They recorded songs unlike anything before – Dancing Queen, SOS, The Name Of The Game, Knowing Me, Knowing You – selling more than 380 million records worldwide
Their music has stood the test of time, even if their fashions haven’t.
Now Swedish supergroup Abba have revealed they had good reason to wear such garish stage costumes – because it saved a little money, money, money on their tax bill.
The band, whose spangly flares, catsuits and platform heels were considered naff even in the 1970s, exploited a Swedish law which meant clothes were tax deductible if their owners could prove they were not used for daily wear.
The band reveal their wardrobe secrets in Abba: The Official Photo Book, published to mark 40 years since they won Eurovision with Waterloo and featuring scores of intimate, never-before-seen pictures.
He said: ‘Nobody can have been as badly dressed on stage as we were. In my honest opinion we looked like nuts in those years.
But we figured people would remember us even if we finished ninth.’
Colleague Benny Andersson added: ‘I’ve never regretted any picture… just grin and bear it.’
Ulvaeus poured cold water on rumours of a possible Abba reunion, saying: ‘If any one of us has opened the door a crack, I’m shutting it now.’
Save 35 per cent on Abba: The Official Photo Book: Page 54
As far as most of the world is concerned, the ABBA phenemenon began 40 years ago, with a Eurovision triumph in Brighton.
Armed with a song called Waterloo and outrageous costumes, two young couples put Swedish pop music on the map.
But for Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, the group’s male half, the story began eight years earlier, with a chance meeting on a Swedish country road.
Now, serialised exclusively for the first time in Event, a remarkable new book celebrates their astonishing career.
Two years in the making, the authors trawled through a quarter of a million photographs and interviewed the band members to produce the definitive, 400-page record of their story.