'Super Trouper': Abba storm British charts with comeback album

Formed in 1972, Abba have won over legions of fans around the world with hits like Waterloo and Dancing Queen.
Formed in 1972, Abba have won over legions of fans around the world with hits like Waterloo and Dancing Queen. PHOTO: ABBA/INSTAGRAM

LONDON (REUTERS, AFP) - Swedish supergroup Abba made a triumphant return to the British music charts on Friday (Nov 12), going straight to No. 1 with their first album in 40 years, Voyage.

The record is the fastest-selling album of the year so far, Britain's Official Charts Company said, with 204,000 chart sales in its first week.

Only three other music acts have passed the 200,000 sales figure in the last decade: Adele with 25, Ed Sheeran with Divide and One Direction's Midnight Memories.

"We are so happy that our fans seem to have enjoyed our new album as much as we enjoyed making it," Abba said in a statement. "We are absolutely over the moon to have an album at the top of the charts again!"

Voyage, which received mixed reviews from critics, is the band's first album since The Visitors (1981). It is Abba's 10th No. 1 album in Britain.

Only seven other acts – The Beatles, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, Robbie Williams, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie – have had more.

"This also marks Abba's 58th total week as UK Number 1 on the Official Albums Chart - only two other acts in history have spent more weeks at the top, The Beatles and Elvis," the Official Charts Company said.

It added that Voyage's total was made up of 90 per cent physical copies, including 29,900 on vinyl, making it "the fastest-selling vinyl release of the century".

The previous record holder was rock band Arctic Monkeys’ Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, which sold 24,500 vinyl copies in 2018.

In the summer, Abba's greatest hits compilation album, Gold, surpassed its 1,000th week on the British albums chart.

Formed in 1972, the Swedish quartet of Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad have won over legions of fans around the world with hits like Waterloo and Dancing Queen and sold an estimated 385 million records.

They split in 1982, with rumours swirling for years they would reunite on stage.

In an interview with Reuters last week, Ulvaeus, 76, said Voyage might be the last new venture by one of the biggest-selling bands of all time.

However, Lyngstad, 75, left the door open in an interview with BBC Radio 2 on Thursday, saying: "I have learned to say never to say never ... you never know. So don't be too sure."