Today’s Five of the Best celebrates Marie Frederiksson and Per Gessle – who are better know as Swedish pop duo, Roxette.
The pair emerged in the late 80s and enjoyed a long, successful career, which is incredibly still in full swing. Roxette has a long list of chart-busting singles and choosing just five was always going to be a challenge. With more than 30 singles and sales in excess of 75 million, Roxette is an undeniable success story. Recent live shows have proven the duo has lost none of its magic and Marie and Per are back to perform in New Zealand in 2015. (See below for tour and ticket details). We hope you enjoy this edition of Five of the Best!
Dangerous was the fifth single from Roxette’s hugely successful album, Look Sharp! The song was written by Per Gessle on the eve of the duo’s first tour in 1987 but was not released until late in 1989. The song was a chart success for Roxette and spent two weeks at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 behind Janet Jackson’s Escapade. The film clip for Dangerous was shot at Borgholm Castle in Oland and features a mix of rehearsal and live performance from Roxette’s 1989 concert at the venue. The upbeat, pop song is unmistakably a Roxette tune and a fine example of the pair’s catchy work.
4. Listen to Your Heart
Listen to Your Heart represents everything that is great about late 80s pop ballads. The powerful vocals and prominent lead guitar are quintessential features of this style of music and Per Gessle said in an interview Listen to Your Heart was Roxette’s attempt to recreate the “overblown American FM-rock sound to the point it almost becomes absurd”. Well, job well done, Per. The song is one of Roxette’s most-successful despite originally only being released in Sweden (in 1988). Following the local success, the song was released to a wider audience in 1989 and enjoyed chart success around the world. We think this a great example of Roxette’s work – check out the video below.
3. The Look
The Look is considered to be the song that launched Roxette to the international stage. The opening track and second single on their 1989 Look Sharp! album, The Look was the duo’s first US #1 and also topped the charts in 24 other countries. Amazingly, The Look was played on US radio before it was officially released. An American exchange student returned to the States from Sweden and convinced his local radio station to play the song. Once released, The Look was already played widely on radio thanks to cassette copies. The song was written by Per Gessle and also features prominent vocals from the male member of Roxette.
2. It Must Have Been Love
Most people know It Must Have Been Love from the classic 1990s film, Pretty Woman. But the song was actually first conceived as a Christmas ballad and was titled It Must Have Been Love (Christmas for the Broken Hearted). EMI Germany asked Roxette to pen a Christmas single in 1987 and it went on to become a top 10 single in Sweden. It was not until 1990 the song was received international success after featuring in the Julia Roberts/Richard Gere movie. Despite featuring on the Pretty Woman soundtrack, It Must Have Been Love was not featured on a Roxette album until 1995’s greatest hits release, Don’t Bore Us, Get to the Chorus! The song was hugely successful around the world including in Australia where it reached #1.
Following the huge success of Look Sharp! the pressure was on to follow-up with a killer track and album. Roxette did just that with Joyride – the title of both the first single and album. Joyride was a mega-hit around the world reaching #1 in many countries including Australia, USA, UK, Canada, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. Interestingly, the song’s opening line came from a note Per Gessle’s girlfriend (now wife) wrote to him that said ‘Hello, you fool, I love you’. The pop rock song is very indicative of Roxette’s style and is in our opinion the quintessential sound of the Swedish duo. Enjoy the video below!
Roxette will perform at Vector Arena on Saturday February 7. Click here to purchase tickets.