Abba celebrates 50 years of still ‘dizzying’ support

It has been 50 years since Swedish group Abba won Eurovision with their hit Waterloo.

It has been 50 years since Swedish group Abba won Eurovision with their hit Waterloo. Photo: AAP

Abba has thanked fans for their “steadfast loyalty and support” as the band celebrates the 50th anniversary of their Eurovision Song Contest victory.

The Swedish pop supergroup – made up of Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad – won the competition with their hit song Waterloo on April 6 1974 at Brighton Dome’s Concert Hall.

To mark the anniversary, several pianos across Europe will simultaneously play a piece pre-recorded by Andersson and which is designed to make it appear as if he is playing live.

Reflecting on the milestone, the group issued a joint statement saying: “It’s slightly dizzying and deeply humbling to think that millions of you who saw us for the first time in the Eurovision final 1974 have passed our music on not only to one generation, but to several.

“We see evidence of that every time one of us visits Abba Voyage in London, and it’s because of this we can celebrate the 50th anniversary of that event in the knowledge that our songs still resonate around the world.”

The members said they find it “difficult to comprehend” that 50 years has passed since their success in Brighton, adding: “So what were our dreams during those suspenseful moments or in the chaos in the aftermath of the victory we had secured with the smallest margin in Eurovision history?

Marking the anniversary, UK jury member Basil Herwald finally spoke to Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus on BBC Radio 4 about the infamous ‘nul points’ they gave the band.

“Four different dreams, no doubt, but whatever they were, however grand, reality has surpassed them, that’s for sure.

“Many of you were there from the very start and have followed us ever since – for over half a century!

“Music you discover and learn to love when you grow up or even later in life has a way of staying with you forever.

“We share that experience with you and to know that our music has become a constant in your lives is a wonderful thing.”

The statement also said: “Throughout the years we have been blessed with the outpouring of love from you, our fans.

“We feel it and we want to know that hardly a day goes by when we’re not reminded of it. To say thank you for what you’re giving us without sounding trivial is not easy and this is not a moment of triviality.

In Brighton, where the 1974 Eurovision was held, fans staged a flashmob dance and silent ABBA disco. Photo: AAP

“It is a happy and, at the same time, solemn moment and we can only hope that you understand how deeply grateful we are for a long, successful career and for your steadfast loyalty and support through the years. Thank you!”

As part of the celebrations, fans will be able to listen to the “piano moment” in major cities, including at London’s Waterloo station and in Berlin, Warsaw and Stockholm, where every hour the instruments will play a short piece pre-recorded by Andersson in unison that will “be experienced as if Benny were there and playing live”, the group has said.

Abba has reissued their album Waterloo, which was first released in March 1974 with songs including My Mama Said and Honey, Honey, as a limited edition box set in celebration of milestone.

On Thursday, a plaque was unveiled outside Brighton Dome to mark the anniversary of the win.

The band went on to have a string of chart-topping singles and albums, including Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!, Dancing Queen, Super Trouper, The Winner Takes It All and Mamma Mia.

Ulvaeus and Faltskog wed a year before Abba formed, with Andersson and Lyngstad marrying at the height of their fame, although both couples later divorced.

The group split in 1982 after 10 years but reunited and released their first new music in almost 40 years with their ninth studio album Voyage in 2021, which topped the UK album charts.

However, though this year’s Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Sweden, Andersson told BBC Newsnight last year there is “no way” the group will reunite or even walk on stage together during the event.


Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.