The four original members of ABBA reunited last night for the first time in 30 years, for the opening of a new Mamma Mia themed restaurant in their home town of Stockholm, Sweden.
Mamma Mia! The Party is a themed experience housed in Stockholm’s Nikos Taverna, based on the Greek taverna in the hit musical. A venture by Bjorn Ulvaeus, the restaurant is near ABBA: The Museum, which opened in the city in 2013. It serves Mediterranean food, and will also entertain guests with “daredevil stunts, Greek Gods” and “flirty waiters.” It’s safe to assume the band’s hits will be playing on the sound systems too.
Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad all got together last night (20 Jan) for the opening of the event, and got on stage together for the first time in over three decades.
ABBA’s last performance had been on Noel Edmond’s Late Late Breakfast Show in the UK in December 1982, though they recorded a video tribute to their producer Stig Ulvaeus in 1986. The group were last seen together in 2008, at the premiere of Mamma Mia! The Movie, which was a blockbuster success, and has since become the best selling DVD of all time in the UK.
ABBA are one of the most influential acts in the history of pop music. In a ten year stretch from 1972 to 1982 they released eight studio albums and toured across Europe, Australia and the United States. Since then, their popularity has soared, and the band have sold over 400 million records worldwide.
They have resisted the temptation to reform on numerous occasions in the past, including various Eurovision Song Contest anniversaries. In the year 2000 it was reported they had turned down a $1 billion offer to do a world tour, largely because of the reluctance of Agnetha to go back on stage. However, she has revived her on solo career in recent years, recording the album A with the help of Gary Barlow in 2013.
Now, rumours are swirling the band might finally decide to take the plunge, particularly as this year’s Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Stockholm in May. Could they perform the interval show? We can only hope.