‘The best pure pop band of all time’: How the world reacted to Abba’s reunion

Brand new Abba music will be released for the first time in 35 years, and considering the Swedish pop powerhouse has shifted more than 400 million albums of the previous material, that's a pretty big deal. Here are some of the best reactions to the shock news.

'The best pure pop band of all time': How the world reacted to Abba's reunion
Fans still can't get enough. Critics still aren't convinced. Photo: AP

The Abba news has resonated across the world, but in home nation Sweden it's drumming up excitement that's the equivalent of The Beatles getting back together. So big a deal in fact that public broadcaster SVT sent reporters out on the street to get the general public's snap reaction. The response was a predictable measure of shock and awe, except from Peter, 58, who cynically mused “I wonder if they really met or just did it digitally like everyone else these days?”

American author Maureen Johnson was less measured about the bombshell.

READ ALSO: Abba records first new music in 35 years

It was a big day for some people in The Local Sweden's office too. Perhaps the biggest ever?

Norwegian journalist Jan Aage Fjortoft put the announcement in context of what has been a Friday of big news in many field.

And there could be more news to come yet, comedian Caitlin Moran predicted.

Perhaps it could be the addition of a new lonely Lindsey Buckingham, who parted ways with Fleetwood Mac (again) earlier this month? Perhaps not.

Might even Donald Trump's thunder have been stolen by Swedish disco pop, Bloomberg's Thomas Penny asked?

Nils Hansson, writing in Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, took a less romantic view of the new music, seeing it more as an effort to drum up publicity for their forthcoming virtual reality tour than an artistic development.

“It will make Abba even more of a perpetual motion machine, regardless of whether there's further new music or not. The publicity will continue to grow, bet on it.”

READ MORE: What you need to know about the Abba reunion

And unimpressed comedian Al Murray stood his ground, refusing to get caught up in the hype.

But in response to some of the inevitable backlash, fans fought back and defended Abba's credentials.

Whether you like Abba or not, it's hard to objectively argue that this photoshoot was cool:

And as a closing point, the official Sweden Twitter account pleaded that anyone who wants to celebrate the reunion does so with the right flag (New York Stock Exchange, we're looking at you).

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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.