ABBA’s Benny Andersson said the group won’t make any more music after completing its comeback album Voyage. The Swedish quartet, which broke up in 1982, spent several years working on the LP and its associated virtual-based stage show, which opens at a custom-built theater in London next year. But in a recent interview with The Guardian, Andersson said two songs left unfinished from Voyage would remain that way, and the band won’t ever return to the studio again.
“This is it,” he said. “It’s got to be, you know. I didn’t actually say that ‘this is it’ in 1982. I never said myself that ABBA was never going to happen again. But I can tell you now: This is it.” He added that this decision has nothing to do with any personal issues, which were all in the past. “We’ve been seeing each other through the years, meeting for this and that. We are friends. I mean, Bjorn and Agnetha have kids and grandkids together, so they have to be on speaking terms! I’m friends with Frida, too, so no problems there.”
In fact, Bjorn Ulvaeus said, they very much enjoyed working together again. “It was just fun, really, to try and see if we could do something,” he explained. “I think everyone was completely aware that if what we did was not up to the standard that we all wanted, we would just forget about it. There was no pressure in that respect.” He added that he and Andersson had deliberately ignored outside influences when they started the writing process around 2016.
“We decided early on that we’re not going to look at anything else,” he said. “We’re just going to do the songs, the best songs we can right now. That meant writing lyrics I could get some of my thoughts of these past 40 years into and add some kind of depth that, hopefully, comes with age, and that makes it different from the lyrics I wrote 40 years ago.”
Andersson noted that the original plan was to write just two songs for a project they later abandoned. “If we had gone out on the road, we would have had a couple of new songs – everyone has,” he said. “Once we got started, that really got me cooking – you know, maybe we can do a couple of others, work on things that have been around for a long time, not knowing what to do with them.”
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