They’re the defunct Swedish pop group who took the world by storm after winning the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 in Brighton, England.
And earlier this month ABBA — the four-piece behind some of pop music’s most enduring tracks — added another honour to their impressive CV, as they received a prestigious Blue Plaque from BBC Sussex and the British Plaque Trust.
On June 15 — the BBC Day of Music — 47 Blue Plaques were awarded throughout the UK to recognise people or places that have made a lasting impact on popular music in the country.
Mike Reid, the chairman of the British Plaque Trust, said:
A blue plaque is a recognised symbol of our national heritage, a visible milestone in our history which serves as a permanent reminder of who we are, where we’ve been and what we’ve achieved. The British Plaque Trust commemorates notable people from all walks of life who have made an important contribution to the history of our nation. We are delighted to have worked with the BBC towards Music Day 2017 for the last six months, making it possible to add deserving local music legends to the footprint of British history.
Among the other recipients were David Bowie, who received two, one in London and one in Kent; the Fox And Hounds in Caversham, where John Lennon and Paul McCartney played their only gig as The Nerk Twins; and the Doctor Who theme composer Delia Derbyshire.
ABBA: From Brighton to the world
April 6. Brighton, England. The 19th edition of Eurovision. Olivia Newton-John is singing for the home country. But a challenge is coming from Sweden in the form of ABBA — a daring quartet in some decidedly provocative outfits for the time.
In the end ABBA won the day. Their glam rock-influenced track “Waterloo” was something very unusual for Eurovision, where schlager and ballads ruled. The song’s originality made it an international hit, even outside Europe — which, despite the Internet, remains quite rare for a Eurovision song. It charted at No. 6 in the United States and at No. 4 in Australia.
But most notably it was the first step on ABBA’s route to global stardom. Over the next eight years they would become one of the most popular bands on the planet, with a string of evergreen hits including “Dancing Queen“, “Mamma Mia” and “The Winner Takes It All“.
They remain one of the best-selling and most influential pop artists of all time — and well after their 1982 split. The Blue Plaque is more than deserved and, if anything, a tad late.
A few months ago news surfaced that ABBA might appear together on stage again — though not in person, but as holograms. The reports have since been confirmed as true, with former member Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad saying, “Our fans around the world are always asking us to reform and so I hope this new ABBA creation will excite them as much as it excites me!”
But the show, which is expected to premiere in 2018, is not the only the only way fans can enjoy ABBA’s music. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, the sequel to the musical and the 2008 film hit Mamma Mia!, has also been confirmed for 2018. And then there’s ABBA: The Museum, which opened in 2013, and which has already become one of the most popular museums in Stockholm.
Mamma Mia! The Party also honours ABBA’s vast legacy. A mix of a Greek taverna, a club and a theatrical stage, Mamma Mia! The Party is a unique experience that blends ABBA’s music, food and partying. Careful dancing queens: You don’t want to drop Swedish meatballs on your white dress! The first venue is a part of the Gröna Lund park on Djurgården, an island in Stockholm. A second venue is coming to London.
Further proof of the group’s lasting popularity comes in the recent announcement that eight solo albums will be reissued on coloured vinyl on the 28th of July.