Archive for the ‘Roxette’ Category

“Every time I see you, I try to hide away. But, when we meet it seems I can’t let go. Every time you leave the room I feel I’m fading like a flower”

Now a days  everyone can have their “fifteen minutes of fame” thanks to social media i.e.  You tube, Facebook and MySpace.  Makes me wonder if you are living in the pre internet era how bands like Roxette, a Swedish pop music duo, consisting of Marie Fredriksson (vocals) and Per Gessle (vocals and guitar), formed in 1986 met international success? Here’s how, “Dean Cushman an American exchange student from Minneapolis studying in Sweden heard “The Look”, and brought a copy of Roxette’s Look Sharp! Album in his hometown of Minneapolis back in 1988 for a holiday break. He gave the album to a Minneapolis radio station, KDWB 101.3 FM. The station started playing “The Look” and based on positive caller feedback, the song became very popular, quickly spreading to other radio stations. The song became a radio hit before any Roxette product had been commercially released or promoted in the US market. The story was covered by radio, newspapers and TV in the US and in Sweden.” The name Roxette was chosen from the title of a 1975 Dr. Feelgood song by Gessle and the other members.

Since then the duo from Halmstad, Sweden became an international act from the late 1980s, when they released their breakthrough album Look Sharp! Their third album Joyride, which was released in 1991, became just as successful as its predecessor. Roxette went onto achieve nineteen UK Top 40 hits and several US Hot 100 hits, including four US number-ones with “The Look”, “Listen to Your Heart”, “It Must Have Been Love”, and “Joyride”. Other hits included “Dangerous”, “Fading like a Flower” and “Dressed for Success”.

Roxette was Sweden’s contribution to the world apart from ABBA and IKEA. I’m not a fan at first I perceived them as nothing more than a shallow pop/rock band,  but my liking for this duo grew after watching Pretty Woman, a 1990 romantic comedy film set in Los Angeles, California directed by Garry Marshall features Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. A story of a successful businessman (Richard Gere) takes a detour on Hollywood Boulevard to ask for directions. Receiving little help, he encounters a beautiful prostitute named Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) who is willing to assist him in getting to his destination and eventually she was hired to be his escort for several business and social functions, and their developing relationship over the course of Vivian’s week-long stay with him. The soundtrack by Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1990 because of this movie as per Wikipedia; Touchstone Pictures approached EMI and Roxette about contributing a song to the soundtrack of this upcoming film. Gessle has claimed that “It Must Have Been Love”, by then a 2-year-old recording, was chosen because Roxette didn’t have time to compose and record a new song. The film’s producers turned it down, asking for another song, but Gessle declined to produce another song.] Some weeks later after re-editing the film before release, the producers re-requested “It Must Have Been Love”, but Roxette had to remove the Christmas lyrics. Gessle and producer Clarence Öfwerman then took the old recording, had Fredriksson replace a single Christmas-referenced line in the song and added some instrumentation and background vocal overlays.

Since 1989 I kept hearing Roxette’s tunes played in the airwaves and it was never easy to ignore them as they have a knack for writing catchy tunes and simple hooks of melodies that are sweet but not mushy. Eventually it stopped and they were gone, like any other bands I assumed that these guys had a falling out thru the course of their career, it’s only now I learned that in 2002 the duo took a hiatus when Fredriksson was diagnosed with a brain tumour.  Another wrong assumption was Marie and Per was real life husband and wife or once dated, I swear I heard this from a good source back in the day but it proved me wrong now: Marie once actually said in an interview, and I quote, “Everyone wants us to be a couple,” so there is pressure. But the fact is, they admit to never having dated. In fact, both of them are married to other people. Per married his long-time girlfriend Asa Nordin in 1993 and they have an 11-year-old son, Gabriel. Marie married Mikail Bolyos in 1994, and they have a 15-year-old daughter, Inez Josefin, and an 11-year-old son, Oscar. –

I had a blast hearing them live last March 6, 2012 at the Singapore Stadium. I actually have goose bumps hearing the song ‘It must have been love’ and especially Gessle mentioned that the song was 25 years old to date. The duo delivered more than expected and Marie belting out in every chorus like it was still 1990 was pure nostalgia!