The longest lasting and most successful pop group ever to come out of Scandinavia are making themselves ready to hit the road again.
We’re talking about Roxette, of course—the dynamic duo consisting of Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle, who’s melodic songs with their irresistible hooks and soaring choruses spread like wildfire all over the world some 25 years ago. And guess what, the heat is still on.
The brand-new collection “Roxette XXX – The 30 Biggest Hits” is a testament to the band’s incredible staying power. Two cd’s with 30 songs, most of which can be heard over the airwaves just around the corner as well as on the other side of the planet, while you read this.
We’re talking hits. Smashes. Global anthems. Out of the 30 songs handpicked for this album, 28 were released as singles. They are complemented by two stand-out album tracks—both (Do You Get) Excited and Perfect Day being culled from the group’s 11-million+ selling third albumJoyride, released in 1991.
Roxette’s 1989 breakthrough single ”The Look” kicks off the show. And rightly so. Soon after the song entered the # 1 position on the US Billboard singles chart in March 1989, it also found its way to the top in 24 other countries. Within weeks, Roxette was a global pop phenomenon.
”Listen To Your Heart”, ”It Must Have Been Love” and “Joyride” became three more US #1 songs in 1989-91, establishing their position as something far bigger and more forceful than your average MTV act. And in between there were even more contenders, as if Roxette were peppering the charts with a relentless flow of singles aiming for the top; “Dressed For Success”, “Dangerous”, “Fading Like A Flower”, “Spending My Time”, “The Big L”, and “Queen Of Rain”.
This initial and seemingly never-ending stream of classic pop singles earned them a special place in the hearts of millions of fans. They topped that with two world tours that proved what Roxette could do on stage. And trust us, fans who saw a Marie Fredriksson on fire back in 1991-92 or 1994-95 never seem to forget it.
But that’s just a part of the explanation. The real secret behind Roxette’s longevity is in the songs. As the group’s chief songwriter, Per Gessle has supplied enough melodies, hooks, choruses, and lyrical twists to turn the group into something resembling a living jukebox.
And with the combination of Marie Fredriksson’s powerful soul/rock voice and Gessle’s laid back pop cool, Roxette had a palette big enough to cover emotions from the deep blue sorrow of “Spending My Time” and “The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye” to the Friday night ecstasy of “Real Sugar” and “Opportunity Nox”.
Also included on this collection are three examples of how Roxette manage to sound epic while playing down the romantic drama rather than emphasizing it. Just check out the three of the singles from their 1994 multi-platinum album “Crash! Boom! Bang!”—“Run To You”, “Vulnerable”, and of course the majestic title track.
Times changed in the 90’s, and so did Roxette. Songs like the garage-rocker “Sleeping In My Car”, the 60’s inspired pop whimsy of “June Afternoon”, the mesmerizing “Wish I Could Fly” and the euro pop frenzy “Stars”, saw the band expanding their sound and exploring new musical directions while still maintaining their unique melodic sense.
Having allowed themselves a well-deserved break in the mid 90’s, Roxette returned and released two albums with a slightly updated sound at the turn of the century—“Have A Nice Day” in 1999 and “Room Service” in 2001. But despite the group’s ability to change with the times, the songs core stayed the same.
Ballads like the wistful “Anyone” and “Milk And Toast And Honey” had all the characteristics of classic Roxette in them, just as “The Centre Of The Heart (Is A Suburb To The Brain” felt like a fresh take on their cheeky, fast-moving pop side.
But in the autumn of 2002, it seemed the story would end. The band was about to release the new single “A Thing About You”, when Marie Fredriksson collapsed at home. She was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Her fight back in to life was heroic, and took the better part of the decade. In 2009 Marie was well enough for Roxette to re-form, which started a new and totally unprecedented phase of an already remarkable career. When the group in the beginning of 2011 kicked off their comeback world tour in the Russian city Kazan, nobody realized that they would perform in front of 1.5 million people in 46 countries before the tour finally reached its end in Mexico City in September 2012.
While on the road, Roxette released two new albums, “Charm School” (2011) and “Travelling” (2012), and more singles. “She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)” was a great return to form, which again did the trick of occupying the world’s top radio charts, while Peter “Bassflow” Boström’s clever remake of the shamefully overlooked 1991 single B-side “The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye” easily proved the timeless quality of Roxette’s best work.
With a new world tour kicking off in Russia, Roxette are ready for yet another sing along party with their loyal army of worldwide fans called Roxers. “Roxette XXX – The 30 Biggest Hits” is a great reminder of why everybody wants the show to go on.
So now it's finally official - Roxette are ready to embark on yet another world tour this year! It has been two years since one of Scandinavia’s biggest pop exports ever ended their sensational comeback World Tour 2011-2012. A tour that took them around the Globe twice, playing for 1.5 million people in 46 countries on 6 continents!
And now it’s time for Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle to bring their string of much loved hits to the world once again. Roxette’s fantastic come-back started with the release of the hit album ”Charm School” (2011) with the No 1 single ”She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)” and during the first leg of the world tour, the album ”Travelling” was recorded and released 2012. In December last year the blu-ray/dvd/cd ”Roxette live: Travelling The World” was relased.
Since the last tour ended, Marie and Per have been working on their separate Swedish careers; Per with his former band Gyllene Tider who did a massive Swedish tour last summer on the back of a brand new No 1 album. Marie released her first studio album in Swedish in 8 years and is currently ending her first, highly praised, solo tour in Sweden since the year 2000. This year marks the 25 anniversary of Roxette’s world wide break. The hit single “The Look”, from the album “Look Sharp”, reached no #1 on Billboard US Chart in the spring of 1989 and that was the start of one of the world’s biggest and longest pop careers. Their first Billboard No 1 was followed by three more; "Listen to Your Heart", ”It Must Have Been Love” and ”Joyride” and their albums have sold well over 75 millon units to date. And so the Roxette joyride continues and their next world tour kicks off in Russia 2014. Come join it! Dates and places will be added as we go along but here are the first ones:
Today it’s been 25 years since “The Look” became a Billboard #1. To celebrate this, “Hitlåtens Historia” can be seen at SVTplay again and the single is released on Spotify.
Roxette is one of the first bands to be inducted into the Swedish Music Hall of Fame. As one of the bands that have had major influence over the development of popular music in Sweden. The Hall of Fame exhibition will open in the Swedish Music Hall of Fame on Djurgården in Stockholm on March 20.
Roxette Live+Documentary DVD/Blu-ray update: Looks like we have to wait until late summer for release. However, it will include full concert + extended documentary + 90 min hilarious So, Christoffer!-vids. Maybe we should make the audio available on its own as well. It sounds terrific. We all agree that live albums are underrated! /P.