ABBA, Swedish Europop group that was among the most commercially successful groups in the history of popular music. In the 1970s it dominated the European charts with its catchy pop songs. Members included songwriter and keyboard player Benny Andersson (b. December 16, 1946, Stockholm, Sweden), songwriter and guitarist Björn Ulvaeus (b. April 25, 1945, Gothenburg, Sweden), and vocalists Agnetha Fältskog (b. April 5, 1950, Jönköping, Sweden) and Anni-Frid Lyngstad (b. November 15, 1945, Narvik, Norway).
More than a year after the triumph at Eurovision, ABBA (1975) truly established the group as a global pop phenomenon. The singles “Mamma Mia” and “S.O.S.” were massive hits in Europe, Australia, and North America, and the band embraced the emerging music video format to capitalize on the quartet’s shared charisma. ABBA’s 1977 release, Arrival, reached the United States at the height of the disco craze, and it provided the group with its sole American number one single—the catchy and undeniably club-friendly “Dancing Queen.” The Album (1978) marked a departure of sorts: although its standout single, “Take a Chance on Me,” was a brilliant, if straightforward, pop anthem, other tracks hinted at an art rock influence, and the album’s second side was dominated by a “mini-musical” titled “The Girl with the Golden Hair.”
While The Album marked an artistic progression for ABBA, personal relations within the band suffered when Ulvaeus and Fältskog divorced prior to the release of Voulez-Vous (1979). The pair vowed that their breakup would not affect the band’s output, but Super Trouper (1980) featured a collection of songs, most notably “The Winner Takes It All” and “Lay All Your Love on Me,” that betrayed a melancholic undercurrent that was absent in previous recordings. Andersson and Lyngstad divorced during the recording of The Visitors (1981), and the reggae rhythms of “One of Us” did little to conceal the prevailing mood of the band. This second breakup proved to be too much for the group, which disbanded in 1982.