group, who will release their first album in 40 years on November 5 and are set to perform a series of digital concerts in May 2022, said that the band’s final retirement is near.

Speaking in an interview with The Guardian, Benny Andersson reflected on when the band broke up in 1982. “I didn’t actually say that ‘this is it’ in 1982,” he said.

“I never said myself that ABBA was never going to happen again. But I can tell you now: this is it.”

The group last week shared ‘Just A Notion’, another single from forthcoming album which was first recorded in September 1978 but did not make it onto their sixth album ‘Voulez-Vous’. The track followed other singles ‘I Still Have Faith in You’ and ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’.

The tracks were written to accompany their new concert experience which will feature digital version of the band and involved construction of a 3,000 capacity arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It will also include a 10 piece live band.

The show’s film producer Baillie Walsh told The Guardian: “So we literally filmed Abba, then [Royal Ballet choreographer] Wayne McGregor took all their movements and extended those movements into younger body doubles, so you’ve got the soul of Abba in these younger bodies, and we blend them all together, but it’s not in 3D.

He added: “They gave me this building where we would do a live concert that isn’t holograms, that people are going to want to come to again and again, with a flat screen. That was my biggest challenge: how can we make this experience immersive, a live experience, with essentially a flat screen?”

Bjorn Ulvaeus also spoke about how ABBA were the “enemies” of Swedish progressive pop in the 1970s. You know, in Sweden, there was this progressive movement in music, and we were the enemies,” he said, “and personally I didn’t pay attention to all that – it didn’t mean shit to me, even if they hated us, because we got so much response from the whole world.”

‘Voyage’ is out on 5 November, and ‘Abba Voyage’ opens on May 27 2022.