For a while, it seemed that ABBA would fall apart. The rumour started when Frida’s solo-album was released, became stronger when Agnetha started working on her solo-album, and even stronger when the group decided not to tour any longer. And it’s true, at the moment ABBA is no longer working as a group. Frida lives in London and is working on her next album, Agnetha is back in Sweden after an extensive promotional tour in Europe, and it’s a bit unclear what Benny and Björn are up to, except that they are preparing a musical together with Tim Rice. But it’s getting clear that the ABBA-men are drifting into the background. Frida and Agnetha are more and more in the limelight. Why those solo-careers?
Frida: “Look, Something’s Going On is of course not my first solo-album: some years ago, I already did Frida Ensam, a Swedish-language album. No matter how comfortable you feel in a group, at a certain time you get the urge to do something on your own and let your voice be heard. That goes for me, and for Agnetha as well. After all, we are singers and we want to let the audience hear it.”
Agnetha, in the dressing room of the RAI Congress Centre where she performed at the TROS television gala ‘100 jaar ANWB’: “On my solo-album I could fulfil the musical ideas that I couldn’t realize within ABBA. In ABBA, Benny and Björn call the shots, and that is what we agreed upon. But I wanted to get away from those ten years with ABBA. I think I’ve succeeded with this record. Anyway, it’s my seventh solo-album already.”
So, is there a chance that ABBA’s days are counted?
Frida: “We did talk about it, yes. But we do have our obligations to the audience. When ABBA splits up, it won’t be because of a fight or something like that. When we notice that we are growing apart musically, when working in a group no longer satisfies us, then there’s a chance we’ll say: let’s call it a day. But at the moment it’s out of the question.”
We ask Agnetha the same question: if ABBA splits up, what will be the reason for that?
“We can’t go on forever, that much is clear. That’s also one of the reasons for the solo-activities of Frida and myself: we want to get comfortable in that area. But if ABBA ceases to exist, the reason will probably be that there no longer are new musical ideas, when Björn and Benny no longer have inspiration. Don’t forget those two have been writing for ABBA for ten years! At a certain time, it just has to diminish. It’s only natural.”
Both Frida and Agnetha don’t see ABBA coming to an end in the near future. Agnetha even feels that the solo-ventures can be a source of new ideas for the group and a reason to continue. Frida: “Solo-career or not. For me, ABBA still comes first.”