ABBA has recorded new music for the first time in 35 years, according to a statement from the band.
They told Swedish site Afton Bladet: ‘The decision to go ahead with the exciting ABBA avatar tour project had an unexpected consequence.
‘We all four felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the recording studio. So we did.
They’re back! ABBA have confirmed they have reunited and recorded new music for the first time in 35 years calling it an ‘extremely joyous experience’
‘And it was like time had stood still and that we had only been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyous experience.’
‘It resulted in two new songs and one of them, I Still Have Faith In You will be performed by or digital selves in a TV special produced by NBC and the BBC aimed for broadcasting in December.
They added: ‘We may have been old, but the song is new. And it feels good.’
Just two days ago, fans were overjoyed to hear ABBA are launching a comeback… but they won’t be the ones singing or dancing.
Something for the fans: A digitally reproduced version of the band will perform hits like Waterloo, Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen
Instead, virtual ‘Abbatars’ are being created to represent the four members of the Swedish pop group for the upcoming digital gig.
Singer Björn Ulvaeus, 72, revealed the news of the gigs during a speech in Brussels. The two-hour show is expected to be broadcast by the BBC in Britain and simulcast across the globe.
A world tour is planned for 2019 or 2020, which could generate hundreds of millions of pounds in ticket sales, according to the Times.
Moving on: The four members of the band have previously resisted reunions but are all behind the Abbatar project – and delighted that there are new songs
The band will appear as they looked at their musical peak in 1979 thanks to high-tech imaging equipment.
‘We thought we looked good that year,’ Ulvaeus said.
Silicon Valley experts are using old videos to replicate how the band danced, dressed and sang so they can be programmed to reproduce hits such as Waterloo, Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen.
Ulvaeus described the effect as ‘simply mind-boggling’.
‘You’ll hear the voices of ABBA coming out of the mouths of the Abbatars,’ he said.
‘You won’t be able to see that they’re not human beings. It’ll be spooky, I assure you, but great fun and no one has done it before.’
The band sold more than 400 million albums but have not performed since 1986, apart from at a private party in 2016.
The four members – Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, 71, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, 72, and Agnetha Fältskog, 68 – have resisted reunions but are all behind the Abbatar project.
If successful the technology could allow bands to stage concerts anywhere in the world without the celebrities being present.
If the technology is embraced by fans it will allow artists to stage concerts anywhere in the world without leaving their homes.
Ulvaeus said US ‘techno artists’ had scanned the band last year.
‘They photographed us from all possible angles, they made us grimace in front of cameras, they painted dots on our faces, they measured our heads,’ he told broadcasting executives last week.
‘Apparently, a cranium doesn’t change with age the way the rest of your body falls apart.’
The singer said there was an ‘existential dimension’ to the project, as the band explored the idea of being young again: ‘The wisdom that we hopefully possess now in combination with the youth of the Abbatars.’