Interview with Per Gessle in Allt om Vin

As we already informed you about it, the July issue of Allt om Vin contains an interview with Per Gessle. The magazine is available in Sweden as of today. The interview was done by Hasse Gänger at the end of April and the beauty pics of Mr. G were taken by Stefan Bohlin at Vingruppen’s office in Stockholm.

In the interview Per says he can understand those who are eager to have their own vineyard. Though in that case, one might decide: “Now this is what I will do for the rest of my life.” This thought has not entered Mr. G’s mind yet, but he says he is still young.

pg_allt_om_vin_2Per is not a super expert when it comes to wines, but he knows what he likes and that’s enough. It’s rather a hobby for him. He is also very curious. For example, he heard that Ornellaia has made a white wine, Ornellaia Bianco, which was impossible to obtain. He called a contact in England he usually buys from, but he was said the wine was sold out, 4000 bottles were gone. That makes one super curious. He didn’t even know what kind of grape was in it, but he wanted to test it of course.

The night before the interview with Allt om Vin was done, Per had dinner with his friends at PA & Co and drank a white wine he never had before and had never heard of. It was Aligoté, a little worse variant of the Chardonnay grape as the waiter explained it to him. It was amazing according to Per. He sent an e-mail directly to Ann Burgaz at WineAgency to ask if she can fix some of that wine for Hotel Tylösand.

Mr. G says that from the beginning he didn’t want to release his wines commercially. There are already a lot of celebrity wines and he doesn’t want to be part of this thing. Moreover, it was the hotel’s wines and still it is his basic idea, to find good wines for their guests. But Ann Burgaz thought the wines were so good. It almost felt as if Marilisa Allegrini produced better wines than what they paid for.

They talk about the wines and champagnes in The Per Gessle Selection and Per explains Kurt & Lisa is named after his parents and has the label with his parents’ wedding photo on it. Mr. G shares one of his coolest memories so far. It happened at a restaurant in Stockholm. Per was sitting there having dinner and three tables away there were some who ordered Kurt & Lisa. He saw how they poured it into the glasses, but they did not know Per was there. It was incredibly special for him and he had never experienced anything like that feeling before in music or anything else. Seeing someone else entirely unknown to drink his own wine was both really strange and cool.

Per tells Hasse Gänger he has no ambitions to become a major wine entrepreneur. He doesn’t want to be in the spotlight, because he doesn’t feel comfortable with it. For example, this interview is the only one he does about wines in the foreseeable future. He wants the wines to speak for themselves.

According to Mr. G, it’s two things that make his wines work. One is that Ann Burgaz has an eye on it and can open doors to high-quality suppliers. The other is Per’s taste. He always tells everyone that one doesn’t need to know so much about wines. The most important thing is to learn what you like. He doesn’t like Zinfandel, for example, but in Bordeaux category, he likes Saint-Julien wines a lot.

Regarding Sommartider wines Per tells the story that it was Magnus Börjeson, Roxette’s bassist who came up with the idea to launch wines called Sommartider. The wines came out first as boxed wines, but now they are also available in bottles.

Then they talk about the alcohol-free wines in the assortment, named after Per’s beloved wife, Åsa. Mr. G says Åsa drinks a lot of alcohol-free wines with her friends. The white and rosé wines in The Per Gessle Selection are called Fru Nordin.

Talking about the labels, as Per is very much of a design freak, he is happy to be involved in the label art. Sommartider wines have his own drawings on the label, Furet has the house he grew up in and Kurt & Lisa’s label colour is changed for every vintage. The latter was inspired by the American Sine Qua Non winery, which each year has new fun designs and names for each vintage.

It was quite difficult to finish the champagne labels, because the regulations are incredibly strict. Per’s own name could appear only in a certain percentage in relation to the name of the champagne, and the images must be wine-related. The 3 champagnes in the assortment are The Convincer, The Pleaser and the flagship, The Improver (which is only available in the restaurant range). 500 bottles of The Improver sold out immediately and the next turn was expected to be available still during this spring. As Per says, The Improver will always be serious shit.

In the interview Per says that he feels he has a little odd taste when it comes to champagne. Many of his friends are in favor of old champagnes, but he likes young champagnes the most. Old champagne tastes almost like a completely different drink. At the same time, his taste changes with time. For a while, he stopped drinking Bordeaux wines and he is rather drinking Italian wines. Mr. G doesn’t really like the new world’s too sweet and strong alcoholic wines. He is very much a Cabernet guy. He likes French and Italian Cabernet, even though they are quite different in taste.

Regarding the future, Per says a Pinot Grigio would fit in The Per Gessle Selection and they are also searching for a South African red wine in Kurt & Lisa’s price range, around 200 crowns.

pg_allt_om_vin_1

 



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RoXXXette On The Road entered the charts

RoXXXette On The Road, Roxette’s extremely beautiful tour photo book photographed by Anders Roos was published on 16th June. The book that includes 41 reflections by Per Gessle has 2 editions, a normal and a limited edition version in 300 copies called The Roxers Edition. The latter one is presented in a very cool hard case and includes 16 additional pages vs. the normal edition, plus a print from the book signed by Anders Roos and the book itself is signed by Per in silver.

The book entered the charts and it’s not even a week ago since it’s out. The positions show high interest in both editions, even if The Roxers Edition is not listed at too many selling points. Let’s see the actual chart positions!

Bokus

On the daily sales charts we could already see that the limited edition book topped the list (actually, it’s now already out of stock), but now the weekly chart is also available and we can see the normal edition is in the Top5 as well. Woohoo!

RoXXXette On The Road – The Roxers Edition: No. 1 in Culture category
RoXXXette On The Road (normal edition): No. 5 in Culture category

Ginza

RoXXXette On The Road (normal edition): No. 2 among all books!!!

 

Congrats for reaching such nice positions on the charts! Keep it up!

RoXXXette On The Road entered the charts

 

Update on 27th June: both editions of the book kept their positions (No. 1 and No. 5) at Bokus, while at Ginza, the normal edition became No. 1.



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Interview with Per Gessle about Good Karma, melodies, songwriting and other groovy things

zdf_pgThere were quite some shorter and longer Good Karma interviews with Per during the past few weeks and he even provided all of us, Roxers with a fantastic opportunity, a Facebook live Q&A some days ago, answering 84 questions in 1 hour. After all this, we still had thousands of questions, so we put them together and shot all of them at him.

Even if Mr. G is always very busy with all of his parallel projects, he found the time to answer all our Qs. It’s really m.u.c.h. a.p.p.r.e.c.i.a.t.e.d. and we love all his detailed replies! And also the less detailed ones. Haha. Enjoy!

 

RXB: – First of all, thank you very much in advance for taking your time and answering our questions. Much appreciated! We know you are always very curious about the reception of your releases. Seeing the reaction of fans, your new album, ”Good Karma” is loved. How does it feel?
PG: – It feels fab. Since our fans are extremely varied and therefore very hard to please we didn’t expect anything like this. People, including the media, seem surprised by the direction we’ve taken and we find that interesting. You never know what people might think.
”Good Karma” has been created with a natural flow, we knew right from the beginning what we were looking for. However it’s been quite a difficult album to make. Not only couldn’t Marie join us in the studio except for her vocal takes and the technical challenges we went through took a lot of time and energy, especially from Christoffer. You need a low pulse and lots of patience to make an album like G.K.

RXB: – ”Good Karma” is the shortest Roxette album with its 38 minutes. Quality over quantity, but do you consider an album having a certain length when you start recording?
PG: – No. We record songs we like and use the ones we like the most. In the ”Good Karma”-case there are a few leftovers but we didn’t think they matched the quality of the other tracks so we left them out. Personally I think forty minutes is perfect for an album. You know you’ve succeeded if your natural instinct is to play it again.

RXB: – Your album titles are always short and simple. After the 10th studio album was released, which of your records do you think has the best title, taking into consideration the whole concept around that certain album?
PG: – I think they’re all pretty good. No, I don’t. I don’t really like ”Pearls Of Passion”. I don’t like titles with an ”OF” in the middle. It sounds pretentious. My original song was called ”Pearls AND Passion” but it was misspelled by EMI on an early draft and we kept it like that for some reason. And I changed the title and the lyrics of my song. True story. Have I told that one before?
”Look Sharp!” is a very cool title. ”Crash! Boom! Bang!” as well. And ”Charm School” and ”Joyride”. And ”Have A Nice Day”. And ”Room Service”. Hey, we’re brilliant at titles!

RXB: – You smiled in the Sat1 interview that the album leaked and so you could read on Facebook which songs people liked already before the official release date. Does it piss you off when such things happen?
PG: – No, it was expected. It’s almost impossible to keep things secret these days. There’s always someone who spills the beans. It goes hand in hand with our open-minded and ultra connected universe.

RXB: – Regarding radio, the last time a Roxette lead single went on air worldwide was ”She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)” in 2011. Unfortunately, in many countries ”It Just Happens” is still not played. Why do you think radios don’t pick it up even if there are news in the media about it?
PG: – Radio doesn’t work like it used to. In the old days you had music people who were in charge over playlists etc. Today most stations around the world play music selected by algorithms based on social media etc. It’s pretty tough to crack that system especially if you’re a ”vintage” band like us. It’s the same problem for most artists of our generation (and older). That’s one of the reasons most songs in the Top 40 chart sound pretty much the same and are targeted towards a very young audience who are on the internet all the time.

RXB: – You mentioned in several interviews that ”Good Karma” songs were not meant to be performed live. The previous two albums’ lead singles had you on lead vocals, which was obvious from promotional point of view as Marie wouldn’t have been able to handle new lyrics. How was ”It Just Happens” chosen now? Three singles in a row with you on lead vocals make us wonder.
PG: – No strategy. Warner wanted a ”classic” powerful Roxette-song as the lead single and off we went with ”IJH”. It’s a quite sophisticated song, coming from us. Maybe not the most obvious choice for a first single but I understand how they were thinking. Personally I consider ”IJH” to be a ”Marie-song”. Her vocals are the driving force behind it, not mine.

RXB: – ”Some Other Summer” might have a bigger potential. Do you expect it or any another song to be a bigger hit worldwide and that radios realize these tracks are worth to be on air?
PG: – No, I don’t expect anything. ”SOS” is a great pop song in my book, so are ”Good Karma” and ”Why Dontcha?” and a few others. But that doesn’t mean that I expect it to become a worldwide hit. It doesn’t work like that anymore. New balls, dear you.

RXB: – Talking about it, you gave ”Some Other Summer” to Sebastien Drums long before your original version was out. What was the idea behind someone else releasing your song before you do?
PG: – We had a mutual friend in the German music biz who asked us if we had a Rox-song Sebastien could use. And we had just finished ”SOS” so he got that one. I like the idea of doing unexpected things. Sometimes strange and wonderful things happen that way. But I never really understood Seb’s official version. There are a couple of other SOS-remixes he did that I prefer. But that’s me.

RXB: – The video to ”It Just Happens” turned out to be wonderful. We loved seeing you both enjoyed the shooting and Marie still loves acting. How was it working together with a new team?
PG: – It was cool. They all did a great job. We spent a day in an old building in the centre of Stockholm trying out the take away sushi and fooling around in front of the cameras. The rest of the shooting didn’t involve us at all but we certainly liked the result. It’s a beautiful little story that director Tobias Nordquist captured very well visually.

RXB: – We got used to the fact that MTV is mostly not about music and videos anymore and the clips are rather watched on YouTube, Vimeo, etc. What do you think is the purpose of a video clip nowadays?
PG: – I think most things you do promowise are made to remind the media and your fans that you’re still alive! If you release new music and don’t do anything, no interviews, no videos or no TV-appearances it’s really hard to cut through that enormous amount of information that surrounds us all. A video might pop up at an airport, department store or getting shared on smartphones. It’s all part of that big puzzle called the entertainment industry.

RXB: – We got very excited when in an earlier interview you mentioned you wrote some songs together with MP now for the first time since long. ”You Can’t Do This to Me Anymore” is now on the album and it’s certainly very different to what we are used to when you 2 put your talents together. Are there any other songs from this set of latest MP cooperations that might see the light of day?
PG: – I don’t know. We’ve written more songs together over the last couple of years but there are no plans of using them for the moment. Time will tell what’s gonna happen to them. MP sometimes got some wonderful and weird musical ideas and I try to glue them together with my humble ambitions. It’s fun. He’s very special. He still drives a very fast Suzuki-bike.

RXB: – You wrote 3 songs together with Addeboy vs. Cliff and they are co-producers on 3 other songs. How did it feel to work with others? You were never really into bringing new people in.
PG: – Well, I’ve changed. I had bumped into AvsC through other projects so I knew their style and what they were capable of. I basically asked them to send me some musical ideas, like sounds and grooves, bass lines and chord progressions, to see if I could make something out of it. And I could. I kept a lot of stuff they made, edited a few things out, added some new parts and wrote melody lines and lyrics. However, none of the songs we wrote together were specifically made for Roxette. They were just collaborations trying things out.
AvsC and me never worked together in the studio. It was all done via the internet. I loved the final result but actually never expected Marie to like it since it was pretty far out. Not quite ”classic” Roxette if you know what I mean. But she really loved some of the songs and so did Chris and Clarence. Off we went and put them on a rocket to Planet Roxette!
The ”Good Karma” track was co-written with AvsC but Chris wanted us to produce it ourselves so he could play some serious power chords in the intro. His guilty pleasure, I guess…. And Clarence added that ”Fading Like A Flower”-inspired keyboard intro. Very nice. Very catchy. Cheers.

RXB: – What’s the difference in the cooperation with Addeboy vs. Cliff between ”The Look” remake in 2015 when they got the basics and had to do something with it and when it was vice versa for ”Good Karma” songs and you asked them to give you baselines?
PG: – Well, the main difference is of course that the songs we wrote together started with them, not me. ”The Look” is my song which they ”interpreted” their own way. We did the same thing with ”You Can’t Do This To Me Anymore”, which was written by MP and me, but the backing track was created by AvsC. And they’ve just finished a fab uptempo version of ”Why Don’t You Bring Me Flowers?”. Same thing. A song of mine done in Addeboy vs Cliff-style. It will hopefully be released later this year.

RXB: – The world is changing. You record parts in one studio, others in another and you don’t even have to meet physically to put things together. Isn’t it strange for you to record this way? Don’t you miss the ”personal meeting” touch in each phase?
PG: – It depends on what kind of recording it is. The more technical it gets the less you need lots of people around. It’s always, more or less, only one person who’s doing the job anyway. In Roxette’s case it’s Chris since he’s in charge of the computer and the digital funfair. My (and Clarence’s) job is to guide him through the audio jungle with our taste and our musical suggestions.
Chris has become an amazing tech wizard. Without him and his vast palette of sounds the Good Karma project wouldn’t have sounded as interesting. And he’s become a brilliant mixing engineer as well. He mixes a song, sends me his vision, I change or suggest a few things and might add or take away something, he sends me back an updated version. And we go on and on like that for a few days and nights. When we’re done we send it to Marie and Clarence for their approval. That’s how the Good Karma-album was mixed.
When you make a record like ”Travelling” or anything with Gyllene Tider it’s a different ballgame. Then it’s all about instant communication and ”playing” together. I like both ways. I would love to make a new Mazarin-style album one day but I also know that if I want a really hardcore updated production sound it can’t really be done in that ”organic” way. You have to do everything on the computer. It’s no big deal. I’m glad I enjoy both ways. And have the opportunity to choose.

RXB: – Besides the standard vinyl, there is a limited edition, beautiful, orange coloured LP as well. How many copies of the limited edition vinyls are released?
PG: – I wish I knew but I don’t. A couple of thousand is my guess. It might be less. Or more.

RXB: – There is a poster to this edition and it’s the album cover. Wouldn’t it have been a better idea to include a poster on which you and Marie appear instead of the butterfly?
PG: – No, if we thought so we would have done it. We like the butterfly.

RXB: – On the vinyl there is a ghost track after ”April Clouds”. We tried to figure out what it is. Any hints?
PG: – No. Another internal joke.

RXB: – It’s the first time you and Marie don’t appear in any form on the front cover of a studio album. Why?
PG: – We wanted this project to have a symbol that we could use on lots of things. The album sleeve, the tiny stamp-sized pic used on iTunes and Spotify and Amazon etc. On merchandise and upcoming singles. The butterfly-image is beautiful and stands out and can be used in so many varieties. And it fits the music and the title.

RXB: – Now we understand the butterfly artwork, its X shape and the evolution it symbolizes. What is still not clear is the guitar and microphone appearing at a certain body part of poor butterflies. What’s that intended to be?
PG: – It’s up to you to decide.

RXB: – Then there is no instrument on the ”Some Other Summer” cover. Is that a coincidence or maybe you rethought it after reading some comments?
PG: – No. I haven’t even noticed that. Thanks.

RXB: – Warner seem to be enthusiastic about doing promo for Roxette and we are very happy to see all their efforts. How do you see your cooperation with them vs. EMI?
PG: – It’s a totally different market today so it’s really impossible to compare. Warner worldwide is very committed to Roxette and the Good Karma-project. We’re very happy.

RXB: – You say that you would never be able to write e.g. ”Fading Like A Flower” today, simply because you moved on as a songwriter. At the same time, each song on ”Good Karma” has your stamp on them. All the lyrics are Gessleish as usual and the songs have the classic Roxette sound. So it seems your songwriting basics stay the same, but something is changing. How do you see it?
PG: – Yes, it’s like that. I change a lot but I still stay the same. It’s good and bad. I have my trademarks and style which make my songs sound like me. It’s hard to close that door and I’m not sure I want to. The older I get the more I treasure my personality and my way of thinking. My creative challenge is to find new ways to express myself via new sounds and techniques and collaborators and partners. That’s what I’m trying to do.

RXB: – What was the most challenging in improving your own sound for ”Good Karma” and update your style of writing?
PG: – I don’t know. The idea behind the album, to make a quite complex production that’s not intended to be played live, was there from the beginning. I started to write songs with that in mind. And, like I’ve mentioned earlier, working with new collaborators became part of that task.

RXB: – Which song do you think has the best title on ”Good Karma”? Which song do you think someone who doesn’t listen too much to Roxette would definitely listen to by seeing its title?
PG: –”You Make It Sound So Simple” is my favourite title. It makes me curious.

RXB: – There are 2 ”Why don’t you…?” titles on the album. Even if they are different, with one being rather slangy, isn’t it strange to include 2 similar titles on the same album?
PG: – No.

RXB: – You say you are very satisfied with ”Why Dontcha?”, because even if it seems to be so simple, it’s very hard to write such a song. How do you know that a good song was written? Can you feel it from the very beginning once it was written that everyone in the gang will like it?
PG: – Yes, I feel it as go along writing it. If it doesn’t interest me enough I don’t finish it. I throw it on the fire. But that someone else will like it is a different matter. I never know.
I might finish my song, make a simple demo out of it. Then maybe I re-write it and make another demo before I play it to anyone. Every song has gone a long way before it’s presented to the people I work with.

RXB: – Are you impressed by any song on ”Good Karma” to the same extent as any of your biggest hits throughout the years?
PG: – All of them. This album was made at a certain point in our lives and we’ve done the best we could under the circumstances. I’m not the one to compare our new stuff to the old stuff. Every song and recording has its own history and destiny.

RXB: – Knowing the album was planned to be released earlier than this year, have the lyrics of ”This One” ever contained 2015? (”Oh gimme a coin and I will kick off a dream / In 2016”)
PG: – Yes. There are versions with ”2015” somewhere.

RXB: – The music of ”April Clouds” and ”Wish You The Best” is different and you also mentioned that ”Why Don’t You Bring Me Flowers?” was originally an uptempo song. How does the melody to the same song change in your head?
PG: – I don’t know. I just follow what feels right. If you have a lyric like ”April Clouds”, which mostly were written a long time ago and you make new music to it, the end result will be quite different due to the fact that you’re a different person twenty years later. You interpret the words and the meaning and the vibe differently because you’re older and time has gone by.
Making ballads out of uptempo songs are quite easy. As long as the lyrics are interesting and the melodies are strong you can basically do whatever you want with a song.

RXB: – We know it’s very early since ”Good Karma” is out, but is there anything you would change on the album now?
PG: – I would love to have another go mixing ”You Can’t Do This To Me Anymore”. It’s OK but I know it can be even stronger.

RXB: – Roxette’s live career is (most likely) over for now. There are so many concerts that are lying in the vaults and waiting for a proper release. You mentioned a potential box with all these. Can you please tell us a bit more about what concerts it would include? We hope for Norrköping 88, Borgholm 89, Zurich and Sydney 91, Unplugged 93, Johannesburg 95 and Stockholm 2001 – having them in a bit better quality wouldn’t harm!
PG: – No, I can’t because I don’t know. But you’re right, the first things that should be made available are all those old live VHS-tapes and DVDs that’s not around anymore. The ones you mentioned.

RXB: – Roxette Diaries stopped in ’95. But there is 21 years more of Roxette stories to tell. Any plan to mix ”Soooo-Christoffer” clips and HAND / Room Service footage into one motion picture any time soon?
PG: – No, not for the moment. But I’m sure things will pop up down the road.

RXB: – Because of the tour cancellation, reporters of course asked you about Marie’s health and then many times overdramatized the situation with stupid headlines. It felt like history repeated itself, but you handled it quite well. How is it going with those interviews when you expect they would rather ask about the new album? Can you change the direction of the interview and skip answering questions not related to the album?
PG: – Yes I can if I want to. But most reporters are interested in Marie’s health and our future plans together. I can understand that. It’s not a problem for me. I know how media works.

RXB: – Was the tour photo book originally planned to be published this June already before the tour cancellation? Or if no cancellation, would you have waited until after the tour ending in September?
PG: – The plan was always to have it ready for the summer of 2016.

RXB: – Anders told there were several tens of thousands of photos and he had a hard time choosing only a certain amount to send you to choose from them. How did it work for you?
PG: – I went through hundreds of pics and put a little red dot in front of those I found interesting. I think Marie did the same.

RXB: – Will there be any tour book signing sessions?
PG: – No signing sessions, no.

RXB: – Roxette is celebrating the 30th anniversary this year. We got a new album, we’ll get the tour book. Any vinyl releases of previous studio albums by chance?
PG: – No plans but we might put together something for Record Store Day next year. 31 years is worth celebrating too!

RXB: – You wrote books, you did radio programs, you appeared countless times on TV. Do you fancy some new technological tricks besides Facebook and Twitter? As a part of your artistic exposure in e.g. YouTube videos?
PG: – Sometimes I do. I like new things.

RXB: – Besides music, your wine world is another part the fans are curious about. Are there any plans for some new items in The Per Gessle Selection in the near future?
PG: – Well, the new ”Kurt & Lisa” vintage will be out later this year. The new vintage of ”The Improver”-champagne from Pierre Peters will come early 2017. We’re talking about making a nice Pinot Grigio and also a new red wine from South Africa. Time will tell.

RXB: – Is there any question you would ask from your hardcore fan base now, either related to the new album or anything else?
PG: – Not really. You guys seem to cover most of my universe!

RXB: – Thank you very much for your time and good luck with all the new releases and your future projects!
PG: – Thanks very much. More to come, I promise!

 

/Patrícia, Tomasz, Kirsten, Judith, Sascha



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12 Peaks of Roxette

It’s now 3 weeks without Per Gessle’s Swedish radio podcast series and we thought you might miss some more ear candy while non-stop listening to Good Karma. You surely remember Per and Sven Lindström have a program on Nordic Rox called 12 Peaks. The essence of it is Per Gessle choosing 12 songs according to the actual topic and he and Sven are discussing them. Earlier we shared some of these programs and now it’s time to share another episode. The one about Mr. G’s 12 favourite Roxette songs. You can download the sound file (in 3 parts) from HERE (available until 26th June). Thanks a lot to Sven for sharing it with us!

12peaksofroxetteAt the beginning of the show Sven mentions Roxette were playing in Halmstad yesterday, which means they recorded this part of 12 Peaks on 23rd July 2015. They shortly talk about the XXX tour which started in 2014 and was to end in 2016 which is the real 30th anniversary year. They also talk about the comeback in 2009 and that since then they had been touring. Per says their shows are rather greatest hits concerts and they are fortunate to have a big hit catalogue with so many songs that people love all over the world. Mr. G says they have so many beautiful fans out there.

Getting down to business, the guys start talking about Per’s 12 favourite Roxette songs. Of course, it was very hard to pick 12 hits, having released approximately 60 singles over the years.

I’ve picked songs that I really like and songs that I think are easy-going for people to recognize as a typical Roxette song.

Mr. G’s 12 fave Rox songs:

  1. Opportunity Nox
  2. A Thing About You
  3. Sleeping Single
  4. It Must Have Been Love
  5. How Do You Do!
  6. What’s She Like?
  7. Wish I Could Fly
  8. Joyride
  9. Breathe
  10. Listen To Your Heart
  11. (Do You Get) Excited?
  12. The Look

The first choice is one of Roxette’s best power pop songs according to Per. Opportunity Nox. Mr. G says they couldn’t make a video for this, because of Marie’s illness and that’s why they did the cartoon thing. Per says ON is the kind of music he raised on, bubblegum meets T. Rex. Opp Nox is one of Sven’s favourites as well. He thinks it’s power pop at its best.

The next song is A Thing About You. Per and Sven talk a bit more about The Ballad Hits and The Pop Hits and Per says when they planned to do those 2 compilation albums, he wrote a lot of songs in those 2 categories. ATAY is the first song on The Ballad Hits and the video for that song was the last they recorded before Marie got ill. Mr. G says it was the end of Roxette Chapter 1. Per thinks it’s one his best songs. The whole recording is based on Per’s demo, the guitars, the vocals and they just added things to it. It has a sort of mesmerizing melody, which is hard to write for Per, but when it happens, he is very happy.

They get back to 1988 with the 3rd song on the list, Sleeping Single off the Look Sharp! album. It was one of the first songs they recorded for that album. They were just goofin’ around in the studio and tried to create what eventually became the Roxette sound. He always loved this track, because the production is so sparse and it really shows what a great singer Marie is. For Per it sums up that whole era of his life. It was the times when he started feeling everything was getting together for Roxette. They started the programming thing. They kept the guitars and the keyboards, but most of the rythm sections were made by drum loops and drum machines. It opened up a new dimension for them. They didn’t release Sleeping Single as a single, because they didn’t need one more single off Look Sharp! and they were touring and travelling a lot and wanted to record a new album, so Per was writing songs constantly for Joyride.

They got really lucky when they were asked to write a song for a movie. We all know he didn’t have the time to write a new song for that project, so he gave them It Must Have Been Love with slightly changed lyrics. Per says it was a perfect bridge for them between the Look Sharp! album and Joyride. It’s probably their biggest song still today. They didn’t go to see the premiere of Pretty Woman, but they had a screening in Burbank, CA. An earthquake was happening at the same time and the whole cinema was grooving a bit. For the first watching Per thought the movie was kind of soft. It didn’t blew his mind at all, but when he realized the potential of the film he saw it in different lights.

Talking about the XXX tour again, Sven asks Per if they get excited by playing these songs night after night. Per says they’ve been lucky to have these fantastic crowds everywhere and the positive energy and love and affection they get from the crowds every night is amazing. So they don’t consider it like ”Oh no, not another version of Listen To Your Heart!” It’s a blessing to have those songs. Mr. G says it’s hard to describe how much fun they have by playing these hits.

How Do You Do! became a huge hit in Europe (in Germany it was No. 1 for 12 weeks or so) and a big one in South America as well. It’s always a crowd pleaser. HDYD was recorded meanwhile touring with the Joyride album. The band hated Per for doing the album Tourism, because on all their days off he dragged them into the studio to record. Haha.

The next song on the list is off the album Crash! Boom! Bang!, which was recorded (most of it) in Capri, Italy. What’s She Like? is one of Roxette’s finest songs with Marie’s vocals. Per thinks it’s an outstanding track in their catalogue. He likes the melody, but he especially likes the way Marie is singing it. It’s just amazing. When they recorded Crash! Boom! Bang!, they already had the Roxette sound, the production in their heads, so they just had to get down to the songs. The album was about putting all the things together what they learned over the last 5-6 years. Marie is a great R&B and pop singer, but she is definitely one of the best ever ballad singers. Per says Marie is one of those persons who can sing the telephone book and it just sounds amazing, you believe her. It could be a B side: ”Marie Fredriksson sings the telephone book”.

After the CBB tour Roxette took a break for a couple of years, Marie had her second child and Per got together with Gyllene Tider. Then in 1998 they reunited to record Have A Nice Day. The first single off the album was Wish I Could Fly. It was recorded in Marbella, Spain. When Per wrote the song it was an experiment for him, because he never really worked with drum loops in the sense that he did in the studio. It was a side step from the classic Roxette sound. Mr. G says, when time goes by, you get a little tired of your style, so sometimes you need to drag in new people to get new blood in the system. When he listens to the album today, he thinks it sounds like a natural progression from CBB. The sound of pop music had changed and they started working with a new engineer, Michael Ilbert.

Sven and Per talk about The Look. Mr. G tells the story of how surprised he was that this song became their breakthrough hit. Their plan was Per being the songwriter and Marie the singer, but Marie had never found PG’s bubblegumish, power pop segment of songwriting too attractive, so all these songs fitted Per much better than Marie.

Regarding Joyride the guys talk about a radio convention in the US where Roxette went to present the new album. There was the Kuwait crisis back in those days and the single was held back for 6-8 weeks. After the radio convention , radio programmers came to Marie and Per to congratulate on their next No. 1, because they thought it was going to be a monster hit. And it did became their 4th No. 1. Sven and Mr. G talk about the title that it came from Paul McCartney when he said songwriting with John Lennon was a long joyride. They also mention the line ”Hello you fool I love you” which came from Åsa, leaving this note on Per’s piano in Swedish. Sven jokes Per should give a slice of the royalty to Åsa.

The next song is Breathe, which Per wrote for The Ballad Hits. It’s one of his favourite songs. Sven thinks it’s an easily overlooked song, but listening to it now it sounds really fresh. He jokes saying to Per to stop pointing that gun at him. Haha.

Listen To Your Heart comes next, their 2nd US No. 1. For Per the song sounds really American, the style of the music and the production. When they recorded it, they were just a Swedish band without an international career and they never thought it would become a No. 1, however, they strived for US success when they decided to do something really American in the studio in Stockholm. When they started recording Look Sharp!, Per made T-shirts: ”Today Sweden, tomorrow the world”. Back then it was just a silly joke. He asks Sven if he still has the tee. Together with IMHBL, LTYH is one of Roxette’s biggest songs. It got more than 5 million air plays on the radio in the US, same as IMHBL. Per says it’s amazing, Sven says it’s mindblowing and it helps to pay the rent.

Mr. G and Mr. L talk about the live performances again and Per explains in the past they tried to reproduce the albums live on stage, but nowadays it’s 100% live, without click tracks and all. Roxette live is a much more guitar-driven band, a much more rockier band than they are on the records. It’s much more fun for them to play like this and it’s much more organic.

(Do You Get) Excited? from the Joyride album is Per’s next choice. It’s a fantastic production by Clarence and it has great vocals by Marie. It was supposed to be a single in early 1992, but it never was. However, they did a beautiful video to it. There was a fusion going on between EMI and SBK Records at those times and the song just disappeared. They released Church Of Your Heart instead.

Per closes his 12 Peaks list with The Look. It’s still a big song for them and they just finished a remake of it (in 2015) with Addeboy vs. Cliff. It’s not that they ran out of new material, but they had the opportunity to be part of a commercial thing with a Swedish clothing company, KappAhl and they wanted to use The Look as the theme of their campaign. Per just felt if they do it, they should do a new version of it, so it sounds fresh and it doesn’t sound like 1989. But he realized he can’t do it himself, because he is still stuck in the old mode, so they needed fresh blood into the system. He gave the song to Addeboy vs. Cliff to think about it as a demo and do whatever they want. Then the guys came up with a backing track which Per thought was interesting. Marie, Per and their normal production team took the backing track, put guitars and keyboards on and vocals as well. So it sounds like The Look, but fresh. Sven says he sees Per keeps an eye on the new songwriting scene, keeping track of what’s happening. Per says he is really interested in what’s going on and in the record company where he is a co-owner they get a lot of music coming in. There is so much talent out there. Sven asks how it works when a songwriter who is doing it since 40 years teams up with a young talent to write songs together. Per replies it’s just fun to do that and he often gets comments like ”that’s so typical your style” when they start working together. In young songwriters Mr. G can hear that they are sort of developing their own style, but it takes time. You need to write a lot of songs, you need to find your taste, you have to follow your gut feeling all the time, you have to develop your own style in a natural way. Regarding The Look Per tells the story of how he wrote the song on the Ensoniq ESQ-1 synthesizer. He thinks when you buy a new instrument, you should write a song on it, because that’s the best way to learn how to play it. This is how The Look was born, while he was learning how to program the synth. He still has the synthesizer, by the way.



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RoXXXette On The Road – review

We knew it since the beginning of 2015 that a tour photo book project was going on in the RoXXX World and in May this year we got even more eXXXcited, when it turned out the release date is as soon as June. 16th June 2016.

SPOILER ALERT!

The book is already out and what an amazing photo book it is! A real celebration of our beloved band’s 30th anniversary! The book already looks wonderful on the outside. The size, the cover picture showing Marie and Per performing in front of a beautiful crowd on the steps at the Sydney Opera House in February 2015, the design of how the title is written with the 3 Xs with stars inside them and the name of the authors how it appears and tells you what the book is all about. It’s about a tremendous amount of fantastic photos taken by a most talented photographer, Anders Roos and it’s about the reflections of a most talented songwriter, Per Gessle and they 2 together show you how it really is to be on the road, to be on the 30th anniversary tour, the XXX tour of a most awesome band, Roxette.

RoXXXette On The RoadYou open the book and the first wow on the inside comes by seeing a series of bird view shots of the stage from the very beginning of building it up through the concert till the very end of tearing it down after the show. It’s just fabulous!

After the impressum and Anders’ nice words you see the list of people, teams and companies involved in the touring life of Roxette and then the contents show you which concerts were photographed and the titles of Per’s reflections. Then you bump into Mr. G’s preface, written in May 2016 to make it clear that the reflections were written before they gave up touring. When you read Per’s words ”they [the reflections] were created when Roxette was still a touring band”, you can’t help feeling the same way you felt on 18th April when you got to know they had to stop touring. Tears in the eyes and you hear in PG’s words how hard it is also for him. But we all respect Marie’s decision of course and she has full support of all in the band and among the fans as well. No question about it.

Knowing Per’s sense of humour you can be sure that there won’t be too many tears on further pages of the book, but with his #1 reflection he still won’t let your tears dry up. You’ll experience it when you hold the book in your hands and read it.

The book continues with the list of gigs on the XXX tour. All shows from the tour start in October 2014 in Russia until the last Roxette show ever, 8th February 2016, Cape Town, South Africa. Suddenly, the cancelled show in Mainz, Germany is not on the list anymore, no matter how many T-shirts were produced, haha, but the corporate gig in September 2015, Warsaw, Poland is there. Strange to include it.

The first photos are from the band’s rehearsal in January 2015, before the New Zealand – Australia tour leg started and the last shots are from July 2015, Sweden, from the last Swedish show in Rättvik. It’s no exaggeration that you really get an all access pass with this book. You see places you have never seen before and become part of moments you would have never dreamed about being part of. Anders got access literally to everywhere. To the backstage, dressing rooms, gyms, buses, airports, hotels, ceilings, front rows, pool sides, stages, e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.! Being the fantastic photographer he is, he managed to capture the essence of Roxette very well with his camera. Anders has great eyes to see the band how we, Roxers see them. His shots show Marie and Per and the whole gang how they are. The photos truly reflect the down-to-earth band we love. All pictures show you the groovy mood related to the shows, but also the tiredness of travelling and waiting in between. The pictures are so dynamic that you would love to sing-along to Marie’s, Dea’s and Christoffer’s get together backstage and you would start dancing seeing the band on stage, playing 100% live, or you would even join the crew in building up the stage before the concerts. It’s absolutely awesome!

Besides all the above mentioned, you have some more tiny details in the photos, like Marie does have socks and even Pelle runs around barefoot. Haha. You see pics from different camera angles, close-ups and distance shots, tons of photos of Marie and Per (yeah, you get some bad hair day pics, too 😉 ), the band, the crew, the fans, venues, stages, studios, hotels and other strange places. Laundry, anyone? You flick through the book and over one page you start laughing, over another one you start aaaahing and then comes the aaaawing. Incredible!

What about the reflections? Per wrote 41 of them and each and every one of them is just adorable. You read a lot about him over the years and heard him talking about his thoughts in uncountable interviews. You would think he can’t tell anything new. Oh, yes he can! There are still some hidden thoughts and some of them are being shared in this beautiful book. As I mentioned before, he makes you ”cry” at the very beginning of the book, but then his sense of humour really shows up, as we got used to it. I won’t quote more from him, because I do think you should get the book and read all his reflections yourself to get to know more about his childhood and teenage years, how he step by step became who he is now, his paving the way to Planet Pop, his make-up, guitar and plectrum fetish, as well as what he wants to be in his next life. Haha. You will even get to know what Per’s biggest regret is. I tell you, this guy is hilarious! Besides all this, of course you get to know more about Roxette’s touring life, how the band works and worked before, Marie’s virtues at the studio and live and no, you can’t have any longer texts from Per without lyrics references. We like that!

How Per talks about Marie, the band, BoJo, the crew and the fans is always so heart-warming. I actually burst out laughing at his Roxette band bucket list and how he describes BoJo’s tasks. You’ll find some great words about everyone and you feel how much he appreciates the people around him. Let me quote him about the fans:

We’re used to having ”The Roxers” close to the stage all the time. I guess we’re spoiled by our adorable fans. … Roxette has got some of the most active, kind and generous fans imaginable. So many people all around the world have followed us through thick and thin over the years and it’s impossible to exaggerate the value of their love and support. What would we do without you? Let’s take a bow.

You must love him!

The book’s 41st reflection is a conclusion. Per makes it sound so simple. To get to know what he makes sound so simple, you have to get the book for yourself. But not only because of that. It’s really a must have book in a Roxer’s collection. You will all love each and every photo in it and all the reflections as well. If you attended any of the concerts Anders took photos at, you will probably find yourself in the book. Either in the crowd in front of Marie and Per or on a separate picture. The book makes you feel we are indeed a big Rox family. Marie, Per, their families, the band, the crew and we, Roxers. And we all love being part of this family, don’t we?

In case you want to have the standard book, get your copy at one of these sites: Ginza, Adlibris, Bokus, Amazon. There might be more selling points in the future. If you are interested in the limited edition book (300 copies), wait for some more info about where to get it. So far Bokus listed it.

ROTR_1  ROTR_2

All pics by Anders Roos.

 



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Roxers’ favourite Good Karma tracks

You might remember Per’s Sunday reflection post. He asked which your favourite song is on Roxette’s brand new album, Good Karma.

SUNDAY REFLECTION. Howdy folks. So, the mighty Good Karma’s been out a week by now. Great reception. Thanks. One thing: what’s your favourite song? Just one, pls. Otherwise I’ll get confused! Cheers, P.

It was really hard for all of us to pick only one track, because all songs on the album are dear to most of us and our favourites are changing day by day or even hour by hour. Checking the comments under the post, some are having an album with exclusive extra tracks, like Joyride, The Look, Vulnerable and So Far Away, haha. Sticking to the real Good Karma songs, the title track seems to be the absolute winner. How about a third single soon? 😉

gk_roxers_faves

 



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Roxette reached 100 million views of Listen To Your Heart

It was 4 months ago when the official video to It Must Have Been Love reached 100 million views on YouTube. At that time Listen To Your Heart had 81.9 million views. Both videos were uploaded to YouTube on 4th March 2009. Today, 7 years later LTYH also reached 100 million views! Isn’t it a.w.e.s.o.m.e.? 100 million views! Seeing the view count of IMHBL (126.6 million), the future is so bright you gotta wear shades!

The song was written on 3-4 May 1988. This is what Per says about it:

I co-wrote this with MP Persson in May of 1988 and it immediately felt very special. The lyrics came from an all night conversation I’d had with a friend who was going through a heartbreaking divorce. In the studio with Roxette it sounded awesome, with Marie taking the lead role and Clarence creating that beautiful piano intro.

Our ambition was to make it sound really ”American”. I guess we succeeded…

It has become our most popular song all over the world and was our second No. 1 in the US.

The original lyrics contained some different words, so instead of ”Is there a whisper / That cannot be heard ? / You find the meaning / But you can’t find the words” the final lyrics became: ”And there are voices / That want to be heard / So much to mention / But you can’t find the words”. Sounds much better, doesn’t it?

We can find a little discussion about the song and the video to it in the Don’t Bore Us – Get to the Chorus! compilation booklet:

PG: The Big Bad Ballad. This is us trying to recreate that overblown American FM-rock sound to the point where it almost becomes absurd. We really wanted to see how far we could take it.

MF: It sounds a bit dusty today, but it was our second #1 in the US…

PG: … which of course we couldn’t ever dream about since it was more or less made for Sweden. When it hit big in the States we suddenly found ourselves lumped together with bands like Heart and Starship, which wasn’t the intention behind Roxette at all. But we got out of that one… I hope.

MF: The video was great. Shot with an American crew at the Borgholm Castle. The director thought we had built the ruin just for the video.

PG: It took some time to convince them that the place actually was for real.

MF: Today we perform it in a stripped down version, with acoustic guitars. Still love the melody.

Aw… Borgholm… It would have been so amazing to see them perform live there.

On 4th November, 1989 Roxette reached their 2nd No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with Listen To Your Heart. What was historically significant about the song is that it was the first No. 1 available only as a cassette single, not on a 45-RPM vinyl single.

A Belgian dance group, DHT did a trance cover of LTYH and it became a hit in the US and in some other countries. This way in 2005 Listen To Your Heart returned to the top 10 on the Billboard (reaching No. 8) as DHT’s remake.

The song is such a hit that American radios played it already more than 5 million times. In 1998 Roxette received an award from BMI for this song being played over 2 million times on American radio. Phil Graham of BMI said it was very unusual for a song to get over the 2 million mark in such a short space of time. In October 2006, helped by DHT’s cover, Roxette were awarded again by BMI for the song’s 3 millionth broadcast on American radio. Per and MP got the Million-Air Award for 4 million plays in 2008 and for 5 million plays in 2014.

We all remember the performances on each tour, how awesome LTYH sounds live, either in its original power ballad style (1988, 1991, 2001 (Barcelona, Stockholm) , 2009 (accompanied by a symphonic orchestra at NoTP), 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016) or in an acoustic, unplugged arrangement (1993 (MTV Unplugged just can’t be missed), 1995, 2000 (Virgin Megastore)).

This fanthem will never go out of style! Wishing many more hundreds of millions of views and radio plays of Listen To Your Heart! Congrats!

LTYH_100_million_views

 



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Good Karma entered the Swedish charts at No. 1 and No. 2!

Roxette’s new album, Good Karma was released on 3rd June and so it’s the first week we can see it on the Swedish charts. The record entered at No. 2 on the album charts and at No. 1 on the vinyl charts! Yay! Fantastic news!

GK_entered_the_charts

Let’s have a look back on Roxette’s studio albums, at which position they entered the Swedish charts. Except for Pearls Of Passion, Charm School and Travelling, all other albums popped up on the album charts at No. 1, all 6 of them keeping the position for several weeks.

Pearls Of Passion
Entered the charts at No. 4 on 19th November 1986. Highest position was No. 2.

Look Sharp!
Entered the charts at No. 1 on 2nd November 1988.

Joyride
Entered the charts at No. 1 on 10th April 1991.

Tourism
Entered the charts at No. 1 on 16th September 1992.

Crash! Boom Bang!
Entered the charts at No. 1 on 15th April 1994.

Have A Nice Day
Entered the charts at No. 1 on 4th March 1999.

Room Service
Entered the charts at No. 1 on 12th April 2001.

Charm School
Entered the charts at No. 2 on 18th February 2011. Highest position was No. 2.

Travelling
Entered the charts at No. 8 on 30th March 2012. Highest position was No. 7.

 

Now Good Karma put Roxette back on track and who knows, maybe next week it’s at No. 1 not only on the vinyl, but on the album charts as well! Wishing as many top position weeks as possible!

Get the album at a record shop near you or at the following places: Bengans, Ginza, CDON, AmazoniTunes, Spotify, Deezer.

 

Update on 17th June 2016: 2nd week on the Swedish album charts: #12; vinyl charts: #5.



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Live Facebook Q&A with Per Gessle

First of all, let us say a huge thank you to Per for providing all of us with this wonderful opportunity of asking any questions. It’s much appreciated by all Roxers. The live Q&A was announced yesterday to make sure everyone prepares their questions for today 4 pm CEST. Many were wondering how the live Q&A would work. Whether it would be a live stream, answering the questions in a live video or using the ”reply to comment” function on Facebook.

PG_live_Q&A_20160607Today some minutes before 4 pm there came a post on Roxette’s Facebook page, hand in hand with a pic of Mr. G sitting on a ball with his MacBook at Hotel Tylösand’s gym.

It’s Q&A time and Per is ready and waiting for your questions! Post your question in the comments below and Per might answer it very soon! Per will stay right here and answer your questions 4 – 5 pm CEST.

By the time Per went live (exactly at 4 pm):

Hello folks. I’m here. Where are you? Let’s get to work! Cheers, /P.

there were already quite some questions, so he started diving into the ocean of Qs and went typing the answers heavily. To make sure they won’t get lost in the darkness of Facebook, we thought to collect them. So here is the set of fan questions and PG’s replies to them (copy-pasted, so excuse us for any grammatical or spelling mistakes). I tried to put them together under different topics. If anyone’s question is missing and Per replied to it, please shout. In case you don’t want your Facebook username to be seen here, please also shout.

Enjoy the reading! Per’s answers are very entertaining and informative, even if you’ll read some ”soon”-s here and there. Haha. And hey, if I count correctly, he replied to 84 Qs in 1 hour! He’s f.a.s.t.!

 

Good Karma – the new album in general

Gabriela Demichelli: Do you expect the album would this big welcome from the fans? all are agree that this is a exelent album….
PG: No, we didn’t. We’re very pleased with the reception. /P.

Ricardo Acosta Hernandez: The more I listen to GK, the more it reminds me of Look sharp! in a way. There’s a lot of that 80’s spirit and the first Roxette steps into creating a new own sound in it. Did you ever feel sort of going back to those glory days while recording this album?
PG: Chris did. He always had this idea we should make LS, part two but in a “modern” version. /P.

Gaby Hildebrandt: In which order did you record the pieces of the songs this time? Beats first, then instruments, then your voice, then Marie’s, then background? Was it the same procedure as with the older albums?
PG: Hi Gaby. We did about 75% of the song before we went to Sthlm and did Marie’s vox. Then we finished everything down south. Most of my vox were done at the T&A paradise as early as possible. Then re-done… /P.

Ivan Fara: Do you think any of the songs from GK might be used in a movie again?
PG: Good idea. But I don’t know. /P.

Salah Ghazal: Are you going to do any signing sessions for Good Karma?
PG: No, doesn’t look like it! Sorry. /P.

 

Good Karma – songs on the new album

Patrícia Peres: ”You Make It Sound So Simple” is a perfect example of what you say pop music about. It’s always about today. Do you remember in what circumstances the lyrics were born?
PG: Not really. I always forget. I’m in a bubble when I write lyrics. But it’s my way of commenting how weird and difficult it is to be a human being in 2016. I think. Yea, this is a strange time we’re living in, don’t you think?

Patrícia Peres: Which track off the album had the most different or funniest title in your Röstmemon app or as a demo when you recorded it?
PG: This One was called “3-chord puke” for a minute. /P.

Ricardo Acosta Hernandez: Why did you pick April for “April Clouds”? For roxers, April will be the def goodbye of Roxette. Actually in “Wish you the best”, September was referenced, and it was another month of Rox goodbye. Sometimes I get a shiver in your lyrics.
PG: No reason. It became an April-song. /P.

Alexandra Neitzel: I wonder how Marie reacted to the lyrics you presented her to sing. Especially those to From a Distance. I picture her deeply touched by the strength and courage inherent in those words, sad and brave at the same time.
PG: Marie’s pretty fussy when it comes to lyrics. She liked them a lot. I’m happy as a lark. /P.

Tanja Swe: I was wondering if you could tell us on how the lyrics to the song “Why don’t you bring me flowers” came up and if there’s any personal story connected to it?
PG: I wrote those lyrics to another piece of music that we didn’t use. They’ve got a nice vibe which I like. /P.

Chrissie Roehrs: I wonder if the similar sounding “Intenting av vad du behöver”-notes in “April Clouds” are accidentally or on purpose? That once was the first song you ever recorded with Marie and now it is the last song on the album Sorry, my fan-brain might be too emotional right now. I just hope there will be more Roxsongs in the future.
PG: Oh I never thought about that. But you’re right. They’re similar. It’s Clarence who played the piano parts on AC, he probably hanve’t heard IAVDB. He never said anything. /P.

Jirí Vlcek: It Just Happens and Some Other Summer were first recorded songs. Which were last recorded?
PG: The last one was AvsC’s version of From A Distance. /P.

 

Good Karma – the demos

Sandra Knospe: You mentioned in the TDR Interview that your demos to the songs on GK are pretty advanced compared to the ones in the years before GK. Why the change already in the demo process? Any chance that they will be released in a Deluxe Version of the album or at least digital? Would be highly interesting to compare with the final songs or even other demos.
PG: Hi Sandra, when you’re trying to produce and album like GK you have to have a focus on the production as well as the songs asap. “Normally” thses days, I decide all those things in the studio. But it didn’t really work on GK.

Gyöngyvér Simon: Do you consider releasing the demos of Good Karma? Would be very interesting to hear them!
PG: No plans right now, mr G! /P.

Pablo César Riquelme Muñoz: Are you considering a Deluxe or a expanded version of Good Karma including remixes, demos and rarities?
PG: Wow. Don’t know. But yes, things will pop up. /P.

Mario Rembold: Will we here the demos of GK-Album? I am very curious how those songs evolved and how the early fragments from Addeboy vs. Cliff sounded.
PG: Maybe. Not for the moment, though. /P.

Melancholodic: Is there a Version of the “Good Karma”-Song with the Addeboy vs. Cliff-Backingtrack? Will we hear it one day?
PG: No, just their very first demo which isn’t really a demo. It’s more like a groove with different bassnotes… There is an acoustic demno made by me at T&A however…/P.

 

Good Karma – singles off the new album

Lionel Zeta: It Just Happens was only digital release. Will be the S.O.S ep release physically? Please!
PG: Yes, CD single release very SOON! Incl four really cool remixes. How about that? /P.

Sandra Knospe: Is the EP for “Some Other Summer“ planned as a digital release only or will it be released physically, too? If the remixes are supposed to be played on the turn tables then it should.
PG: CD-single. No vinyl this time. /P.

Basia Konarzewska: Would you let your fans decide (eg via a poll) which song out of GK is released as a next single?
PG: No. But I listen to what you say. /P.

Trent Coxhell: Any chance of “why don’t ya”. Being a single.
PG: Next one is S.O.S. Time will tell. /P.

 

Good Karma – the vinyl

Chrissie Roehrs: Are we allowed to know what this ghost track on the vinyl is about? I think I recognize at least Marie’s voice. Is this something backwards? If so, what? Or which Beatles song do I have to check? Pleeeaase tell us more about it.
PG: Well. It’s not Marie. /P.

Sandra Knospe: Looks like you pulled all the stops on the vinyl. Hidden track, hidden engraved message as well. Speaking of the “welcome to sing sing“ engraving – who came up with it and what’s the story behind? And same Q goes for the track on the end of the vinyl.
PG: Can’t tell you. Sorry. /P.

 

Songs / demos from the past

Cristian Dario Brizuela: You dont undertand me was recorded in spanish as far as we know. Is it true? Will we hear that version some day?
PG: Yes, it’s there in the vaults. Forgot about that. Maybe we should use it? Thanx for reminding me! /P.

Alexandru S. Banciu: Salvation video looks close PERfection. I always wondered if there’s a meaning behind the scene where you and Marie hold a salad, some fish and a pumpkin.
PG: No, I think Anton C was getting hungry! /P.

Melanie Pfeffer: Looking back on the past 30 years, is there any song you now wish you had released as a single? Or one you wished you hadn’t? #CrushOnYou
PG: No, not really. Some of my fave Rox-songs were never rel as singles. Breathe, What’s She Like? I’m Sorry. It’s fine. /P.

Rodney Lin: Are there any Marie demos of songs that got released by you singing the lead instead? As you mentioned that sometimes a song does not suit Marie? It would be interesting to hear her version if there are any?
PG: Yes, there are. We have quite a few Rox demos lying around. We might release them one day. Nerd alert! /P:

Wilker M. Chaves: Why didnt Roxette never play Vulnerable live? Why I dont want to get hurt didnt get a vídeo? Do you know how many copies Roxette sold só far? Research on the internet always says 75 million but this info has almost 10 years. Congratz for GK and hope you bring your solo work to Brazil I believe u will keep doing good music.
PG: Hi Wilk. Tuff q’s. Vulnerable was always hard to get right live. We rehearsed it many times but let it go after a while. IDWTGH was never rel as a single. No single=no video. Even in the 90’s! Sold records: I dunno. It doesn’t mean that much anymore. /P.

 

Future projects

Sandra Knospe: In one of the lyric books that were released together with TPGA you mentioned that, at that time, you were working on a song called “Piece Of Cake“. Already back then I wondered if it would pop up as a Rox track on a future album. It obviously didn’t. What happened to that song?
PG: We’ve finished that one. It’s kinda nice. /P.

Basia Konarzewska: Do you think about writing a song with Åsa or Gabriel again?
PG: Hahaha. No. /P.

Heartland Anne: Have you considered making a solo album in English soon again?
PG: No. /P.

Kerstin Lautwein: Habe you plant a Solo Tour? We were in Gent 2009 a little Konzert, but ohne of the Best for me…greetings from Germany! And Good Karma is Top!!!
PG: Keine ahnung! /P.

Maria Besedina: Are you going to go on solo tour in Sweden or abroad? What about Tylosand? I saw a great open-air venue there………….
PG: Not this year, no. /P.

Peter Pedersen: Will you continue working with the new producers on future projects? Also loved your work with Heikki L, you should continue in this direction. Avicii feat Gessle would be a dream!! Any solo projects coming in the near future? Hope so. Gessle solo feat MF on vocals could be the future of Roxette.
PG: Yea, I’m more open to collaboration than I was. Time will tell what I’m gonna do. /P.

Markus Behrens: Back in the day you mentioned that there are some left-overs, any plan already what to do with those?
PG: No, not really. We might use them one way or another. You can easily live without them…. /P.

Barry Mieny: Can we keep our fingers crossed for either The Per Gessle Archives Volume 2 or The Roxette Archives box sets, or another Roxette Diaries any time in the future?
PG: Things will pop up, for sure. /P.

Bradley Coverley: Just wondering if you ever plan on releasing the Roxette demos that Marie has sung in also maybe a digital release of the PGA vol. 5, it would also be good to have those few demos of “you turn me on” “I’m under your magic spell” “never is a long time” “from head to toe” that would be awesome.
PG: Could be down the line. No plans, though. /P.

Mayte Peva: Can we expect another son of a plumber album?
PG: No, don’t think so. /P.

Caroline Wiltz: Will Roxette record more albums?
PG: Don’t know. /P.

Lydia Gerber: Will you release more photos from your latest photoshooting?
PG: Yes. /P.

Malgorzata ‘goswiek’ Puterman: Is Gabriel singing? Any plans to sing together: father and son?
PG: No plans. /P.

Malgorzata ‘goswiek’ Puterman: Any chance of solo tour like Gessle over Europe again?
PG: Could be down the road. But not now. /P.

 

Songwriting / production / releasing in general

Nicolette Daemen: Can you explain how you do it? You write a text for a new song, but how do you get the melody? And how does it all come together? The text, melody, your and Marie’s voices and all the instruments? I think it’s verry difficult and I always wonder how you do this.
PG: Yea, well, it is kinda difficult to get everything together. I only work and write when I have a proper idea I want to explore. I don’t really know how it works. But it does….. /P.

Anna Gradowska: You once said you often have a song idea in your head, that you have to put down (or record it) somewhere not to get it lost-Is this the usual ways new songs originate? Or put another way-where do you get all the great ideas for the songs? With every new album containing some all time gems I’m asking myself this? it almost seems you have an endless potential!
PG: I dunno. I function like that. Antennas out, always looking for ideas, titles, melodies, words, coffee. That’s me. /P.

Mario Rembold: What I like a lot: Somehow your albums of the last decade (Rox+Solo+Gyllene) sound much more authentic and relaxed. And they all sound more like “real” albums with songs belonging together (not just collections of different songs). Those records all sound very inspired. A pleasure to listen. But what’s the reason? Did your change your way of writing somewhere after the 90s? Or is it more a thing with productions and arrangements?
PG: I think the main reason for that change is that Christoffer Lundquist came into my musical life and the studio. But also the urge for change altogether. It would have been very boring to make the same album over and over again. /P.

Jennifer Melnychuk: Is it more or less stressful releasing new material today then 25 years ago?
PG: Less. Like with most things in life you know what you want and what you can achieve when you get older. It’s harder to know when you’re younger. /P.

Estela Costa: How do you decide what song each one of you will sing?
PG: Most Rox songs I write for Marie. If I am, for some reason, gonna sing it I might re-write it to get another “angle”. We try things out all the time. /P.

Florian Leingartner: How many Songs did you written in your career?
PG: Oh, I dunno. A thousand finished ones, maybe? /P.

 

XXX tour / Live performances

Daniel Rezmann: Are there plans to release any live recordings from the XXX tour? I’m thinking of songs like Crush on You and Almost Unreal that were not played during the 2011-12 tour which many fans would love a decent recording of.
PG: No plans, but we have recorded all shows. /P.

Basia Konarzewska: Do you plan any more releases this year? If so, what can we expect – live recording of any XXX- tour recording, maybe? or one of the old concert recordings release on DVD?
PG: More singles. The tour book. New t-shirts. I think that’s it. /P.

Ivelina Delcheva: Now after Good Karma is out and it is an amazing Masterpiece, do you plan a performance somewhere? I don’t mean a big tour but something smaller, probably in Sweden? And if not when to expect something from you personally, I mean an album, song or concert?
PG: No, no plans. /P.

Andreas Gessle Christodoulou: Is there possible a second return for Marie and maybe a tour around Sweden?
PG: No, I don’t think so. /P.

Zoltán Dúl: Will there be a farewell concert?
PG: No, it doesn’t look like it! /P.

Trent Coxhell: I realise Marie is no longer up to travelling to Australia, but is there any chance u could come still?
PG: Yea, it’s a shame Marie won’t tour anymore. Time will tell what’s gonna happen with me. I love to perform and play my music for you guys so I might do somthing in the future.

Eduardo Bentes: Can you tell us about a possible re-release of all live concerts, since 1988? Best wishes.
PG: Yes, we’re actually looking into all the live concerts and might hopefully get something together and release them (in a box?) one of these years! It’s a good idea! /P.

Michelle Hennekes: Will the last dvd and the new photobook be available in the Netherlands? And even better the book with Dutch or English text?
PG: Yea, the new tour book (which, btw, is really good-looking) will be available through, for instance, Amazon everywhere. /P.

Michael McGuire: Being that you are at a new chapter in your lives / career, will there be any “Roxette” shows that are not per say from touring but possible select intimate show(s) that could be recorded and released via DVD? This way, Marie isn’t using too much strain on her body and isn’t “traveling” everywhere. Thoughts?
PG: I don’t think so, no. /P.

Juan Jose De Oliveira: If roxette had continued the tour, how many songs including in good karma álbum, you`d included in a recital song list.
PG: None. Marie has a hard time learning new lyrics so the GK songs were never intended to be played live. /P:

Martín Darío Benitez: Is it possible an acustic show with Marie in the future or all live acts are over forever?
PG: No, I think it’s over performing with her. /P.

Salah Ghazal: You have some much energy on stage. How do you keep so fit?
PG: Fighting with the budgie. /P.

 

Roxette Museum

Michi Seeber: Have you ever thought about to make a roxette museum, bigger than the lifes lounge, where the hole day are playing the videos or songs..where also fans could bring their special memories?
PG: No, we haven’t. But there are so much stuff it’s definitely worth considering. /P.

Heartland Anne: I’ve heard rumors you have kept all the stage clothes of you and Marie. When do we finally get to see them, and smell them? Lol ok forget the smelling.
PG: Yep, we kept most of them. Don’t know what to do with them though…. /P.

 

Other artists / other artists’ songs, performances / tribute bands

Sandra Knospe: In one of your latest interviews you said „Songs can make you cry. Statues can’t, unless they drop on your foot.“ Can you remember which was the last song that moved you to tears? And what for? Beautiful lyrics, voice or melody?
PG: If it be your will by Leonard Cohen. /P.

Bas Pijnacker: Which is your favourite Marie solo album and why?
PG: Oh I don’t know. I’ve only heard bits and pieces. I really like some of her biggest songs, like Sjunde vågen och I en tid som vår. /P.

Luiz Fernando Scarpari Gimenez: Have you been in some Adele’s concert? What do you think about her music?
PG: I have. She’s an amazing singer. /P.

Miriam Korruptor: Who is your favourite artist right now?
PG:  I like the sound of “1975”. I wish they had better songs, though…. /P.

Salah Ghazal: Do you like any music by Michael Jackson?
PG: Yes, of course. Billie Jean still stands out. /P.

Lars Schneider: What are your thoughts about so called Tribute bands, that travels around playing songs from only 1 artist? And do you know how many Roxette Tribute-bands that exists?
PG: It’s fine with me. I don’t know how many Rox bands there are. Do you? /P.

 

Fun and retirement (which is not fun)

Olle Rydqvist: Is you was a butterflie, wich colours would you have?
PG: Ferrari red. /P.

Olle Rydqvist: If you had to pick one old haircut you had. Wich one would you pick?
PG: The one I’m having now. Easy does it! /P.

Salah Ghazal: Have you got a retirement age set or is there no plans to retire?
PG: Retire? Me? Hmmppfff. /P.

Oscar Ramirez: Are you aware of the fact that most heavy metal fans around the world also love Roxette? (Myself included).
PG: Badabam! /P.

 

Radio

Kia Engvall: Blir det något mer Gessle nio-i-topp?
PG: Maybe. We’re talking about it! /P.

 

No Qs, just thank you

Niekie Bushby: Hey Per, no question – just wanted to personally tell you (and please tell Marie as well) that my friends and I really enjoyed your show in Johannesburg on 31 January this year. It was my first live show and I am saddened by the fact that I missed out on a ‘real’ show due to Marie’s illness. I wish I saw a Roxette show years ago when you were both younger – heard it was quite an experience. Keep well and thanks for the joyride!
PG: Cheers. /P.

Ramon Luz: I just wanna say several “thank you’s”, ’cause you and Marie have been helping me from overseas with your tunes in the last years. Muito obrigado! (That’s what we say here in Brazil). Each song fills me with joy and hope.
PG: Thanx Ramon, apprceiate this!!! /P.

 

F1

Irina Lamp: What a pleasure i’m sitting and enjoy the sun Do you want to drive to the formel-1-race i germany the next time?
PG: can’t make it. Sorry. /P.

Evgenia Yakovchuk: Imagine that right now U’re flying on a plane where would I like to fly?
PG: Canada for the F1 race next weekend! /P.

 

Hotel Tylösand

Manuel Moreno: When I have gone to Tylösand Hotel with my family I was like a crazy fan recording and making photos to all Leif’s Lounge. Thanks to these, the waiters never let us pay a coffee. Thank you for those cups of coffee.
PG: What? They’re gonna get sacked!!! No, I’m plaesed you like the place. It’s kinda cool. Come back and have another cup! /P.

 

Other

Kathie Winn: If you could meet up with a very young Per Gessle, what would you tell your younger self?
PG: Good q, Kathie! I dunno, I’ve been very lucky in my life. I’ve told myself to stay true to my ideals and follow my gut feeling!

Rumen Manolov: How can an artist with a long history (such as you) please the critics? If you stick to your classical sound, then you’re repeating yourself (according to critics). If you do something new and different, then you’re trying to hard to be modern (according to them). Is it possible to surpass such criticism?

PG: No, it’s tricky. That’s why you never read them or take them seriously. It’s all down to your own taste and what you want to do with your career. /P.

Joan Frank: Would you change anything or do anything differently over the last 30 years to what you know now?
PG: There’s always things you could have done differently. Like working harder on the US market in the mid 90’s. On the other hand, Marie had a small child at the time so we concentrated on the rest of the world. Right or wrong? Who knows! /P.

Basia Konarzewska: How do you decide on purchasing a new guitar? Do you search for a special one sometimes, like those belonging to other master guitar players?
PG: I very rarely buy new guitars these days. I don’t need them. If something pops up I’m interested in, like some old Gibson Trini Lopez, I might take a look. /P.

Gyöngyvér Simon: What is your favourite holiday destination you can recommend as a “must-visit”?
PG: There are so many places to visit in the world. Right now I’m into Europe. Italy is always nice. If you’re hungry. /P.

Rumen Manolov: Do you and Marie realise how many people really really like you you do (and did in the past) and how much positive energy they send and receive? How can you live with all this love surrounding you?
PG: Hi Rumen, it’s sometimes hard to take in. We’re very proud of what we’ve done and equally proud of all you fans who made everything possible. Cheers, P.

 

The session ended at 5:03 pm with Mr. G sending lots of love:

Dear All Of You! Gotta go, have a few interviews with South America coming up. Have a fab summer + see y’all down the road somewhere!!!! Lots of love from P.

We certainly loved reading all the interesting, not so typical questions and we’re sure Per loved answering them, too. He should do such Q&As more often, shouldn’t he? Fingers crossed for more sessions like this in the future! Thank you for all your time and kindness, Per! Much appreciated!

 



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New exclusive photo book – RoXXXette On The Road

Roxette’s tour photo book we’ve been looking very much forward to is now already listed at Bokus and Adlibris. It will surely be available at other distributors as well, hopefully worldwide. So eXXXciting! Release date is 16th June.

RoXXXette On The RoadThe title is RoXXXette On The Road. According to Bokus and Adlibris, the book consists of 320 pages and it’s in English. It’s full of wonderful pics taken by master photographer Anders Roos on Roxette’s XXX tour and it also includes 41 reflections by our very own Per Gessle. The cover shows a photo of Marie and Per performing in front of a beautiful crowd on the steps at the Sydney Opera House in February 2015.

This is what Per said about the tour book project back then:

XXX ROXETTE WORLD TOUR BOOK info:

Yep, the plan is to have Anders Roos onboard in the studio, in green rooms, backstage, on stage, on trains, planes and in fast lanes just to document the real vibe around the Dynamic Duo and our fab entourage. Which we consider you to be part of!!!

Anders, as you might know, took the pix in the Gyllene Tider-book 2013. He’s a very nice guy, don’t be shy if you’ll spot him with his camera in the alleyways next to your seat! He might take your picture!

This is what the description of the book says, found on Bokus and Adlibris [translated from Swedish by PP]:

New exclusive photo book

”RoXXXette On The Road”

In the spring of 1986 a small hobby band was formed by two friends who had talked long enough about doing something together alongside their ordinary careers in Sweden.

30 years later, we follow the same band’s anniversary tour in the book “RoXXXette On The Road”, where Roxette’s songwriter engine Per Gessle adds his own reflections, flashbacks and anecdotes while photographer Anders Roos’s snapshots capture a global and apparently indestructible Swedish music phenomenon on tour.

The result is a unique opportunity to follow the group in the front row during their 30th anniversary celebration along with tens of thousands of fans night after night, both in Europe and on the other side of the globe.

The contrast to how it once started could hardly be greater. When Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle recorded their debut single “Neverending Love” under the name Roxette, they had certainly set their sights on trying to reach out internationally, but in practice, they knew that the chances were slim.

Roxette started at a time when Swedish pop music rarely managed to get outside Scandinavia, with Abba as the biggest exception to the rule. At best, they might reach out to the Scandinavian countries and Germany, but hardly to trendsetting pop countries as England and the United States.

Music without borders

But Roxette became at least as big exception to the rule. With their global breakthrough in 1989, with their unprecedented success, the group registered themselves both in Swedish and international music history, while also paving the way for what in the ‘90s was called “the Swedish music miracle”.

But despite all the talented artists and songwriters who have come from Sweden since then, no one has managed to repeat Roxette’s success, especially considering that the band both on stage and records have managed to touch several generations all over the world with their music. It is simply because Roxette’s greatest songs – and here we are talking about more than 30 hits – know no borders.

Or as Per Gessle writes in the book:

“Roxette has always been a live band. I feel quite safe and psyched in the studio, but Marie is definitely born to be on stage. During our first recordings, I was always surprised when she agreed to do a second or third recording of the song. She preferred to put in all at once, as if she was on stage. Her vocals to “Dressed For Success” were basically recorded directly during one utterly brilliant recording. Like “Soul Deep”. And “Cry.” The list goes on and on.”

Join the trip

With nearly 300 images on as many pages “RoXXXette on the road” takes the reader on a tour to Australia, where Roxette among other places performed with the mighty Sydney Opera House as their background.

We get backstage passes that take us all the way from inside the airplane, into the dressing rooms during the preparations before the concerts and to the very front of the edge of the stage where the musicians are pumping out songs like “The Look”, “Listen To Your Heart”, “It Must Have Been Love” and “Joyride” in front of an ecstatic crowd.

Good Karma

Furthermore, we get unique insights from the recordings of Roxette’s tenth studio album, “Good Karma” in the isolated studio, “Aerosol Grey Machine” in Österlen, Skåne.

In short, “RoXXXette on the road” is the backstage pass you always wanted to have, either you belong to the global gang of dedicated “roxers” who follow the group around the world or just curious about how daily life might look for a band that 30 years ago decided to see how far they could get. Part of the answer is here.

 



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Per Gessle’s Top9 guitar riffs in rock history

The last podcast in this Top9 series is about Per’s favourite guitar riffs. Per and Sven say that a good riff is often in the intro of a song, but it can also come back inside the song. Per collected 70-80 hits with great riffs and then narrowed down his list to 9. Listen to the podcast or download it from HERE!

Mr. G’s Top9 guitar riffs:

9. Black Sabbath – Paranoid
8. The Rolling Stones – The Last Time
7. Led Zeppelin – Kashmir
6. The Who – I Can’t Explain
5. AC/DC – Back In Black
4. Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen
3. The Kinks – You Really Got Me
2. David Bowie – Rebel Rebel
1. Norman Greenbaum – Spirit In The Sky

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PG screenshot is from the ZDF interview

Black Sabbath’s Paranoid has a fantastic guitar riff. Per thinks the song itself is a little too pop for being a Black Sabbath track. The Rolling Stones is a gigantic riff band, Keith Richards is called The Human Riff. The Last Time has a very catchy riff which goes on in a loop in the verses. The hook was played by Brian Jones, not by Keith and so it’s assumed to be composed by Brian. When the guys start talking about Led Zeppelin it turns out that Sven had a weak moment in the ’80s and got a ZoSo tattoo, which symbolizes Jimmy Page. Jimmy is also a fantastic, tricky guitarist.

Pete Townshend from The Who is another riff king, having a great archive of incomparable guitar riffs. Pete has a completely unique style. After I Can’t Explain got played, Sven asks Per which he thinks the coolest guitar riff is written by Mr. G himself. Per says it’s Sleeping In My Car. PG tells the story of how he wrote the song. When they recorded the album Crash! Boom! Bang!, the record company missed a very strong song to have a lead single. So Per went home and wrote SIMC. He says he thought about Paul McCartney’s album, Ram which includes the song The Back Seat Of My Car. He found it catchy and included it in the lyrics of SIMC. Mr. G played the demo for the song at EMI with Anders Herrlin and Clarence Öfwerman and they liked the song from the beginning and thought it had a real power pop title.

AC/DC make damn good pop music. Per remembers he saw them live as the support act to Black Sabbath at Olympen in Lund, 1977. AC/DC were an unknown band back then, but they actually became much better than Black Sabbath. Their song Back In Black has an awesome guitar riff. Sex Pistols with God Save The Queen is at No. 4 on Per’s list. It has a deadly guitar riff, awesome lyrics and it’s a fab pop song. Per says he missed Sex Pistols playing live in Halmstad 1977. Mr. G already talked about this memory in a previous podcast episode, why he and MP didn’t go in and see the show. They thought it was a bit too dangerous there. Sven and Per talk about Mr. G’s Sex Pistols single collection and that there was a most expensive single in England ”Pretty Vacant” which was worth 13,000 GBP. But that’s not the copy Per has in his library.

No. 3 is You Really Got Me by The Kinks. It has a legendary guitar riff, a very sexy groove. The first guitar riff Per heard from The Kinks was however another one, in Till The End Of The Day. The funny thing about YRGM is that it was written by Ray Davies on piano, but he then thought it would work better on guitar. It’s a super cool production.

Here comes David Bowie at No. 2 with Rebel Rebel. It’s a wonderful song and has a fantastic, intelligent guitar riff. The hit sounds a bit outside of the album, Diamond Dogs. Per loves DD. There were no lyrics to the album and there was no Google at those times. Per finds it important to have the lyrics to be able to follow the text. He bought a kind of sheet music where he could follow the chords and got the lyrics as well. The songs on the album have very sophisticated texts. Rebel Rebel feels like it’s the end of Bowie’s glam period and it’s David himself who played the guitar in it. Per says it was an incredible shock when Bowie died, but his music lives on. He is Per’s biggest hero, he was a fantastic artist and he changed PG’s life.

Mr. G’s No. 1 guitar riff is in a one hit wonder song, Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit In The Sky. Per thinks it’s the coolest riff one has ever written. The song is a tribute to Jesus or something like that. The guitar sound and the whole production are fantastic. The producer of the song is Erik Jacobsen, who also produced e.g. Tim Hardin, The Lovin’ Spoonful and even Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game.

 

Is it really the last podcast in this series? Can’t be! This should go on and on for the rest of our lives! The good thing in the podcast is that you can listen to it again and again anytime. In case you want to listen to all episodes again, check our article including the link to each of the 10 parts. Enjoy!

Thanx Per and Sven for your enthusiasm and sharing it with us and thanx to Swedish Radio for the opportunity! Keep up the good thing!

 



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Per Gessle’s Top9 songs sung by John Lennon

The penultimate part of Swedish Radio’s Per Gessle podcast is about Per’s favourite Beatles songs sung by John Lennon. PG thinks this is probably one of the best lists he has ever put together. Mr. G says he is a big Paul McCartney fan, but he always loved John Lennon’s voice. He thinks Lennon had a completely different composing style vs. McCartney’s and it’s a little closer to Per. Paul is a little too advanced for Mr. G. Per thinks why John and Paul could work so well together, writing songs is exactly their very different style. Sven says he is a Lennon freak and he loves actually everything The Beatles did. Listen to the podcast or download it from HERE!

Mr. G’s Top9 Beatles songs sung by John Lennon:

9. A Hard Day’s Night
8. I Feel Fine
7. I Am the Walrus
6. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away
5. Cry Baby Cry
4. I Should Have Known Better
3. And Your Bird Can Sing
2. Come Together
1. Rain

PG_HdIJHctl

Still is from the ”How did It Just Happens come to life” video

A Hard Day’s Night has the world’s coolest intro chord and it’s fantastic pop music. Gyllene Tider did a cover of this song on their early tour. Per couldn’t remember why, but they just couldn’t resist. Micke Syd was Paul and Per was John with a questionable result. Per thinks I Feel Fine’s intro sounds fantastic and he played it again and again to enjoy that ”nnnnnnwahhhhh”. Sven says it’s definitely an attention grabber pop intro, the riff is very original. I Am the Walrus is a fantastic song according to Mr. G. He always loved its nonsense lyrics, the amazing melody and John’s wonderful voice.

You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away is an incredibly attractive, John Lennon style song. Lennon’s acoustic guitar and his voice drive the whole song. It has no strange intro, it’s a super simple one. Per and Sven say there are many Beatles books around, but most of them are full of speculations. Cry Baby Cry is one of Sven’s absolute favourite hits. Per thinks it’s a terribly awesome song, one of John’s finest moments. Mr. G says The White Album is probably his favourite Beatles album. He was 9 when it was released and he played it a lot of times. I Should Have Known Better is a magnificent pop loop. John had the best voice during that period. Sven says in one of the books ISHKB was mentioned as a throw away track, even Lennon thought so and Per says he as a songwriter would love to have such a throw away song. PG says he can respect that and he also read that some of the Lennon songs he thinks are the best, John thought were throw away tracks. Per talks about his childhood when A Hard Day’s Night, the movie was on TV. There wasn’t too much pop on TV when he grew up and it was always sensational when any pop stuff appeared on the telly.

No. 3 on the list is And Your Bird Can Sing from the album, Revolver. The whole album is guitar-based and Mr. G loves it. Per tells Gyllene Tider recorded a Swedish version of AYBCS [Och jorden den är rund (And Earth is round)] on the EP which was included with their album Moderna Tider, 1981.

The second best Beatles song sung by Lennon is Come Together. It’s the first song on Abbey Road. Other Beatles albums sound very much ’60s, but Abbey Road is so modern that it still sounds awesome today. According to Per, Come Together has a sexy hypnotic groove. It has John’s fantastic voice, Paul’s cool bass play and Ringo’s drum beat.

Mr. G’s No. 1 Beatles song sung by John Lennon is Rain. It was the B-side of the Paperback Writer single in 1966. Per says 1966 is the best year when it comes to pop music. Rain is a bit hypnotic song, a very advanced one including backwards vocals.

Only 1 more podcast to go and this fab series of awesome chat between 2 pop nerds about great music is over. Tune in next Thursday for the last show!

 



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Vote for Roxette and Roxers!

Nomination period started for this year’s Rockbjörnen (music prize awarded by Aftonbladet annually). Last year Aftonbladet introduced a drop down menu for those who find it hard to nominate a band / artist / etc. by themselves and if you check it, you can see they still have Roxette on the list for the bands and Roxette fans on the list for the fans of the year. So, please, fill in at least the live band of the year and fans of the year boxes at the voting link. You can surely fill in other boxes, too, e.g. Swedish song of the year: ”It Just Happens – Roxette” or when the album is out, you can pick another song as well. 😉

Vote HERE each day until 10th July!

If you can’t speak Swedish, we help you which boxes to fill in and how you can proceed with your voting:

  • Årets livegrupp = Live band of the year: Roxette
  • Årets bästa fans = Fans of the year: Roxette fans
  • Årets svenska låt = Swedish song of the year: It Just Happens – Roxette (or any other new song after the album is released)

After filling it in, click on ”Nästa” (= ”Next”) and fill in your name (first name & surname), e-mail address, mobile number, year of birth (födelseår) and whether you are female (kvinna) or male (man) or other (annat), then reply to the control question (e.g. 2 + 2 = 4). If you want to receive info and offers from Aftonbladet, leave the tick in. ”Tillbaka” means ”Back”, ”Rösta” means ”Vote”. It’s simple as that.

 

Pic by Patrícia Peres; Göteborg 24/07/2015

 

For a little Rockbjörnen history check out our article from 3 years ago.

 



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Per Gessle’s corporate gig in Stockholm

Last night (12th May) Per did a corporate show for the same company (DLF) as Gyllene Tider played for in April 2014. The venue was the same, Berns in Stockholm. The company held its annual meeting and Per appeared on stage together with Pelle, Clarence, Christoffer, Magnus and Helena. Among other songs they performed Dangerous, Dressed For Success, The Look and Tycker om när du tar på mej.

Funny solution to hide the XXX or ROX on Per’s shirt. What happened to the PER shirt? 😉

Videos

Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Tycker om när du tar på mej: 1; 2

Instapics and vids

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,

PG_Berns

Pic by Maria Magnusson

 



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Per Gessle’s Top9 producers

The 8th episode of Swedish Radio’s Per Gessle podcast is about producers. Per says they are very important in pop history. Actually, nowadays producers are sometimes more important than the artists themselves. Mr. G tells he works very well together with his producers, Clarence Öfwerman and Christoffer Lundquist. Listen to the podcast or download it from HERE!

Mr. G’s Top9 producers:

9. Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax
8. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Here Comes My Girl
7. The Ronettes – Be My Baby
6. The Cars – Drive
5. Lesley Gore – It’s My Party
4. The Spencer Davies Group – Gimme Some Lovin’
3. David Bowie – Sound and Vision
2. The Knack – My Sharona
1. The Beatles – Something

Per chose Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax, produced by Trevor Horn as No. 9 on his list. The song has a sound Per had never heard before and he thinks it’s a great club music, a classic pop song. Here Comes My Girl was produced by Jimmy Iovine. Jimmy has a unique sound and he even worked together with John Lennon. Be My Baby by The Ronettes was produced by Phil Spector. Sven says he’s a legend. Mr. G is not the world’s greatest Phil Spector fan, but what he likes about him is how he produced all the girl groups’ songs. Phil Spector is the producer behind John Lennon’s Imagine as well.

Drive by The Cars was produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange. He is also one of the greatest producers and hit makers. Quincy Jones is the producer of Lesley Gore’s It’s My Party. Per says he is a phenomenal musician and producer. PG doesn’t know much about Quincy, but he knows he was the producer of the classic Michael Jackson records. When the album Thriller came out, it sounded magical and it still sounds so. The Spencer Davies Group’s Gimme Some Lovin’ was produced by Jimmy Miller who also produced some Rolling Stones albums. Per thinks Jimmy made the songs attractive.

No. 3 on the list is David Bowie with Sound and Vision. Bowie’s producer was Tony Visconti and their cooperation was magnificent. Per and Sven have a long chat about both David’s and Tony’s greatness. No. 2 is The Knack’s My Sharona, produced by Mike Chapman who is a hit maker, mostly known for producing Blondie and The Knack. No. 1 is The Beatles with Something, produced by the greatest of all, Sir George Martin.

This part was the most nerdish so far, linking tremendous amount of songs and albums to each and every producer who were mentioned. It’s really so enjoyable to listen to these two pop nerds, Per G and Sven L. Too bad now only 2 podcast parts are left. Tune in next Thursday!

PG_producers

 



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