ABBA mark 40 years since breakthrough

ABBA mark 40 years since breakthrough

Four decades on from the flares, fame and fabulousness, the members of ABBA say they have no regrets — not even about the clothes.

By (AFP)

Published: Wed 9 Apr 2014, 12:27 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 6:31 PM

Four decades on from the flares, fame and fabulousness, the members of ABBA say they have no regrets — not even about the clothes.

Members of the Swedish supergroup marked 40 years since their international breakthrough hit Waterloo on Monday with a party for hundreds of guests at London’s Tate Modern gallery.

Bjorn Ulvaeus said he felt “extremely proud and humbled” by decades of success that includes hit records, the stage and movie musical Mamma Mia and a Stockholm museum dedicated to the band. And Frida Lyngstad said she was proud of ABBA’s ultra-70s look of big boots and spangly jumpsuits, documented in a new photo book about the band.

“It was our youth, it was our time, and we decided how we wanted to dress ourselves onstage,” said Lyngstad. “And it was fun.”

She said some performers “are even more courageous nowadays, if you think of Lady Gaga, for example.”

Lyngstad said she could not explain the global success of ABBA, which rocketed when the band won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo. The quartet’s blend of poppy melodies, lush harmonies and slick arrangements helped them sell more than 400 million records around the world.

“We never had a formula,” Lyngstad said. “We just did what we loved the most. And the great thing was maybe that the four of us met and started to work together the way we did. Two great songwriters, Bjorn and Benny, together with Agnetha’s and my voices.”

The foursome eventually fractured, with the band’s two married couples - Lyngstad and Benny Andersson, Ulvaeus and Agnetha Faltskog - divorcing.

But Ulvaeus said the four of them recently met up, and “the chemistry is still there.”

“We bonded instantly,” he said. So are they tempted to make fans’ wishes come true with an ABBA reunion? Lyngstad laughed. “No,” she said. AP

Tiesto to headline ‘Thank You Festival’

TIESTO WILL HEADLINE a one-day electronic music festival near Washington to build support for US aid to end global poverty, organisers said on Monday. The superstar Dutch DJ voiced hope in a statement that the June 26 show will benefit organisations that help “the millions of kids who are battling abuse and even dying from diseases that have known cures.”

The Thank You Festival at the Merriweather Post Pavilion between Washington and Baltimore will also feature electronic artists Above & Beyond, Krewella and Alvin Risk.

The event is a spinoff of the Global Citizen Festival, which has taken place annually since 2012 at New York’s Central Park and was headlined last year by Stevie Wonder.

The Global Citizen Festival is largely free of monetary charge, with 54,000 tickets distributed last year in exchange for advocacy activities such as signing petitions. The Thank You Festival will give out 100 tickets for advocacy with the rest for sale.

Festival organisers said it was critical to ensure support for foreign aid, crediting US assistance with reducing new polio cases from 1,000 a day in 1990 to one a day last year. But some 29,000 children under age five still die every day, mostly from preventable diseases, according to UNICEF.

Tiesto last month suffered a concussion when he hit his head on a screen during a performance in Calfornia. He has since resumed touring, joking on Twitter that he “took the American expression ‘go knock yourself out’ too literally.”

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