Per Gessle and Roxette in Save Tonight – Swedish hits from the video era

Save Tonight – svenska hits från videoeran (Save Tonight – Swedish hits from the video era) is a music program on SVT. It is produced by the people behind En kväll för Marie Fredriksson, På spåret, Det svenska popundret and Hitlåtens historia, so there is a guarantee for a high quality series. Tonight, 25th September 2021 it’s the premiere of the program and it’s planned to be an annual TV show.

The essence of the program is to pay homage to great musical eras from the last century with live music, interviews and features. It’s the 40th anniversary of MTV music channel broadcasting its first program in 1981, when a new window was opened to the world for people interested in music.

A number of great artists cooperated in Save Tonight – svenska hits från videoeran, Per Gessle is one of them. There is a short interview with Mr. G about Roxette’s videos. This part starts at 46:41 and lasts till 49:29.

Program leader Josefine Jinder tells Per Gessle knew how to write hit after hit, but knew nothing about how to make music videos. So when MTV popped up, he took it as a big, but fun challenge.

Mr. G tells before MTV it was dry. The videos fit Roxette perfectly. They were young and interested in the video format. They thought it was an extension of their pop language. Per thinks it was cool to make videos e.g. to The Look and Dressed For Success, which they made at the same time in New York. He says it was awesome to work together with stylists and choreographers, so you could make more of your song. You quickly realized that you have to have a good video and so it quite quickly escalated the budget. If you are international, you have to work with an international budget and it was extremely lot of money they invested in music videos. Mr. G thinks that big part of their success is due to their cool videos, e.g. Fading Like A Flower in Stockholm City Hall or Listen To Your Heart on Öland. Per laughs and tells that everyone in the US thought that they built the ruins for the video’s sake. Actually, Marie was most often the front figure and Per rather had to strike tough poses and ”power chords”. It was fun, they loved making videos.

Jonas Åkerlund also talks on the program from 1:03:39, mainly about videos in general and the contradictions in the briefs of record labels for doing something cool and shocking that one could have never seen before, but at the same time taking care of not going to an extreme when a video can be censored, because then no one will see it. He says videos became fun again when YouTube appeared.

You can already watch Save Tonight – svenska hits från videoeran on SVT Play (if you are in Sweden) or watch it on SVT1 at 20:00 CET tonight.

Stills are from the program.