VIDEO: Mamma Mia like you’ve never seen before

With the Abba Museum opening on Tuesday, The Local's Oliver Gee gets a sneak peak behind the scenes, has a quick word with Björn Ulvaeus, and tries to find out if Stockholmers are willing to sing their favourite Abba song on camera. Hint: they are.

VIDEO: Mamma Mia like you've never seen before

The world loves Abba. The Swedish super group has sold more albums than anyone else on the planet (besides Elvis and The Beatles of course). Fans from as far as Japan and Argentina travelled to Stockholm to be here when the Abba museum opens its doors on Tuesday, and are content to stand in long queues out the front in the hope of catching a glimpse of the awesome foursome.

IN PICTURES: Abba fan club members share their favourite Abba songs

But what do Swedes think about the band that came to define Sweden? Are they embarrassed by the band-cum-brand. Or are they proud that Sweden got thrust onto the world’s stage, no matter the reason?

Perhaps best qualified to answer this question are the band members themselves, so when I headed to the preview opening of the museum on Monday I made sure to ask them.

Björn Ulvaeus was on hand to answer.

“We are kind of more ordinary, us Swedish people, I think,” he told The Local.

“Foreign journalists ask me ‘Can you walk around in the streets?’ Well in Stockholm you can, yes. They look at you, they recognize you, but they don’t bother you.”

In fact, there is no limelight in Stockholm as far as Ulvaeus is concerned.

“In the Abba heydays, Agnetha and I used to walk around in the local supermarket with a trolley – me in my clogs – and we wouldn’t be bothered,” he added.

Despite not appearing to care, do the Swedes actually love the band like the rest of the world?

“I think, nevertheless, that people probably like us here as well,” he answered.

Something of an evasive answer from the superstar Swede, I thought. But what about the average Swede on the street? What would they have to say about Abba? And would any of them sing a few notes of an Abba song if I asked them very politely?

My my… there’s only one way to find out.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

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ABBA’s first album in 40 years shoots to the top of the UK charts

ABBA's first studio album in nearly 40 years has made it to the top of the UK charts, becoming the fastest seller of the year so far, the Official Charts Company said on Friday.

ABBA's first album in 40 years shoots to the top of the UK charts
ABBA's new album, 'Voyage' for sale in Stockholm at the start of this month. Photo: Jonatan Nackstrand/AFP

“Voyage” by the Swedish quartet of Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid racked up 204,000 chart sales in the seven days since it was launched last Friday.

Sales gave the supergroup the biggest opening week on the UK album chart in four years since Ed Sheeran’s “Divide”, and fastest-selling album by a group in eight years.

The last fastest-seller was One Direction’s “Midnight Memories” in November 2013.

READ ALSO: Abba’s new album has arrived – tell us, what do you think?

ABBA, propelled to global fame by their 1974 Eurovision Song Contest win with “Waterloo”, split in 1982, a year after their last album, “The Visitors”.

“Voyage” is their 10th number one album in the UK: only seven other acts — The Beatles, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, Robbie Williams, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie — have had more.

The group said in a statement: “We are so happy that our fans seem to have enjoyed our new album as much as we enjoyed making it.

“We are absolutely over the moon to have an album at the top of the charts again.”

The 204,000 sales comprise 90 percent physical copies, including 29,900 on vinyl, making it the fastest-selling vinyl release of the 21st century.

The previous record holder was the Arctic Monkeys’ “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino”, which sold 24,500 vinyl copies in 2018.