ABBA star BJORN ULVAEUS credits the 1970s band with making the inter-group marriages last longer, rather than being the cause of their failed relationships.

Bjorn was married to singer Agnetha Faltskog, while bandmates BENNY ANDERSSON and ANNA-FRID LYNGSTAD were also man and wife - although neither marriage survived the seminal pop band.

However, in retrospect Bjorn muses, "A lot of people think that the divorces came about because of the stress of having to tour together and working together, but I don't think so. I think, rather, the other way round.

"The fact that we were together on tour perhaps made the marriage last longer. We got married quite young and after 10 years you find out you're different and you grow apart. It happens to so many people."

The philosophical WATERLOO songwriter continues, "Afterwards, we didn't know whether we could go on as a group. Benny and Frida split up, you know, roughly half a year after that. The four of us decided we had so much more to give, but it was strange in the studio.

"When I used to ask my wife to do things, suddenly she wasn't my wife. She was someone else. Yes, strange. But we had our burning ambition still, so this overcame everything, you know, because we felt that we had so much more to give."

29/07/2003 13:59