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Abba confirm first new music since 1982

Story by Jack Foley

POP legends Abba have confirmed their first new music since 1982.

In an Instagram statement, the Swedish quartet said that the new material was an “unexpected consequence” of their recent decision to put together a “virtual reality” tour.

It stated: “We all four felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the studio. And it was like time stood still and we had only been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyful experience!”

The recording session resulted in two new songs, including I Still Have Faith In You, which will be performed in December on a TV special broadcast by the BBC and NBC.

However, as yet there are no plans for the group to appear together live again. Rather, they would appear only as holograms in the forthcoming Abba Avatar tour.

The news will be welcomed by fans of the band, who have been clamouring for a reunion and some sort of new material since they stopped recording together in 1982. This included a reported $1bn (£689m) offer to tour in 2000.

It also caps what promises to be a bumper year for Abba fans.

An immersive exhibition based on the band’s career is running on London’s South Bank, while Chess, the musical Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson wrote with Sir Tim Rice, is being revived in the West End.

And a sequel to the film version of Mamma Mia!, starring Amanda Seyfried, Lily James, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Cher, will be released on July 20.

Formed in 1972, Abba became a Swedish super-group, consisting of songwriters Ulvaeus and Andersson from The Hep Stars and singers Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, who had scored success as solo artists.

They shot to prominence by winning the Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo in 1974, and went on to sell almost 400 million singles and albums around the world.

Mamma Mia!, the musical based on their hits and produced by Ulvaeus and Andersson, has been seen by more than 50 million people.

Their final recording sessions, in 1982, produced the hits Under Attack and The Day Before You Came, which featured on the compilation album The Singles.

Their last public performance came three years later, on the Swedish version of TV show This Is Your Life, which honoured their manager, Stig Anderson.