Benny and Björn participate in 40th anniversary celebrations

"I have met my destiny!"
“I met my destiny!”

Well folks, can it really be 40, yes FORTY years ago now? Well, yes it can and the event didn’t go by without celebration!

Last weekend marked the 40th anniversary of ABBA’s international breakthrough at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton and both Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus participated in the celebrations with appearances in Stockholm and London.

On Sunday 6 April, ABBA The Museum hosted a day of activities culminating in the premiere performance of ABBA The Museum’s ‘The Choir’.

Hundreds of fans packed the museum’s courtyard to hear the specially formed 50 strong choir perform a selection of ABBA’s hits (with new arrangements by Göran Arnberg), including, Chiquitita, Dancing Queen and of course, Waterloo.

For most of the performance, Benny, together with Görel Hanser and Ingemarie Halling, watched from a balcony. However, to the delight of the crowd, as gold tickertape showered across the courtyard, he took the stage to accompany the choir for the finale – a very fitting and moving rendition of Thank You For The Music.

The entire show was streamed live by Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.

The following day it was Björn and former bandmate Frida that wowed fans as they attended ABBA The Official International Party and launch of ABBA The Official Photobook, hosted by Universal Music and Max Ström Publishing, in London’s Tate Modern Gallery.

After posing for photos and autographs as they arrived, the pair appeared on stage in front of the 1000+ fans that had tickets to the party. They were greeted with rapturous applause and a spontaneous burst of ‘Happy Birthday dear ABBA’.

Björn said that he was really excited to be standing in front of so many fans 32 years after ABBA’s last performance. Frida agreed that it had been a very moving day: “I see you as our family, you are part of our lives,” she said. “We feel privileged. To celebrate tonight with you is pure happiness.”

The pair’s appearance was followed by the weekend’s second performance of the museum’s choir, who had travelled to London from Stockholm specially for the occasion. Afterwards there was an ABBA disco.

During the evening party-goers were able to purchase a hotdog named after the groups manager Stikkan (Stig) Anderson and were given party bags containing a limited edition Waterloo CD and a selection of postcards featuring the groups image.

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5 thoughts on “Benny and Björn participate in 40th anniversary celebrations”

  1. As my own life heads towards the darkness, May I make a suggestion and a few observations?

    Well…. this is a BIG year and really does deserve a BIG celebration. Go Abba and all that, enjoy what you do, I’m backing everything all the way, books, cd’s box sets the lot.

    I personally feel the 4 members deserve every penny they are spending. (Yes I spoke about money). All four have earned the right to do as they please including spend spend spend. xxxxx,
    All four are loved and respected the world over and will never be forgotten – history will record their lives and achievements until the end of time and more importantly, unlike others – all are alive and kicking whilst looking bloody good too!

    Even though I have never managed to express my feelings in person, (Something that would make my life complete by the way) I for one will always see them as much loved individuals ’till the day I die. THEY are my family.

    Thank you – for everything, not just the music, you have all inspired me so much in my hum drum existence.

    Now for my ‘suggestions’, LOL.

    This year marks success that was earned through talent and creativity, something that is sorely lacking on today’s music scene. (Where are all the singer/songwriters?). To me ‘creativity and true talent’ is lacking in today’s society unlike times of the past so very long ago.

    I become tired and sad at calls for Abba to get back on stage and perform, I think those are the days that should be remembered fondly but not repeated. By the way Bjorn, you are hardly ‘geriatrics’!!!

    What I personally would like to see – BUT DO NOT EXPECT OR ASK FOR IN ANY WAY – is NOT a live concert but another recording. A studio one only.

    As previously mentioned, true talent and creativity is sorely lacking today.

    I imagine and dream of the the world being rocked once more with true melodies and lyrics that refuse to leave the mind. A final tribute to natural talent known the world over. I am a greedy soul when it comes to music and wouldn’t be happy with one or two tracks, I’d want an album.

    Abba were kings and queens of the recording studio, that is certain. There they held court not being satisfied until perfection was attained and produced pure magic for the whole world, no matter what language they sang in.

    As I age – as we all do, I recall the days when Karen Carpenter passed. An angelic – yet natural recording voice was taken away from the world untimely and unfairly. I feel God must have wanted that instrument and beauty all to himself, realising his mistake in sending her to us. I don’t want Him taking any of my stars either. Eventually perhaps, just not yet!

    Therefore my prayers today are for one final leap of faith by all four members of history to band together once again in the studio to leave us all with an indelible print on our minds of what they are surely capable of.

    Whilst age may play tricks with us and ill health follows before…… well, let’s not go there eh?
    That is my dream today.
    Two angelic voices once again in unison, two EQUALLY beautiful (let’s finally put that one to bed too!) ladies who surely deserve their place as the finest and most sensational of people with instruments of joy held within.

    Two men with inner talent that has already spanned many generations who strived for greatness and achieved it through hard work and sheer determination alone.

    These qualities – to me – are where true talent lie, never to be forgotten or emulated ever again.

    Every day as I play my most treasured recordings from the only quartet that has ever mattered to me I am reminded of times long ago, memories of my own life long forgotten are recalled – some bad but many good!

    My prayer will remain as normal, a reunion in the studio only with one final album of tracks showcasing my only stars.

    Now that would be a celebration I, along with the rest of the world, would surely remember and hold dear.

    The age of touring to support an album is well and truly over. Social media is more than enough. Yes there would be the required interviews, though they can now be undertaken within controlled environments thus allowing the artists to regain their peace and tranquility.

    So there you go.

    Oh and by the way B&B allow Matt POP access to remix the catalogue to suit the times. Have you heard his “When all is said and done” effort? Pure magic for the times and a worthy contender to rock the world yet again.

    GET THE WORLD DANCING AGAIN! MAKE IT HAPPY ONCE MORE!!! IN THESE SAD TIMES IT SURELY NEEDS A BOOST.

    So there is my little contribution and words off the top of my head….

    God bless all.

    Rob xxxxx

  2. ps. ONE TRACK IS ALREADY MIXED and in the can. We’ve craved a release of Just Like That for many years. Go on, relent. Let old age play at least one trick on the mind.

    regret it after though make us fans happy eh?

  3. When i finished reading this post (a week after the event) i found a smile in my face and had to reflect several things felt while on the read. Like on how I liked the idea of the chorus at the museum. Somehow imagined the outdoor scene, -just like the inauguration event-, and everybody having fun while enjoying the new sounds and colors in the many voices and arrangements. On a side note I thought of the lack of mention of family members, don’t know if they usually don’t go to such events or if it is etiquette not to mention them. Anyway, it comes as a very familiar scene and so it all felt in my skin like coming out, when I reached the words Frida spoke to the audience at London. Which by the way sounded very musical at that point:”I see you as our family, you are part of our lives. We feel privileged. To celebrate tonight with you is pure happiness.”
    And that is very much how I feel. That Sunday i was finalizing a relocation of my stuff (mostly music, sound equipment, books and papers, tools and few assorted bits) to a new little and fine warehouse that is close to the new cultural center where I work at. So those days sort of passed unnoticed celebration wise, but I did welcomed very much the months ago i did receive the invitation for the party and book launch, and also the various activities the anniversary sprung.
    I guess it is like ones knows about the family you are happy inside when they are happy and gathering, particularly on some special occasions.

    ///Now totally off topic, just wanted to share the feeling of this moment cause have been on a little dismay (figure this contrast!), since I do have to decide when or if i go to the event that is going to last all night and has already started. It is part of a month of celebrations here and consists on an all-night Contact dance session. Have been invited to DJ and love to dance as well, so it is going to definitely be fun. However also love my dearly place, furniture and all… Might be a bit arrogant to say, but wonder if A has had such feelings as well sometime. I do want to meet the people and i know I do love what is going to happen, thus the dilemma… It would be so easy just to stay. and is not even a matter of should or shouldn’t, guess i need to look above, below, deep inside.. probably focus on… guess i’ll move on 🙂
    Just know i am going to feel better if I go

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