The enduring popularity of Abba is reflected in London’s newest tourist attraction – a museum/indoor theme park called ABBAWORLD.
The colourful Swedish quartet that gave the world Dancing Queen and other hit songs has sold 400 million records since its 1970s heyday and spawned the hugely successful stage and film musical, Mamma Mia.
The band’s story is told in 25 rooms spread over 30,000 square feet. Glass cases contain costumes in silk, satin and spandex. Visitors can see re-creations of Polar Studios, where the band recorded, and the seaside cabin near Stockholm where Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson composed the hits.
Ulvaeus and fellow Abba member Anni-Frid Lyngstad performed the opening ceremony at the venue at Earl’s Court.
“The ABBAWORLD experience is fantastic for us as well as for the fans,” said Ulvaeus. “We’ve been reunited tonight with a lot of great people who worked with us and supported Abba in the past.”
Lyngstad was misty-eyed:
“Going through ABBAWORLD brought back so many great memories. Seeing myself dancing as a 3D hologram and all the amazing stage clothes we wore, it’s just fantastic. It was a magical time and ABBAWORLD lets the magic live on.”
by Andy Moreton
Tickets are available online at www.abbaworld.com, and don’t forget that Luxique has an unbeatable selection of luxury hotels in London.
Abba’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus are releasing their first new material as a musical partnership for more than 15 years, including a track performed by the staff of Andersson’s Stockholm hotel, Rival.
One of their two new songs, 2nd Best To None, was inspired by festivities at a party last September celebrating the fifth anniversary of the hotel. Andersson said he realised that at least 20 hotel employees were singing in amateur choirs in Stockholm.
“I asked them, ‘Do you want me to write a song for you …?’ They said yes, so I asked Björn if he would like to write the lyrics, and we recorded it with the staff. It’s just a lot of fun and it’s taking care of the staff at the hotel more than anything else.” The song has been released as a single in Sweden.
The pair’s other new number, Story of a Heart, will appear on the first English-language album from Andersson’s current band.
by Andy Moreton
You can hear see the staff performing 2nd Best To None at http://www.rival.se and, of course, you can book rooms at the Rival hotel in Stockholm at the best rates through Luxique.