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?

 



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Thank you!

roxette_in_drammen_02Roxette just announced that the upcoming summer tour has been cancelled.

Roxetteblog wants to send Marie Fredriksson a huge THANK YOU for all the great shows and many great tour memories.

If you feel up to joining us: We created a page where you can leave your messages for Marie.

The first ones will be delivered to Marie next week.

/ Roxette Blog Team (Kirsten, Patrícia, Sascha, Tomasz and Judith)



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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.

 



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It just happens – a review

Roxette just released a new siIt Just Happensngle, “It Just Happens”, and we felt we had to write some words about the song. The release was very much anticipated by fans all over. To celebrate the release many fans decided to change their profile picture to a butterfly, sweet, isn’t it? Another surprise of the day: It Just Happens was #1 on iTunes Argentina today! All very exciting, it all just puts a big smile on your face.

And now let’s get to the single:

Judith: Some people say it happened with some Roxette songs in the past, that they had to listen to them a few times to really appreciate them and kinda fall in love with them. It happened to me this time around.

It wasn’t until I listened to the song totally focused, meaning with my high-quality ear phones, and concentrated on all the details and the lyrics that it went boom! It was the part with “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” that gave me goose bumps and brought me back to some very special events in my life. For example, when I fell in love with my big love, or even back to the time when I listened to “The Look” for the first time in 1989. It just happens.

I hadn’t thought about the fact that sometimes it takes a few listenings to appreciate a song. I then started to think and realised it wasn’t the first time that I needed a few listenings to realise the depth and awesomeness of a song. I remembered it was the same with “Sleeping In My Car”. It was quite a different sound to Joyride or Tourism and I had to listen to it a few times till it captured me. Or “A Thing About You” to mention another example. And then I just realised this is one of the things that fascinates me about Roxette. Even though they stay true to their Roxette sound, there is always some new component in their music. And there is always the attention to perfection and those (what I call) playful sounds and details here and there that you only hear when you mindfully listen to the song a few times. And it is always the combination of music, lyrics, voices and those playful details that makes it magical.

Have you noticed that in choruses Per usually slightly changes the lyrics? (“Don’t underestimate, your heart is never late vs your heart can never wait) Or the way they pronounce/sing certain words? (the first “it just happens”, “just yesterday”) Or those little hidden sounds or clappings or drum beats that just happen once but that you know perfectly when they are in the song and are anticipating them? (one keyboard sound after the second “don’t undererstimate” in the chorus is not there in the first chorus, it sounds only again after “your heart can never wait”)…This is Roxette!! And Marie’s voice is amazing on this one!

Of course, the song reminds me of many other songs, and the more I listen to it, the more connections I find to other songs. That is the essence of Roxette. Typical Roxette with a touch of new.

A great appetiser for the upcoming album “Good Karma” on June 3rd!

Kirsten: Before I had heard the song for the first time, a friend already had sent me a message via WhatsApp telling me what she thinks about it – and I think it’s a bad way to be introduced to a song/film/album whatever by another one’s opinion. Especially when it isn’t the best.

I must add that I am really trying hard not to expect anything anymore Roxette-wise. The Travelling album has its gems, same goes for Charm School, but they aren’t my favourite Roxette albums. On the other hand I want Per and Marie of course to do and record what they want, what they feel up to – it’s what I am curious about. How do they sound, what do they want to tell me?

Another not so good thing was that I had read on The Daily Roxette that Per rated the song as a “power ballad” which was sung by Marie. So, when I listened to “It just happens” for the first time, I was of course disappointed twice, because his words had made expect me something – which I really tried to prevent hard. 1.) This isn’t a power ballad (to me), 2.) It is not sung by Marie. When I hear power ballad and “sung by Marie” I have songs like LTYH, IMHBL or SMT in my head – immediately. I can’t help it; it’s what I grew up with.

So, my first listening didn’t make me feel like 12 again. It was an “ok” song with “ok” lyrics. But nothing that blew my mind.

When I posted my opinion on my Facebook page, some other fans and I started to discuss the song very intensely (that’s what I love about this fandom, btw) and came to a funny conclusion. Somehow, “It just happens” sounded like a Coldplay song to us, “Paradise”, in this case. But since “Paradise” totally reminded me of “Wish I could fly” all I could write was: “Roxette sound like Coldplay who sound like Roxette” which basically means that Roxette sounds like Roxette. That’s the way it should be, right?

And the comparison to WICF isn’t the worst. But after three listenings, I thought that it sounds more like LTYH. So, when Marie starts to sing “It just happens… you fall in love” you could also easily sing “Listen to your heart… when he’s calling for you”.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t mind artists stealing from themselves. Every singer/songwriter does it often. I don’t care. I just noticed it. And in the end I want them to sound like themselves, this only works when they stay true to themselves.

About the song: I love the sound, it is powerful, it is full, I love the instruments, the arrangements, it sounds very modern and updated. Thanks for finally turning away from the 60’s George Harrison sound. I loved it for the time being, but we really had enough of it!

What confused me from the very first time I heard it was the structure. I couldn’t get my head around it and I still don’t. It seems that the highlight of the song isn’t at the end, but in the first third. There is no build-up. Have I ever heard something like this before? I don’t know. The middle 8 isn’t the introduction to a great outro with even more instruments or another strong chorus. It actually gets quieter towards the end and this surprises me every time I hear it.

I like the lyrics and we all know why they are kept “easy”. I love both vocals, even though I had not expected Per to sing at all. I would have loved it even more if we had gotten a bit more from Marie in the verses (but that’s just me, because I think that both voices fit together like paper and glue, fire and wood.. you get the idea..).

I don’t know anything about the music business or the reception of a new song, but I always find that it’s hard to sell a song that doesn’t work from the first second at the first listening on. Something must set free in the listeners’ brain or soul.. if it doesn’t happen, they will never buy the song. I don’t know about “It just happens”. Maybe it’s a classical radio song that needs a lot of airplay to climb the charts. “She’s got nothing on (but the radio)” did it and this was a song I really only loved when I heard it live for the first time. Man, live this was a killer!

And I really would love to hear “It just happens” live, too. Just because Roxette are one of the best live bands at the moment. They simply rock and some of this rock couldn’t hurt their songs either.

So, long text… all in all I think it’s a good song with a catchy melody. For me, the last single that really flashed me was “Wish I could fly” and “It just happens” doesn’t change it. (But I didn’t expect that anyway. Just keep on singing together, Per and Marie!).



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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!



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Roxette’s new single “It Just Happens” out tomorrow; album out on June 3

April 8th is a special date for Roxette, as on that day back in 1989 Roxette reached #1 on the Billboard with The Look, their first number 1 in USA and the song that meant their brIt Just Happenseakthrough.

Twenty-seven (yes, 27!) years later, Roxette has decided to release their new single “It Just Happens” on this date. This is the first single off “Good Karma”, Roxette’s 10th album that will be released on June 3rd. The album will also be released on vinyl!

In the press release sent out today, Per explains “we wanted to mix the classic Roxette sound with a modern and somehow unpredictable production to create an interesting sound where one can both recognise us and experience something new”. The song “was one of the first songs written for the album and quickly became one of the key songs” and was therefore chosen as the first single.

Promotion for the song has just started, do not miss the butterfly on all social media! This is going to be a great 30th anniversary year!

Expressen (rating 3/5, “the production has style and fantasy”) and Aftonbladet (rating 3/5, stating the song is “surprisingly good” and “who would have thought Roxette do have so strong and melancholic melodies in 2016?”) also already reviewed the single.

 

The track list of the album is as follows:Good Karma

01. Why Don’tcha?
02. It Just Happens
03. Good Karma
04. This One
05. You Make It Sound So Simple
06. From a Distance
07. Some Other Summer
08. Why Don’t You Bring Me Flowers?
09. You Can’t Do This to Me Anymore
10. 20 bpm

11. April Clouds



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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.

 



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Roxette Diaries – a review!

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Photo: Nico Radoi

Today was the day – time to watch the Roxette diaries. Yes, the film is out for a while now, but I didn’t bother to watch it any earlier since I had ordered the wrong version without English subtitles and I really didn’t want to watch it without them. Waking up today I decided to give it a try. My Swedish is not the best, but I learned enough from Per, Marie and Kent that I can at least read it very good. So I switched on the Swedish subtitles and the fun began.

It took me two and a half minutes to get into tour mood again. There are two simple reasons for me: There’s a very special energy between Per and Marie in the beginning and it lasts until 1993, I think. It feels very special to watch both of them interact. You can feel in every scene how much fun they had in the 80’s and in the early 90’s. They just did what they know best: music. And they had fun together, all of them. And this is maybe what most fans search or long for the most: They want to be sure that their favourite band is nothing but a big family, having fun together, on and off stage, create great music and conquer the world. Yes – this movie transports this feeling very well. At least the first hour. The whole band is just easygoing, lighthearted, happy, untroubled. My heart leapt watching this! And I remembered how much I love them – and we have a silver wedding this year. It’s been 25 years of unconditional love of my part this year. Can this be called the love of my life then?

The second reason why I suddenly can’t wait for June to roll on: I suddenly remembered that they still have an awful lot to give. They are not finished yet. Seven years have been stolen off them. Seven years of nothingness and yet seven years time to heal a strained friendship. I need to see more of this healed relationship between them. It has never been nicer to watch them on stage together.

And what I implied here I honestly mean: While in the beginning Marie and Per seem to be a unit, they certainly are no longer from 1993 on. Of course, this can be due to the cutting of the film, but did anyone else notice that Marie is almost not to be seen in the last 30 minutes of the film?

There’s one scene at the end where someone asks (is it Per?): “Where is Marie?” right before a performance. Yes, folks, I wondered the same. Where was she? And someone else in the film replies: “Ingen aning.” No idea. I had no clue either.

What we all knew to be true suddenly becomes real – yes, their friendship turned from friendship to business somewhen between 1992 and 1993. There’s no way to deny it. There’s no more fun around. And this is the shocking part of the diaries: Interviews, travelling, TV shows, promotion, concerts – there’s a 90 minute development of wearout to witness. It almost broke my heart to watch this. Smiles got less, fun got less, friendship almost not detectable.

But thinking about the recent years they gave to us, I can only say: We are the luckiest fans in the world. I don’t know how they did it, maybe it’s just the happiness, the gratefulness to have survived this bad illness Marie had, but they certainly overcame their problems and enjoy their time together again. And it’s something different now, when Marie isn’t doing interviews or doing all the other promo crap stuff that comes with being a pop star. We all do understand it and maybe we even understand it more when we know now what it did to them in the early 90’s.

Yet, this is a brilliant movie and my only criticism would be that there were too many concert parts at the end. I would have loved to see more of the Tourism and Crash!Boom!Bang! recordings. Maybe we get to see the rest of it soon. Per’s “soon” would suffice here, though. And I would also love to see the 2009-2016 footage. You know why – just to get me in the tour mood again and again and make me fall in love with them again and again. Nothing and nobody compares to Marie and Per.



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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.

 



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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.

 



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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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Roxers’ favourite Roxette studio album covers

Some days ago we asked you to list your Top3 favourite Roxette studio album covers. We got a lot of comments and after the collage had been shared both on Roxette’s official Facebook page and Instagram account, there were even more votes. It seemed to be obvious which covers would end up at the Top3 positions, but I was curious about the exact results. It’s of course not a representative sample, but who else could judge Roxette’s album covers better than Roxers?

After checking all the comments, I counted the votes / mentions and found out the Top2 were indeed quite obvious. Most people voted for Joyride and Look Sharp!. I would say the difference between the number of votes is so tiny, the 2 covers are equally strong. The third position is occupied by Crash! Boom! Bang!, but Tourism was very close to become the third as well. The difference is quite small here, too. The 5th best cover according to Roxers is that of Room Service.

The remaining 4 covers are well behind any of those in the Top5. No surprise poor Travelling (which was released 4 years ago today, by the way) is at the end of the list. I remember how excited we all were about the new album in 2011 and 2012 and when the cover was shared on Facebook, tons of us first thought it was a joke and that it couldn’t be the final design. Not that it wasn’t funny to see BoJo on the sleeve, but… ehm… Then we decided, OK if the content is awesome, we don’t really care about the cover. The songs turned out to be fab, so the sin made with the album cover was forgiven, so to say.

We like busy covers only if there is a real concept behind them (see Tourism) and we love professional, artistic photos of Marie and Per on the sleeve. We are not into weird Photoshop attempts (see Travelling) and busy covers with seemingly no concept behind them (see Charm School). Don’t get us wrong, we love seeing such non-pro pics, but it works much better on social media sites or in books than on album covers.

These days when music is consumed rather digitally, it might be even more important to have a great cover to catch the attention of those who still go and buy CDs at record shops. Come to think of it, even for digital use it is important to have a good-looking sleeve. At least I prefer seeing a clear, eye-catching cover pic on Spotify and similar sites when I listen to music either on computer or on my smartphone.

So anyone in charge of the upcoming album cover design, please make an attractive one! Now you can see which directions Roxers prefer. 😉

 

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9 songs Per Gessle wishes he had written

As we already informed you about it, Per has his own podcast on Swedish radio together with Sven Lindström. The first part was made available this morning. Listen to the 57-minute-long show HERE!

It’s about 9 songs Mr. G wishes he had written. Earlier on Nordic Rox there was a Twelve Peaks show where Per listed 12 songs he wished he had written and discussed his choice with Sven. The list from today is completely different, which shows there are many awesome so well written songs mainly from the ’60s.

It’s always very entertaining to listen to these 2 pop nerds who know everything about music. They know when the songs came out, if those hits were on the charts and at which position, who the songwriter is, etc. While they are talking about the songs on the list, of course Per’s songwriting is a topic as well. This way they relate to Roxette and Gyllene Tider. Per and Sven also discuss what songs they were listening to in the ’60s and ’70s and how those songs effected them.

Here are the Top 9 songs Mr. G came up with during the show:

9. Petula Clark: Downtown (1963)
8. The Byrds: Goin’ Back (1967)
7. The Carpenters: Yesterday Once More (1973)
6. B.J. Thomas: Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head (1969)
5. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Something Big (1981)
4. The Young Rascals: How Can I Be Sure (1967)
3. The Kinks: Waterloo Sunset (1967)
2. Astrud Gilberto: Never My Love (first released by The Association in 1967; Astrud G. in 1968)
1. The Beach Boys: God Only Knows (1966)

Per says he remembers he was listening to her sister’s singles when he was 8-9 years old. Besides Presley’s Jailhouse Rock and The Beatles, Petula Clark was also among those singles. He says he was never a real fan of The Carpenters, because it’s a bit too nice music for him, but Yesterday Once More is a well-produced song, it has a feel-good feeling and he loves the sha-la-la-la in it. He mentions that one of the songwriters he likes the most is Burt Bacharach. They also talk about B.J. Thomas and they have no clue what his real name was (Billy Joe Thomas). Per says Tom Petty always had an important place in his heart, he likes his lyrics and his storytelling style. How Can I Be Sure charmed him with its damn good lyrics and the waltz tempo. Terry and Julie from Waterloo Sunset appear in the Roxette song Me & You & Terry & Julie. All in all, these 9 songs are either catchy pop songs or wonderful love ballads, they are easy to listening to and all of them are masterpieces. One can’t stop listening to them.

The show is an awesome listening even if you don’t speak Swedish. Hearing 2 friends chatting, having much fun while talking about their favourite topic, laughing a lot, kidding each other. Fab start into the day! Is it next Thursday yet?

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Poll! Marie’s biography in other languages?

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Picture by Patrícia Peres

karlekentill_inb_lowMarie’s biography “Kärleken till livet” was released in Sweden in October 2015. There was huge interest for the book in Sweden, as the fans who travelled to Stockholm for the signing session in December could appreciate. Long queues to get to meet Marie and get the book signed by Marie herself and the co-author Helena von Zweigbergk.

We also know that many of you don’t speak Swedish and are longing to read Marie’s biography. The book should really be available in as many languages as possible and reach as many people as possible. For its strength, the story of a fight for life, for inspiration.

We heard some bits of information last year about the book being translated into other languages like English. Now we have been informed that a literary agent is working to sell translation rights in order to make Marie’s biography book available in other languages and your input regarding the language you would like to read the book in is very much appreciated!

Please answer this question until end of this week:

In which language would you prefer to read Marie's book?

We will forward the results to the literary agent and Marie’s management by early next week.

 

 

 



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Video to the new Roxette single

As you could read in our article this morning, Per starts a radio podcast on 24th March. A great chance to practice your Swedish by listening to 2 nerds chatting about music.

Today Per visited Swedish Radio P4 Halland and talked about the podcast. In the short interview he also mentioned that he is busy with other things as well. Besides that he started his own record label Space Station 12, there are also a lot of things happening around Roxette. The new album is out in summer, the single is out in April and he confirmed there will be a video to the single which they are shooting next week. Too cool!

Another interesting thing Mr. G mentioned is that they are playing 18 shows in Europe this summer. We know about 14 dates so far, so there are at least 4 more to come. Sounds promising!

Listen to Per HERE!

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