ABBA and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

On September 23 it was announced that ABBA is among the nominees for induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

ABBA has been nominated once before, in 2003. Artists are eligible for nomination 25 years after their first record release, which made ABBA eligible since 1997.

Discussion (unsurprisingly) has been rampant in ABBA fan communities, which can be broken down into two camps:

Those who see it as an honour that ABBA is even considered. ABBA won very few awards during its time together, so to be recognised now by the music industry is honourable.

Those who think that ABBA don’t need this sort of recognition, that phenomenal record sales and enduring popularity are reward enough, and that ABBA isn’t “rock and roll” enough to be part of this hall of fame.

There is a subset of the first group that sees induction as the opportunity for an “ABBA reunion”, assuming that ABBA will only be inducted if all four turn up and perform at the traditional jam session that ends the induction ceremony. But not all inductees are present for induction. Perhaps most famously Paul McCartney was a no-show when The Beatles were inducted in 1988.

Should ABBA be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? It certainly wouldn’t hurt the band’s credibility. But at the same time it doesn’t really matter that they’re not.

Fans are invited to comment on the nominees here.

Author: Ian Cole

My name is Ian Cole, and I live in Sydney, the capital of the state of New South Wales in Australia.

14 thoughts on “ABBA and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”

  1. Hi Ian

    We all know that sooner or later ABBA will be nominated for the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which they already have more than once already.

    Eventually ABBA will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    And why not? They deserve it! It is also about time as well, dont’tyou think?

    Kind Regards

  2. Hi Ian,

    It would be nice, but I think it’d be just another feather in their cap… their qualities are proof enough to not necessarily need such an award, now.

    Nevertheless, it would be a great, just like the knowledge that ABBA are more successful now in the USA than ABBA were in their heyday (it still seems surreal [yet nice] for me when I hear Meryl Streep [etc] singing ABBA songs, when the possibility of something like that in the 80s would have been only to have appeared in a hard-core fan’s dreams). Even knowing that ABBA music has been on Broadway for eight years now, is such an awesome [< for want of a better word] concept. When one takes time to just sit back and think about the whole thing, it really hits you with a sense of wonder. I guess all of the on-going ABBA revival (and its spin-offs) just go to show that anything can be possible (which is good, as it can all give us some hope for our own goals :o)

    I think that one day ABBA, or at least BB, will eventually even get some form of recognition on a Grammy Awards level.



  3. I am agreement with Tony and Samuel, that they should be inducted. During their years on top internationally, they never quite dominated the US. What a testament to US fans that they would be inducted in the RRHOF. One, of course, could only dream of a reunion at the induction ceremony. The inductees are announced in December or early January, with the official ceremony in March. That would hopefully give Benny, Björn and Frida enough time to coax Agnetha onto a plane to NYC. Benny did say, I believe, in an interview with Jonathan Ross in the UK that he can “never say never”.

    The argument for other nominees, like KISS, is that so many of the bands that they influenced are inducted, why shouldn’t they? (And I believe that they should too). ABBA is in a similar position, with the likes of Madonna already inducted and the fact that so many of ABBA’s professional fans (U2, The Clash) are also in.

    So many English-speaking acts are recognized with awards from Non-English speaking countries, why can’t it be the other way around?

    Thanks for you work on the site too, Ian.
    -Peter James
    Portland, Oregon, USA

  4. hi ian,

    i’m from hungary and i would like to fly to new york if any from the abba is there. is there any information about it?

    cheers, andyka

    1. Not yet, Andyka. But as soon as I hear anything I’ll post it hear. I’m not sure what there would be to see though. As far as I know the induction ceremony is an invitation-only event not open to the public. I’m not even sure if there is a red carpet arrivals scene. Personally, I think that there will only be two former ABBA members attend.

  5. Hi Ian

    Obviously Frida, Benny and Bjorn will be in New York later this month for the induction of ABBA into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

    Any words on whether Agnetha will be attending yet? I know that sooner or later we’ll know. Do you know anything yet since you are aka ASK IAN!

    1. Hi Samuel, only Benny and Frida are confirmed to attened the induction ceremony. It seems unlikely that Björn will also attend, and extremely unlikely that Agnetha will. Since 2004 they’ve managed never to have more than two at any one event, unless all four are there like the Stockholm Mamma Mia! premiere, to avoid those awkward questions about Agnetha’s non-presence.

  6. Hi there IAN!!!

    I am sure Björn Ulvaeus will not miss it for the world and he will be there as well. What better has he on the agenda for that very important day of his career with ABBA.

    But if only Frida and Benny show up, this will mean that Frida will have a photo taken/filmed with one member of ABBA only, which is Benny.

    Last year and on the premiere of Mamma Mia! The Movie in Stockholm, Frida was filmed/had her photos taken with Agnetha.

    As with Frida and Bjorn this happens a lot as they are seen together a lot from the UK to Germany to Russia etc…

    I suppose this time it might be just Frida with her ex-husband Benny Andersson.

    IAN, Will Frida and Benny perform an ABBA song LIVE at the ceremony like the rest of the inductees? And will they perform ‘Waterloo’?

    1. I don’t imagine they will sing, but you never know. Not every inductee peforms at their induction ceremony. If they did sing it would probably be Thank You For The Music .

  7. I prefer for them to sing ‘Rock and Roll Band’. It is a suitable song for the occasion! I also realise that both Benny and Bjorn can still sing as well. They sounded good during their Chistmas carol duet together on icethesiten last year.

  8. I’m in a sub set of the second camp. ABBA belongs in this hall and should have been inducted the first time… but this hall has no right calling itself Rock and Roll.

    That current inductees and some media members have exclusive vote and records sales, number 1 hits, and the voice of the fans does not count. It should be called the Pop Music Social Club.

    The idea that inductees like John Mellencamp, Jermaine Jackson and the brothers Gibb are only voting Genesis in to the hall in 2010 is something way beyond absurd. They are not fit to be Peter Gabriel’s roadie.

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