ABBA's Crazy Costumes Designed for Tax Breaks

By Colin Bertram
|  Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014  |  Updated 12:05 PM EDT
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Swedish pop group Abba, performs during the the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 on February 09, 1974 in Brighton with their song "Waterloo." From left: Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Björn Ulvaeus.

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ABBA's outrageous brand of sartorial style in the 70s and 80s was as prevalent as the group's super-catchy pop songs.

But their glitter-encrusted platform heels, sequined jumpsuits and shiny hotpants were designed for tax breaks as much as for getting the Swedish pop stars noticed.

Singer and former ABBA member Björn Ulvaeus revealed the reasoning behind those famous getups in the newly-published "According to ABBA: The Official Photo Book," reported The Guardian. Ulvaeus says Swedish laws allowed band outfits to be deducted against taxes if the costumes were so outlandish that they couldn't be worn on the street.

"In my honest opinion, we looked like nuts in those years," said Ulvaeus in the book. "Nobody can have been as badly dressed on stage as we were."

Formed in Stockholm in 1972, ABBA comprised Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The moniker is an acronym of the first letters of the band members' first names. The foursome remains one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music, selling over 375 million albums and singles worldwide.

ABBA broke up in 1982 with all members going on to pursue solo music careers with varying degrees of success.

"According to ABBA: The Official Photo Book," is published to mark 40 years since the group won the Eurovision Song Contest with their hit "Waterloo." That win catapulted the group to European and then international acclaim. Other ABBA hits include "Mamma Mia," "Ring Ring," "Fernando," "Dancing Queen," "Money, Money, Money" and "The Winner Takes It All."
 

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