This year marks 40 years since ABBA’s launch onto the international stage, when, on 6 April 1974 they won the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton with Waterloo.
There are a host of celebrations and new releases to commemorate the anniversary, and here in chronological order, is a round-up of some of the year’s most notable related events and releases:
29 January 2014
The Little White Piano by Björn Ulvaeus
First published in 2010, a new edition of Björn’s book with illustrations by Maja Lindberg, has been released for the anniversary year. It is available in English, Swedish, German, Russian and Finnish language versions, available exclusively from the ABBA The Museum shop.
30 January 2014
This completely revised edition brings the book bang up to date, including the extraordinary events surrounding Agnetha’s new album and the opening of ABBA The Museum in Stockholm.
11 March 2014
ABBA – The Backstage Stories by Ingmarie Halling with Carl Magnus Palm
Instigated by Ingmarie Halling, ABBA’s make-up and wardrobe supervisor during their tours in 1977, 1979 and 1980 and centred around her memories from those tours, the book features commentary input from Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Frida, each of whom has also contributed a forward, as well as many previously unseen photographs
26 March 2014
A new 2CD set ABBA 40/40: The Best Selection will be released exclusively in Japan.
28 – 29 March 2014
Hosted by The Official International ABBA Fan Club, the annual fan event, which takes place in Roosendaal, The Netherlands, this year has a Waterloo theme. The occasion will feature special guests, exhibitions, a record and memorabilia fair, and an ABBA disco.
29 March 2014
ABBA, Les Coulisses du Succès by Jean-Marie Potiez
A new 496 page biography from Jean-Marie Potiez, author of the renowned publication, ABBA – The Scrapbook, covering the lives of the group’s individual members before, during and after the ABBA years.
6 April 2014
ABBA The Museum in Stockholm will mark the 40th anniversary with the unveiling of several new Waterloo related exhibits, including a viewmaster with which you can view images from Brighton while listening to Benny read his diary entry from the day. Visitors will also be able to learn to crochet the kind of cap worn by Agnetha and have the opportunity to purchase a limited edition replica of the infamous star shaped guitar.
During the day, a pop-saga about ABBA that Björn has written primarily for children and for which he was filmed, acting as narrator, will be shown for the first time. As a special tribute to ABBA fans the museum’s own choir which has been created specifically for the occasion will give their premiere performance of a number of ABBA tracks arranged for the event by Göran Arnberg.
6 April 2014
Fans are invited to dress up in ’70’s style clothing and participate in a re-enactment of ABBA’s historic Eurovision Song Contest win on the very spot it happened, 40 years to the day, hosted by writer, performer and life-long ABBA fanatic Christopher Green (creator of the BBC’s Like An Angel Passing Through My Room).
6 April 2014
Polar Music International is releasing a Limited Edition Picture Disc single of Waterloo. The A-side of the single features the Swedish version of the song, with which ABBA scored their victory in the Swedish selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. The B-side features the English version that went on to conquer the world.
7 April 2014
Hosted by Universal Music in conjunction with Max Ström publishing, the party for 1000 fans at London’s Tate Modern Museum, will launch what has been described as one of the most prestigious music books ever produced, ABBA – The Official Photo Book. As well as the book launch, the event will feature a one-day only ABBA exhibition and an ABBA disco. Björn told listeners to Irish radio station Newstalk Radio that one or two members of ABBA might attend the event. (Thank you to David for the update and clarification).
7 April 2014
The original album has been expanded with 8 bonus tracks, plus a DVD of rare and previously unreleased television material. The package also includes a 20-page illustrated booklet by ABBA historian Carl Magnus Palm featuring an extensive essay on the making of the album, with brand new insights from Benny and Björn.
7 April 2014
This new edition is a three-CD set, presented in a digi-pack and featuring the standard 19-track ABBA Gold compilation on disc one, the More ABBA Gold set on disc two, and twenty Golden B-sides on the third disc.
On 5 May, Polar Music International will release an exclusive limited edition box set, ABBA The Singles containing 40 7″ vinyl singles with reproduction sleeves and labels.
Although yet to be confirmed, abbaofficial have published a photo on Instagram of Polar Music’s 2013 Christmas card featuring a timeline of the 40th anniversary celebrations which clearly shows the release of a Gracias Por La Musica Deluxe Edition planned for November 2014.
Benny has confirmed that a live recording of the group’s final 1979 concert at Wembley Arena will be released towards the end of 2014.