Marie Fredriksson is known for most people as one half of the legendary pop duo Roxette and as soloist with great hit songs like “Ännu doftar kärlek” and “Tro”. The solo career and Roxette have been running in parallel throughout Marie’s career, something that always felt completely obvious. Over the years, the band has toured around the world several times and with 75 million sold albums and countless hits on the world’s hitlists, Roxette is one of the world’s most successful bands ever.
In 2013, Marie released the solo album “Nu!” and in 2015 she released the autobiography “Kärleken till livet”, which she co-wrote with the author Helena von Zweigbergk. Early 2016, 1,5 years after Roxette’s massive 30th Anniversary Tour begun, she and her colleague Per Gessle released the message that, on the advice of Marie’s doctors, they had to cancel the rest of the tour.
Since the decision to completely stopping touring, Marie has found her way back to an incredibly dear old friend: jazz music. What many may not know is that it was with jazz and blues that her lifelong love for music began. She started her professional career as a singer singing jazz at various cafes and clubs. The idea of ??picking up jazz again has followed her for many years and for her own birthday on May 30th it’s finally time. Together with two of Sweden’s absolutely most established musicians in the genre, Magnus Lindgren (saxophone) and Max Schultz (guitar), she now releases her first renowned jazz release “Alone Again”.
“This is something I longed for a long time, and it feels right to do it now. The jazz and the blues have always meant a lot to me, and I love this song.”
A video of Marie, Magnus and Max performing the song was also released along with the press release.
Surprise of the year is that a new jazz song will be released by Marie Fredriksson on her birthday, 30th May. It’s released on Amigo, a division of Cosmos Music under exclusive license from Amelia Music AB. The song is 4 m 31 s long and the title is ”Alone Again”. It’s featuring Max Schultz and Magnus Lindgren. Marie already worked together with these 2 musicians in the past. Max Schultz played guitar on Marie’s recordings and the latest cooperation with Magnus Lindgren was the song ”On A Sunday” on Magnus’s album ”Souls” in 2013.
Marie mentioned it earlier that she would love to make a jazz album. Let’s hope there is more to come! So exciting!
Per was one of the guests on today’s Gomorron Sverige on SVT. As he mentioned on his Instagram account: ”Early morning TV show. Really early. Really.” Haha. Poor guy, having some long and busy PR days this week.
If you are in Sweden, you can watch the show on SVT Play, if not, then you can watch it on YouTube(thanks to Gaby for recording it).
In 10 years, this is the first material Per releases in Swedish. To the question why Nashville, he replies he wanted to change the milieu a bit, not to record again in Skåne. He was thinking about recording in England or France, but suddenly Nashville popped up. Per thinks the combination of Halmstad and Nashville is perfect. He says he likes classic country, Neil Young, for example.
The host on the show says Per’s music is not really country, but Mr. G says there are country elements, for example, on Mazarin. Now he worked together with local musicians and all the instruments they used add the Nashville sound to the album, but at the same time he wanted the lyrics and his voice to be in focus.
Regarding the duet with Lars Winnerbäck, the hostess asks Per if it is a bit like looking for something new after Marie. Per says he just wanted to do something different. He likes to test different things all the time.
The host asks Per if this project is more about looking back than looking into the future. Per says in a way it is. He tried to write the lyrics from the point of view who he is today, even he writes about the same topics as usual, love, disappointment, longing, dreaming. The host asks if it is easier to write in his mother tongue, Swedish than in English. Per says it is.
They talk about the album cover of ”En vacker natt”. Per tells it’s his sister on the cover. She passed away last autumn. Her son found a box full of photos from 1965-66 and Per chose to put this picture of Gunilla on the cover. The pic was taken in Halmstad.
The hostess asks Per if losing his father, mother, brother and sister had any affect on his music. Per says of course it had in a way. Everyone who loses someone close is affected by the loss.
They are talking about the fact that a second album is out in autumn. Per says they worked fast and there was so much material, he decided to release 2 albums instead of one damn long album.
The hostess says the album looks like an old LP. Per says that was the idea behind the design. The cover also helps to create the milieu of the songs. And it will be released also on LP. The hostess asks why Mr. G thought it should be released on vinyl as well. He says mainly in Sweden, Spotify is huge in streaming music, but it’s a bit anonymous. There are no album covers, but pop or rock culture doesn’t exist without album covers. Nowadays Per still buys LPs and he is looking at the sleeves while listening to the songs on Spotify. He likes to have the lyrics in front of him when he is actively listening to music.
The hostess asks what Halmstad means to Per. He replies he has been travelling a lot around the world, but he always gets back to Halmstad. He likes Halmstad and he likes small town life. He of course likes Stockholm too, but he is more of a small town guy. Lars Winnerbäck is also a small town guy, Marie Fredriksson is also a small town girl.
The host asks about that one English song, ”Far Too Close” (duet with Savannah Church) on the album and they play a short snippet from it. Per says this is a homage to Nashville to have an English song as the last track on the album, a duet by a local country singer.
Per says the musicians in Nashville of course knew the songs ”Listen To Your Heart” or ”It Must Have Been Love”, but they thought Per’s music was strange. Per was happy about it and thought their cooperation would be exciting.
About how he wrote the songs Per says he always writes either on acoustic guitar or on piano. The host asks how long they rehearsed together with the musicians in Nashville. Per says they didn’t rehearse at all. He played the demos to them and explained some things, but then it was more like jamming. There were like 3-4 takes for a track, then they just put the whole song together. The pedal steel and the violin are very characteristic.
Per says his summer tour has its premiere in Helsingborg, but he couldn’t remember the exact date. Haha. First he said 7th July, then smiled and said or maybe rather 6th July. Yes, it’s the 6th. He won’t have Nashville musicians in the band, but Swedish guys and girls. They will play songs from Per’s whole career.
This article contains the translation of the text that was sent out by TT Swedish news agency and was published in most Swedish newspapers yesterday and today. Metro’s article contained the most details and the most photos (fabulous pics by Jonas Ekströmer), so that’s why I chose to include that one here.
Per Gessle is back with new music in Swedish. The album “En vacker natt” is his most personal so far.
I wanted to do something where the lyrics and my voice were in focus, he says.
An announcement was made last year in spring that Roxette would say goodbye to big stages after the doctors advised Marie Fredriksson to stop touring. Suddenly, the pop group’s other half, Per Gessle, had much time left. He decided to record new music in Swedish, for the first time in ten years. Then it went fast.
It’s just the way I love to work. “Now we make a record on Tuesday, write five songs until then”, then I do it. But if you say “it’s going to be finished next spring”, then I’ll do something else until the last week, says Per Gessle.
Ended up in Nashville
“En vacker natt” and its sister album “En vacker dag”, coming in September, were recorded in Nashville. But there was really no deeper thought about it – apart from getting away from his partner in crime, Christoffer Lundquist’s diligently used studio, Aerosol Gray Machine in Skåne.
I saw a documentary about Nick Cave in which he was down in France in a damn cool studio, but I thought that place was a bit big. So we checked some smaller places in England, but then Nashville popped up and I thought, “that’s not that bad”. Even though I’m not a country nerd, there is automatically pretty much country stuff in my music.
The studio we booked in the Blackbird complex still seemed to be too big and offered too many facilities. Gessle and his gang switched to a smaller studio and in the evenings they walked home to a house they rented via Airbnb and shared their bathroom with a bunch of beetles.
Small and intimate, just like the music they recorded. Per Gessle sees “En vacker natt” as a cousin of his “Mazarin” album from 2003 – firmly spiced with fiddle and pedal steel.
I tried to make this record as a unit, and of course I had to pay a price for it – there is no radio bomb here. But I didn’t even want it, this will be something else. I’m conceited like everyone else and want everyone to think this is the best there is. But I also know that very many will find it too slow, too brittle or too fussy with the violin.
Per Gessle admits that his feelings before the album release are a little different from how it used to be.
It’s special everytime. But there has been many things happening now. There was an end with Roxette and there were a lot of family things happening around me while the whole Nashville project was a bit of a “happy accident”. It was such a boost, but it could as well have fallen flat.
With “family things” he means that he has suffered from several deaths in recent years. Last autumn Per Gessle’s sister, Gunilla passed away and when her son found a box of diapositives from the 1960s, he decided to dismiss the album cover photos already taken by Anton Corbijn.
“En vacker natt” has a picture of Gunilla and “En vacker dag” has a picture of mother Elisabeth, who passed away in 2013. These are Per Gessle’s first solo records where he is not visible on the cover.
Paradoxically, I think these are my most private and personal records. But after these pictures appeared, there was no reason to have me on the cover. These pictures set a feeling.
TT: Why do you think the music became personal and private?
I don’t know. As I said, I want to work fast and then just pour out what comes naturally. Sometimes it feels like the songs come by themselves. And many of these texts have just emerged, it’s nothing I’ve been looking for and thought out, it just fell down. Sometimes it feels like it has taken 58 years for them to arrive.
Per Gessle releases two new albums this year. The first, “En vacker natt” will be released on April 28th. “It’s an acoustically affected album, recorded in Nashville”, he says.
After this year’s two albums and a tour, Per Gessle has no plans. “We’ll see, I have a partly new band and I feel it’s much fun to play with them, so maybe we have to do something more”, he says.
For Per Gessle, the order of songs and the album covers are still important. “Via the cover, you can reinforce what you want to present and it’s similarly important to present the songs in the right order so that you come right into the idea. It’s like an art exhibition or TV series or anything. If the pilot part is very good so you get curious”, he says.
The opening song on “En vacker natt” is “Min plats” – a song that sets the tone for the entire Nashville project. “There you get it all, the violin and pedal steel stuff, the ease, the summer feeling, the sentimentality and a little black in the middle of it all. If you like it, you want to go on”, says Per Gessle.
Facts: Per Gessle
Born 1959 in Halmstad. After his years in Gyllene Tider and Roxette, he is one of Sweden’s most successful artists and songwriters of all time.
Solo albums:“Per Gessle” (1983), “Scener” (1985), “The World According to Gessle” (1997), “Mazarin” (2003), “Son of a Plumber” (2005), “En händig man” (2007), “Party Crasher” (2008).
Gyllene Tider albums: “Gyllene Tider” (1980), “Moderna tider” (1981), “Puls” (1982), “The Heartland Café” (1984), “Finn 5 fel!” (2004), “Dags att tänka på refrängen” (2013).
Current: his new album, “En vacker natt” will be released on April 28th. The album contains duets with, among others, Lars Winnerbäck and Savanna Church. The sister album, “En vacker dag” is released in September and contains duets with Linnea Henriksson and John Holm. Goes on a big tour this summer.
… the album covers with his sister’s and mother’s pictures: “Anton Corbijn rang when I was in Nashville. He was in New Orleans and shooted Arcade Fire so he said ‘oh, are you there, can I get over and we’ll do a photo session? ‘. Of course, so I cancelled one day in the studio and then we did a photo session in Nashville milieu, it was perfect. His images were supposed to be on the covers, he shooted many of my other records. But then my sister died and her son found a box of diapositives from 1965-1966 or so. I was in some pictures and that was just before I got glasses. The quality of the pictures is so beautiful, those colors. So I told Anton that ‘sorry, there won’t be any covers this time’.”
… what he will play on the summer tour: “Yes, that’s a good question. I haven’t really decided yet. I have a partly new band with violin and pedal steel so there are endless possibilities to rearrange songs and maybe have some Roxette songs in this form. To arrange my solo songs in this way is not that hard, but it would be exciting to arrange for example “It Must Have Been Love” with a little violin. My ambition is to play songs from my whole song catalogue, if you say so. I’m getting old so there are quite a lot of songs.”
… making 2 short records instead of 1 long: “I had the options either to ‘kill my darlings’, remove four songs and let them become bonus tracks on Spotify, or make a double album – and that doesn’t really makes sense nowadays. Or, to do what I did, two albums with a little ‘space’ between them. If you like the first album, you will like the second. The only negative is that if I play something from the other album this summer, nobody has heard that music. But even conceptually, it’s damn exciting, because for example I can make two cool album covers. I really love that you can extend the idea of the music via the album cover and how it’s presented visually.”
Per Gessle’s first single off his upcoming album was released on 17th March. A duet with Lars Winnerbäck. We already knew it on 7th April that a video will also be released to Småstadsprat, as Per Gessle posted about it on his Facebook page:
Yepp. Småstadsprat-video klar. Grymt cool. Kommer strax. /P.
Translation: Voila. Småstadsprat-video clip signed, sealed and delivered. Very nice indeed. Out before you know it. /P.
We all hoped to see Per himself in the video, but we were also kind of sure there would be more tussilagos in it than PG. The video was published on 21st April. It’s a cartoon created by Emil Gustafsson Ryderup. Even if it doesn’t contain any PG images, it turned out to be beautiful. Beautiful but so sad at the same time. It fits the lyrics and the melody perfectly.
As Emil told Göteborgs-Posten, first he said no to doing a video for ”an artist”, because he was too busy. Then it turned out it would have been a video for a Per Gessle song and he got anxious. He says:
He is one of the Swedish music geniuses, one of the absolute greatest and that’s when anxiety kicked in that I missed it. Gessle has definitely been in the frontline of our country’s music history. He has always been around in a certain way and I have to admit that sometimes in the dark times of my life I have listened to “It Must Have Been Love”.
Thanks to Emil’s employers, he could get 3 weeks off for making the video. It was an intensive period for him, to interpret the lyrics into his drawings. He says it’s a story of love that doesn’t disappear, about those who leave a small town and those who do not. He had a style in mind inspired by the ‘50s and ‘60s and UPA animation studio. A bit of “Mr. Magoo” style, but still with Emil’s character in it.
At the beginning, Emil sent some still images and a synopsis to the record company and he got green light to go on with it. Emil says it was more like he gathered the ingredients for a cake and hoped it would turn out right in the end. For example, he made the backgrounds last. All involved were satisfied with the result and the video is now out in public. Emil tells Göteborgs-Posten that he is quite pleased and that Per Gessle said yes to Emil Gustafsson Ryderup is fun and feels great. He is very happy that he managed to do this in the end.
Congrats and well done, Emil! The video can be watched on Per’s YouTube channel, HERE.
Per Gessle’s first single off his upcoming album was released on 17th March. As you could see it in Mr. G’s video showing his brand new album, En vacker natt (out on 28th April), he also showed a physical Småstadsprat single which is for promotional use only, distributed to radio stations in Sweden. It’s a bit sad, mainly for collectors, that we are living in a ”digital single release only” world.
On the promo single’s back cover we can see who created the magical sounds on this track.
Per Gessle: acoustic guitar and vocals
Lars Winnerbäck: vocals
Clarence Öfwerman: piano
Christoffer Lundquist: acoustic guitar, contrabass, percussion and keyboards
Dan Dugmore: pedal steel guitar
Stuart Duncan: violin
Helena Josefsson: backing vocals
Lyrics and music by Per Gessle.
Produced by Christoffer Lundquist and Per Gessle.
Recorded in Blackbird Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.
Additional recordings were done at Tits & Ass, Halmstad (Technician: M.P Persson) and Shortlist, Stockholm (Technician: Anders Herrlin).
The single is released under Space Station 12, Per’s record label that has just celebrated its 1 year anniversary this week. All guests are now lucky owners of a Småstadsprat promo single.
Per wrote Småstadsprat on 5-6 May 2016 in Halmstad. This is what he says about the song:
I wrote Småstadsprat in Halmstad in the beginning of May last year when the sun started to shine seriously. It became one of the signature songs of how I wanted my new album to sound. I wanted Helena Josefsson on the choruses and then I met Lasse Winnerbäck at Sofiero in Helsingborg in July and asked him if he wanted to sing a bit too. He liked the song and joined in. The lyrics is about being young and in love and confused and disappointed at the same time. Everyday life in small towns.
Listen to the song on your favourite digital platform! Or if you are more into the live version, now you can choose from 2 beautiful live performances. The one you could hear on Skavlan and the other from the SS12 anniversary party.
As you already know, Per Gessle appeared on Skavlan talk show tonight. From the video teasers (selfie; desert island) we saw on SVT’s website during the day we could be absolutely sure that the show was going to be much fun. The recording took place on 15th March and 2 hours before showtime Per shared a rehearsal video from his 14th March get together with the band and Lars Winnerbäck on his YouTube channel (GessleHomeVids), which we hope he will keep alive for a longer time and share even more content in the future.
The first 2 guests in Skavlan were Annika Falkengren (actual President and Group Chief Executive of the Swedish bank, SEB) and Jo Nesbø (Norwegian writer, musician). Mr. G was the third guest, his part starts at around 25:40. Before he entered the studio, some old concert and TV show footage was shown from Per’s early and later career (Gyllene Tider, Roxette, solo) and after he sat down, Fredrik Skavlan, host of the show was chatting with all 3 people, asking interesting questions.
Since Annika is one of the guests, Fredrik asks Per what type of bank client Mr. G is. He says he is a weak banker. Then Fredrik goes on asking who Per was before he became a musician. Per says he can’t remember, it was so long ago, but he thinks he was a shy and lonely guy. Music became his life quite early. Already at the age of 6-7-8 he was listening to The Kinks and then The Beatles.
Fredrik asks Per what his father thought about him choosing music. Per says his father died in 1978, but he wasn’t fond of his musical efforts. He heard one song on the show Bandet går and thought Per was singing like shouting badly. Fredrik asks Per if he would have chosen this career if his father wouldn’t have died, but Per doesn’t know the answer. He says his mother always supported him. His dad died the same day a big article about Gyllene Tider appeared in Expressen.
They talk about Per being called a mom’s boy and that she and Per’s brother and sister died during the past 3 years. Fredrik asks Per what his mother would say was the peak in Per’s career. Per tells she lived with her mother for a long time and she witnessed all the weird things during the golden age of Gyllene Tider, like getting 3000 postcards or fans stealing the drying clothes from their garden. Then it was different with Roxette, it was more of a global thing. But he tells his mum was very proud of him.
Fredrik says people talk about Per as the boss. Per says he is more of a control freak. Fredrik asks if it has always been easy to work together in Roxette. Per replies ”piece of cake” and laughs. He says they started from nowhere and it was a fantastic journey with Marie. But of course, there were conflicts. Per always wanted to work and when they finished something he wanted to work again, but Marie didn’t think the same way. And probably Per’s control freakness also caused some conflicts. Fredrik asks if Marie has ever told it to Per and Per replies he read that in Marie’s book and laughs.
Fredrik Skavlan asks Per if he is a pedant. Per says he is. If Fredrik goes to his home he would for sure think a pedant lives there. All records are sorted on the shelves in alphabetic order, for example. He was like that already as a kid. He tells his friends think it’s fun to push some books in on the shelf when they visit him. Here Jo Nesbø says all guys put the records in alphabetical order but asks Per if he also puts the records in chronological order for one band. Per says no, he doesn’t do that. Jo says then everyone can calm down. Haha.
Fredrik says both Lars Winnerbäck and Per Gessle are introvert guys. He is wondering who talks most. Per laughs and says they sit silent. Then Fredrik asks Mr. G what small town talks (småstadsprat) Per knows about himself. He says he loves Halmstad and he really feels that Halmstad is proud of him. He says it’s always fun to fuel the car. Then Fredrik asks if he drives the cars Per has in his collection. It’s like having a horse inside the house. Per says of course he drives them. Mr. G talks about how it is to drive his Ferrari to the ICA (Swedish supermarket) to buy strawberries. He says he thought a Ferrari is a girl magnet, but it’s not at all. Everytime he leaves the shop, coming back to where he parked the car there are like 30 guys filming his Ferrari.
Per also talks about that since he was 20 he got used to the fact that people recognize him. He can’t leave his apartment without bumping into people who want to take a selfie with him. Actually, if nobody asks for a selfie, he gets very depressed. Then Fredrik comes close to PG and they pose for a selfie.
Fredrik asks Per what kind of car Annika’s husband should buy when they move to Switzerland and Mr. G suggest a 2-seated with no roof. Here Annika tells Per once she was sitting behind Per on a plane and Mr. G was reading a car magazine. His wife and son were sitting on the other side. She asks if it happens often. Per is kidding he is surprised Annika saw them travelling on the same class.
Then comes a little game. Fredrik asks his guests which 3 albums they would bring to a desert island where they would spend a long long time. Jo Nesbø asks Per who he prefers, John Lennon or Paul McCartney and Per chooses John Lennon. Jo and Per can agree on taking The Beatles’ Revolver album. Annika couldn’t really get first what revolver they are talking about, then out of the blue she suggests why not taking Julio Iglesias with them. LOL. Per’s facial expression is priceless. WTF? Haha. Then Annika goes on with Demis Roussos and Per can’t keep it to himself, he says he hopes it’s a big island. Haha. One must love his sense of humor. Per says the 3 albums he would take are Revolver, The Ramones’ first album and Joni Mitchell’s Ladies of the Canyon. Jo agrees on The Ramones’ as well, but he would take Rocket to Russia from them.
With this the PG talking part is over (at appr. 40 minutes in), but a fourth guest is coming, Susan Faludi, an American Pulitzer winner author and feminist. It’s worth watching this part, too, because Per stays there in the studio and is listening to Susan’s stories, paying a lot of attention.
Then at appr. 53:20, at the end of the show Per performs his new song, ”Småstadsprat”, a duet with Lars Winnerbäck. Lars is of course there as well. In the band you can see Clarence Öfwerman, Christoffer Lundquist, Helena Josefsson and some new faces, Ola Gustafsson, Malin-My Nilsson and Martin Höper. How they perform Småstadsprat live is pure awesomeness! Just magical! H.e.a.v.e.n.l.y.!
What a wonderful and interesting show it was! We would love to have more of this, wouldn’t we?
SVT Nyheter Halland did an e-mail interview with Per Gessle about the new albums and his upcoming summer tour. In the interview Per says one of the great benefits of being a little older and have gained experience is that he learned to relax and not to take everything so bloody serious anymore. He thinks it has never been as much fun to play music as now.
For Per the big challenge is to put something together on stage this summer and to be able to surprise even himself. He has never done anything like this before, mixing his various careers.
Per’s Nashville project has already become a unique phenomenon for Mr. G. He thinks it’s among the most personal and best he has done and so of course he would like people to listen to it. Per belongs to the album generation so he still thinks in making an LP. He had 14 songs with him in Nashville. Normally, 2-3 tracks are off automatically, then you still have a reasonably long record. But it went so well in Tennessee, all pieces fell into place surprisingly quickly and he finished his 14 songs in time. Instead of hanging in the bar, Per remembered he had 2 awesome ballads in English that could fit to do duets with American country music singers. A serious challenge! He called a few friends in the industry and found 2 wonderful singers who were available and it became the icing on the cake of his Nashville-adventure.
However, the length of 16 songs was about 65 minutes and it felt too long for a single album. The options were a double album or two separate records. He decided for the 2nd option and put the English tracks as last ones on each record. Both albums have roughly the same temperature and contain beautiful, gently produced music.
About John Holm Per says he is a real hero. Although they ran into each other a few times over the years, he met him properly first in Halmstad last winter when John played there. Then Per saw him again on one of his Stockholm gigs when John was really in top shape. That was the time when Mr. G asked John if he wanted to cooperate on Per’s new album and John wanted to. So Per sent him his demo and they recorded the song in Skåne and had a few magical hours in the studio. John has a great and generous personality and he is one of the most expressive singers Per knows. According to Mr. G, John Holm does not really know how good he is.
Per says to SVT he’s been singing a lot with Helena Josefsson on his solo albums over the years and he will still do the rest of his life if he may. Many of his songs are written for several voices so it felt quite natural to expand the palette of more than Helena. The idea of ??singing with the other singers felt new to Per and it also gives the lyrics a different perspective. Lars Winnerbäck is an awesome songwriter and performer who is admired by Per, so he was really happy when Lars wanted to cooperate. Per has known Linnea Henriksson for a while and she is an absolutely adorable person and singer with her blue tones and some light jazz funds. All the duet partners on the album changed the songs’ overall identity. It’s exciting and unpredictable according to Per.
Per tells SVT that inspiration and experience can easily go hand in hand. He feels more free than ever when he writes nowadays. He tests different odd guitar tunings, he is fiddling more in the studio, he takes his time to write more verses than he needs, he lets his gut feeling decide most of the time. He feels, slowly but surely, that he doesn’t need to prove much for himself anymore. He thinks he became kinder to himself. He doesn’t have a hit list in sight, no record label to make happy, no major commercial requirements to live up to. He has been so very fortunate in his life that his music reached out to so many and it’s really something one can’t take for granted. It has created a sort of peace in Mr. G.
About the tour and setlist Per says he is – as we all know – a great advocate of short concerts. There will of course be many kill-your-darlings, because he was going to keep the show around 100 minutes. Including hits that encourage spontaneous dancing.
Per says about consulting song choice with fans on social media sitesthat it’s really lovely with all the feedback and all proposals that come in all the time. Everyone seems to have their own favorites. Honung och guld. I Like It Like That. Varmt igen. He says they will test a lot of songs when they start rehearsing and see where they end up.
About the pre-concert playlist Mr. G says he already started to put one together and promises it will be fab. Willie Nelson and Townes van Zandt have to be on the list and little Roy Orbison too. They use Roy’s guitars on the Nashville project. Per knows Roy Obison’s son, and he came to the studio with a couple of lovely old Gibsons he thought would be fine and bless their Nashville dream.
Even if the release date of Per’s first single off the new album, En vacker natt is set to 17th March, Swedish Radio P4 already played the song today. In the radio program, Eftermiddag i P4 Dalarna Med Emma och Martin the hosts talked about Mr. G’s new albums and then aired Småstadsprat, a duet with Lars Winnerbäck. The talking about Per starts at 51:40, the song starts at 52:25! The total length of the song is 3:39, on the radio you can hear a bit more than 3 min, so there might be some surprise sounds still on Friday. Aaaaaaaw! The song makes me even more curious about the complete album!
Don’t forget to watch Skavlan on SVT on Friday at 21:00 CET! There will be an interview with Per and he will also perform Småstadsprat together with Lars Winnerbäck. What a treat!
Press release about Per’s new solo albums was just sent out. Some months ago it was announced that Per would release an album as well as go on tour in summer. There were then rumours that it would not be one but two albums. And now this has been confirmed.
The first album, En vacker natt, will be out on April 28th. The first single “Småstadsprat“, a duet with Lars Winnerbäck, will be released on March 17th.
The second album, En vacker dag, will be released on September 1st, after the tour.
The albums will be released under Space Station 12 (in cooperation with Sony/BMG), Per’s record label which was founded in 2016.
Awesome isn’t it? Article will be updated with more info in English in short.
En vacker natt – setlist:
01 – Min plats
02 – Första Ppis (duet with Helena Josefsson)
03 – Småstadsprat (duet with Lars Winnerbäck)
04 – Enkel resa
05 – Allt gick så fort
06 – Tittar på dej när du dansar
07 – Några glas rosé
08 – Far Too Close (duet with Savannah Church)
Press release in English:
Two new Swedish solo albums by Per Gessle:
Personal, poetic, unique
With three disparate careers in his back – Gyllene Tider, Roxette, and his solo career – Per Gessle is in himself an entire Universe of music. Besides that, he always has a number of side projects going on. Soon he will release two different albums with new songs in Swedish: “En vacker natt” (“A Beautiful Night”) in the end of April and “En vacker dag” (“A Beautiful Day”) in September. And as if by accident, his summer tour is entitled “En vacker kväll” (“A Beautiful Evening”). The premiere takes place in Helsingborg on the 6th of July.
Last autumn, Per and his longstanding sidekicks Christoffer Lundquist, Clarence Öfwerman, Anders Herrlin and Helena Josefsson went to Nashville to record brand new music in Swedish.
“It crossed my mind that over the last ten years, I had spent more than 400 days in Christoffer’s studio down in Skåne,” laughs Per. “So I figured it was time to record somewhere else.”
They considered studios in England and France but were recommended the Blackbird Studios in Nashville. The mythic country capital of Tennessee felt like a challenging choice.
“We went there with no real expectations. I was curious about letting my songwriting meet the peculiar music scene of Nashville that I’ve always been very fond of. I didn’t want to shape the material too much before we went there; I just recorded some very simple acoustic demos. Then we allowed local musicians to influence the arrangements and the productions. The result became amazing,” says Per. “We had the honour to collaborate with some of the most talented Nashville musicians. People who usually play with Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, Dwight Yoakam, Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt.”
The albums include a total of six duets; three on each. “Smådstadsprat” with Lars Winnerbäck, the first single from “En vacker natt”, is released on March 17th.
“I always find it inspiring to make duets, it provides you with a new angle to write lyrics and it opens up for thrilling arrangements. On the second album, Linnea Henriksson and John Holm join on vocals. And despite being ‘Swedish’ albums, both end with English duets with country singers Savannah Church and Jessica S. That became my homage to Nashville.”
Most of the songs were written after Roxette retired from touring in the spring of 2016.
“All of a sudden my schedule was open, so I started sketching some material of my own again. The records in Swedish are holy to me. The lyrics are really very important, not to say central. They’re about things that we all go through: the transience of life; our hopes, dreams and disappointments; how your era and generation shape the person you become. Each song tells a story of its own. The music is of course equally important. It’s the magical fusion between words and music that makes sure that a song gets stuck in the head and the heart of the listener.”
On the new albums Per Gessle continues to portray the meeting of people – the infatuation, the passion, the glow and the playfulness. For instance, in “Tittar på dej när du dansar” from the spring album “En vacker natt”. In the song “Allt gick så fort” the ego looks back at different times in his youth; as an eight-years old, as an eighteen-years old, and notes that ‘the avant-garde became mainstream in the end.” It’s personal, poetic and unique.
“En vacker natt” and “En vacker dag” are released via Per Gessle’s new founded record label Space Station 12. Released: April 28 and September 1.
As we could already read it in press releases, a film about Badrock (“Filmen om Badrock”), where Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle performed as Roxette for the first time, will premiere in Swedish cinemas on 7th March. So far we didn’t know what exactly the film would contain, but this morning TV4 had an interview with Björn Skifs (he is behind the whole Badrock idea) and they showed some parts. AND… AND… AND… besides Badrock concert material from the ’80s in Borgholm and backstage moments where we can see Marie, Per, Roxette, we get to see Marie looking back at those times and hear her talking about her experiences. How absolutely fantastic is that!
In the TV4 cut you can hear Per on Öland Radio in 1987 saying he and Marie created a group called Roxette and they would first perform at Badrock. Then you see Marie talking, as natural as only she can be, in her stylish black leather jacket. She says, ”Like Lovers Do” at the beginning was a big song for Roxette and she was incredibly nervous to perform it. Everything was so new, but it was an awesome experience.
HERE you can watch a video where you can see Marie with your own eyes. Watch it mainly from 3:07. 😉
Let’s see if the film is out later on DVD as well or if it will be broadcast on TV. And if it contains much more than what we could see in this short video. Would be cool!
Thank you, Carola Lindberg for watching the TV this morning and that you let us know about it!
2016 was a sad year for music fans, many “big ones” left us, artists like David Bowie, Leonard Cohen or Prince that influenced Marie and Per in a way or another.
It hasn’t been a perfect year for the Rox-world either. Roxette officially started in 1986 with the release of Neverending Love and they were celebrating these 30 years together with an amazing tour that had started in 2014 and took them all around the globe – once again and for the second time since Marie’s came back on stage (with Roxette) in 2009. They were about to embark on the last leg of the tour and meet the audience in Europe once again when the bad news came: touring if over for Roxette. News that we all somehow expected one way or another, but it hurt when it eventually happened.
And I won’t deny it, I think I still haven’t gotten over it and finally understood that there is no more Roxette live anymore. There will be Per performing Roxette songs, as it was already in 2009, but it will simply not be the same. It’s nothing against Per, I loved the 2009 shows and I will surely love the upcoming tour. It’s just not the same without Marie. Roxette are two great friends making magic together and there is nothing that can replace that.
But not everything were bad news. And since I like to concentrate on the positive, here is a summary of what happened in 2016 (hope I didn’t forget any highlight) and what we can expect in 2017 (that we already know of):
Roxette visited South Africa early 2016 and gave five concerts there, including two sold out ones and new plectrums that you can find on the PLECtionary.
The RoXXXette on the road tour photo book was released in June. It even came with a special edition for Roxers, limited to 300 copies, numbered, signed by Per – all packed in a nice box. We are collecting pictures of all of them here, so if yours is still not featured, send it in!
Roxette released an amazing new album in June: Good Karma. Three singles have been released so far off this album. Roxette also recorded a very nice video for the first single “It Just Happens” and asked fans to participate to make the “Why Don’t You Bring Me Flowers” video, probably inspired by Jakub and Dawid who recorded a funny fan video for “Some Other Summer”.
Per launched a new record label, Space Station 12, together with Marie Dimberg.
We also interviewed Per a couple of times, regarding Good Karma and SS12.
Marie’s book was published in German with an additional chapter for this version where she tells she is fine and working on the issues with her leg. We wish her all the best!!
Following the announcement we gathered thank-you messages for Marie. Kirsten also organised a surprise for Marie’s birthday, with the participation of tons of fans it was possible to send her bunches of roses. Marie responded with this video on her Facebook page <3.
In the background many things have happened to the website, we have had some hiccups with the server but nothing that couldn’t be solved. I had to postpone the project to redesign/update the website due to an accident but … let’s see what 2017 will bring 🙂
2017 so far…
More or less out of the blue but somehow expected, Per announced a new album and tour for 2017. The album is planned for Spring, the tour will be (for now?) in Sweden and will start on July 6th in Helsingborg, check the tour dates here
A DVD-box containing Roxette live recordings will be released this year. In connection to this, fans got busy and creative already on January 2nd as you can see on this article.
Sounds exciting huh? As always, thanks for reading and participating! See you on the road latest in summer.
The demand to see Roxette’s complete Borgholm gig(s), recorded on 25th-26th July 1989 is h.u.g.e. There is an evergreen discussion among Roxers since the ’90s and we just can’t conclude what might have happened to the recorded materials.
The discussion started again during the last days of December when Sandra Knospe came up with the idea to organize a flashmob to show how many of us want the complete Borgholm gig on DVD. The plan was to post one or more screenshots of the live scenes that are already available of the Borgholm shows. The idea was of course supported by tons of us Roxers. Sandra created a cool ”WANTED – Complete Borgholm gig on DVD” background pic on which anyone could insert their own preferred Borgholm live stills. Those who were more into completely ready stuff either reposted others’ pics or posted the well-known What Do We Want meme generated by Zoltán Dúl stating ”Who are we?” ”Roxers!” ”What do we want?” ”The full Borgholm-gig on DVD!” ”When do we want it?” ”For Christmas 2017!” Clear messages on both types of pictures.
We had been waiting impatiently for the time (2nd January) to come when we could all ”spam” Roxette’s Facebook page with our pics. If you check posts by others on the page, you’ll see that quite some Roxers joined the flashmob. We all love such happenings.
Later we got a little spam back from Mr. G. He shared some Memory Lane Monday pics on all the Facebook pages he is handling. At the same time, we could realize he saw the flashmob posts, but all he ”reacted” on them was sharing the old RXB article that collected those live materials which should be released one day, as well as posting the official video to Dangerous with the text ”Summertime at the Borgholm Castle. /P.” Oh. Yeah. THAT’s the summertime we would like to know more about. 😉
3 years ago Per posted on Roxette’s Facebook page that they were ”having discussions with EMI (Warner) about re-releasing all VHS/DVD Rox live + documentaries from the past. How about that? Maybe a huge box set? Rox channel on YouTube? Guess the hardest part is to find the stuff in the vaults….” A week later Mr. G was excited to post another update telling ”Hope to get most of the live VHS & DVD releases from the past out in the open (in top quality) for your insatiable eyes and ears to enjoy. It’s a little messy in the archives at the moment due to the huge EMI/Warner-merger but I’ve got new batteries in my flashlight! We’re on the case, promise.”
To help the team what to look for in the archives, Tomasz collected all possible live performances worth to release in an article.
It seems that the mess still couldn’t be sorted out completely, however, according to the rumor TDR shared there will be a DVD box including ”Sweden Live! (Norrköping 1988), Look Sharp Live (various 1989), Live-Ism (Sydney 1992), Crash!Boom!Live! (Johannesburg 1995) and Room Service (Stockholm 2001) from the Telenor webcast” without extras.
Last June when we interviewed Per, he still couldn’t tell us details about the DVD project. All he could share was his thought that ”the first things that should be made available are all those old live VHS-tapes and DVDs that’s not around anymore”.
Since most people nowadays don’t even have a machine to play VHS, it’s always nice to see old materials being released on DVD. Blu-ray is in this case out of the question, as those old tapes are probably not of real high quality for a BD release. But ”just” re-releasing old stuff is a bit sad. We are sure there is more to include.
Back to the original topic, Borgholm. What happened to the live recordings? Has there ever been a complete recording? Of both Borgholm shows and rehearsals maybe? Or was it just some footage we could already see in this or that video and on Look Sharp Live VHS? Nah… with such technology back then, shot by an American crew it’s impossible. There must have been a complete recording. Or if not complete, there is surely much more than what we could see so far. But where is that material hiding? Deep down in a cellar? Is it lost? Did the tapes get burnt? Or? Just for the record, we are happy with any raw cut material as well. It would look sharp as an extra in the DVD box. 😉 Haha.
After the lullaby hits by Baby Roxers in 2016 there seems to be a Rox metal project in 2017.
GS Productions is a Russian independent music label. In November they announced an official metal tribute to Roxette and they called for participants. They say they have an official permission from Roxette and that all information about the compilation will be announced on Roxette’s website. There we can’t see anything yet, but GS Productions posted on their Russian social media site (vk.com) the final list of metal bands participating in the project and which of them covers which Roxette song. Joyride and Fading Like A Flower seem to be very popular, since these 2 songs appear twice, each covered by 2 different bands.
Metal Priest (Germany) – “Joyride”
The Nameless Cult (Russia) – “Sleeping In My Car”
DEOS (United Kingdom ) – “It Must Have Been Love”
Dominia (Russia ) – “Wish I Could Fly”
Seduced By Suicide (Brazil) – “How Do You Do!”
Nightmare Council (USA) – ”Things Will Never Be The Same”
The Great Crusades (USA) – “Fading Like A Flower”
WOLFHEART (Brazil) – “The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye”
Strigampire (Canada) – “Dangerous”
A Sorrowful Dream (Brazil) – “Spending My Time”
Ole Alexander Myrholt Project (Norway) – “Stars”
Catamenia (Finland) – “Joyride”
Somnent (Italy-USA) – “Crash! Boom! Bang!”
Depressive Mode (Turkey) – “Salvation”
Anfel (Russia) – “Fading Like A Flower”
Arrant Saudade (UK.Chile.France) – “Listen To Your Heart”
Revelation (Belarus) – “So Far Away”
There is a teaser on YouTube that includes the titles of Roxette songs and the above mentioned metal bands next to the hits. However, in this video there are 2 additional bands and tracks vs. what GS Productions posted on their site. The additional 2 songs are Almost Unreal (From Autumn) and Milk and Toast and Honey (Paid Charons Fare).
The release date is set for 1st September 2017. The compilation’s cover design can be done by volunteers as GS Productions states and the best one will be chosen by Roxette. Hm. Let’s see what happens.
Well, it wouldn’t be the first time Roxette songs get metal arrangement. There was that Swedish Hitz Goes Metal project in 2011 where The Look, Listen To Your Heart, Joyride and Sleeping In My Car were covered and 2 years later on Vol. 2 (Japanese release only) there was Dressed For Success. Not sure how often any Roxer listened to these versions though.
As already announced back in May, Marie’s biography is about to be released in German in Germany, Austria and Switzerland by Edel Germany. The final release date has now been set to November 21st (the book can already be found in some stores in Germany though).
The biography “Listen to my heart: Meine Liebe zum Leben” has been translated by Ulrike Brauns and is 256 pages long. You can preview the first pages of the book (in German) here. A digital version is also available.
Fans can look forward to the biography as it was in Swedish plus a new chapter written in summer 2016 after Roxette decided to stop touring (Kirsten posted a translation of the chapter on our FB page) as well as new/different pictures that were not included in the Swedish version.
You can (pre)order the book on the following stores (many more available) or just walk down to the next book store and get it there on Monday.