Mar. 9th, 2014
Middle-aged men in black tie, and wives with ambitious up-dos and drop earrings – Eurovision was event television and the studio audience dressed accordingly – averted their gaze as one Björn Ulvaeus swaggered on to the stage in silver knee-high boots and the tightest white trousers ever seen on screen. He was accompanied by his wife, Agnetha Fältskog, and another couple, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, swaying to the beat in surreal velour jackets studded with diamonds and draped in chainmail. Waterloo, a relentlessly upbeat number, received only polite applause; but voting panels across Europe loved it, and by the evening’s end Sweden was top of the leader board – and a band called Abba had gained an international following.