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Music

ABBA to reunite for 2018 virtual reality collaboration with Simon Fuller

Swedish pop group Abba
This 1977 photo shows the Swedish pop group ABBA: from left, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Agnetha (known as Anna) Faltskog, Anni-Frid (known as Frida) Lyngstad and Benny Anderson.
(Associated Press)

Swedish pop group ABBA is reuniting after 34 years to collaborate with British music impresario Simon Fuller on a still-to-be-specified project that is expected to surface in 2018, various U.K. news outlets are reporting.

The quartet consisting of Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad — the first letter of each member’s given name creating the group’s acronym — will come together again for a project described by the participants as a “groundbreaking venture that will utilize the very latest in digital and virtual reality technology.” 

For more than three decades ABBA had steadfastly turned down any and all reunion offers, even declining to perform upon their 2010 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of  Fame.

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Now, however, Andersson has been quoted saying they’re reversing course because “We’re inspired by the limitless possibilities of what the future holds and are loving being a part of creating something new and dramatic here. A time machine that captures the essence of who we were. And are.”

Said Fuller, “The creativity and ideas flowing from the members of ABBA over the past few months have filled me with great excitement.”

Potentially a holographic production of some kind, the project aims to bring ABBA’s music to new generations of listeners too young to have experienced the group during its heyday in the 1970s and early 1980s, when it turned out frothy hit after hit such as “Dancing Queen,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Waterloo,” “Fernando” and others.

“We are exploring a new technological world, with virtual reality and artificial intelligence at the forefront, that will allow us to create new forms of entertainment and content we couldn’t have previously imagined,” Fuller said.

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The four musicians performed together in June for the first time since the breakup at a private function in Stockholm to mark the act’s 50th anniversary.

More details about the new project are said to be coming next year.

randy.lewis@latimes.com

Follow @RandyLewis2 on Twitter.com

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