More than 40 years after its breakthrough, Abba, the band that brought us the hit tracks “Mamma Mia,” “Dancing Queen” and “SOS,” remains synonymous with bombastic clothing ensembles.
Founded in Stockholm in 1972, the Europop group composed of Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad — their initials forming the band’s name — made international charts with their unique tunes, featuring classical undertones and synthesizing. Just as eccentric were their outfits; from go-go boots and fringe applications to satin pantaloons and extravagant flares, their style was undeniably more theatrical than they were wearable — something one of its members acknowledged in the hardcover “Abba: The Official Photo Book,” according to the Daily Mail.
As it turns out, the Swedish performers were making their fashion choices for a very specific reason. In the article, the Daily Mail said the group had been working a Swedish law at the time that allowed clothes to be tax-deductible if they could prove that they were not used for everyday wear.
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“Nobody can have been as badly dressed on stage as we were,” Ulvaeus said. “In my honest opinion, we looked like nuts in those years. But we figured people would remember us even if we finished ninth.”
Despite their controversial getups, Andersson said in the book, “I’ve never regretted any picture … just grin and bear it.”
The book’s release in 2014 marked four decades since the band won the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Waterloo,” which went on to become one of their most popular hits. Just today, Abba announced on Instagram that it was staging a revival with the release of two new songs — one of which, “I Still Have Faith in You,” will air in December on NBC.
“We all four felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the recording studio,” the group wrote. “So we did.”
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