’70s Swedish pop greats ABBA were one of the biggest acts of their era, and they’ve maintained their relevance, through the ridiculously successful musical and movie Mamma Mia!, as well as through a few decades of bands covering their songs. But ABBA have persistently refused all offers to reunite, to the point where it was news that all four members appeared together at a Mamma Mia!-themed restaurant, or that they briefly stood on the same stage. But now they’ve finally figured out the right situation for a reunion: The one where they don’t have to do anything.
As Billboard reports, American Idol creator and longtime pop-music behind-the-scenes leviathan Simon Fuller has teamed up with Universal Music Group to launch a “virtual” version of ABBA, which pretty much means holograms. Fuller has lately been investing in virtual reality and “realistic digital humans,” and here’s what he tells Billboard: “I was imagining who would be my very first choice to work with on an extraordinary new virtual reality experience to capture the world’s imagination. In a second, I thought it simply has to be ABBA. I approached them directly and thankfully they all fell in love with the idea and now that idea is fast becoming a reality.”
All four members will be involved in the mysterious enterprise, and group member Benny Andersson says, “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.”
ABBA broke up in 1982 and haven’t properly reunited since then. And given the gleaming perfection of the group’s records, it seems weirdly appropriate that they would only reappear in Westworld-android form.