Merk argiewe: mistaken

Abba star says band were mistaken for porn stars early in their career

Abba star says band were mistaken for porn stars early in their career
‘It was in the soft porn period and [record labels] assumed anything coming out of Sweden had to do with that,’ said the songwriter

Björn Ulvaeus has said that Abba were mistaken for porn stars due to prejudice surrounding Swedish entertainers in the mid-20th century.

After forming in 1972, the group rose to international fame in 1974 after winning the Eurovision Song Contest with their performance of “Waterloo”.

Praat met Die spieël, Ulvaeus recalled the difficulties the band faced early on.

“We sent tapes to record companies in the UK and US and other places and nothing came of it," hy het gesê. “The only ones who released any Abba music certainly before ‘Waterloo’ was Playboy Records, who released a song called ‘People Need Love’.

“On the label it said Bjorn and Benny and Swedish girl. It was in the soft porn period and they assumed anything coming out of Swede had to do with that.”

Ulvaeus added that the band “opened the door” for other Swedish musicians after winning Eurovision.

“We showed to Swedish musicians and producers and writers it can be done," hy het gesê.

Abba recently released Reis, their first album in more than four decades. Die groep, comprising Ulvaeus, Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson, had disbanded in 1980.

Digital avatars of the band are set to perform a run of dates next year alongside a live band in a purpose-built arena in East London.