Barry and Robin during the inducting of the Abba members into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
Copyright: Reuters / Lucas Jackson
In April 1974 Linda and I were watching the Eurovision Song Contest in London when we for the first time witnessed the young group Abba, singing their song for Sweden (Waterloo).
Abba won the contest that night but claimed the hearts of millions of people all over the world including Linda and I.
The Abba phenomenon marched on us. Agnetha, Annifrid, Bjorn and Benny carved out their own territory in the incredible landscape of popular music.
Cream always rises to the top and great music is forever and not just the product of the time it was written.
Abba's music, harmonies and melodies are in one word timeless and they are as perennial as the grass.
Their work reaches out to future generations yet to be born and are music's jewel in the crown with music like: SOS, Fernando, Take A Chance On Me, The Winner Takes It All, I Have A Dream, Knowing Me Knowing You, Name Of he Game and of course the number one song in the US and everywhere Dancing Queen.
Abba had now become a real force to be reckoned on with their creative vision and collaboration as a group between 1972 and 1982 has inspired many other young artists to have the same dream.
To make records like Abba, to write songs which Benny and Bjorn have shown us can include pathos, romanticism, social commentary and sensuality.
Their curiosity for the new technologies in recording were obviously present and represented by their multi tracking adventures both vocally and instrumentally.
By 1982 the Abba group ended their incredible journey. Their individual lives had taken their own twists and turns.
But for us, and fans all over the world Abba has remained a vital part of our lives.
Their music will live forever. It permeates all around us in so many places.
Movies like 'Priscilla Queen Of The Desert' and 'Muriel's Wedding' will always serve to remind us of the wonderful music they made.
And in fact 200 years from now, they'll still be singing Abba's songs hopefully along with ours!
Benny and Bjorn went on to work with Sir Tim Rice on the musical 'Chess', highlighting the relevance of their songs in musicals.
In 1999 their music was adapted for London and Broadway and has become incredibly successful in its own right: 'Mamma Mia' the musical.
Then came 'Mamma Mia' the movie with the incredible performance by Meryl Streep who's with us tonight to celebrate Abba.
This just shows you that music stays with us. It connects us through all kinds of change. Some small and some great. We even have a Swedish branch of the family now and we're really proud of that.
31 years ago we sang with Abba at the U.N. for 'A Gift Of Song' in support of Unicef. We came together to help the children of the world. It was an inspiring night and it's good to be together again.
So you see tonight was meant to be. It's a very magical night!! There's something in the air tonight.
To the 'Dancing Queen': long may she reign. To Annifrid, Benny, Bjorn and Agnetha:
It is our greatest personal honor and privilege to be chosen to induct Abba into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and on behalf of all of us: -Thank you for the music-
(Abba accepts the award and comments)
Ladies and Gentleman, Benny is going to sit down at the piano to perform one of Abba's classics and to sing it, please welcome 5 time Grammy winner: Faith Hill