Mamma Mia! 10 Amazing Facts About ABBA
It is said that more than 3,300 ABBA records are sold every day all over the world. The group dominated the charts in Sweden in their heyday to such an extent that a special rule was handed down, restricting each release to just 10 weeks in the top slot.
Agnetha and Bjorn married in 1971, and Frida and Benny waited until October 1978 to get hitched. The two married couples were a rarity in pop music, and it is not known if there was a wife-swapping going on, though it would explain "Knowing Me, Knowing You" a little. Both couples were divorced by 1981, two years before the band's breakup.
ABBA is also the name of a Swedish canned-fish company, that luckily was cool with a pop group as the same name. Seriously, with those album sales it couldn't be anything but beneficial, right?
ABBA - The Movie and ABBA - The Album debuted in December 1977. The plot centered on a bumbling DJ who is tasked with getting a "dialogue" with the group by his boss, and the shenanigans involved in his quest to pin down the group. If there was a movie screaming for a deluxe 3D re-release, it's this one. All those white teeth, it would be like Shark Week. Here's the trailer:
The group's squeaky-clean image was tarnished after Robert Plant, that Robert Plant, revealed that he had often enjoyed attending porn clubs with Bjorn and Benny from time to time. They went to escape their somewhat wholesome wives. The thought of Zep's lead singer and the dudes from ABBA hanging out watching live sex shows aside, imagine the two bands joining forces.
Frida, the foxy brunette, was the product of an affair between a Norwegian woman and a Nazi soldier. Her mother was involved in one of SS chief Heinrich Himmler's Lebensborn houses, meant to "mate" supposed Nazi supermen with pure white Norwegian women. The innocent products of these conquests were not always treated humanley, and many were abused. Frida met her father years later and reconciled.
The band broke up in 1982. Bjorn has since said, "ABBA never officially broke up. In 1982, we just said we were going to have a rest and that was it." The group have not worked together since they scuttled an album after tracking just six songs. The four members were offered $1 billion dollars in 2000 to reunite for a tour, but declined. They have said that they would reunite for a one-off show just for charity, but nothing has materialized. In 1999 the group did reform privately to sing a birthday greeting for Benny and Bjorn's manager Gorel Hanser's 50th birthday.
Since the band's split, a cottage industry of tribute acts has tried to fill the hole left by ABBA in the world. Most newer fans never saw the group live, so tribute acts are the only way to experience the music in concert. Our favorite is GABBA, which performs ABBA songs in the style of the Ramones.
ABBA's modern legacy was in part helped along by 1994's The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, a campy Australian flick about the travels of some drag queens in the desert on the way to a gig, featuring a then-unknown Guy Pearce as a drag queen. The 1999 staging of the ABBA-soundtracked musical Mamma Mia! in London's West End, and the subsequent film adaptation in 2008 with Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan, also ushered in a whole new line of ABBA devotees. Rocks Off fell asleep watching Mamma Mia! last Thanksgiving Day at our parents' house.
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