Two songs from Abba’s first album in 40 years have soared to the top of the streaming charts, generating acclaim and excitement among fans of the original releases as well as a new generation of admirers.
On Friday, the first two songs from Abba’s next album, which will be published on November 5, were ranked first and third on YouTube’s trending rankings in 12 countries, including the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom, I Still Have Faith In You had 4.4 million views in 24 hours, while Don’t Shut Me Down received 1.4 million views.
Despite just joining TikTok on September 1, Abba has already garnered 991,000 followers and 5.5 million likes, demonstrating the Scandinavian musical band’s cross-generational popularity.
The group has generated a large number of videos from generation Z fans lip-syncing to songs or parodying moments from the film Mamma Mia. Their debut upload, a piano version of Dancing Queen, got 7.3 million views.
While Spotify hasn’t updated its rankings since the songs’ release, it did provide statistics indicating that the band’s music is most popular among 18- to 24-year-olds, and that their popularity has been increasing since 2014, with streaming tripling in that time. According to the statistics, Dancing Queen is the most popular music on the site.
Abba’s popularity fell in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when they were widely regarded as kitsch. They recorded all of their previous successes between 1972 and 1982, and are now considered one of the most successful bands of all time.
With the release of the Abba Gold: Greatest Hits collection in 1992, the Swedish four quickly returned to chart-topping prominence, and it remains one of the best-selling albums of all time. The famous Mamma Mia musical premiered on stage in 1999, followed by two successful film versions in 2008 and 2018 starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Dominic Cooper, and Amanda Seyfried.
The reunion of the musical superstars has thrilled fans of all ages. Gary Collins, the editor of Abba’s official worldwide fanclub magazine, claimed the announcement of the 10-track CD had left them “absolutely overwhelmed.” “It’s so much more than anyone could have hoped for from a band that hadn’t released anything in such a long time. I believe it’s incredible that they’d return.”
Fans, he added, enjoy how Abba has attempted to recreate the ageless appeal of its original sound. “They don’t seem to have gone anywhere. These songs, in 2021, might have easily been included on one of their last two studio albums, 1980 and 1982.”
Collins said he wasn’t surprised Abba’s music was so popular among teenagers since the group’s music has always had cross-generational appeal, and its glam rock-era flamboyance and escapism resonated so well with the present atmosphere.
“I remember when I was a kid in the 1970s, the electricity would go out for two days a week,” he added.
“Music was a way for people to get away from some of their problems. People are going through a tough period right now, the news is terrible, and they’re yearning for a return to something a little more joyful; it’s a little of a balm.”
Thanks to Rachel Hall at The Guardian whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.