Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Abba outfits 'a tax-saving scheme'

Abba at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 which they won with Waterloo

The eye-wateringly garish outfits picked out in spangles, sparkles, bright colours and bold lines which made up Abba's trademark stage costumes were in fact part of a tax-saving scheme, it has been claimed.

The outrageous outfits were regularly seen on the foursome in their heyday of dominating the pop charts during the 1970s. Apart from being eyecatching, they helped the Swedish supergroup exploit a Swedish law which meant clothes were tax deductible if their owners could prove they were not used for daily wear, the Mail on Sunday's Event magazine reports.

Band member Bjorn Ulvaeus recalls: "In my honest opinion, we looked like nuts in those years. Nobody can have been as badly dressed on stage as we were."

The cult pop group - which also included Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Faltskog and Benny Andersson - have launched a new book which is being serialised by the magazine. This year marks the 40th anniversary of their breakthrough Eurovision Song Contest victory.

Bjorn added: "We figured with our clothes, people would remember us even if we finished ninth."

Among Abba's beaten rivals for the 1974 Eurovision title was Olivia Newton-John, who represented the United Kingdom.

Frida notes: "We chose clothes we felt comfortable in. My favourite was a body stocking with a little dress cut diagonally. I thought I was elegant and sexy in it."

Abba were together from 1972 to 1982.

There was no announcement of a reunion.

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