Two of the four members of the band that made spangled
jumpsuits and big boots a trademark attended the bash at the
trendy London museum on Monday night, marking four decades since
the catchy tune won the Eurovision song contest in April 1974
and launched them into international stardom.
Bjorn Ulvaeus, who wrote many of the group's songs with ABBA
co-founder Benny Andersson, said he was stunned by the rise and
rise of ABBA even after it effectively disbanded in 1983.
The band not only lives on through its disco-friendly back
catalogue, but also in the long-running hit show "Mamma Mia",
the film based on the musical, and in the latest offering, a new
"ABBA: The Official Photo Book" launched last month.
"It happened over quite a long period of time," Ulvaeus told
Reuters at the London event, noting that success had not come
"I mean, we didn't have a hit after hit after hit, we had a hit
and then we wrote another song, recorded it, released it and it
was like that. It seems today like it was all happening at the
same time but it wasn't."
He was joined at the party by Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad, one of
the band's two lead singers, who attributed ABBA's success to
the right people getting together at the right time.
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"We knew a bit about the business and the mix of the talents was
probably a wonderful thing and also being couples, being together
and exploring that world, it was a new kind of thing for all of us,"
The partygoers sang "Happy Birthday" to the two band members, to
which Lyngstad responded:
"We really feel privileged, you have to know that. We feel
privileged to be able to survive for 40 years and to stand here
today and celebrate it with you. It's pure happiness. Thank you so
The evening included a disco of ABBA songs, with various cardboard
cut-outs of ABBA members for fans to pose with.
The food served consisted mostly of hotdogs and beer, a tradition
among ABBA fans, and the evening ended with a group called the ABBA
Choir singing some of the group's greatest hits - including
(Writing by Michael Roddy; editing by Hugh Lawson)
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