ABBA Went ‘Badly Dressed’ To Get Tax Deduction

By Barbara Boland | February 18, 2014 | 12:38 PM EST

The band Abba, left to right: Bjorn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson.

( -- ABBA, the Swedish pop-music group that made “Dancing Queen” one of the most successful songs of the 1970s, chose their outlandish stage outfits to benefit from a tax deduction, one of the band’s members revealed in the new book, Abba: The Official Photo Book.

In the book, which is still on pre-order at Amazon,  The Guardian reports that former band member Björn Ulvaeus said, “In my honest opinion, we looked like nuts in those years. Nobody can have been as badly dressed on stage as we were.”

The band purposely chose bright, glittering hotpants, outlandish outer-space themed outfits, sequined boots, bright jumpsuits and platforms because they were allowed to deduct the cost of the outfits on their taxes, but only if the outfits could not possibly be worn on the street as “regular” clothes.

They had to constitute costumes or stage-wear.

Abba: The Official Photo Book was published this month to celebrate 40 years since the band won the Eurovision award in Waterloo, a moment that began their rise to international pop stardom.

Sweden attempted to go after Ulvaeus in 2006 for almost $13 million (90 million kronor) in back-taxes for unpaid royalties they claimed he owed between 1999-2005. Ulvaeus appealed and eventually won his case.