News / Arts & Entertainment

Sweden's ABBA Museum to Open; Reunion Rumors Quashed

A man walks past the lit logo of the legendary Swedish pop group ABBA at the new
A man walks past the lit logo of the legendary Swedish pop group ABBA at the new "ABBA - The Museum" in Stockholm, May 6, 2013.
Reuters
The catchy tunes, outlandish costumes and shimmering boots that made ABBA a global phenomenon all feature in a new museum dedicated to the band, but rumors the exhibition may presage a reunion by Sweden's most famous export were quickly quashed.

The permanent exhibition within a hall of fame of Swedish pop music opens in Stockholm this week and organizers hope to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors annually on a pop nostalgia trip.

A couple performs with a A couple performs with a "virtual ABBA band" during a media preview at the new "ABBA - The Museum" in Stockholm, May 6, 2013.
x
A couple performs with a
A couple performs with a "virtual ABBA band" during a media preview at the new "ABBA - The Museum" in Stockholm, May 6, 2013.
Visitors will be able to sing along to ABBA hits alongside life-size holograms of the group - and then download the images to their web account.

I would be interested, even if I hated ABBA, about how it actually happened and why," former ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus said on Monday at the museum.

Ulvaeus, now a 68-year-old grandfather, rejected suggestions the opening could coincide with the band reuniting. A British bookmaker was taking bets in April on an ABBA comeback after singer Agnetha Faltskog hinted at a possible reunion.

"As you all know we have never reunited," Ulvaeus said. "So I take this opportunity to say now we are not going to either."

ABBA, made up of Ulvaeus, Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson, shot to fame when they won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Waterloo."

To revive their heyday, the museum has a 1970s disco dance floor to practice your moves, audition recordings for a "fifth" member of the band and the opportunity to sit inside the famous helicopter that featured on the "Arrival"lbum cover.

"Ring Ring"

A mockup of the old ABBA studio features a self-playing piano connected to Andersson's current music studio - each time the musician plays on it, the piano plays as well.

The museum walls are plastered with newspaper cuttings, fan mail and videos. Visitors can peer into a behind-the-scenes dressing room, admire ABBA's gold and platinum discs and see a reconstruction of the Swedish cabin where they composed songs.

Former ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus poses for the media in front of an exhibit at the new Former ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus poses for the media in front of an exhibit at the new "ABBA - The Museum" in Stockholm, May 6, 2013. Picture on wall shows former ABBA members (L-R) Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Faltskog and Benny Andersson.
x
Former ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus poses for the media in front of an exhibit at the new
Former ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus poses for the media in front of an exhibit at the new "ABBA - The Museum" in Stockholm, May 6, 2013. Picture on wall shows former ABBA members (L-R) Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Faltskog and Benny Andersson.
Based on the band's first major hit "Ring Ring," the museum also includes a red telephone. Only the four band members have the number, and they promise occasionally to call it and speak to surprised visitors.

After ABBA, Ulvaeus went on to become a businessman and helped to produce the hugely successful "Mamma Mia!" musical that was later turned into a film. He has been the main ABBA member behind the museum.

ABBA became one of Sweden's biggest exports with hit songs like "Dancing Queen" and "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)."

The group sold around 370 million records in total and are part of a rich Swedish pop tradition which includes Roxette, Ace of Base, Europe and Kent.

But the museum took a long time coming. Separate plans for an earlier ABBA museum were shelved in 2008.

Stockholm has been struck by a bout of ABBA fever in the buildup to the opening. Visitors to the international airport are greeted by life-size pictures of the group as well as dancing Spitting Image puppets.

Baggage belts have "`Gimme Gimme Gimme" emblazoned on the sides.

"I walked with Frida yesterday around the museum and she had a tear in her eye," said museum director Ingmarie Halling, ABBA's former costumer and hair designer from 1977 to 1980. "Here you follow the footpath of ABBA. But you have to walk gently when you tell someone else's story."

You May Like

Photogallery Strong Words Start, May End, S. African Xenophobic Attacks

President Jacob Zuma publicly condemned rise in attacks on foreign nationals but critics say leadership has been less than welcoming to foreign residents More

Video Family Waits to Hear Charges Against Reporter Jailed in Iran

Reports in Iran say Jason Rezaian has been charged with espionage, but brother tells VOA indictment has not been made public More

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Action to Stabilize Libya

Amnesty International says multinational concerted humanitarian effort must be enacted to address crisis; decrepit boats continue to bring thousands of new arrivals daily More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: DiatribesAndOvations from: US
May 07, 2013 10:00 AM
I’ve been an ABBA fan all my life and haven’t given up hope for a reunion! http://wp.me/p1se8R-3yp

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”