Extended version of “Son of a Plumber” by Per Gessle

As Per informed a couple of days ago, he decided to release the complete SOAP project today, 26th February. The album now includes an extra disc besides the original 2 discs. It’s a digital release, an Extended Version next to the original SOAP double album on all streaming platforms. Listen HERE!

Son of a Plumber came out on 23rd November 2005 and the announcement contained this information:

Under his new artist name “Son of a Plumber”, Per Gessle will reveal his next move in November 2005; a double album packed with deeply personal and highly inventive music of a kind that explains why he for more than 25 years has been the uncrowned king of Swedish pop and an international superstar with more than 45 million album and 25 million singles sold. A rolling stone gathers no moss…

SOAP was a huge success already upon its release. It spent 28 weeks on the Swedish album charts and for the first two weeks it was No. 1. What else? It became a platinum album already on release day, selling 60,000 copies.

In 2005 Per said:

I do think it’s the most personal and also the most beautiful record I’ve been involved in, there are several tunes I think are my best ever… for what it’s worth…
It’s a very special record that needs some time to “get used to”. And that’s the whole idea, I wanted it to have a certain “temperature” and a unique vibe, not just 2 or 3 songs that you can singalong to while drinking lukewarm beer. Hallelujah!

The SOAP band consisted of Per Gessle, Helena Josefsson, Clarence Öfwerman, Christoffer Lundquist and Jens Jansson.

HERE you can watch the making of SOAP!

This is what Mr. G has to tell regarding the extended version release:

I always considered it [SOAP] to be a milestone in my work. Why? Well, several reasons.

First of all it was a warm-hearted homage to the music I always loved and grew up with (late 60’s-early 70’s stuff). I also managed to change my way of making records (with a lot of help from Christoffer + Clarence). It was the first (and only) album where I didn’t do any demos. I just had “sketches” with me to the Aerosol Grey Machine-studio and let the inspiration and creativity flow free. And then, of course, Helena helped us out with lots of mindblowing improvisation.

SO WHAT’S NEW? On Friday Feb 26 the complete SOAP project will be released on all streaming services including remixes, bonus-tracks, single b-sides + all the “sketches”. I like my drawers to be tidy hahaha (you know me…) so this feels good. Badabam from P.

Tracklist of Disc 3

1. A Girl Like You – 2:58
2. Keep The Radio On (This Is The Perfect Song) – 2:56
3. Shopping With Mother – 2:41
4. Plonk – 1:07
5. Hey Mr DJ (Won’t You Play Another Love Song) (Love-For-Sale Remix) – 3:55
6. I Never Quite Got Over The Fact That The Beatles Broke Up (Jimmy Monell Short Treatment) – 4:10
7. Shopping With Mother (Voz Vibrante Remix) – 3:54
8. Hey Mr DJ (Won’t You Play Another Love Song) (Jimmy Monell Treatment) – 3:43
9. I Never Quite Got Over The Fact That The Beatles Broke Up (Jimmy Monell Long Treatment) – 5:41
10. Shopping With Mother (Mother’s Dub by Voz Vibrante) – 3:54
11. Plumber In Progress #1 – 0:45
12. Plumber In Progress #2 – 0:45
13. Plumber In Progress #3 – 0:45
14. Plumber In Progress #4 – 0:45
15. Plumber In Progress #5 – 0:45
16. Plumber In Progress #6 – 0:45
17. Plumber In Progress #7 – 0:39
18. Plumber In Progress #8 – 0:44
19. Plumber In Progress #9 – 0:45
20. Plumber In Progress #10 – 0:45
21. Plumber In Progress #11 – 0:34
22. Plumber In Progress #12 – 0:31
23. Plumber In Progress #13 – 0:45
24. Plumber In Progress #14 – 0:40
25. Plumber In Progress #15 – 0:31

STIM interview with Roxette manager Marie Dimberg

As we informed you about it in October, Marie Dimberg was awarded the Swedish Government’s Honorary award for a lifetime achievement of Music Export. Now STIM (Swedish Performing Rights Society) did an interview with Marie, founder of Dimberg Jernberg Management, who besides Roxette, Per Gessle and Gyllene Tider represents several other great Swedish artists.

STIM’s first question to Marie was how she started working with music. Marie tells she has always been interested in music, but when she moved back to Sweden in 1982 after a period in Brighton (where the music scene flourished before), a lot started to happen with Swedish music. She went to a lot of concerts, hung out at the Ritz and bought records at Gamla stan’s record store. Music became a lifestyle and something she wanted to work with. She says her first job in the industry was as CEO secretary for Rolf Nygren at EMI. A year later, she was promoted to PR manager for Swedish and international artists and she started working with, among others, Per Gessle, Marie Fredriksson, Ulf Lundell, Jakob Hellman, Eldkvarn, Wilmer X. On the international side, she worked with artists like David Bowie, Tina Turner, Queen, Diana Ross and Paul McCartney and eventually Blur, Radiohead, Pet Shop Boys and many more.

STIM is curious why Marie moved to London 10 years later. Marie tells it was because of Roxette’s big breakthrough. She was assigned as Vice President International at EMI in London. She went to a lot of trainings and they sent her there to work on Parlophone and Capitol, which meant that she didn’t work with Roxette during that time. When Marie returned to EMI in Sweden, she became marketing director and had 22 people who reported to her, but this way she got further away from the artists.

When Marie came back to Sweden, she started her own management. She wanted to get closer to the music again and her experience from London made her dare. There were hardly any managements in Sweden during that period (1997). Roxette and Peter Jöback were the first ones she signed.

STIM asks Marie what she thinks has contributed to the fact that she has been working with both Roxette and Peter Jöback for so long. Marie thinks it’s because they have more or less grown up in the industry together. Her job has always been like a lifestyle for her that she prioritized. You either grow apart or you grow together, as in all relationships, Marie adds. Being an artist is the world’s loneliest job and therefore you need someone who stands there and applauds when things are going well and is there when things are going badly. In addition, you learn a lot from each other.

STIM is curious about what the biggest difference is between working in the music industry now vs. 20-30 years ago. Marie tells it’s easier to make music today because the technology has developed so much, but at the same time it’s harder to break through because so much music is made. There are greater opportunities for exposure today, but in the past it was easier to break through because the channels were fewer. At that time they toured to promote their record because they sold so many records, today it is the other way around. Today you release music so that you can tour.

STIM asks Marie what makes her a good manager. Ms. Dimberg says she is steady, extremely loyal and takes care of good communication. She thinks it’s important to be able to communicate with and to an artist. You have to be a team when you work together and have both long-term and short-term goals. There will always be steps along the way that you will like differently, but the artist’s vision should always be first. Marie Dimberg will never forget a moment when once Marie Fredriksson left the stage after a gig and Ms. Dimberg burst out in “How good it was! But…” and then Marie F. interrupted Marie D. and said: “You never say BUT immediately when someone leaves the stage.” Since then, Marie D. never gives criticism immediately after someone has performed, but then they have to talk through it later.

STIM asks if their is any magic formula for an artist break-through. Marie usually says that it’s the four T’s [in Swedish all words start with T /PP] – luck, timing, talent and teamwork. It’s very difficult to break through and have a hit, but it’s almost even harder to follow up and create more hits.

STIM is curious about what has been the most instructive period of Marie’s career so far. Ms. Dimberg says she was trained at EMI and the climate there was very good. It was made clear very early that they worked for the artists and not for themselves. Kjell Andersson (EMI) used to say that you must prove that you deserve to have an opinion. Marie thinks it’s a very good saying because many people just say things out without thinking them through.

If Marie had to do something differently in her career, she would have been paid more and insisted more in certain situations. The latter requires that you pursue a case and not fight for that matter: “be confident, not cocky”, that’s a big difference, Marie says.

Regarding future happenings at Dimberg Jernberg Management, Marie tells STIM that they make plans, but they are flexible due to the current situation. Ana Diaz is their latest signing, Molly Hammar just released a smash hit, “Douchebag”, Per Gessle is in the studio and recording in English right now, their Danish pop prince, Christopher comes with hit after hit, Peter Jöback turns 50 this year and they will celebrate it in every possible way. Loney Dear has just released “Trifles”, which Marie thinks is fantastic and his album will be out on 26th March.

Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – February 2021

The February show of Nordic Rox on Sirius XM is No. 494 in the program’s history. Wow!

Per tells there are songs in Swedish and in English on the list for this show, but he couldn’t find any Danish songs. He tells American people think if you are Swedish or Danish, you can understand each other’s language, but Mr. G has a problem understanding Danish, even if he is from the South of Sweden. He tells these are very different languages and understanding Danish is like trying to understand French. The guys laugh.

The first song, Blow My Cool is from one of Per’s favourite Swedish bands ever, The Soundtrack of Our Lives. He thinks they are amazing.

The guys also played Black Car by Miriam Bryant, Yours To Keep from Teddybears and Miss Mac Baren by Tages. Per tells he still has this Tages single and he got it as a Christmas present when he was maybe 7 or 8 years old. Sven adds some say Tages were the best dressed and most talented Swedish band in the ’60s. Per tells they were actually called the Swedish Beatles and they were produced by Anders Henriksson. All their singles sound amazing still.

The next song is Intermezzo No. 1 from ABBA. It’s an early instrumental track and it’s very special according to Sven. Per says Benny had a lot of strange spices in his lunch when he wrote this one. The guys are laughing. It’s on the ABBA album (1975) which was a lightweight record according to Per and he adds that Christoffer Lundquist loves this track and plays it regularly, which is sort of weird. Sven pictures Benny dressed up as a young Mozart when they recorded this one.

Young Folks by Peter Bjorn and John is also played from 2006. When it was released it didn’t make the charts in Sweden. It charted in England first and then it became a big song and spreaded like wildfire. Per thinks it still sounds great.

Sucker Punch from Sigrid (Norway) is played too. Per thinks this is her best song. I’m in the Band from The Hellacopters was on the show as well.

Then comes a song in Swedish from the band November. They were a Swedish equivalent to Cream, a British rock band formed by Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker. The guys play the first track from the first album of November, Mount Everest from En ny tid är här… (1970). Per’s brother had this album and Mr. G always loved it. It’s very bluesy and it sounds great. Sven adds guitarist Richard Rolf was very much inspired by Eric Clapton and the singer and bassist Christer Stålbrandt was also the songwriter in the band, Per tells. Even if you don’t understand the lyrics of Mount Everest, it sort of translates, Per thinks.

Edith Backlund’s Black Hole was played. Mr. G thinks it’s a lovely song. Sven adds it’s a great pop track and it has a beautiful melody.

Christof Jeppsson’s cover of Roxette’s I Call Your Name was played on the show as well. Per tells he is a guy from his hometown, Halmstad. He plays a lot of acoustic stuff and he is very talented, he’s got a great voice and is very focused. Mr. G thinks Christof did a great job on this song and Per is very pleased about that.

Milk and Toast and Honey by Roxette was played. Per says it’s a beautiful track, Marie is singing it so well. [The program was recorded probably i November last year. /PP] Sven says it’s almost a year since Marie passed away. He asks Per if he still thinks about Marie. Mr. G says of course he does. You do when you lose someone so close to you. So he thinks about Marie a lot. They had this wonderful relationship. And even if he doesn’t think about her, she pops up when he hears a Roxette song. Per tells he loves MATAH, for him it’s his favourite track off the album. Sven says it’s a nice sounding album, it has a warm sound.

Ride or Die by Sindy, Not Forever by Popsicle, a Swedish band from Piteå and Say Lou Lou’s Julian were played too. The mother of the sisters in Say Lou Lou played in a Swedish punk band, Pink Champagne and their father is from an Australian band, The Church.

My Favourite Game by The Cardigans is one of the last songs played on the show. They had a global breakthrough at the time, Sven says. Per remembers the amazing video to this song, directed by Jonas Åkerlund. Sven laughs and says he finds it interesting that they are sitting there on a radio show talking about watching videos.

Jo-Anna Says from Per’s Son of a Plumber album was on air too. Per tells it was released in 2005 and it was a liberation to use another name back then. They were spending many months in the studio. Per just decided that if he does the record under a different name, it will be his debut album. Sven adds it probably gave liberty to Per to do whatever he wanted. Per agrees and says he then thought let’s do a double album, because he always loved the idea that if you do a debut album it becomes a double album. He thinks that’s really cool. In 2005 you were still thinking in albums, he says. It doesn’t work like that anymore. However, Per in his mind will always do that. Mr. G thinks SOAP is one of his greatest recordings. Sven tells it’s really fun listening to. It was recorded during the iPod era and Per was transferring a lot of music to his iPod. Doing that he recognized so many songs that he forgot about. That was the inspiration for this album.

Until they „are back to make the airwaves glowing again”, the guys say goodbye and Per tells Sven he is proud to be on this show. Anita Lindblom’s Cigarettes is closing the program.

Still is from the Bag of Trix comment videos recorded by Anders Roos.

Thanks for the technical support to János Tóth!

Per Gessle to Dagens Nyheter about the power of music

According to a recent study, the songs we listened to as 14-year-olds make the biggest impact on us. Dagens Nyheter was curious about what seven Swedish artists listened to when they were 14. Per Gessle was one of those artists they asked.

Per tells Kajsa Haidl from Dagens Nyheter that he was 14 in 1973 and he listened to e.g. The Ballroom Blitz by The Sweet. He didn’t understand anything of the text, but loved the intro, the guitars and the handclaps.

Per says he was completely hooked on glam rock at the age of 14. He thinks it’s perfect teenage music. Mr. G had posters of David Bowie, T. Rex, Gary Glitter and Alice Cooper on the walls of his room at the time.

Dagens Nyheter asks Per if he agrees that we are most affected by and have the strongest memories of the music we listened to when we were around 14 years old. Mr. G replies that many people become interested in music seriously when adolescence begins. However, he started much earlier and pop music has been dominating his life since he was 6 or 7. He has the strongest memories of music from when he was younger than 14, such as The Beatles’ White Album, Woodstock, The Who, Hep Stars and Tages.

Kajsa asks Per what he thinks about the fact that he and his music had an impact on and created memories for young people who carry it through life. Per says it’s of course fantastic, but also difficult to absorb. Music has such an exceptional power that almost no other form of art has. Mr. G says he had the privilege of experiencing it with Roxette. They played all over the planet for people with completely different languages, religions, political views, skin colour and background, but everyone reacted exactly the same way to It Must Have Been Love, Listen To Your Heart or The Look. He doesn’t know how this universal power works.

Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle on the album related to Kjell Andersson’s book

Kjell Andersson, former Head of A&R and producer at EMI Sweden publishes his autobiography, Ingen går hel ur det här – Mitt liv i den svenska musiken on 8th February. Over 40 years in the music industry, Kjell worked together with many of Sweden’s greatest artists. To name a few: Per Gessle, Gyllene Tider, Marie Fredriksson, Roxette, Mauro Scocco, Eva Dahlgren, Wilmer X, Björn Skifs, Ulf Lundell etc.

Besides the book, an album is also released where Kjell’s artists offer interpretations of mainly each other’s songs. What a cool idea to create an album like this! Title is Ingen går hel ur det här – Sånger från Kjell Andersson’s liv i den svenska musiken. You can listen to it HERE (after midnight your local time)! It’s very probable that this is a digital release only.

Tracklist (songs related to Marie or Per are in bold)

  1. Plura & Mauro Scocco – Nånting måste gå sönder
  2. Magnus Lindberg – Jag saknar oss
  3. Mauro Scocco – Ljusterö
  4. Andreas Mattsson & Tomas Andersson Wij – Landsvägspirater
  5. Johan & Jessica – Vägar
  6. Peter Lemarc – Sara-Li
  7. Per Gessle & Helena Josefsson – Sniglar oh krut – original: Ulf Lundell (1975)
  8. Basse Wickman – Spelmannen
  9. Marie Fredriksson – Här och nu – original: Basse Wickman (1988)
  10. Nisse Hellberg – Efter stormen – original: Marie Fredriksson (1987)
  11. Toni Holgersson – Om du kunde se mig
  12. Dan Hylander – Ännu doftar kärlek – original: Marie Fredriksson (1984)
  13. Niklas Strömstedt – På väg – original: Per Gessle (1983)
  14. Staffan Hellstrand – Rialto
  15. Lisa Ekdahl – Med kroppen mot jorden
  16. Björn Holm – Hemma till slut
  17. Triad – Den sjunde vågen – original: Marie Fredriksson (1986)
  18. Pernilla Andersson – Dina röda skor

While the recording of Per’s Lundell cover sounds recent, Marie’s recording of Här och nu is most probably from the end of the ’80s, judging by her vocals. Great to hear something so far unreleased by her! Per and Helena sound very authentic on the Lundell cover. This song would well fit the En vacker… sessions in their interpretation.

Covering a Marie song is always a challenge, I would say, and it’s very interesting that all 3 songs of hers are covered by male artists on this album. Triad (Niklas Strömstedt, Lasse Lindbom, Janne Bark) did a great job by interpreting Den sjunde vågen and Niklas Strömstedt’s cover of På väg is also very nice (he wrote the music to it anyway). Niklas already released this song as a duet with Per on his En gång i livet album.

Kjell’s book will for sure be an interesting reading as well!

Update on 9th February 2021: Unfortunately, both Marie’s and Per’s cover disappeared from the streaming sites. Per says: “There was a misunderstanding concerning the master rights to the songs. I’m sure “Sniglar och krut” (and Marie’s song) will pop up somewhere else down the road.