Per Gessle’s new song, Name You Beautiful is the official song for the World Table Tennis Championship in Halmstad. The song premiered on February 27th during the European Championships qualification match between Sweden and Denmark (3-1). The game was played in Halmstad Arena.
We thought this really catchy hit song would be available digitally right after its premiere, but it seems we have to wait a bit more for being able to listen to it on the usual digital platforms. The good news is that it won’t be released digitally only, but as Per informed today, there will be 500 copies of 7″ vinyl singles. Woohoo! Can’t wait for the release date! Update on 1st March: there will be 500 blue copies & 500 yellow copies. How cool is that!
Per Gessle from Roxette writes official song for the World Table Tennis Championship in Halmstad
Halmstad native Per Gessle, with a track record of 80 million albums sold worldwide, is supporting the World Table Tennis Championship in Halmstad with a song composed especially for the event that will be seen by 350 million viewers all over the world.
Over 100 nations from all corners of the globe will visit the coastal city when the LIEBHERR World Team Table Tennis Championships descends upon Halmstad Arena between April 29th and May 6th 2018. On top of experiencing world class table tennis, visitors will also be able to enjoy world famous artist Per Gessle’s music, as he is behind the official WTTC-song “Name You Beautiful”, performed together with Helena Josefsson.
– When I was asked to write the official song for the tournament I didn’t hesitate. I was really up for the challenge. I wrote it together with some other local Halmstad-musicians, namely the guys from Galavant (Sebastian Atas and Victor Sjöström). Their super talented friend Viktor Broberg also contributed. We had lots of fun, says Gessle in a statement, adding:
– The song isn’t really a net ball, more like a killer smash in the backhand corner!
Johnny Ewerstein, project manager of the 2018 WTTC, is happy and pleased that Gessle chose to contribute a song to Sweden’s biggest sporting event 2018:
– This is absolutely fantastic! Gessle is a world renowned artist, and the fact that he stems from Halmstad makes it all the more special and an honor for us as hosts. We’re very glad and grateful for this song, which fits in excellently with a sporting event of this scope and importance.
The WTTC-song will be played publicly for the first time during the European Championships qualification match between Sweden and Denmark. The game is played in Halmstad Arena on February 27th at 18.30. Entry is free of charge, so don’t miss this opportunity to combine world-class table tennis with a brand new song from Per Gessle. The song will be available shortly on both Spotify and iTunes.
LIEBHERR World Team Table Tennis Championships 2018 is held between April 29th and May 6th in Halmstad Arena. The championship will be followed by 350 million viewers from around the globe, and will be monitored from approximately 350 journalists on location. 72 men’s and 72 women’s teams from around 100 nations are participating. Hosts are the International Table Tennis Federation, the Swedish Table Tennis Association and Destination Halmstad.
Anders Roos, photographer and publisher of Per Gessle’s tour photo book, En vacker bok offered us 3 copies for a contest. All 3 copies are signed by Mr. G! So here is your great chance to get hold of it if you don’t have it yet!
In order to participate, answer the following questions correctly:
How many gigs were there on the En vacker kväll tour (except for the pre-premiere show at Leif’s Lounge)? – 21
How many different opening songs did the tour setlists have and which of them was played as an opening song most often? – 2, På promenad genom stan
In which town was the front cover photo of the book taken? – Grebbestad
Each En vacker bok contains a print-out photo. How many different print-out pictures exist? – 4
Send an e-mail with your name, address and the correct answers to the questions to firstname.lastname@example.org until 23:59 CET, 30th December 2017. The lucky winners will be announced shortly after. Answers to all questions can be found on RoxetteBlog. 😉 Good luck!
Contest terms and conditions:
– In order to participate, you have to send an e-mail to email@example.com with name, address and correct answers to the 4 questions. We will consider all e-mails we receive until 23:59 CET on 30thDecember 2017.
– 3 winners will be picked randomly among those who have participated and sent the correct answers.
– You can only participate once, any attempt to participate twice or more times will lead to your disqualification.
– Prizes won’t be paid out in cash. Prizes will be sent by registered mail only once.
– Winners will be announced on this website, on our Facebook page and will also be notified per e-mail. You’ll be required to answer the e-mail confirming your address.
– RoxetteBlog.com will not enter into any correspondence regarding the result of the contest and is not liable for any damages, loss or expenses that may result in connection to the prizes.
– All submitted data will only be used for the purpose of the contest and in case you are among the lucky winners, to send you the prize.
Update on 1st January 2018: The 3 winners are: Guy Nir, Ilya Volkov and Andreas Christodoulou. They were notified via e-mail as well.
It seems there won’t be any tour without an official tour photo book being published after. And I love this fact! When Per Gessle’s En vacker kväll tour started we could already see photographer Anders Roos being around and I met him at several concerts, so it was quite obvious there would be hundreds of thousands of photos taken and I was already hoping for a fat photo book. Why I love when Anders is in charge of taking pictures is because, I think I already mentioned it in my RoXXXette On The Road review, is that he sees with the fans’ eyes. I mean Per and Co. appear in the pictures exactly how we see them. Anders grabs the perfect moments and provides all of us with an everlasting memory of a beloved tour.
The book comes in soft cover with folded tabs and it has 1 print-out picture inside, between the cover and the first page. There are 4 different print-outs existing. The book consists of 160 unnumbered pages and includes tons of cool shots. The only text appearing in the book is Per’s Gessleish intro in Swedish. He writes about how it all started with the rehearsals, about the band members and Anders Roos, as well as the lovely memory of the tour. The intro was written in November 2017.
The cover photo is an action pic taken in Grebbestad. Even if it was more of a ”ballads tour”, which is well reflected on the live CD, you’ll see quite some action pics in the book. I was a bit sad that Tittar på dej när du dansar didn’t make it many times on the setlist, but at least the dancing PG pic from the soundcheck in Dalhalla made it into the book. Woohoo!
My favourite pics in the book are especially the ones taken from above the stage and of course the backstage or travelling shots. Places where a fan can never really get access to. There is a good ratio of Mr. G photos, band members, crew, crowd, stage set, gear and also Good Harvest and Lars Winnerbäck were caught by Anders’ camera.
There is no PG book without PG drawings. As he says, those popping up in the book were drawn when it was raining. Among some new art and tussilagos, the ”fake guitarist in an 80’s band” drawing pops up here too.
A funny part of the book is a drawing of Per with a guide by make-up artist Åsa Elmgren of how to tape Mr. G’s in-ear system on the man himself. The one who has to do it doesn’t have an easy job, I must say. Haha.
How the photos and drawings appear in the book is designed by Pär Wickholm.
I must mention the paper quality of the book as well. The pages are not as shiny as in the RoXXXette On The Road or the Att vara Per Gessle books, so you don’t really need to wear gloves to turn the pages. Thank God! Haha.
All in all, just like the live CD, the tour photo book is also a great souvenir from this summer for all who were there at any of the gigs and there is also a lot to see for those who didn’t have the chance to attend the EVK tour.
If you pre-ordered or had the chance to go to NK in Stockholm today, you could get your copy signed. If not, then you can still order the book at Bengans(they still offer signed copies) or Bokus(signed copies are sold out there) or CDON(no signed copies there).
Per’s live album from this year’s summer tour was released on 8th December. We could be sure about the live record being out soon when Christoffer shared a short video of mixing it at the end of October. When the news came out that the material is recorded in Borgå, Finland, I was a bit surprised that it was more of a Swedish summer tour and in the end they release an album recorded in Finland. But suddenly, it dawned on me that it was the very last show of the tour and being in the crowd, I remembered how awesome and emotional that last gig was on 26th August 2017. Now, listening to the album, I would say it was a PERfect choice. Fab PG, fab band, fab crowd, fab vibes!
Even if I would have loved to hear a real complete show on this live CD and most importantly, Ljudet av ett annat hjärta and Spegelboll, the 2 biggest party songs, I see why they’re not there. The album has its flow and even with only 13 tracks it feels like a whole show. I write 13 TRACKS and not 13 SONGS on purpose, because Segla på ett moln and Queen of Rain were played only as intros and Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång wasn’t a complete song either, but played after Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) for a crowd sing-along.
On Första pris I can so see Malin-My rocking the violin, on Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) I can see the crowd dancing together, 2 to the left, 2 to the right, the whole band’s acting on stage, Per’s Gessleish moves, his facial expressions while singing Tycker om när du tar på mig… Oh, the tour feeling is coming back!
I’m very happy that It Must Have Been Love has made it to the album. However, I think it was no question for anyone it would end up there after all. Angel-voice Helena makes it very special. Not only this song, but her voice is killer on Varmt igen and Tycker om när du tar på mig as well.
Honung och guld, being recorded in Borgå is this way the version where Per and the band performed it together with Good Harvest. Nice having them on the album too.
It’s a pity that the vinyl release didn’t work out in time, but I’m very sure that this CD is a wonderful tour souvenir for all who were there not only in Borgå, but at any of the shows on the EVK tour and also a lovely release for those who didn’t have the chance to hear these songs live in person.
As the Halmstad concert was fully recorded for SVT’s future program on TV, I just hope that we will get that later on a DVD. No matter how much time after the tour and how many new projects are in sight for next year. It can come hand in hand with the English release of Per’s Nashville project in spring 2018. We don’t mind! 😉
This is how the songs were in the setlist (leaving out the ones that didn’t make it to the album):
På promenad genom stan
Vilket håll du än går
Segla på ett moln / Första pris
It Must Have Been Love
Honung och guld (together with Good Harvest)
Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
Varmt igen (with Queen of Rain as intro)
Tycker om när du tar på mej
And this is the live CD tracklist:
På promenad genom stan – 3:35
Vilket håll du än går – 3:17
Segla på ett moln – 0:50
Första pris – 4:47
Min plats – 3:04
It Must Have Been Love – 4:52
Honung och guld – 4:16
Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) – 2:29
Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång – 1:46
Queen of Rain – 1:52
Varmt igen – 4:39
Tycker om när du tar på mig – 4:50
Småstadsprat – 4:01
P.S.: For anyone else who is missing Spegelboll a bit, click HERE 1 and HERE 2, head to GessleHomeVids. Almost the complete song from Borgå is there. 😉
You can still order the live album and tour photo book at Bengans or Bokus and you’ll get your copies signed!
“En vacker bok” and “En vacker kväll” are to be released on 8th December. If you want them signed, you can meet Mr. G in Stockholm on 18th December (Monday) at 17.30 pm. He will be at the NK department store (Hamngatan 18-20, Stockholm) to sign the tour photo book and live CD.
In case you don’t have the chance to be there, you can pre-order the album and book at Bengans or Bokus and you’ll get your CD and photo book signed!
Earlier this year she surprised her fans with the jazz song Alone Again, teaming up with some of Sweden’s most prominent musicians on the subject. This time, Marie Fredriksson will immerse in the american music tradition on her new single I Want To Go.
The original song was written by J.B. Lenoir, a remarkably overlooked gem that almost sunk into obscurity. Now, more than 50 years after it’s birth, Marie Fredriksson reinvigorates this blues classic with a modern production and an unmistakable presence.
I first heard this song about 25 years ago and I just loved it. I have kept it close to my heart ever since and to finally release my own version of it feels amazing.
– Marie Fredriksson
I Want To Go is out on Amigo on November 17th.
The “listen here” link takes you to a page with links to the digital song on streaming/download platforms like Spotify or Amazon and to an “official audio video” on YouTube.
Picture by Tina Axelsson
Disclaimer from Marie’s label: There is a small, but not trivial error in the press message where Marie Fredriksson is called ”the former singer of Roxette”. Marie Fredriksson is still, of course, the singer in Roxette. We’re truly sorry about any confusion this might have caused.
According to today’s press release, a live album of Per Gessle’s summer tour and a photo book will be published on 8th December.
The live album, En vacker kväll – Live sommaren 2017 will contain the following songs:
1. På promenad genom stan
2. Vilket håll du än går
3. Segla på ett moln
4. Första pris
5. Min plats
6. It Must Have Been Love
7. Honung och guld
8. Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång)
9. Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
10. Queen of Rain
11. Varmt igen
12. Tycker om när du tar på mig
The book, En vacker bok – Live sommaren 2017 will of course contain tons of beautiful photos taken by Anders Roos on tour. The book is of 160 pages and you’ll also find a print-out picture in it.
You can already pre-order the CD on Bengans and the book on Bokus.
As you all know, Marie Fredriksson’s autobiography, Kärleken till livet was published in Sweden in 2015. All fans had been longing for at least an English version as well, but instead of it being published in English first, 1 year after the Swedish release, the book was published in German. The German edition, Listen to my heart: Meine Liebe zum Leben contains an extra chapter and some additional photos vs. the Swedish edition. Another surprise came when we heard the book would be translated into Czech and would be published in the Czech Republic this year. Listen to my Heart: Moje láska k životu has been published just now and there was a big party for its release. The event happened at Hard Rock Café in Prague on 3rd October. Longtime fan, Valeria Zvarova was there at the party and wrote her report on it. Please, read her story below. She also shared info on the difference between the Czech and the German edition of the book.
Event – The RockSet live at Hard Rock Café and christening of the Czech version of Marie’s book
3.10.2017 in Prague
As you may know, because of the event held at Hard Rock Café back in 2015, prior to the real Roxette gig at O2 Arena in Prague, there is a really great Rox revival band in Prague. It’s the singers Zuza Nová and Ondra Gorcík with their band, they call themselves The RockSet – the World Roxette Tribute band. If you want to learn more about them, click HERE.
From Hard Rock Café and publishing house Dobrovsky, which released the book in Czech, this band got an invitation to represent Roxette and christen Marie’s book at a live concert on the stage of Hard Rock Café. There are several of us Roxers here in Prague, who are friends with this band and we follow their gigs and try to help a little when possible. This time the band recorded an invitation video which we shortly translated and equipped with subtitles and posted on Rox-related Facebook sites and groups. And even Per himself shared the information posted by RoxetteBlog!
We were sure, this would be a real event for all of us fellow Roxers and yes, there were many of us there yesterday evening, and even some friends from Sweden, who really enjoyed the show with us, dancing close to the stage!
Before the concert, we picked up a bunch of white roses and the cake, a suitable one in the form of a book – and we managed to get good places at the venue. Before the start, the screen rolled down in front of the stage, showing a short video with the information about the event, about Marie, nice pictures from the book and this event was also joint with the Charity foundation Mamma Help, supporting patients suffering from breast cancer. If you bought the book there, from the price of 299 CZK /approx 10 EUR/, 100 CZK went to charity.
When the concert began, we all gathered at the stage – which is not so easy because of the fact that there is a bar placed in the middle of the venue, directly in front of the stage. During the performance, some of us gave a white rose to Zuza after our favourite songs.
The concert went on and the band was simply great on stage – as Per would say maybe – Zuza was in top shape.
The first break was filled with the christening act itself. The publisher couple Dobrovsky, representatives of Hard Rock Café and charity Mamma Help gathered on the stage. The cake was brought on a table and champagne was ready at the edge of the stage.
Zuza was presenting the event, talking about the charity and about the fact that the book was released by Dobrovsky publishing house in Czech as the third language worldwide – a fact which is truly unbelievable… and also about their cooperation with Hard Rock Café. Zuza was talking about Marie, her life and also, this was very touching, she thanked the Czech Roxers for the support they get – we are honoured… Then they poured a little champagne on the book, we handed over some more white roses and the event was soon ending.
The concert continued with the second part. There were many Roxers cheering, having fun, dancing and singing along… also the tourists went wild. I know, yes, you may say, it’s just a revival. Yes, we know that – and we do not consider them being Rox – but this is so close to Rox you can get, with full power on stage like before, great voices, performing and acting sometimes the way Rox did – even though they do not know the shows by heart like we do, in fact they have hardly seen them! And visually, yes, sometimes you get the feeling like it was really her… it’s almost unreal, we would say. And they are all great friends, since several years we have known them. We hope they will continue bringing us Rox music and the feelings being 14 again for many years to come! Especially since we know, we would never see Roxette live together again…
We from the Czech Roxette fanclub would also like to express our thanks to the singers Zuza Nová, Ondra Gorcík and all of the members of the band.
There will be some videos and photos done by Lenka Kohoutová as well. All in all, it was a great evening and we hope for more to come!
Dressed For Success
How Do You Do!
Fading Like A Flower
Wish I Could Fly
It Must Have Been Love
Then christening itself on the stage.
Things Will Never Be The Same
Crash! Boom! Bang!
She’s Got Nothing On (But the Radio)
Run To You
Spending My Time
The Big L.
Listen To Your Heart
* extra Sleeping In My Car
Some facts about the Czech version of Marie’s book:
The Czech version is slightly different to the German one – mainly in colour. The Czech one is published with light blue cover at the back and inside. The title remained yellow. That was probably because of keeping the Swedish colours – well, fine for me.
Photos are the same as in the German version, as well as the chapters.
The book is a bit smaller vs. the German version – with every language, it becomes smaller somehow – but anyway, it is a unique fact that the Czech version got released earlier than a possible English or Spanish edition or in other more important languages… it was a real surprise for us all and another confirmation of the fact how big Roxette are in our country.
And just one mistake we found, looking roughly – a picture of the Look Sharp! era is captioned with year 1998.
So, each year there is another language release, maybe one day we will see an English version as well. 😉 Fingers crossed!
Pictures in the article by Lenka Kohoutová and Valeria Zvarova.
In case you missed some EDM, here is a recent Per Gessle collaboration in that genre. The song is: Mono Mind – Save Me a Place. Actually, the single was released already on 14th July, but somehow we haven’t heard about it until now. And the most interesting about it is that THIS seems to be the common project with David Guetta from 2014. I share what I found, but we definitely miss some more details. 😉
Mono Mind is meant to be a musical laboratory where everything is possible. Mono Mind’s home turf is Sweden but the collaborators are plentiful and can be from anywhere.
Mixing the inspiration from the current music scene with an insatiable appetite for vintage pop, electronica and ambient music Mono Mind strives for electrifying beauty and something quite different.
Billboard info on Mono Mind, “Save Me a Place” published on 17th August:
Sweden-based conglomerate Mono Mind starts at No. 39 on Dance/Mix Show Airplay with “Save Me a Place,” the first Billboard chart entry for the mysterious act, which describes itself on its official Facebook page as “a musical laboratory where everything is possible.” “Save” takes the entirety of its airplay from two core-dance outlets: SiriusXM’s BPM and Music Choice’s Dance/EDM channel.
You can listen to the song on these digital platforms or watch the lyric video HERE. Sooo, is that Per Gessle and Helena Josefsson on vocals? Sounds like that! And who is (are?) Mono Mind? PG himself? Hopefully, we get to know more about this project and this whole Mono Mind thing. Actually, there seems to be another song, Sugar Rush, which was also published under Mono Mind already in 2016, but there is much less info about it than about Save Me a Place.
When Per Gessle announced the release of Mazarin on vinyl in the interview we did with him in May, we all got excited. The fans always wanted Mazarin on vinyl, but it never happened. Until 7th July 2017! 1 week after its release date, the vinyl is No. 1 on the Swedish vinyl charts and it brought Mazarin back on the album charts as well! Woohoo! How cool is that!
Mazarin was released on 16th June 2003 and it became gold already on its release day. 2 days later it became platinum and platinum it is 5x! A little history:
Platinum x2 2003-08-04
Platinum x3 2003-08-19
Platinum x4 2003-11-21
Platinum x5 2004-02-02
The album entered the charts at No. 1 on 26th June 2003 and kept its No. 1 position for 11 weeks. I mean 11 weeks!!! Mazarin was on the charts for 66 weeks and came back as No. 1 on 23rd January 2004 for 2 weeks. Now for the 67th time it’s on the album charts again at No. 15!
En vacker natt is at No. 21 now on the album charts and No. 9 on the vinyl charts.
Big congrats to Mr. G! And thanks for this release from the bottom of our hearts!
You can order your copy of the Mazarin vinyl here: Bengans, Ginza or buy it at the merch stand during Per’s summer tour or get yourself a signed copy at Hotel Tylösand. 😉
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.”