The Roxette Gazette

Biography 2003

Press release • Roxette •

Spring 1988. Two years ago Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle had formed Roxette with the ambition to conquer the world and have a lot of fun along the way. They had kick-started their career with a string of energetic hit singles like “Neverending Love,” “Soul Deep,” and “I Call Your Name.” Their debut album, “Pearls of Passion,” was a multi-platinum seller in Sweden. Everybody said they had potential for something big. Everybody was happy. Everybody except Marie and Per. They had an act, but they didn’t have a sound. Per struggled with a new song. The beat. It had to have the right beat. He twisted the knobs and pushed the keys on his new Ensoniq ESQ-1 synthesizer. What did “Wiper” mean? And where was that manual? Suddenly he stumbled on a stuttering in-your-face beat. Ta-ta-ta. Hmm…not bad…“Walking like a man, hitting like a hammer, she’s a juvenile scam, never was a quitter, tasty like a raindrop, she’s got the look.”

“The Look” demo became the catalyst. In a flash of inspiration, producer Clarence Öfwerman and programmer Anders Herrlin erased all previous recordings for the second Roxette album and started from scratch. “Think different,” was the motto. Days turned into nights as the sessions shaped them up for the big time. Listening to the finished versions of “The Look,” “Dressed for Success,” and “Dangerous,” the Roxette camp knew they had finally found a sound of their own. Now everybody was truly happy.

Having ended the 80s in a triumph of multi-million hits, Roxette entered the new decade with a feeling that everything was possible. Hey, what about some bubblegum psychedelia? What about throwing in some fairground sounds? And what about some whistling? “Joyride” had it all, effortlessly becoming the group’s fourth US #1 hit and topping the charts in many other countries as well. “The Big L.” continued in the style of sequencer-driven guitar pop that Roxette now had made their trademark. But “Church of Your Heart” hinted at a slight change of direction. With its chiming Rickenbacker guitars, it highlighted the group’s roots in the sunny powerpop tradition. Never intended to be more than a solid album track, it was however released as the last single from the “Joyride” album in the spring of 1992.

“How Do You Do!” kicked off the “Tourism” album in 1992, managing to combine the whimsical “psychedelia-light” feeling of “Joyride” with new wave-ish powerpop. Having finished a staggering year-long world tour, the group took a short break before starting another year of recording. They returned in the early spring of 1994 with “Sleeping in My Car,” the first single off the “Crash! Boom! Bang!” album. Propelled by a fuzzy guitar riff and Marie’s powerful vocals, the song underlined just how far the group had departed from the digitally programmed “The Look” sound of '88. “Run To You” was a more mellow affair from the same album, a mid-tempo track that immediately became a European radio favourite.

The group now embarked on yet another marathon World Tour before releasing their first collection of hit singles, “Don’t Bore Us - Get to the Chorus!” in 1995. “June Afternoon” was a new piece of happy-go-lucky pop about daydreams, ice creams and balloons, perfectly capturing the summer spirit in which it was recorded.

Having worked almost non-stop since their formation nine years earlier, Roxette now took some serious time off. It was time to get a life, tend to their loved ones, raise children, buy houses, choose wallpaper, make four-wheel investments, and see the sun once in a while. They returned with the album “Have a Nice Day” in 1999, sending a slight shock wave among their legions of fans with the techno-flavoured “Stars,” throwing in a children’s choir for good measure. A massive hit in Europe, “Stars” was the most obvious “love it or hate it” song Roxette had ever produced. The next album, 2001’s “Room Service,” picked up the momentum with “The Centre of the Heart” and “Real Sugar.” Both became huge radio hits in Europe and South America; the latter accompanied by a hilarious video in a “Late Night Show” send-up.

Which brings us to 2003 and the two new songs on this collection: “Opportunity Nox” and “Little Miss Sorrow,” both featuring high-pitched vocals from Per, both possible contenders for charts around the world.

The beat goes on…