Top music news includes ABBA Apple radio show, Temptations back in style, and Anaïs Mitchell release

Top music news includes ABBA Apple radio show, Temptations back in style, and Anaïs Mitchell release
February 21st, 2022

ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus is launching a radio show on Apple Music, with hopes of figuring out why his songs like “Mamma Mia” and “Dancing Queen” have stayed stuck in the heads of so much of the world for so many decades.

The guitarist, singer and co-songwriter from the Swedish supergroup will host the “Björn from ABBA and Friends’ Radio Show” on Apple Music Hits starting Monday.

The limited series includes music and conversations with Ulvaeus’ friends and collaborators, starting in the first episode with his fellow producer, songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Nile Rodgers.

Ulvaeus and Rodgers talk about the secrets of hit-making and why ABBA’s music has remained in the public consciousness.

“I have long wanted to ask some emotionally intelligent as well as intellectual people who know about ABBA about why they think our songs have lasted for such a long time — almost 40 years — because I don’t understand it myself,” the 76-year-old Ulvaeus said.

The show comes amid a major ABBA renaissance. Ulvaeus and bandmates Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, and Benny Andersson released their first new music together in four decades in November on the album “Voyager.” And in May, a series of holographic live shows are set to begin, created by the group and George Lucas’ special-effects company, Industrial Light & Magic.

Ulvaeus’ other guests on the radio show include Catherine Johnson, the British playwright who wrote the stage play of “Mamma Mia!” and the screenplay for the subsequent film.

Johan Renck, the creative director of the forthcoming concerts, guests on another episode, all of which air at 3 p.m. Eastern this week and can be streamed thereafter.

Ulvaeus is the latest of many music stars to host a show on the service. Others include Elton John, The Weeknd, J Balvin and Shania Twain.

Anaïs Mitchell release

Singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell, who won a Tony Award for the musical “Hadestown,” returns to her own music with a new self-titled album, out Friday. Made with members of Bon Iver and The National, it’s Mitchell’s first collection of all-new material under her own name since 2012′s “Young Man in America.” At the beginning of the pandemic, she retreated to her native Vermont, gave birth and reconnected to her past. The songs that came are very autobiographical and that’s why she chose to self-title the album. “It felt like after so many years of working on telling other stories, now here are some of mine,” she says.

“Temptations 60″

The Temptations are always in style and haven’t stopped making music. Their new album “Temptations 60″ features tracks written and produced by Narada Michael Walden, hip-hop producer K. Sparks, longtime group member Ron Tyson, founding member Otis Williams and the legendary Smokey Robinson, whose classic songs launched the group’s original hit streak. “Temptations 60″ features the lead single with Robinson “Is It Gonna Be Yes Or No.” Get ready to snap your fingers on Friday.

AP entertainment writer Mark Kennedy contributed to this report.