Ben Platt
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ABBA, Eternally Fab

ABBA, Eternally Fab

Photgraphy by Wolfgang “Bubi” Heilemann, 1975

There’s a caption in the new book ABBA: 600 Rare, Classic, and Unseen Photos Telling the Complete Story (Max Strom) that may explain why the quartet remains such a treasure. Near a picture of singer Agnetha Fältskog in a minidress stamped with a blue-and-gold kitty cat, we’re told the Swedish government reimbursed performers for costumes that couldn’t be used for daily wear. Turns out, all those nutty clothes were also sensible write-offs.

As the tome suggests, this blend of showmanship and practicality made ABBA “a people’s group.” Through hundreds of images — from their childhoods to their “Dancing Queen” peak and their recent careers — we learn how the gifted troupe followed sold-out arena shows with rounds of Yahtzee on their tour bus. We’re also reminded that, between raising babies and decorating their kitchens, they recorded some of pop’s most undeniable songs.

Tags: Art & Books

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