Per Gessle – together with Helena Josefsson, Dea Norberg, Clarence Öfwerman, Magnus Börjeson, Christoffer Lundquist and Jonas Isacsson, under the banner “PG Roxette” – is among those 53 artists who have covered their favourite songs from The Black Album of Metallica, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. From the 12 tracks of the album Per didn’t hesitate when asked which one he wanted to interpret – he picked Nothing Else Matters.
The Metallica Blacklist is now released digitally and will be out on 7 LPs / 4 CDs as well on 1st October. All profits will be donated to charities of each contributing artist’s choice along with Metallica’s own foundation, All Within My Hands.
In June, when PG shared the news he said:
I’m thrilled to participate in the “Metallica Blacklist” project. Picking a song to record from their classic “Black Album” was pretty easy for me. “Nothing Else Matters” has always been a favourite of mine. Wow, it’s such a great track!
Under the banner ”PG Roxette” I joined forces with long-time Roxers Clarence Öfwerman + Jonas Isacsson + Christoffer Lundquist + Magnus Börjeson together with Helena Josefsson + Dea Norberg, both closely linked to the Roxette touring band of the past.
My ambition was to treat the song with respect while transforming it to a style of my own. I’m very pleased and proud with the outcome.
All proceeds from the recording will go to Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation and to UNHCR, a charity I chose together with Marie Fredriksson’s family.
Upon the release he adds:
I remember hearing Nothing Else Matters all the time on the radio in the early 90’s when Marie and I travelled the world constantly. We always joked about that it actually could have been an amazing Roxette ballad, hahaha!
We both loved it very much. So what I’ve tried to create now is to make it sound like a classic Roxette song.
I’m extremely proud to be part of this Blacklist-project that connects artists and bands from all over the world for good causes. Thank you Metallica.
Watch a short video of the recordings HERE!
You will find PG Roxette’s interpretation of Nothing Else Matters on Disc 4 on streaming sites.
Listen here at the song’s direct links: Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube!
Produced by Magnus Börjeson + Clarence Öfwerman + Christoffer Lundquist + Per Gessle
Recorded at Farozon, Malmö + Sweetspot Studios, Halmstad + Aerosol Grey Machine, Vallarum, Sweden in January 2021
Engineers: Magnus Börjeson (Farozon) + Staffan Karlsson (Sweetspot) + Christoffer Lundquist (Aerosol Grey Machine)
Mixed by Ronny Lahti at The Lahti Headquarters, Stockholm, Sweden
Magnus Börjeson: Programming + keyboards
Clarence Öfwerman: Programming + keyboards
Christoffer Lundquist: Ondes Martenot + keyboards + electric guitar
Jonas Isacsson: Lead electric guitar
Helena Josefsson: Vocals
Dea Norberg: Vocals
Per Gessle: Vocals
Metallica photo by Patrícia Peres, WorldWired Tour 2018, Budapest. PG still is from the official trailer.
What you’ll find on Spotify as the artist details of PG Roxette:
Per Gessle is one of Scandinavia’s most successful artists and songwriters of all time. With a gift for catchy hooks, both musically and lyrically, he has composed chart-topping pop hits for more than four decades. Starting his career in 1978 as the songwriter and lead vocalist in Swedish early 80´s pop phenomenon Gyllene Tider, he and singer Marie Fredriksson teamed up in Roxette with the humble aim to conquer the pop world. Which they did like no other Scandinavian act. Breaking big all over the world in 1989, they would score four US Billboard Hot 100 Number One’s – “The Look”, “Listen To Your Heart”, “It Must Have Been Love”, and “Joyride”.
When Marie Fredriksson sadly lost her long battle to cancer in 2019, the Roxette saga seemed to be over. But the songs were still here, there and everywhere. And so were the fans. A new chapter had to be written. Which it is. And it’s called PG Roxette.
Per Gessle is determined to keep the Roxette legacy alive. Always being the main songwriter and driving force in the band he continues to work both in the studio and on the road. For this project Per has joined forces with long-time Roxette collaborators Clarence Öfwerman, Jonas Isacsson, Christoffer Lundquist and Magnus Börjeson together with the amazing vocalists Helena Josefsson and Dea Norberg, both closely linked to the Roxette touring band.
PG Roxette “Nothing Else Matters” header pic is from Spotify.
Update on 17th September 2021: a music video has been published and some more info from Per.
Wanna know how NOTHING ELSE MATTERS came about in the studio? Here’s the story.
I’ve always thought NEM was a beautiful song. It’s got strong melodies, pretty straightforward but smart chord progressions, a lyric you can interpret in many different ways. It’s epic. If I should cover it I would love it to sound like a classic Roxette ballad! Shorten it a bit + create a magnetic intro.
We noticed at the Marie Tribute in Gothenburg 2020 how amazing Dea + Helena sound when they sing together. They sang FADING LIKE A FLOWER at the concert and we were all blown away.
So the basic idea for the vocals on PG Roxette’s take on NEM was to use that particular sound you get when you mix two very different voices and blend them. That’s what we did in the verses and in the outro. Dea + Helena share the duties. The choruses were mine to sing. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to work with three distinctive voices in one song. It certainly appeals to my restless mind!
The programming was done primarily by Magnus + Clarence, then Christoffer came aboard and did some overdubs. His recent baby, an Ondes Martenot from 1928 came in handy. Jonas did his guitar parts in Stockholm and he sounded like he always does; out of this world.
It was an amazing journey from start to finish. Ronny Lahti, who worked many times on Roxette albums in the past, did some extraordinary mixes. He’s another master.
Badabam from P.