Swedish pop stars Abba have surpassed The Beatles to score Britain's second biggest selling album of all time. Gold: Greatest Hits by ABBA and the Fab Four's 1967 classic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band have both sold 5.1 million copies in the U.K., but the Dancing Queen hitmakers have pulled ahead in the tight race by shifting another 15,000 units of their 1992 collection.
Queen's 1981 Greatest Hits release still holds the top spot, according to new data released by the Official Charts Company.
ABBA singer Bjorn Ulvaeus says, "It feels unreal outselling the greatest record ever."
Adele's 21 and (What's The Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis round out the top five.
Former Abba star Agnetha Faltskog has hammered another nail in the legendary pop band's coffin - she has vowed they will never reunite. The Dancing Queen hitmakers are often asked about the possibility of a comeback to celebrate their phenomenal legacy, but songwriter Bjorn Ulvaeus insisted last month (Apr13) there are no plans to reform.
Faltskog spoke in 2010 about her desire to get the band back together for a charity event, but now she has joined Ulvaeus in ruling out a reunion, insisting they are now too old.
She tells British newspaper The Sun, "Ha, the reunion question. I think Bjorn answered that recently. We are too old. It would never be the same and why spoil such special memories? For us and also for fans, I think the music is the best way to remember ABBA on its own."
"I strained my voice when I first started singing. And it wasn't giving me the results I wanted. I also had little self-confidence and wasn't sure if I could sing well again, so I took some singing lessons to learn how to breathe properly and work my vocals." Veteran Abba star Agnetha Faltskog enrolled in music lessons before launching a comeback to boost her singing voice.
"There were a couple of years when I did not listen to ABBA music at all - I simply couldn't." Former Abba singer Agnetha Faltskog refused to listen to the group's hits after they unofficially split in 1982.
Former Abba star Agnetha Faltskog is convinced a guardian angel is watching over her after cheating death twice. The Dancing Queen hitmaker famously quit travelling by plane in 1979 after a terrifying journey over the U.S. in which the band's aircraft ran low on fuel and the pilot had to attempt two emergency landings.
The shaken star escaped unscathed and swore off air travel - but she was left wondering about her good fortune four years later in 1983 when her private coach overturned on a road in Sweden and Faltskog was thrown from the vehicle.
She tells British newspaper The Sun, "I must have a guardian angel looking after me as I've had such bad luck but survived. But it's good to face your fears."
Abba singer Agnetha Faltskog insists the pop superstars were a poor live act, blighted by clumsy dancing and erratic vocals. The Swedish sensations were one of the biggest bands in the world in their 1970s heyday and have sold more than 370 million records, but blonde Faltskog is adamant they were not an appealing group to see in concert.
She feels the dance moves she performed with fellow vocalist Anni-Frid Lyngstad were too uncoordinated and their singing often failed to live up to the sound of their records.
Faltskog tells British magazine You, "Performing live is not my favourite. I am more of a recording person; I prefer to be private... Walking on stage in concert and singing live, that is a bit difficult. And I don't think we sounded or looked very good... It was nice to look how we looked, but we had no professional dance help. We did it on feelings, so when we had our concerts it was different every night. Frida and I didn't talk beforehand about what we were going to do."
Abba star Agnetha Faltskog has dismissed longrunning rumours she lives the life of a hermit, insisting: "I'm not a recluse." The Swedish superstar pursued a solo career after the Waterloo hitmakers unofficially split in 1982, but she gradually retreated from the public eye - and her determination to avoid the trappings of fame led to fevered speculation about her lifestyle.
She was rumoured to have set up home on a remote Swedish island where she would spend her days talking to her horses, but the pop singer has now spoken out to insist she is not an oddball.
Faltskog tells British magazine You, "The press has always written that I am a recluse and a mystery woman, but I am more down-to-earth than they think. I live on a farm and there is a little bridge to get to Stockholm. I live a normal life there with my (dogs)... I chat to other dog walkers, I go shopping and out to restaurants with friends.
"I don't mind signing autographs as long as there's not a queue forming... Maybe I was a recluse for some years (at the time). I was so tired once Abba was over and just wanted to be calm and with my children."
"I didn't mind doing videos, I can take that, but walking on stage in concert and singing live, that is a bit difficult. And I don't think we sounded or looked very good." Abba star Agnetha Faltskog lacked the confidence to perform in the spotlight during her band's heyday.
Nicole Kidman lost out on the chance to star in movie musical Mamma Mia! after Meryl Streep wrote a letter to producers and snagged the role, according to Abba musician Bjorn Ulvaeus. The Sophie's Choice actress reached out to the makers of the 2008 film after she saw the stage production, which features the Swedish band's songs, and the personal note she sent them helped her snatch the part of Donna Carmichael from Kidman.
Ulvaeus tells Britain's Daily Express that the Moulin Rouge! star was in the running for the lead, but adds, "Then we received a handwritten letter from Meryl Streep saying how much she had enjoyed the show and we realised that was the age group we should be casting from. And she said yes straight away and that was the 'open sesame' (beginning moment) for everything."
The Hollywood version of Mamma Mia! proved a huge hit at the box office, raking in more than $609 million (£380 million) globally.
Visitors to the new Abba museum in Sweden will be able to talk directly to members of the band via a special exhibit which features a working telephone. The group's career is the focus of a new permanent display at the Swedish Pop Hall Of Fame in Stockholm and fans will be able to see memorabilia and costumes, while there are also recreations of recording studios and dressing rooms used by the band.
However, the most innovative feature of the museum is a room dedicated to hit track Ring Ring, which features a 1970s-style telephone. The handset is connected to a working phone line and the only people who know the number are ABBA stars Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, who will all call in occasionally to talk to visitors.
Curator Ingmarie Halling says of the telephone exhibit, "It was Frida's (Lyngstad) idea... so of course she'll call."
The museum opens its doors to the public on 7 May (13).