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Revival of the fittest

The most anticipated comeback in pop culture was greeted with squeals of joy around the world — now as we await ABBA’s new album, we recall our favourite cheesy revivals, writes Audrey Name

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Abba

Abba

Take That

Take That

Cher

Cher

Spice Girls

Spice Girls

Westlife

Westlife

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Abba

1: ABBA

Nothing screams cheesy pop quite like two married Swedish couples singing in glitzy camp flamboyant outfits. And while the Nordic quartet were not to everyone’s taste (especially my siblings) or taken seriously in their sequenced jumpsuits, they still managed to rack up hit after hit about breaking up and falling apart to become the top-selling act of their time.

Now with a 40-years-in-the-making reunion, two new singles, an upcoming album, an official TikTok account, and a digital concert experience in 2022 — ABBA have giving us a reason to enjoy life again.

Crowd-pleasers like Mamma Mia and Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! will surely be on the set list as the ageing ABBA-tars take to the stage as holograms of their younger selves.

So as we prepare to Take A Chance on our 70s heroes, it’s time to dig out that space-age polyester disco suit and chanel your inner Dancing Queen — because here we go again.

2: TAKE THAT
IN the late 1990s, boybands ruled the world. While many dismissed them as just another quintet singing from their stools, when Take That spilt in 1996 (we’re looking at you Robbie Williams), the fiercely loyal base were so distraught telephone helplines had to be set up to counsel the teenage fans.

When they reunited in 2005 as a four-piece — the highlight arguably being 2009’s Circus Live tour — Robbie appeared on stage alongside his old bandmates leaving us wondering if he was ‘back for good’.

Now reduced to a trio with the departure of Jason in 2015 (no helplines needed this time), the greatest boyband turned man band still continue to relight our fire.

3: CHER
There’s a long-running joke in the music industry about Cher’s supernatural endurance — ‘she’d be the only thing that would survive a nuclear holocaust aside from cockroaches’. Even then, she’ll probably still be touring. 
The Goddess of Pop has been on the scene for almost six decades, so she wasn’t fooling anyone when she launched her so-called Farewell Tour, which lasted three years, in 2002. She turned heads rocking the same butt-bearing chaps she wore in the 1989 video If I Could Turn Back Time at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards.

Pretty impressive for a then 71-year-old. Still, if anyone can turn back time, it’s Cher for sure.

4: SPICE GIRLS
IN 1996, five unknowns told us what they wanted (what they really, really wanted) — and it was global superstardom.
The girl power juggernaut initially split in 2000 after Geri Halliwell left the group, but reunited for a massive comeback tour in 2007 and 2008, before their final performance in 2012.
Fast forward another seven years and the band reunited once again to spice up our lives in 2019 — minus the Posh one.
And slam your body down and wind it all around because Mel B recently hinted at yet another comeback tour in 2023.

5: WESTLIFE
LouisS Walsh hit the boyband jackpot in the 1990s and early 2000s with not just one, but two manufactured pop groups — Boyzone and Westlife.
Formed in Sligo in 1998, Westlife was made up of heartthrobs Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, Nicky Byrne and Brian McFadden.
When the latter decided to quit in 2004, leaving them as a group of four, they stayed together until 2012.
After reuniting in 2018, the boys to men found their wings, taking flight once more with their eleventh studio album, Spectrum, featuring major ear worm Hello My Love.

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