Abba: a 40-year Scandi sensation

Abba: a 40-year Scandi sensation!

A new book charts Abba’s progress from camp Seventies novelty act to enduring musical phenomemon. Anna Tyzack met Björn Ulvaeus. 

Anyone who buys into Scandi-cool – the current obsession with Scandinavian interiors, Nordic cuisine and Nordic noir in fiction and in TV shows such as The Bridge and The Killing – should watch the YouTube clip of the winning entry in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest at the Brighton Dome. In the Seventies, far from regarding the Scandis as the benchmark of taste and culture, we had no confidence in their ability to hit the right note.

Middle-aged men in black tie, and wives with ambitious up-dos and drop earrings – Eurovision was event television and the studio audience dressed accordingly – averted their gaze as one Björn Ulvaeus swaggered on to the stage in silver knee-high boots and the tightest white trousers ever seen on screen. He was accompanied by his wife, Agnetha Fältskog, and another couple, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, swaying to the beat in surreal velour jackets studded with diamonds and draped in chainmail. Waterloo, a relentlessly upbeat number, received only polite applause; but voting panels across Europe loved it, and by the evening’s end Sweden was top of the leader board – and a band called Abba had gained an international following.

Read the full article at the Telegraph

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