'Our band has a stupid name - we should have been called Northern ...

23 Jun 2024

By Ross Kaniuk For The Mail On Sunday

Published: 00:00 BST, 23 June 2024 | Updated: 02:35 BST, 23 June 2024

His group's name is one of the most famous in the history of pop.

But Abba's Bjorn Ulvaeus has revealed 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, who went on to sell more than 385 million records after winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, didn't come up with the name but had it imposed on them.

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

Abba 's Bjorn Ulvaeus has revealed he thinks it is a 'stupid' name (ABBA pose for a group portrait in Stockholm, April 1976)

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

Ulvaeus added: 'We didn't have a choice in the matter.

'I thought it was such a stupid name. And it is.

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

Ulvaeus said the foursome were given the name by others for convenience after they became established stars in their country.

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

'The DJs on the radio, and everywhere else, in our office, they got tired of saying that – 'Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid" – as you can imagine.

'And so they just abbreviated it – to the initials Abba.'

Ulvaeus added: 'It's also the name of a very famous herring factory in Sweden – marinated herring. We had to ask them for permission to use the name, and they told us, 'As long as you don't dabble in marinating herring'.'

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