ABBA, one of the most successful pop groups of all time continued to make music history this week, as Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid returned to the top of global charts with the release of Voyage.
The release is their first studio album in nearly 40 years. Voyage debuted at number 1 on album charts in 18 countries, breaking multiple sales and chart records worldwide. The album, released on Universal Music Group on November 5, achieved worldwide sales in excess of 1 million copies in its first week, and has received more than 190 million combined streams to date.
Speaking on the early success of Voyage,
“We are so happy that our fans seem to have enjoyed our new album as much as we enjoyed making it! We are absolutely over the moon to have an album at the top of the charts again” – ABBA.
Voyage is ABBA’s first studio album since The Visitors, which was released on the 30th November 1981, hitting the #1 spot in the UK, Sweden and five other countries and also comes nearly five decades after the band’s debut album Ring Ring, released in 1973.
As with all previous ABBA studio albums, the latest issue was written and produced by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, their arrangements and lyrics complemented through the unmistakable and timeless vocals of Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. Much of the programming and mixing was undertaken by Benny, with the album also featuring the Stockholm Concert Orchestra.
The new album saw the four members of ABBA head back into Benny’s studio Riksmixningsverket in Stockholm over a four-year period to record the ten songs that feature on the album. These include ‘I Still Have Faith In You’, and ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’, the first two songs to be recorded in these new sessions.
Earlier this week ABBA announced details of their first-ever Christmas single ‘Little Things’, which will be released on CD through Universal Music Group on Friday 3rd December. Taken from Voyage – ‘Little Things’ is a gentle reflection on the joy of Christmas morning and family time around this special time of year.
The arrival of Voyage on the global charts, has also seen an increase in listening across ABBA’s catalogue, with several albums returning to charts as fans have re-engaged with their timeless catalogue of songs.
Voyage achieved worldwide sales in excess of 1 million copies in its first week and has received more than 190 million combined streams to date. Here in the UK the album became ABBA’s 10th UK Number 1, and their first to top the Official Albums Chart in 40 years. It is 2021’s fastest-selling album to date and registered the biggest first-week sales in four years (203,909). It is also the fastest-selling vinyl release of the century.
In Germany in reaching number 1, Voyage was certified Platinum with first-week sales of (205,000) making it the highest international debut in Germany in six years while stateside it debuted at #1 on the Top Albums chart, as the band achieved their biggest ever US chart debut. ABBA also claimed the highest sales week in 2021 for a group.
Down under in Australia Voyage was the biggest album debut of 2021. The album achieved multiple gold and platinum certifications around the world. Voyage is the biggest international debut of the year in Japan, Germany, Australia and France. (As well as the UK).
Next year will see the opening of ABBA Voyage, the revolutionary concert that will see Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid as digital avatars at their very own purpose-built ‘ABBA Arena’ at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, performing a set-list of ABBA’s greatest hits along with two songs from Voyage, ‘I Still Have Faith In You’ and ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’, alongside a ten-piece live band. The ABBA Voyage concert opens 27th May 2022 at the ABBA arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London
ABBA Voyage is directed by Baillie Walsh (Flashbacks of a Fool, Being James Bond, Springsteen and I), and produced by Svana Gisla (David Bowie Blackstar/Lazarus, Beyoncé and Jay Z for HBO, Springsteen and I) and Ludvig Andersson (And Then We Danced, Yung Lean – “In My Head”, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again). Tickets for ABBA Voyage are on sale now from abbavoyage.com
ABBA’s new album Voyage is available now on Universal Music Group