ABBA Returns 40 Years On, You Have To See Them Now
Yamaha speakers and Sennheiser headphones, along with avatars and some of the worlds latest effects technology are front, and centre of a digital revival show set to be rolled out by Swedish band Abba.
Now in their 70’s and collectively worth over $1,2 billion the Swedish band who released their first song 40 years ago, are back digital touring and the ABBA Voyage show consisting of “digital avatars” is set to preview in London next year.
Agnetha Faltskog, 71, Bjorn Ulvaeus, 76, Benny Andersson, 74, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, 75, have already sold 385 million records and the below video reveals a new world of technology and how the band has been morphed from the past to the future in a show that has been six months in the making.
The band had eight consecutive No 1 albums in the UK between 1973 and 1981 so, it’s not surprising that the band is kicking off their first show in four decades in London.
See video below.
Among the music being played are two new songs, the stirring I Still Have Faith in You and Don’t Shut Me Down.
The new ABBA Voyage is their first new album since The Visitors in 1981.
One observer who saw the show said” Faltskog and Lyngstad sing at a slightly lower pitch these days, I think their voices are about one tone lower, perhaps. It still sounds ABBA very much.”
According to The Times in London, the new tracks feature lyrics by Ulvaeus and music by Andersson.
Bjorn Ulvaeus said “During the ABBA years we worked together with the music and then I would write the words afterwards. But Benny (Andersson) was always the musical genius, and I was the word man, so it’s a natural development.”
The show is being rolled out in a purpose-built, 3000-capacity arena in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, east London, where digital representations of the foursome will mime to the original recordings of Super Trouper, The Winner Takes It All and the rest alongside a ten-piece live band. While Ulvaeus and co kick back at home, their doppelgangers will appear in various virtual guises, from their satin-clad 1970s pomp to futuristic Tron-style space suits.
Striking avatars of Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid illuminated the Pylons of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge accompanied by a dazzling light display across the Bridge arch.
The avatars were designed by an 850-strong team at Industrial Light & Magic, the California whizzes who did the effects on the Star Wars films; this is its first foray into music. ILM persuaded the band to wear motion-capture suits, which will inform the movements of their avatars.