History of ABBA


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Although the group formed essentially in 1970 (called Festfolk at this time) they all continued solo careers. Benny and Björn continued to write together and achieved a third place in the Eurovision Song Contest with a song sung by Lena Anderson in 1973 and followed it with another almost-success a year later.

See also
Biography of members * Band history * Eurovision * Costumes * References

The Name
As they continued to work together they called themselves by their surnames, which took a bit of saying. They did not go for the name ABBA because it was the name of a well-known Swedish fish-canning company – but they weren’t known outside Sweden.

Eventually their manager, Stig Anderson, persuaded them to use the name ABBA after a public competition through a Gothenberg newspaper. Although "Waterloo" was their big breakthrough Benny and Björn actually had a #1 hit in Japan with "She’s My Kind of Girl" in 1972.





Success
Benny and Björn continued to experiment with the sound of the group and had various minor hits in Europe and in 1973 they had another almost-hit in Eurovision with "Ring Ring" but in 1974 they made it with "Waterloo", which gave them international recognition and was the first of 18 consecutive hits – although it took 18 months after Eurovision to get the second hit with "SOS" but that was followed in rapid succession with "Mamma Mia", "Fernando" and "Dancing Queen". They had nine #1 hits in the UK between 1974 and 1980.

The End
The stress lines were beginning to show in 1977 during the Australia tour but Agnetha became ill and Anni-Frid discovered the father she had never known had been a Nazi.

In 1978 Björn and Agnetha split, though Anni-Frid and Benny married. Yet they soldiered on and produced two more superb albums until they disbanded in 1982, never to reform.

ABBA was the first band from mainland Europe to break the invisible barrier and have success in the English-speaking world. Their success opened the door for other bands – though very few – to follow.


Last updated July 4, 2007 12:31 PM