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!

 

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

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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!

 

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.

 

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,

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Pic by Maria Magnusson

 

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!

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Per Gessle’s Top9 new wave songs from England

After some awesome ’60s, ’70s and ’80s music, the 7th part of Swedish Radio’s podcast à la Per Gessle and Sven Lindström is about new wave songs. Sven starts the show with presenting Per as an old punk, but Per corrects him he has never been a punk, rather a new waver. He says in the late ’70s anyone could start a band even if they were not so talented at singing or playing the guitar and that fit him perfectly. Starting a band gave people a lot of self confidence. Per started a band with Mats MP Persson. The band’s name was Grape Rock and Gyllene Tider was born from that group. Listen to the podcast or download it from HERE!

Mr. G’s Top9 English new wave hits:

9. The Adverts – Gary Gilmore’s Eyes
8. Elvis Costello – Alison
7. The Pretenders – Stop Your Sobbing
6. The Damned – New Rose
5. The Stranglers – Peaches
4. Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The U.K.
3. Wreckless Eric – Whole Wide World
2. Nick Lowe – American Squirm
1. Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love

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The still is from Spotify España’s promo video.

Before getting down to the list, Per and Sven talk about how Per and Co. went to England to buy a used Gibson Les Pauls guitar for Mr. G and a Fender bass for Gyllene Tider’s then bassist Janne Carlsson. They didn’t have money to pay the taxes, so the instruments were actually smuggled in to Sweden, but at the customs the officers seized the guitars. Per wrote a letter telling the whole story and then they got their instruments back after paying a fine. PG had to pay 2000 crowns which was an extremely lot of money back then. It was the sum he earned during whole summer for weighing mushrooms.

Per doesn’t know much about The Adverts. He had their single, Gary Gilmore’s Eyes and liked the bizarre story in the lyrics. Mr. G thinks it’s a fantastic pop song. Talking a bit about Gyllene Tider again, Per says it was quite clear from the beginning that he would sing in the band, because playing the bongo drums is not really his thing.

Elvis Costello is a lovely guy according to Per, everyone likes him. He was an intellectual new wave guy, writing fine lyrics. Per stopped listening to him after Costello’s Oliver’s Army single. Then it became too smart for Mr. G.

Per wasn’t a superfan of The Pretenders, but he thinks Stop Your Sobbing is a good song (the original was written for The Kinks). Before the song starts playing, PG makes Sven hum the tune of another The Pretenders song which Per thought he had missed completely, but then he realized he didn’t miss it, just didn’t like it.

The Damned’s New Rose is an awesome song and the band had a few other good songs. Per bought their debut LP in London. Here they talk about record labels. During the new wave in England Stiff Records guaranteed quality stuff and Parlophone or Atlantic Records were also associated with quality music.

Mr. G doesn’t know too many details about The Stranglers, but he says Peaches is a song that has the sound of those punk times. Funny how Per pronounces the band’s name and then jokes with the song title pronounciation as well.

Anarchy In The U.K. by Sex Pistols is a Top10 song in any category, Per thinks. It’s a specially written song to all 17-18-year-olds in the West. Sex Pistols played in Halmstad and Per went to their show with MP, but it was so chaotic they went home.

No. 3 on the list is Wreckless Eric who has eminent songs with great lyrics and he has a wonderful voice.

No. 2 is Nick Lowe who was a key person in England’s music business in the late ’70s. He produced Elvis Costello and he was a master mind at Stiff Records. He writes fantastic songs and he is one of the artists Per listens the most to. Nick Lowe still makes damn good records.

PG’s No. 1 English new wave song is Ever Fallen In Love by Buzzcocks. This song was No. 4 on Per’s list of Top9 ’70s hits. There he mentioned this is the best song of the British new wave era and here you go, Mr. G lists it at No. 1 on his new wave Top9. Many fast Gyllene Tider songs were inspired by the Buzzcocks.

3 more podcast episodes to go! Tune in next Thursday to hear the lads talk about the 9 best producers in rock history!

 

Per Gessle’s Top9 songs from the ’80s

The 6th part of Per’s Swedish Radio podcast became available this morning. It’s about the lovely ’80s. Listen to the podcast or download it from HERE!

Per’s Top9 ’80s hits:

9. Gary Numan – Cars
8. Madness – Our House
7. INXS – Need You Tonight
6. Stevie Nicks – Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
5. Billy Idol – Dancing With Myself
4. The Romantics – Talking In Your Sleep
3. XTC – Senses Working Overtime
2. Tom Petty – Free Fallin’
1. David Bowie – Modern Love

Mr. G mentions he listened a lot to Gary Numan’s Cars. The synth revolution happened in the ’80s and it affected and inspired many other musicians, not only Per. Cars combines the new sound of those times with a real good pop melody. Sven comes up with Gyllene Tider, saying it was the time when GT modernized themselves. Per agrees. In the ’80s there was a lot of make-up, big hair and funny clothes in general.

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Still is from Warner Music Sweden‘s PG short video

Our House from Madness is incredibly awesome music, Per says. It feels new and fresh. INXS from Australia had groovy songs. Per chose Need You Tonight, because he thinks it sounded like nothing else. Sexy and funky. Mr. G tells that they (Roxette) were recording in Capri, Italy in 1993 and INXS was recording there before them. (Don’t miss out on Per snapping his fingers at about 16:52.)

At No. 6 you can find a real cracker (smällkaramell), Stevie Nicks with Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around. It’s an outstanding song and here she sings with Tom Petty, who originally wrote the song together with Mike Campbell as a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song. Sven and Per talk about 1981-82 when Mr. G and Marie were sitting in the studio, planning their conquering the world. Per says they started writing songs together, e.g. Ingen kan som du; Innan du går, kom tillbaka. Sven mentions the latter became a Roxette song later, at least the title of it (Come Back Before You Leave). Then Per laughs that he steals from himself.

Billy Idol is very much the ’80s for Per, he likes Billy’s ’80s singles. The Romantics is a Detroit band and their song Talking In Your Sleep is a well-produced hit with lovely guitar sounds. Per says they (Roxette) were headliners at some German or Czech festival and the singer, Wally Palmar from The Romantics was performing before them with Ringo Starr & His All Star Band. [It was at Bospop Festival in the Netherlands, 2011. 😉 /PP]

When XTC’s song, Senses Working Overtime came out, Per thought that was the best song he had ever heard. It has an odd composition. You can find Tom Petty at No.2 on PG’s Top9 list. Free Fallin’ is an awesome song. Tom Petty has a blues side as well, which Per never really liked, it’s not his cup of tea. Mr. G mentions Tom Petty is the king of the ’80s for him and David Bowie is the king of the ’70s. At No. 1 you can hear David Bowie’s Modern Love. Per says he is a die hard Bowie fan and he thinks David is a terribly good singer and the whole Let’s Dance album is fantastic.

Now only 4 parts left. Tune in next Thursday as well!

 

Roxette – Good Karma

Roxette released their long-awaited first single off the 10th studio album on 8th April. It Just Happens is one of the 11 songs on the album and as Per says, it’s one of his favourite tracks on Good Karma. It was written in May 2014 and it was one of the first songs they recorded for the album. They chose it as a first single, because it’s great to have a little bit of Marie, a little bit of Per, a little bit of you and a little bit of everyone in it. Marie and Per promotes their new single together in THIS video.

The album is out on 3rd June in 3 formats: digital, CD and LP. You can have a look at the items on Bengans, Ginza, CDON, Amazon, etc. and you can pre-order it on iTunes as well. Being a worldwide release, you will probably find at least the CD in a record shop / petrol station near you. A limited edition coloured vinyl popped up only at Bengans so far. We don’t know much about how many copies are planned to be released from it and if it has any other limited edition feature (e.g. a bonus track) besides being coloured. Well, Per mentioned some time ago that they had 20 songs for the album and recorded 14 properly. Now there are 11 tracks on the album, so what’s with those 3 other properly recorded songs? They might turn up as bonus tracks somewhere and we hope to hear the demos, too.

In a recent interview Per says good karma is a positive thing and sums up Roxette’s special history. They had all the success, then came all the disaster when Marie got ill in 2002, then they did their 2009 comeback against all odds. He states:

We want to make a positive statement with this album. There is a certain positiveness around the whole album.

The 10th album will be the shortest Roxette record with its 38 minutes, but each and every song has an exciting title and I think It Just Happens was a great teaser track for the whole thing. Marie says:

I look forward to the release of our album ”Good Karma” in June – for me it’s our best album ever!

 Good Karma tracklist (incl. length)

  1. Why Dontcha? 2:45
  2. It Just Happens 3:46
  3. Good Karma 3:19
  4. This One 3:11
  5. You Make It Sound So Simple 3:42
  6. From A Distance 3:30
  7. Some Other Summer 3:08
  8. Why Don’t You Bring Me Flowers? 3:32
  9. You Can’t Do This To Me Anymore 3:50
  10. 20 bpm 3:48
  11. April Clouds 3:29

Warner Music did a great job with the promotion of the single, now let’s hope they keep up the good thing and promote the album at least as enthusiastically. What else? Oh yes. Let’s hope the radios start playing It Just Happens worldwide at last.

It’s a torture to wait until 3rd June! Until then, some interviews will surely see the light of day, as Per posted about some phoners he did today. Looking very much forward to hear / read them all!

Good_Karma_F_n_B

 

Thanx for the back cover with corrected aspect ratio, Roxette Cafe!

 

Per Gessle’s Top9 songs from the ’70s

The fifth part of Per’s Swedish Radio podcast starts with Mr. G opening a bottle of water and Per says ”En flaska vatten” (”A Bottle of Water”) would be a great song title. Sven jokes it sounds like a late Gyllene Tider song. Badabam! Listen to the podcast or download it from HERE!

 

Per’s Top9 ’70s hits:

9. T. Rex – Metal Guru (1972)
8. The Allman Brothers Band – Midnight Rider (1970)
7. Joni Mitchell – River (1971)
6. Lobo – Me And You And A Dog Named Bo (1971)
5. Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way (1976)
4. Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love (1978)
3. Blondie – Hanging On The Telephone (1978)
2. Mott the Hoople – All The Young Dudes (1972)
1. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Refugee (1979)

 

Per says the ’70s was a fantastic decade for music with so many genres and it was a decade that formed him a lot musically. He grew up on Tio i topp and on early ’70s music, then he himself started playing music in the middle of the ’70s and they started Gyllene Tider in 1977. Mr. G says everything started in the ’60s in the pop world, but in the ’70s even more things happened, including glam rock.

T. Rex is a fantastic band with a unique sound and a fab singer-songwriter-guitarist (Marc Bolan), according to Per. The Allman Brothers Band’s Midnight Rider is an incredibly catchy, awesome song, thinks Mr. G. Joni Mitchell is an obvious part of this Top9. Per listened to her and The Beatles the most during his life. Joni Mitchell’s singer-songwriter period from the ’60s until the mid ’70s was absolutely fantastic. Then she became a bit too jazzy and fusion for Per. She is the type of artist who other artists look up at and everyone loves her. Per mentions that during those times he started writing lyrics. He couldn’t play any instruments, but he had the melody in his head.

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Still is from the Warner Mexico video

For Sven, Lobo is a surprising choice by Per after Joni Mitchell. Mr. G says they had some songs that were damn good. They weren’t a one-hit wonder band, but a three-hit wonder band. Here Per googles Lobo and he realizes that lobo means wolf in Spanish. Then Sven mentions Los Lobos and Per says aaaah. (You learn something new each day.)

Fleetwood Mac’s studio album Rumours is a pop masterpiece according to Per. He chose a song off that album. Besides talking beautifully about the band, Mr. G also mentions all guys of his generation were in love with Stevie Nicks. From Buzzcocks Per chose a song that had a great effect on them in Gyllene Tider. He thinks Ever Fallen In Love is the best song of the British new wave era.

No. 3 is Blondie with Hanging On The Telephone. The song is a rocket, a magnificent hit according to Per. The album, Parallel Lines is a jukebox of hits, says Sven. Per says David Bowie meant incredibly lot to him and he chose a song written by Bowie as No. 2 on his Top9 list. It’s Mott the Hoople’s All The Young Dudes, which Per thinks is a terribly good song. Don’t miss out on Per’s reaction at the end of the song. 😉 He mentions sometimes it’s almost as much fun talking about music as listening to it. No. 1 on the list is Refugee by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Mr. G says when they started Gyllene Tider, they wanted to sound exactly like them. The band is extremely competent and Tom Petty is a fantastic singer and songwriter. Winning!

At the end of the podcast Sven says he hopes we liked the show, but if not, we can write to Per Gessle. Per says no, write to Sven instead. I guess we won’t write to anyone, but wait for next Thursday to hear the next part, right?

 

Per Gessle’s Top9 songs from the ’60s

The fourth part of Per’s Swedish Radio podcast is about the ’60s, Per’s happy childhood. Mr. G and Sven among other things talk about their favourite tunes from the decade and how Per started collecting records by buying his first The Kinks LP from his brother who needed money for cigarette. Listen to the podcast or download it from HERE!

Per’s Top9 ’60s hits:

9. The Kinks – Days (1968)
8. The Monkees – Steppin’ Stone (1966)
7. Alma Cogan – Tennessee Waltz (1964)
6.  Small Faces – All Or Nothing (1966)
5. Bee Gees – To Love Somebody (1967)
4. Paul Revere & The Raiders – Kicks (1966)
3. Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood – Summer Wine (1967)
2. The Trashmen – Surfin’ Bird (1963)
1. The Beatles – Dizzy Miss Lizzy (1965)

Per loves The Kinks, they are a fantastic band, they did incomparable music. The Monkees did the best version of Steppin’ Stone. First time Mr. G heard the song, he got hooked. Tennessee Waltz is a country song and Alma Cogan did a great version of it, she has a fantastic voice, Per thinks. Here you can hear Mr. G using Google to find out some info about the song. All Or Nothing by Small Faces still sounds good today and the guitars in it are special, just like its whole sound. The Bee Gees did fantastic pop music, they have a great catalogue and among other songs of theirs, Per loves To Love Somebody. Mr. G’s copy of the single has Per Gessle written on the backside, because he lent his friends his vinyls, so it was good to state who they belonged to. Paul Revere & The Raiders is another fantastic band with great guitar riffs. Summer Wine is at the 3rd place on the list. It’s a real masterpiece, Per thinks. Nancy and Lee have awesome voices. The Trashmen’s Surfin’ Bird is No. 2. This song is one of the party songs on Mr. G’s mixed tape we love to dance to while waiting for a Roxette show to begin. The video to it on YouTube is irresistible, Mr. G says. The Beatles is the greatest band of the ’60s, so it’s obvious they are at No. 1 on Per’s Top9 list. Dizzy Miss Lizzy is an inspiring song, a masterpiece, one of the best songs of the ’60s.

 

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Still is from the Thank you! video posted on Roxette’s Facebook page.

One week left until the next podcast part is out.

 

Interview with Per Gessle about the new Roxette album

Ruutu (Finland) did a lovely and interesting telephone interview with Per Gessle yesterday. Listen to it HERE! It will play after 1-2 ads.

Per says It Just Happens was one of the first songs they started to work with for the new album. It’s a classic Roxette midtempo song, it’s some sort of a power ballad. They wanted to update their sound while keeping the classic Roxette sound. They decided quite early to bring fresh blood into the production side, so they started working with different producers. Some of them they used, some of them they got rid of very quickly.

The reporter asks Per if It Just Happens is his attitude for life and if he believes in destiny. Per replies most things in life that change you just happen. Like falling in love or situations that take you to different directions. You can’t really plan anything, it just happens. So in the end, he believes there is some sort of destiny.

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Still is from the Warner Music Argentina video

About Good Karma, the title of the new album Per says he had the song, Good Karma. He thinks it’s a positive thing and sums up Roxette’s special history. They had all the success, then came all the disaster when Marie got ill in 2002, then they did their 2009 comeback against all odds.

We want to make a positive statement with this album. There is a certain positiveness around the whole album.

Per says about his personality that he likes to have his antennas out and if there is something attractive to him, he uses it.

Going with the flow is just a great expression of how I live my life. Of course, you have to have your fundamental rules in life, but you have to be open-minded, curious. Especially when you’re getting older and especially in a business like the music business. It’s crucial to be aware of what’s going on, listen to new stuff. Otherwise everything is going to be the same and the same and the same and the same and I hate that, you know.

The reporter asks Mr. G if he still gets excited or even nervous when they release new stuff. Per says he doesn’t really get nervous, but he is always very curious about the reception. He is very much aware of the music industry. They still work in the Top40 format and it’s almost impossible for bands and artists like them being that old to get across, because pop music is always about today. It’s music for younger people. At the same time he finds it challenging to improve their sound or update his style of writing. He is not the one who can judge the end result.

Sometimes I say to myself, hey Per, you’re only just beginning. Everything is in front of you. And I think it’s a great attitude. I think it works.

According to Mr. G, the worst thing you can do is to close the door to new technology, new sounds. There is so much going on in the art world, not only in music, but photography, television, movies and social media for that matter that wasn’t on when he was a kid.

I thinks it’s crucial to be part of today and not only to be part of yesterday, because you’re getting old.

They talk about playing in Jyväskylä, Finland on 18th June and the reporter asks Per if he has any special memories from Finland or the Finnish audience. It’s always been great concerts there, so they are really looking forward to play at this place which he count pronounce. He asked just bring the sunshine for the outdoor show.

Thanks, Ruutu for the great interview!

9 best female singers according to Per Gessle

Yay! It’s Thursday again! In today’s part of Per Gessle’s podcast Mr. G and Sven talk about the best female singers. Per has a very long list of fantastic female singers, e.g. Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Diana Ross, but here he lists those ones who had formed his songwriting and musicmaking in the early years. This way you won’t find Marie on the list of course, but we all know what an important role she has in our pop king’s life. Listen to the podcast or download it from HERE!

Per Gessle’s Top9 female singers:

9. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll
8. K.D. Lang – After The Gold Rush
7. Stevie Nicks – Dreams
6. Ann Wilson (Heart) – Love Alive
5. Dusty Springfield – Son Of A Preacher Man
4. Nancy Sinatra – These Boots are Made For Walking
3. Joni Mitchell – Rainy Night House
2. Chrissy Amphlett (Divinyls) – Pleasure And Pain
1. Deborah Harry (Blondie) – Heart Of Glass

Per says Joan Jett is a fantastic singer. Her cover of I Love Rock ’N’ Roll is from 1981 and with her voice, a woman singing the song gives another meaning of the lyrics and her version is more cheeky and sexy. This is what Mr. G is also trying to reach with his stuff together with Marie for example. When she sings a song, it gives another meaning to the lyrics.

K.D. Lang is from Canada and she is outstandingly good. She did a cover version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and it’s the only cover of that song Per likes. K.D. Lang has some virtuosity in her voice what makes it fantastic.

Stevie Nicks has a very appealing voice. She is best known for her work with Fleetwood Mac, a band that meant a lot to Per. She is a unique artist and has mysterious lyrics.

Ann Wilson is an incredibly talented singer and Love Alive is a fantastic song. Per and MP listened to this song a lot when they started Gyllene Tider and got inspiration from it. Magdalena is one of those GT songs inspired by Love Alive.

Dusty Springfield’s delivery of songs is charming and her personality comes through the songs. One can’t stop listening to Son Of A Preacher Man. Dusty’s voice is very sexy and magnetic.

No surprise Nancy Sinatra is also in Per’s Top9. One hand is not enough to count how many times he shared These Boots are Made For Walking on Roxette’s Facebook page over the years. Mr. G says one can only fall in love with Nancy’s voice. Per loves her cooperation with Lee Hazlewood and their song Summer Wine (which you could bump into on Roxette’s Facebook page also quite frequently).

Joni Mitchell is at No. 3 on Per’s list. He listened to her all his life. Rainy Night House has the typical Joni Mitchell sound and it is beautiful. How Joni Mitchell expresses herself feels like she is a painter, painting all her lyrics.

Chrissy Amphlett  from Divinyls is the No. 2 female singer on Mr. G’s list. She has a very unique voice, one melts while listening to her.

Debbie Harry from Blondie is the best female singer according to Per. She’s the one who stands out as a singer and with her personality in pop music. It’s probably only Madonna who is as outstanding as Debbie. Heart Of Glass is one of world’s best pop songs according to Per. It still sounds like a hit today.

 

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Per Gessle. Foto: Jesper Molin/Sveriges Radio

 

Next podcast part will be available next Thursday.

 

The strongest Roxette lead single

Just like we did the poll with the studio album covers, some days ago we asked you to tell us which you think was Roxette’s strongest ever lead single off their studio albums. After checking all the comments under our post and on Roxette’s Facebook page, I counted the votes / mentions and voilà, here is the result. Is anyone surprised that Joyride is the absolute winner? I guess not!

27th February 1991 is an important date in Roxette’s history. Their strongest ever lead single was released that day. Per remembered its 25th anniversary on Facebook the other day:

25 YEARS AGO TODAY! This little baby was released as a single. Fab! /P.

The hit is so strong it became Roxette’s 4th US No. 1 and Joyride, the song itself and the video to it made a tremendous amount of people join the joyride and fall in neverending love with Roxette. I’m also one of those Roxers. As we know, there are many to thank for this hit. Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Åsa, the 1991 Rox gang, the engineers, the studios, etc., but most of all, Per 8th-wonder-songwriter Gessle and of course Marie. Aaah… 25 years! Time flies when you’re having fun!

Judging by the comments, I would say the rest of the lead singles are rather personal favourites. Most Roxers agree that Joyride is the strongest from several points of view, but some fans prefer another single because they became a Roxer thanks to another one or they have nicer memories related to another certain lead single.

Sleeping In My Car is a strong 2nd and How Do You Do! has a safe 3rd place. Dressed For Success is at No. 4, but right after it comes Wish I Could Fly. Neverending Love and She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio) got almost the same amount of votes and The Centre Of The Heart is not far behind them. It’s Possible is a catchy song, but it ended up at the last place as a lead single.

 

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The 10th studio album lead single, It Just Happens is released on 8th April.

 

Roxette – It Just Happens

I think the first time we could hear about the song It Just Happens was when Marie’s biography was published. It turns out that the song was recorded in September 2014 at Marie’s studio, Vinden. There was Marie, Per, Clarence and Christoffer to record it. In the book you can read it’s a typical Roxette ballad, like It Must Have Been Love, Vulnerable or Spending My Time.

This is what Per said about the song in October 2015:

Yes, I can now confirm that this is true. One of the brand new songs is called IT JUST HAPPENS. And it’s big and bold and done with love. It’s ready for mix, mastering and eventual human digestion. Stay tuned, folks. /P.

Mr. G confirmed in an interview done by Swedish Radio that the single would be out in April and a video is in the making.

It Just HappensThen came 1st April and the cover of the single popped up. Ojojoj. Most of us thought it was an April fools day joke. I mean the layout of the cover. What the hell is that butterfly with sun-go-down wings and guitar ass doing on the cover? It looks like a cheap and weak Photoshop attempt. Then more and more links appeared to the single and that the release date is 8th April. Oh well… it’s not the first time we don’t like the cover of a Roxette album and seeing this, I’m afraid it’s not the last time either. More important is how the song sounds. You know me, I’m usually one with the most positive approach towards Roxette and their stuff, no matter what they do, but this cover put my expectations and excitement at a lower level. So I hoped for an awesome song at least, if the cover is not the funkiest anyway.

Why to wait until the official release date? These days, in the world of digital music consumption new stuff is released digitally first and maybe even sooner than the official date. It has just happened now. The song is already available on Deezer [The link didn’t work for a while, since Deezer was too early to make it public. /PP] and on Roxette’s Soundcloud page. Oh yeah. The cover of the single is really THAT one. Gosh… I try to get over it, I promise.

The song, I thought it would be more of a sung-by-Marie type of typical Roxette ballad, so the first surprise came when I heard Per start to sing.  To me it’s a little bit of Vulnerable, yes, but more Cooper! A Thing About You and Speak To Me also came to my mind while listening to it. It Must Have Been Love? No, the song is definitely not of that caliber, I would say. But I don’t mind. I find the song attractive and powerful, sounds like classical Roxette, but fresh! I love Marie’s high tones and how Marie’s and Per’s voices blend. By the way, is it me or Per really sounds a bit like David Bowie here? The song is on repeat since at least an hour, so counting with its 3:46 length, I listened to it at least 15 times already. And hey, I can already sing along by heart! OK. Me likes the song and I almost forgot about the cover. 😉 Hopefully, there will be a physical release as well.

 

It Just Happens

It’s a cabaret, taking over on a quiet lazy backseat day
And it’s so beautiful
Like the sunshine on your balcony
Just yesterday

Don’t underestimate
Your heart is never late
And love will always find a way

It just happens
You don’t know what’s going on
If it’s new or if it’s been there since long
If it’s right or wrong
You fall in love
You fall in love

You don’t have a say
Just let it slide and close your eyes and watch the passion play
Don’t underestimate
Your heart can never wait
And love will always find a way

You’ll fall in love
It just happens
You’ll fall in love
It just happens

Don’t underestimate
Your heart can never wait
Love will always find a way

It just happens and you don’t know what’s going on

©Per Gessle

 

IJH makes me curious about the rest of the songs on the upcoming album. Hearing how It Just Happens starts, it is for sure not the intro song. Will it be an uptempo hit then? Most probably. We have to wait until 3rd June to find out. That is the release date of the new album. Oh and don’t forget, a video is coming, too! Hopefully, without any butterflies.

 

Per Gessle’s nine Swedish heroes

Another Thursday, another part of Per Gessle’s podcast. Lovely to listen to. In this one Mr. G and Sven Lindström talk about those Swedish musicians and songs that had an effect on Per’s own music. The chosen songs are again from the ’60s and ’70s. Listen to the podcast or download it from HERE!

Per Gessle’s Top9 Swedish heroes:

9. Ola & The Janglers – Come And Stay With Me
8. Ola Magnell – Nya perspektiv
7. Tages – Fantasy Land
6. November – En Ny Tid Är Här
5. Ted Gärdestad – Come Give Me Love
4. Cornelis Vreeswijk – Balladen Om Fredrik Åkare Och Den Söta Fröken Cecilia Lind
3. Ulf Lundell – Sniglar och Krut
2. Pugh Rogefeldt – Klöver Linda
1. John Holm – Den Öde Stranden

Per has always been an Ola & The Janglers fan, because they have a unique sound. Come And Stay With Me he listened to many, many times. The lead member is called Ola Håkansson, so Per and Sven start talking about their second names and mention Per’s mum called him Per Håkan and Sven’s other name is Magnus. Mr. G says he also listened to Ola Magnell a lot in the ’70s. He is a great songwriter and a fantastic singer. Tages is a band from Gothenburg and Per still likes them very much, their songs still sound great. November is a band that also formed Per’s songwriting, he listened to them a lot as well. He sees November in his world as a pop band. Per listened to Ted Gärdestad a lot when he grew up. Come Give Me Love is one of the nicest and most brilliant Swedish songs, Mr. G thinks. Per compares TG to Paul McCartney. Cornelis Vreeswijk has very good lyrics and he is a unique artist, Per thinks. Ulf Lundell’s best song according to PG is Sniglar och Krut that’s why it’s at No. 3 on his Swedish heroes list. Pugh Rogefeldt’s 2nd album, Pughish is the best Swedish album of all times, with fantastic songs and production. Per chose a song from that album as the 2nd on his list.

No surprise that John Holm is at No. 1 on Mr. G’s list. He is Per’s greatest Swedish idol. You surely remember he met John last year after John’s concert in Halmstad and got a wonderful hug from him. So heartwarming to think about it. Per says John has a very special voice, he does great music and melodies. Den Öde Stranden is a very attractive song to Per, he even covered it on his first solo album in 1983.

Next podcast part will be available next Thursday.

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