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The Beginning

The ABBA band began in June 1966 when Björn Ulvaeus born in 1945 met Benny Andersson (born 1946) for the first time. Björn was a member of the Hootenanny Singers, a very popular folk music group, while Benny played keyboards in Sweden’s biggest pop group of the 1960s.

The pair wrote their first song together in the late 1966, and by the end of the decade they hadestablished a regular partnership as composers. By that time, Benny had left The Hep Stars which was his original band. Stig Anderson (1931–1997) was ABBA’s manager. Stig also wrote many lyrics of ABBA hits during the first years of the group’s career.

In the spring of 1969, Björn and Benny met the two women who were to become not only their fiancées but also the girl half of ABBA. Agnetha Fältskog(born 1950) married Björn in July 1971. Anni-Frid Lyngstad (born 1945), also known as Frida, she was a very good singer. Anni-Frid and Benny only got married later though.

Their first “hit” was in spring of 1972 they recorded a song called ‘People Need Love’, it became a small hit in Sweden. At this time they called themselves Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid.

Encouraged by thissuccess, they entered the 1973 Swedish selections for the Eurovision Song Contest with the song ‘Ring Ring’. They finished third, but the single and the album of the same name competed for the top positions on the Swedish chart. ‘Ring Ring’ also became a hit in several other European countries.

The group entered the selections again in 1974, this time with ‘Waterloo’, which took them all the way tothe finals in Brighton, England. By this time they had changed their name to ABBA, an acronym of their first names. ABBA was also the name of a Swedish canned fish company, which luckily agreed to lending their name to a pop group. The Eurovision Song Contest on April 6, 1974 turned out to be the most famous moment in ABBA history, when the group won the international juries over with ‘Waterloo’.Success

1 ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest on April 6, 1974. Soon after this triumph ‘Waterloo’ was Number One on the charts all over Europe, and even reached the US Top Ten.

The album of the same name was a huge hit in Sweden. However, ABBA won a TV competition so people found couldn't take them seriously when they tried to follow this first success. It was not until some 18 monthslater that they got a major world hit again with ‘SOS’, taken off their third album, simply titled ABBA.

‘Mamma Mia’, also taken from the album ABBA, returned the group to the UK Number One spot, which they occupied a total of nine times between 1974 and 1980. ‘Mamma Mia’ was also a Number One hit in Australia. Over the next few years, Australia would be one of ABBA's number one nation's fan.In 1976 ABBA became one of the most popular band's in the world. Classic single releases such as ‘Fernando’ and ‘Dancing Queen’ topped the charts all over the world. In April 1977, ‘Dancing Queen’ became ABBA’s only US Number One.

In late 1976 ABBA’s fourth album, Arrival, was released. The album stormed up the charts with hits such as ‘Money, Money, Money’ and ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’. Thiswas followed by a concert tour of Europe and Australia between January and March 1977. The tour was a complete success with capacity houses everywhere. When they were on tour they also started some work on the movie called simply ABBA the movie.

ABBA’s sixth album, Voulez-Vous was released in April 1979. Earlier that year, Björn and Agnetha announced their divorce. This did not mean the end ofABBA, but it did overthrow their image of two happy, music-making couples.

ABBA’s single ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’ was released in the autumn of 1979, which was one of there most famous singles ever made.


3 The END

4 In March 1980, ABBA took their tour to Japan for what turned out to be their very last live concerts. The rest of the year was devoted to the...
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