Other projects involving the ABBA members
This page is dedicated to the post-ABBA work of the former members. They have all been involved in all kind of works, from charity concerts to guest appearances on other artists' records. Worth mentioning are also the "secret ABBA appearences" at good friends' birthday parties such as Stig Andersson and Görel Hanser's. Souvenirs from these events are recordings of specially written and performed songs, and these are very much prized amongst ABBA fans these days.
The end of ABBA was not the end of Björn and Benny's successful partnership. Just as they were a great team before ABBA, their work after ABBA has been hugely successful. Most notable are the four musicals they have been involved in:
- Chess - Created with Tim 'Jesus Christ Superstar' Rice, a strong and bittersweet story about love and betrayal involving cold-war politics, all evolving around a chess tournament. The chess board becomes the allegory for the 'games' in real life, and the most well-known songs from Chess are One Night in Bangkok, Anthem and I Know Him So Well.
- Kristina Från Duvemåla - A musical based on novels by Swedish writer Vilhelm Moberg and about Swedish emigrants to the US in the late 19th century, about their hardship in Sweden, their long journey across the Atlantic and the joys and difficulties awaiting them in America. The musical was a huge success in Sweden and has been performed in a concert version in English in New York and London. More recently, a new stage production of the Swedish version opened in Finland. Well-known songs from Kristina are Guldet Blev Till Sand and Du Måste Finnas.
- Mamma Mia! - Is a completely different musical, a light-hearted, feel-good-story about a girl who is getting married and wants to invite her father. She does not know who of three potential candidates it is, and so she invites them all. This musical is based on ABBA songs, and has been staged all around the world. A film version starring Meryl Streep was also made in 2008.
- Hjälp Sökes as another very successful collaboration between B&B, Kristina Lugn and Lars Rudolfsson. It is a musical play that focuses on two brothers who have inherited a farm and two women who come to assist them - as well as a bunch of wonderful trained farm animals. Hjälp Sökes premiered at the Orion Theatre in Stockholm in 2013 with a sell-out run and was taken to Copenhagen in 2015 in Danish.
Recordings of the Musicals
All of the musicals have been recorded several times, and the list below is by no means exhaustive.
The original Chess cast recording
The Broadway Chess cast recording
Chess På Svenska, the Swedish cast recording
The DVD of the Swedish Chess production
Kristina Från Duvemåla cast recording
The Best Of Kristina Från Duvemåla
Mamma Mia! original UK cast recording
Mamma Mia! Swedish cast recording
Read more about the musicals on the Björn Page.
Perhaps the most well-known film featuring a former ABBA member is Raskenstam in which Agnetha plays the young lover of a casanova. Benny has also been involved in several film projects as a writer of original soundtracks; among these are Mio My Mio, a children's movie for which Benny wrote the title theme and performed by the group Gemini, as well as several other Swedish films. There are many films out there featuring ABBA’s music, including Muriel's Wedding and Priscilla - Queen of the Desert.
Benny and his son Ludvig took on a rather successful film project, Circeln, that premiered in Sweden in 2015. Circeln is part of a book trilogy written by Mats Strandberg and Sara Bergmark Elfgren that links teenagehood with magic elements.
Work with other artists
ABBA members have been on stage together with all kinds of artists from U2 to Earth Wind and Fire. Frida has recorded with Marie Fredriksson of Roxette, Italian opera singer Filippa Giordano and Jon Lord of Deep Purple, while Agnetha recorded with Ola Håkansson of Secret Service and with Gary Barlow of Take That.
Björn and Benny have produced work by several other artists - more about these collaborations can be found on the Related Artists page. In any case, if you started counting all the artists who have covered ABBA’s music, you would probably end up with a figure well into the hundreds, with all kinds of genres from opera to metal. There is Madonna, Westlife, Kylie Minogue, Erasure, Bananarama, Mike Oldfield, Army of Lovers, Steps, Culture Club, The Corrs, Pandora, Alcazar – just to mention a few.
Further details can also be found on the pages that relate to the individual ABBA members.
A few especially notable collaborations
- The B&B/Från Waterloo till Duvemåla concerts - In the late 90s, Swedish artists like Anders and Karin Glenmark, Helen Sjöholm, Tommy Körberg, Janne Schaffer, Kalle Moreus and others performed Björn and Benny's music from the Hep Stars era up to Kristina från Duvemåla. Concerts took place in Sweden as well as China and the USA, resulting in a live recording, but the concerts were also shown on TV in several countries.
- Touring/concert versions of the musicals - Both Chess and Kristina Från Duvemåla have been performed in touring concert versions and/or one off concerts, featuring several artists and often including some of the original singers. The Chess concert tour resulted in a live album, Chess in Concert, and Kristina Från Duvemåla was recorded live at the Carnegie Hall in New York.
- Det Naturliga Steget [The Natural Step]/Artister För Miljö [Artists for the Environment] - Det Naturliga Steget was an environmental organisation which, for a while, had Frida as a member of its board. Frida then formed the sub-organisation Artister För Miljö, which organised the Konsert på Borggården [Concert in the Courtyard] in one of the inner courtyards at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. Frida sang Julian Lennon's Saltwater.
- The last video - A funny and heart-warming piece with ABBA as dolls, meeting the big record company boss and performing a few ABBA tracks. This was shown at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 and it featured the real ABBA members too, in different roles, as well as a surprise guest, Cher. It is available on DVD.
- Abbacadabra (not to be mixed up with the tribute band with the same name) - A French TV-musical from the 80s, built around French language versions of ABBA songs and featuring Plastic Bertrand – a Mamma Mia! before Mamma Mia! so to speak. Just for fun, Frida performed one of the songs.
Most of these CDs and DVDs mentioned can still be purchased from the ABBA Fan Club Shop.