With Mamma Mia 2 hitting Malaysia’s silver screen today, we all have to get our ABBA facts straight before catching the movie! Here’s some help:
1. Their crazy outfits were an easy way to save some moolah on their tax bill
It was revealed that they truly did exploit a Swedish law which meant clothes were tax deductible if their owners could prove they were not used just for daily wear.
2. Only two acts have been allowed by the band to sample their work
In 1987, they sued a British band, The KLF, over the unautorised use of a passage from “Dancing Queen.” Almost 10 years later, they allowed The Fugees to use a sample from “The Name Of The Game” whilst Madonna had to begged them and admit her love for ABBA before she could use a sample of their song.
3. Their stage name was the same as a seafood brand
The seafood company was established in 1838, but in 1974, they decided to let Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid to share their name; ABBA which is also actually an acronym of the first letters of the band members’ first names.
4. Musical prodigy, Agnetha Fältskog, dropped her knickers on stage
During her performance of “Billy Boy”, Agnetha’s waistband of her knickers broke in the middle of the song which results it to drop on stage. Talk about a singer’s worst nightmare.
5. In 1977, ABBA could’ve sold out London’s Royal Albert Hall 580 times!
ABBA’s first concerts in the UK included 2 dates, ten days after the release of the single “Knowing Me, Knowing You.” An incredible sum of 3.5 applications for the 12,000 seats were received via mail.
6. Not everyone in the band was Swedish
Anni-Frid Lyngstad was actually born in Bjørkåsen, Norway. Her mother was apparently involved in one of SS chief Heinrich HImmer’s Lebensborn houses, meant to ‘mate’ supposed Nazi supermen with pure white Norwegian women. During ABBA’s popularity, Frida met her father but the contact was short lived.
7. A 1976 TV Special for the Australian market got more views than the 1969 moon landing
The ABBA craze was in full swing in Australia when they arrived in early 1976 for a TV special. Titled “The Best of ABBA,” it was screened four times to record-setting ratings.
8. Björn and Benny weren’t that clean-cut and wholesome
During a TV interview, Led Zepplin’s Robert Plant confessed he went out one late night in 1978 with Björn and Benny, stepping into a local sex club to get away from the other 2 ABBA girls. Plant detailed that “people would go to bed on circle-shaped mattresses in front of us.” However, an ABBA spokesperson denied the claims.
9. ABBA promoted from baby food to TV and electronics
In 1973, they agreed to promote baby food company, Semper where Björn and Agnetha’s baby daughter did her first modelling gig. 3 years later, Stig Anderson sold the use of the song, “Fernando”, to the National for $1 million.
10. An Oscar-nominee directed their ground-breaking music videos
Many of ABBA’s music videos were directed by Lasse Hallströmwho has received an Academy Award for Best Director for “My Life as a Dog” and “The Cider House Rules.”
Header image source: abbasite