Home Australia “Our band has a stupid name; we should have been called Northern Lights,” says ABBA legend Bjorn Ulvaeus

“Our band has a stupid name; we should have been called Northern Lights,” says ABBA legend Bjorn Ulvaeus

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Abba's Bjorn Ulvaeus has revealed that he thinks it is a name

The name of his group is one of the most famous in pop history.

But Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus has revealed that he thinks it is a “stupid” name and said he and his bandmates – Agnetha Fältskog, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad – really wanted to call themselves “the Northern Lights”.

Ulvaeus said the Swedish supergroup, which went on to sell more than 385 million records after winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, didn’t come up with the name, but it was imposed on them.

The 79-year-old said he didn’t like it at the time and his opinion on the matter hasn’t changed.

Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus has revealed that he thinks it is a “stupid” name (ABBA poses for a group portrait in Stockholm, April 1976)

ABBA, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Faltskog and Benny Andersson pose for a photo after receiving the Royal Vasa Order from the King and Queen of Sweden during a ceremony at the Royal Palace in Stockholm on May 31, 2024 .

ABBA, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Faltskog and Benny Andersson pose for a photo after receiving the Royal Vasa Order from the King and Queen of Sweden during a ceremony at the Royal Palace in Stockholm on May 31, 2024 .

Ulvaeus added: “We had no choice in the matter.

‘I thought it was such a stupid name. Forks.

‘I thought we should have a cool name like the Rolling Stones, or something like that. The Northern Lights were one of our thoughts and here we are with Abba.’

Ulvaeus said the quartet was named by others out of convenience after they became established stars in their country.

He told the Rosebud podcast: “Because we were kind of famous, all famous in Sweden, we made our first records with Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid.

“DJs on the radio and everywhere in our office got tired of saying that: ‘Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid,’ as you can imagine.

“And then they just shortened it: to the initials Abba.”

Ulvaeus added: ‘It is also the name of a very famous herring factory in Sweden: marinated herring. We had to ask their permission to use the name and they said, ‘As long as you don’t get into marinating herring.’

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