In September, pop legends ABBA announced their return after 40 years with a brand new studio album called Voyage.
According to Universal Music Group, which describes ABBA as one “the most successful pop groups of all time”, Voyage, released Friday November 5, sold in excess of 1 million combined album units in its first week worldwide, and has also received more than 190 million combined streams to date.
Voyage also debuted at No.1 on album charts in 18 countries, breaking multiple sales and chart records worldwide.
Voyage is ABBA’s first studio album since The Visitors, which was released November 30, 1981, hitting the No.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.
UMG notes that the arrival of Voyage on the global charts, has also seen an increase in listening across ABBA’s catalog, with several albums returning to charts.
In the UK, Voyage became ABBA’s tenth UK No.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 No.1, Voyage was certified Platinum with first week sales of (205,000) making it the highest international debut in Germany in six years.
In the US, Voyage debuted at No.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, according to UMG.
In Australia, meanwhile, ABBA’s Voyage was the biggest album debut of 2021.
Voyage is also the biggest international debut of the year in Japan, Germany, Australia, UK & France.
“We are so happy that our fans seem to have enjoyed our new album as much as we enjoyed making it.”
Speaking on the early success of Voyage, ABBA said: “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”.
As with all previous ABBA studio albums, Voyage was written and produced by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, with vocals added by the band’s Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.
Much of the programming and mixing was undertaken by Andersson, with the album also featuring the Stockholm Concert Orchestra.
The new album saw the four members of ABBA head back into Andersson’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 December, 3.
Next year will see the opening of ABBA Voyage, described as a “revolutionary concer”t that will see the band perform as digital avatars at their 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 May 27, 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).Music Business Worldwide