If you belong to the majority who think that Agnetha was the glamorous one in ABBA, you could do a lot worse than read her 1996 memoir As I Am. In fact, you don't even need to read it: chapter titles such as Abba's Last Tour Was a Success But Awful for Me and I Remember the Last Awful Thump tell you all you need to know.
How did we not notice how miserable Agnetha was during ABBA's glory years? Look at her in the video to Take a Chance on Me, bedecked in the knitwear of self-loathing, too self-conscious to even smile properly. Why did grown-ups deem her the sexy one when the minx-eyed Frida was standing right next to her?
The new ABBA GOLD DVD yields few clear answers. Frida gives a stunning account of herself throughout. Watch her and Benny fumbling in the bushes in the video for The Name of the Game; or Lasse Halstr÷m's video for Summer Night City, boasting veritÚ-style footage of the hungover couple returning home at dawn. Unlike Agnetha, who resented all the fame and attention, Frida seemed unbothered by what anyone thought of her.
Behold the boudoir silliness of the sleeve of her 1976 solo album. No one who ever took themselves too seriously ever posed for a picture like that. Ditto her post-divorce punk barnet? The kind of perplexing Ziggy Stardust coiffure that happens when you say "surprise me!" to a drunken hairdresser. By all accounts, Frida was one of the boys; a party animal who embraced the touring life with open arms.
And as befits a bon vivant, her post-ABBA life saw her getting hitched to a prince. Cool! Which made her a princess. Double cool!! And what did Agnetha do? She made a load of bad solo albums, wrote that book and entered a relationship with a weird Dutchman who turned out have a dead turtle and a bucket of poo in his front room. So you still think that blondes have more fun?
I'll be right back, I need another box of tissues. The socks are in the dryer.