Björn and Benny wrote the music for the West End show, Chess, in partnership with lyricist Tim Rice. This opened in 1984 in London, and ran for three years. Björn and Benny had often expressed a wish to write a musical, inspired by the successes of Andrew Lloyd-Webber throughout the 70s. Their first effort was part of the Abba stage show for 1977, the so called "mini-musical", The Girl with The Golden Hair. Excerpts from this can be seen as part of Abba - The Movie. Some of the songs also feature on The Album. Björn and Benny followed Chess with Kristina från Duvemåla, a musical co-written with Lars Rudolfsson and based on the work of Swedish novelist Vilhelm Moberg. Mamma Mia, a musical based around Abba's songs, premiered in London in the late 1990s.ongs.
Both Agnetha and Frida went on to have some solo success after Abba split - Frida with the Phil Collins produced album Something's Going On, and Agnetha returning to her solo career with Wrap Your Arms Around Me. Both were moderately successful. Both persevered with further releases in the 80s, but eventually decided to retire. Agnetha subsequently became very private and reclusive, refusing to give interviews.
Abba experienced a resurgence in the 1990s after being largely forgotten during the 80s. To some extent this was in an ironic way - fondly remembered for being so bad they were good; yet for others it was the recognition that while Abba were frequently dismissed by the critics during their heyday as a lightweight pop act, and sneered at by punk and new wave musicians, in fact they were masters of their art - the three minute pop song - something very few others can claim to have been as successful at. Björn and Benny were finally recognised in 2001 with an Ivor Novello Award for their songwriting. Many former punk and New Wave artistes have since admitted a fondness and respect for Abba they were unwilling to own up to in their early years.
The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002.
- The sound track of the successful Australian film Muriel's Wedding (1994) contained several Abba songs, which were featured prominently in the movie, first when the two female leads lip sync "Waterloo" and secondly when the wedding features an orchestral arrangement of "Dancing Queen."
- The Abba tribute band Bjorn Again became so successful that as of 2004 there are five 'Bjorn Again's performing in various parts of the world. The original Bjorn Again have now been touring for 15 years, longer than the original group.
- A Swedish band, the A-Teens, started their career in pop music borrowing Abba's arrangement of two men and two women. The Swedish teenagers launched their careers with an album containing only Abba covers.
- Techno and house remakes of many original Abba hits were released under the name Abbacadabra.
- And a Broadway (originally West End) musical, Mamma Mia, whose music is all Abba songs, was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical in 2002.
- In 2000, Abba were reported to have turned down an offer of approximately one billion dollars to do a reunion tour.
Vocal Group Hall of Fame page on ABBA
Singles chart positions for UK, US, Germany and Netherlands