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The drama and heartache behind ABBA's disco hits

“Although ABBA songs were often sung with beaming smiles and a radiant gleam of euphoria in their eyes, there was always a contrast between affirmative speech and a tone of sadness and regret that colored even the most cheerful melodies...”

Sad stories about the iconic Swedish pop quartet that you might not know

With more than 350 million album sales, record-breaking tours around the world and a dedicated fan base that most artists only dream of, ABBA is the iconic pop quartet of all time! And today, after a huge number of years, the question involuntarily comes to mind: “So why ABBA disbanded in 1982 year, at the peak of its success? It turns out that it was a huge challenge for the four members of the legendary group to continue performing together... "ABBE" until the moment of disintegration, began in the early days of the group's existence. Debilitating phobias, divorce, addiction and regret haunted them since 1972 years… In fact, many artists see drama as an integral part of their success. As ABBA biographer noted Carl Magnus Palm:

“Although ABBA songs were often sung with beaming smiles and a radiant gleam of euphoria in their eyes, there was always a contrast between affirmative speech and a tone of sadness and regret that colored even the most cheerful melodies…”

Agnetha Fältskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad These four continued to create worldwide hits even during their chaotic ups and downs...

Both couples in the group divorced, but were forced to continue touring with their exes.

ABBA
ABBA

For some time ABBA was not just a group, but a happy family! However… everything changed in 1979 year when Agnetha Fältskog and Bjorn Ulvaeus announced the upcoming divorce ... A few years later, namely in 1981 year, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lingstad also broke up. Despite all the heartache, "bandmates" were forced to continue touring together ...

Members ABBAseemed to be silent about the reasons for the gap, but one day Andersson noted:

“Really serious events took place in real life, and not just in our working life…”

Benny Andersson struggled with alcohol addiction for a long time

Benny Andersson
Benny Andersson

Many fans may have speculated about alcohol addiction Benny Andersson, but the songwriter recovered and spoke personally about the extent of his problems that haunted him in the era ABBA. In 2018 Andersson shared his sad experience in an interview:

“I knew that I had problems ... I didn’t feel well without alcohol. I asked for help and I got it. I knew that if I continued to drink, there was a risk of losing everything ... "The musician continues:" Stop drinking - this is one of the best decisions I have made! Actually, like quitting smoking: I quit smoking on my 40th birthday! But unlike that bad habit, quitting drinking was a necessity. It interfered with everything! There comes a moment when alcohol takes all the place in your life ... And this must be fought, not put up with!

Agnetha Faltskog was terribly afraid of the stage and planes

AGNETA FALZKOG (ABBA) – Lollipop 1970.
AGNETA FALZKOG (ABBA) – Lollipop 1970.

In my best years Agnetha Faltskog became an international symbol of beauty and one of the most popular members of the group! However, at times fame brought her inconvenience. In an interview, she described her stage fright, saying:

“None of those who have faced a screaming, seething, hysterical audience can not avoid trembling in the spine. It’s a fine line between celebration and menace…”

Her morale deteriorated when ABBA became more successful. IN 1979 the group's private jet flew from New York to Boston, Massachusettswhen he encountered severe turbulence caused by a tornado... They crash-landed in Manchester, New Hampshire. The incident scared Fältskog so much so that she began to experience a strong fear of flying.

There was a bomb threat during their 1977 Australian tour

ABBA Live At Radio City Music Hal. 70's
ABBA Live At Radio City Music Hal. 70's

Peak "ABBA Mania" fell on their Australian 1977 tour. According to the Sunday Telegraph, about 200 policemen were managing a crowd that numbered in the thousands when the group landed in Sydney. Annie-Fried Lingstad recalled:

“Getting off the plane to applause, and also looking at all those boards with messages of love from people, it was like an energy injection that literally never stopped throughout the tour…”

But there were also dark moments of glory... So, during the tour, there was a bomb threat! Fortunately, the alarm turned out to be false.

Agnetha Fältskog was in a serious bus accident

Agnetha Fältskog became perhaps the most famous face of the world's most popular pop group in the 1970s and early 1980s: ABBA
Agnetha Fältskog became perhaps the most famous face of the world's most popular pop group in the 1970s and early 1980s: ABBA

After a terrible flight in 1979 made her afraid of airplanes Agnetha Faltskog I chose to travel mostly by bus. However, in 1983 She had a serious accident while on a trip to Sweden. Her private bus overturned, causing her to be thrown out of the window… She later noted:

“I need a guardian angel to watch over me because I was so unlucky, but luckily I survived. But you know - I think it's very good to face your fears face to face ... "

Anni-Frid Lingstad's family was ostracized

Annie-Fried Lingstad
Annie-Fried Lingstad

Annie-Fried Lingstad was born in 1945 year. Singer's father Alfred Haase, was a German soldier and reportedly left his mother Lingstad after World War II. As a result, in Norway, the family Lingstad was ostracized because the girl's father was a German ...

Mom and grandmother Lingstad had to move to Sweden, where her mother died before the girl was 2 years old.

Anni-Fried Lingstad and Benny Andersson left their children behind to focus on the band

Anni-Frid Lingstad and Benny Andersson
Anni-Frid Lingstad and Benny Andersson

After success on Eurovision 1974 year with song "Waterloo" ABBA began their steady ascent to the title of superstar ... "Mamma Mia." brought the group a number one hit in many markets, and already in 1976 year their album Greatest Hits sold incredibly well! However, success came at a price. Anni-Frid Lingstad and Benny Andersson spent a lot of time away from their children (from earlier relationships) while touring. Lingstad, who left her two babies with her father in Stockholm, said:

“How can I, who can’t even take care of myself during depression, pretend to take care of them?”

One day they got the rights to oil instead of money

ABBA
ABBA

At the height of the cold war ABBA found an unexpected but enthusiastic audience! Due to strict censorship, only a trickle of Western pop music made it to Soviet Union through the Iron Curtain… the USSR an ideal cultural source: the group has amassed a large fan base there! However, getting paid for your work was not so easy ...

Ultimately leadership ABBA arranged for the group to obtain rights to commodities, namely oil! Well: a smart investment that has contributed to ABBA's fortunes.

They turned down a $1 billion reunion offer

ABBA Band. 80-е
ABBA Band. 80-е

Even after the breakup of the group in 1982 year "ABBA-mania did not subside". Fully proving phenomenal resilience, in 2010 the band turned down an offer to reunite and play a 100-show tour! For a minute: they were offered 1 billion dollars! Benny Andersson commented it like this:

"That's a hell of a lot of money to say no, but we decided it wasn't for us..."

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