Bjorn Ulvaeus seeks source of Abba magic with radio show

The show comes amid a major Abba renaissance.

Bjorn Ulvaeus
Bjorn Ulvaeus

Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus is launching a radio show aimed at working out why songs such as Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen have stayed stuck in the heads of so much of the world for so many decades.

The guitarist, singer and co-songwriter from the Swedish supergroup will host the Bjorn From Abba And Friends’ Radio Show on Apple Music Hits starting on Monday.

The limited series includes music and conversations with Ulvaeus’s friends and collaborators, starting in the first episode with his fellow producer, songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Nile Rodgers.

Ulvaeus and Rodgers talk about the secrets of hit-making and why Abba’s music has remained in the public consciousness.

“I have long wanted to ask some emotionally intelligent as well as intellectual people who know about Abba about why they think our songs have lasted for such a long time – almost 40 years – because I don’t understand it myself,” 76-year-old Ulvaeus said.

The show comes amid a major Abba renaissance.

Ulvaeus and bandmates Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, and Benny Andersson released their first new music together in four decades in November on the album Voyager.

And in May, a series of holographic live shows are set to begin, created by the group and George Lucas’s special-effects company, Industrial Light & Magic.

Ulvaeus’s other guests on the radio show include Catherine Johnson, the British playwright who wrote the stage play of Mamma Mia! and the screenplay for the subsequent film.

Johan Renck, the creative director of the forthcoming concerts, guests on another episode, all of which air at 3pm Eastern in the US this week and can be streamed thereafter.

Ulvaeus is the latest of many music stars to host a show on the service.

Others include Sir Elton John, The Weeknd, J Balvin and Shania Twain.

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