Mamma mia -- it's the band that won't go away

Ransom Riggs

They broke up in 1982, after ten chart-topping years and at least five songs I can't get out of my head, even today, despite hypnotherapy. But just because the band hasn't released an album in nearly 25 years doesn't mean they can't be in our faces -- their hit Broadway musical Mamma Mia premiered in 2001 and now there's talk of a film adaptation. What's more, the city of Stockholm has just announced that it will build an ABBA museum, featuring personal effects donated by the band, instruments and hand-written lyric sheets. (Whoa, daddy!) As a tip o' the hat to all this ABBA madness, here are some flossy fun facts about the quartet.

  • Most of their music videos were directed by Lasse Hallstrom, who went on to helm The Cider House Rules and Chocolat.
  • "ABBA" was actually the name of a Swedish fish canning company. The band started referring to themselves as "ABBA" as a joke, but the name stuck. Foolishly, they assumed overseas audiences didn't know anything about canned fish.
  • In 2000, ABBA turned down an offer of one billion dollars to reuinte for a world tour.
  • In 1975, "SOS" became the first song with a palindromic title recorded by a group with a palindromic name to hit the pop charts. For the lyrics to a song which is itself entirely a palindrome, and even the length of which -- 2:22 -- is a palindrome, click here.