“I never thought I would sing again, but when I heard the first three songs I couldn’t say no,” said the Swedish singer, sometimes described as a recluse, having shunned the limelight for decades after the supergroup’s split.
When You Really Love Someone, the first single from the upcoming full-length release A, was made available on digital music platforms iTunes and Spotify this week, along with a music video on YouTube.
A will be released on May 13 and includes the first track co-written by the star in decades, as well as a duet with British singer Gary Barlow of Take That.
“I hadn’t written music in a very long time but when I sat down at the piano it came to me very naturally,” the 62-year-old singer said.
On all the new tracks on the album, Fältskog collaborated with Swedish songwriter and producer Joergen Elofsson, who has penned hits for artists including Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, and Celine Dion.
“She’s a musician, a songwriter and singer who hasn’t done that for a while,” said Elofsson. “We saw her open up, become much happier, with music again in her life.”
Abba, one of the most popular bands of all time, formed in 1970 and shot to fame after winning the Eurovision contest in 1974. The band, which has sold more than 378m records to date, split in 1982 and has never reunited.
A museum dedicated to the group will open in Stockholm this spring. “This is a Cinderella story worth telling,” former member and Fältskog’s former husband Bjoern Ulvaeus said last year.
Since the group disbanded more than 30 years ago, fans have never ceased speculating over an Abba reunion. However, in the wake of the success of Mamma Mia! — the musical and film based on their hits — Ulvaeus vowed the group would never perform together again.
“We will never appear on stage again,” he said in 2009, adding that he wanted fans to remember the band as “young, exuberant, full of energy and ambition”.