Sweden’s Abba reunite to save Mamma Mia island

The four members of Abba have promised to sing again in public for the first time in more than three decades, a Greek tourism boss has told The Local.

Sweden's Abba reunite to save Mamma Mia island
Abba in 1980. This is not what they look like today. Photo: TT

* Sorry! This story was an April Fools' Day joke and Abba have no plans to perform together *

It may not be the world tour fans were hoping for, but excitement will still likely be high when the four members of Abba perform a one-off gig on the Greek island featured in the movie version of Mamma Mia!

The news follows the band's brief reunion at the launch of 'Mamma Mia! The Party' in January, Björn Ulveaus' new business venture which sets Abba tracks to a new plot based in a Greek taverna, where guests are also invited to dine as they watch the action.

Now it seems the Swedes are planning to use their pull to pay back their dues to the original Mediterranean island that inspired Ulveaus.

“We're absolutely thrilled to welcome them to Skopelos,” tourism boss Christos Flipflopolous told The Local after revealing the news on Friday. “Everyone loves Abba, they're absolute legends.”

Abba fans have already been flocking to the island since the 2008 movie, which starred Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Sweden's Stellan Skarsgård.

But the October gig follows in the wake of criticism from local Skopelos residents, who claim that the blockbuster, which was filmed on the island, ruined its historic sites and genuine feel.

“All proceeds from the concert will be fed back to the community, to help us restore the island to pre-Mamma Mia glory, while still being able to accommodate tourists,” said Flipflopolous.

READ ALSO: The historic moment Abba reunited on stage

The cast at the premiere of Mamma Mia! The Movie. Photo: Leif R Jansson/Scanpix

A note of warning to the most avid Abba fans among you: before you sell your house, car and youngest child to snap up concert tickets, note that we're not talking a full-length gig and reunion tour.

According to island officials, the Swedes have signed up to play just one song on stage together at the annual Skopelos Festival of Music, a week-long festival which celebrates Greek culture.

They are understood to be scheduled to perform on October 4th, coinciding with Sweden's cinnamon roll day, although it was not known whether the beloved pastry would feature in the festivities.

“Haha, I'll tell our bakers to start working on a cinnamon bun souvlaki immediately,” joked Flipflopolous when asked by The Local if he knew about the date's significance.

Abba appearing briefly on stage earlier this year. Photo: Anders Westin/Westin Promotion/TT

The four Abba legends – Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog – grabbed global headlines when they appeared on stage together for the first time in three decades at the opening night of 'Mamma Mia! The Party' at the start of the year.

Stockholmer Micke Bayart, who used to run an Abba fan club and has published a book about the band, told The Local from inside the venue at the time that seeing the four former pop stars posing for pictures together was “a dream come true that no one believed would happen”.


ABBA’s first album in 40 years shoots to the top of the UK charts

ABBA's first studio album in nearly 40 years has made it to the top of the UK charts, becoming the fastest seller of the year so far, the Official Charts Company said on Friday.

ABBA's first album in 40 years shoots to the top of the UK charts
ABBA's new album, 'Voyage' for sale in Stockholm at the start of this month. Photo: Jonatan Nackstrand/AFP

“Voyage” by the Swedish quartet of Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid racked up 204,000 chart sales in the seven days since it was launched last Friday.

Sales gave the supergroup the biggest opening week on the UK album chart in four years since Ed Sheeran’s “Divide”, and fastest-selling album by a group in eight years.

The last fastest-seller was One Direction’s “Midnight Memories” in November 2013.

READ ALSO: Abba’s new album has arrived – tell us, what do you think?

ABBA, propelled to global fame by their 1974 Eurovision Song Contest win with “Waterloo”, split in 1982, a year after their last album, “The Visitors”.

“Voyage” is their 10th number one album in the UK: only seven other acts — The Beatles, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, Robbie Williams, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie — have had more.

The group said in a statement: “We are so happy that our fans seem to have enjoyed our new album as much as we enjoyed making it.

“We are absolutely over the moon to have an album at the top of the charts again.”

The 204,000 sales comprise 90 percent physical copies, including 29,900 on vinyl, making it the fastest-selling vinyl release of the 21st century.

The previous record holder was the Arctic Monkeys’ “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino”, which sold 24,500 vinyl copies in 2018.