Gessle doesn’t take life for granted – Per Gessle interview by P4 Extra

Per Gessle was the guest of the day on P4 Extra, Swedish Radio on 26th April. The interview with him was done by Johar Bendjelloul. If you listen to the 113 min online version (including music), Per is on from 28:44 to 52:07, if you listen to him in the downloadable mp3 version of the program, he is on from 15:00 to 33:27.

Johar first talks about Per’s career that he sold an unbelievable amount of albums, 80 million with Roxette, Gyllene Tider and solo. Then he welcomes Per, the hitmaker music nerd in the studio.

They talk about last year’s announcement that Roxette had to stop touring and that this way Per had much free time left. Per thought he would do something different than what he did during the past 5 years. Johar asks Per if Roxette is over. Per replies touring is definitely over, but if they will record something together in the future, he doesn’t know, doesn’t think so.

The guys are talking about country capital Nashville, why Per chose that location. Per says he started writing songs in Swedish. Acoustic based songs with the lyrics and voice in focus, in really simple production. First he thought he would record in London or in France, but then the idea came why not making the obvious fusion of Nashville and Halmstad. Per says he always liked classic country, Neil Young or Gram Parsons.

Johar and Per are talking about Per’s voice. Per has not always liked his own voice. In the beginning he had a huge problem with his voice actually, he thought it sounded bad. Not that he sang badly, but the sound of his voice was bad. But later he learned it’s special and sometimes it’s quite good even (laughs). He says he talked a lot about it with his psychologist. Haha.

There is a premiere of ”Min plats” in the program. Per says it’s the type of song you need to have on an album. It’s the opening song and it sets the tone of what Per wants to say with this album. There is pedal steel, violin and acoustic instruments in it. Per and Helena Josefsson are singing on this track. It’s a 3-minute-long song. (You can listen to it in the online version of the interview from 32:10 to 35:15.)

Johar asks Per why he chose to work with new musicians while he is known as a control freak. Per says he is not really a control freak, just a little bit. He tries to put himself into new situations and it was really good to work with these musicians. The pedal steel player, the violin player. Per wanted something new to happen.

Per talks about the fact that he releases 2 albums. ”En vacker natt” now and ”En vacker dag” in September. He says he had so much material and it felt too much to include all on one album only.

The guys are talking about the album cover. There is Per’s sister, Gunilla on the cover of ”En vacker natt”. Per’s sister died last autumn and his son found a box full of photos. The picture is from the ’60s and Per thought this one fits the album and he dedicates this album to his sister. ”En vacker dag” is dedicated to his mother, Elisabeth. Per tells his sister, mother and brother have died during the past three years. He has been the youngest in the family and now he is the only one left. It of course has affected him, but it’s not directly in there in the songs. You realize that time passes and nothing stands still. And that’s what you reflect on when you grow older. When you are young, you take it for granted and there is an energy and a hunger that decreases over the years. It’s an important ingredient in pop music, however, it’s not pop music now on these two albums. There is an obvious connection between youth and pop music. Per thinks the task of pop music is to reflect its own time. Pop music of the ‘60s and ‘70s is very typical of its own time and also today’s pop music is very typical.

Johar wants a confirmation from Per that he won’t give up on pop music and Per says take it easy, he won’t. Haha. Johar says a lot of Per’s songs and lyrics will remain after Per will be gone. Per asks if Johar really thinks so. He asks Per what he thinks about it now that they are talking about the passing of time and deaths. Per says he doesn’t know, he doesn’t think about it. Johar is surprised and asks if Per doesn’t think his songs are classic. Johar mentions for example Sommartider being played at the school year end happenings in Sweden. Per says it’s just not a pleasant thing to think about his songs remaining after he’s gone. So they just move on to another topic.

They start talking about Per’s books he published 3 years ago, “Texter, klotter & funderingar” and “Songs, sketches & reflections”. Per laughs and says it was exhausting to collect all the things together, because it was too much material. But he was happy that people liked the end result. The books are a compilation of studio diaries, Per’s lyrics and all possible stuff. During the project, reading through and checking all things, he saw how different the ‘80s and ‘90s were. For Per, writing lyrics is a bit like writing a diary in a certain way. Sometimes he writes lyrics including what happened during the day. He writes about things he likes. Love, disappointment, stuff people can identify with. Johar says it’s kind of magical that people can feel Per’s songs are like they are written about themselves.

The guys listen to Dolly Parton’s song, Jolene. Per thinks it’s a fantastic song. Johar says the listeners couldn’t see it, but Per was listening to this song intensively, concentrating deeply on it in the studio. Johar asks Per what he thinks as a songwriter, what is the success behind this song. Per says the songwriters succeeded with everything here. For example, there is the exact same chord in both the verses and the choruses. The same chord goes round and round. It has a classic country text of a nice story. It’s a wonderful song, wonderfully arranged with pedal steel. When talking about the country milieu, Per says, on the new album he used milieu sounds between the songs.

Johar asks Per about songwriting again, if he sees colors when he writes. Per says he is always looking for some certain color, the temperature of the song. In a way it’s hard to explain though that he wants a yellow song with a little blue in it. On the new album there is everything possible. There is a certain melancholy. It’s very melodic and effectively arranged.There is happiness and there is sadness.

The guys are talking about the summer tour. Johar states Per tours terribly much, all his life, actually. He asks Per if he still finds it fun. Per replies it’s totally amazing, it’s the best thing. He likes the creative process in the studio, but it’s damn good to stand on stage and perform to the crowd. He is looking very much forward to this summer. Johar says a lot of artists say they hate touring, but Per enjoys it much. He says there is of course a price you pay, for example you wake up in a new bed each day and you don’t know where to find the toilet. Whether it’s on the left or on the right. Haha.

Johar mentions he read that Per was in Nashville once before he recorded his album. Per says he was, but can’t really remember. It was when they toured with Roxette in the US.

Johar asks Per if he likes attending other artists’ concerts. Per says sometimes he goes to shows, but often it’s boring, because tons of artists have pre-recorded CDs. It’s not like cheating, it’s just a style. Some music in the digital technology can’t be played live. But of course, he likes to attend concerts. To the question which was the last concert he saw and liked Per replies he has to think about it for a long time. He doesn’t know, he can’t say it. And here, the interview ends with this unanswered question.

 

Per Gessle about the new albums and duets – interview by Swedish Radio P4

Swedish Radio (Kulturnytt P4) tried to reach Per Gessle after yesterday’s great news about his 2 new solo albums. They write that Per is now in Nashville and they interviewed him via e-mail.

Swedish Radio asked Per what made him want to do duets with Lars Winnerbäck, Linnea Henriksson and John Holm. Mr. G says often cooperates with Helena Josefsson when he is making his solo albums. This time she is there again and is doing backing vocals on almost all songs and sings one song in duet with Per. Per says Helena is incredibly talented and always lifts his songs to the sky. Their voices are a perfect match. But when Mr. G started writing last summer, he started thinking about male duet partners. A regular duet can bring a different angle to the text. When a guy and a girl sings it sounds in a certain way, but when 2 guys or 2 girls are singing, it becomes something totally different. Interesting.

Per says he has many things in common with Lars Winnerbäck. Small-town background and quite similar taste in music even if Mr. G is older. Per always liked Lars. They met at Sofiero in Helsingborg when he was on tour last summer and Per asked if he wanted to sing a duet. Thank God he wanted.

Besides Helena Josefsson there were other musicians involved: Christoffer Lundquist, Clarence Öfwerman and Anders Herrlin. They were also there in Nashville to record the songs.

The autumn album will contain duets with Linnea Henriksson and John Holm. Per says John Holm was one of those who made him start writing his own songs when he was fourteen, so it’s a personal highlight in Per’s life to record with John Holm. According to Per, John Holm is still a unique singer and personality.

Regarding Linnea Henriksson Per says he had an uptempo song he thought Linnea could sing the chorus on. But after a few weeks in Nashville, he realized that it did not fit into the project, so he put it on hold. But then he had another song that screamed for Linnea’s blue tones and it became so fine. Per is very happy and proud that Linnea wanted to cooperate.

Per says to his great surprise, he had studio time left when they were done with the 14 Swedish songs. Then he thought he could do duets in English with country-girls too. He had two quite newly written songs that he thought would be great to record in the Nashville environment. He called some friends in Nashville’s music industry and got tips on 2 talented girls, Savannah Church and Jessica S. who suddenly appeared and rounded off this incredibly exciting project.

To Swedish Radio’s question regarding how Per would describe the album he said he have tried to make very beautiful songs, arrangements and productions. Stripped down, but efficient. He went started the project with no limits and rules, he didn’t want to sound a certain way or do anything in a format which is now unfortunately characterizes the entire music industry. He wanted the local musicians to be part of and create the songs’ design. Per let them play on almost all songs to see what happens, then they edited it all afterwards and took away what they thought didn’t fit.

Per’s solo projects in Swedish are always quite text-oriented. So it is this time. Perhaps more than ever.

Each song has its own story, it’s about being young and getting older. To look back but also dare to look ahead. Happiness, but also disappointment. About things don’t always turn out as planned or as expected. I have lost my mother, brother and sister in the last three years and it has certainly put its weight on the lyrics and my life in general. But life goes on.

To Swedish Radio’s question if there will be duets on stage, Per replied who knows. He has the habit from Roxette.

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.

Photo by Anton Corbijn

Per Gessle’s Top9 Christmas songs

Somehow we could sense it wasn’t just a random post by Per yesterday when he shared the whole lot of the podcast series of Gessles nio i topp. Now we can see it was because there is a Christmas edition! Woohoo! Per and Sven sat together and had some Xmas fun their own way. They say they did it because of the very successful first season of Gessles nio i topp. Listen to the podcast HERE!

Per actually dislikes Christmas songs, but even in his career one of the biggest hits started out as a Christmas song. It Must Have Been Love (Christmas For The Broken Hearted) came out in 1987 and it became a gold record in Sweden. But the song became a worldwide hit only after it appeared in the movie Pretty Woman.

Mr. G’s Top9 Xmas songs:

9. Sjömansjul på Hawaii (1945)
8. The Who – Christmas (1969)
7. David Bowie and Bing Crosby – Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy (1982)
6. Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (1973)
5. John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band – Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (1971)
4. Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody (1973)
3. The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale of New York (1987)
2. Joni Mitchell – River (1971)
1. Charles Brown – Please Come Home for Christmas (1960)

 

The only Swedish Christmas song Per thinks is quite good is Sjömansjul på Hawaii from 1945. The music played on Hawaii guitar is quite cool, he thinks. Next song on Per’s list is The Who’s Christmas. One can find it on the double album, Tommy. Per says he is fascinated by that album and he can still listen to it from A to Z. The 7th best is Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy performed by David Bowie and Bing Crosby. The single became one of Bowie’s best selling in his career. Since Bowie hated Little Drummer Boy, he didn’t want to sing it and this way it was Crosby who sang that part and Bowie sang Peace on Earth which was written and added to the song especially for Bowie and Crosby. Per suggests you watch the video of the TV show. He understands why it became such a classic hit.

Song No. 6 is I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday by Wizzard, one of the best British glam rock bands. Per tells when Gyllene Tider got a contract at EMI in 1979, Lasse Lindbom was the producer and they made a Christmas album, Glitter, Glögg & Rock ‘N’ Roll with various EMI artists. 24:de December was GT’s debut song and Per also wrote Swedish lyrics to the Wizzard song and it became Om Jag Bara Fick En Elgitarr Till Jul performed by Lasse Lindbom Band on the album.

5th fave Christmas song is Happy Xmas (War Is Over) by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band. Per still has the original single in his collection. The coolest glam rock single according to Mr. G is Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade. Per thinks one of the most known Christmas songs is Fairytale of New York by The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl. Joni Mitchell’s River is magical music. And the No. 1 Christmas song is a fantastic one from 1960, Please Come Home for Christmas from Charles Brown. Even Eagles and Jon Bon Jovi did covers of this song.

It turns out Sven likes Christmas, he thinks it’s wonderful. Per asks if it isn’t sad that Christmas starts already in September nowadays and Sven says yeah it’s strange that Christmas songs start playing when birds are still singing. Per says he thinks Christmas is terrible nowadays, but he remembers it was nice when he got e.g. records for Christmas like Patterns by Ola & the Janglers in 1966. It’s an awesome album, he thinks.

Besides hearing some lovely ho-ho-ho’s, we get to know that the guys continue with their podcast on Swedish Radio in spring 2017. Awesome news!

 

Per Gessle’s Top9 guitar riffs in rock history

The last podcast in this Top9 series is about Per’s favourite guitar riffs. Per and Sven say that a good riff is often in the intro of a song, but it can also come back inside the song. Per collected 70-80 hits with great riffs and then narrowed down his list to 9. Listen to the podcast or download it from HERE!

Mr. G’s Top9 guitar riffs:

9. Black Sabbath – Paranoid
8. The Rolling Stones – The Last Time
7. Led Zeppelin – Kashmir
6. The Who – I Can’t Explain
5. AC/DC – Back In Black
4. Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen
3. The Kinks – You Really Got Me
2. David Bowie – Rebel Rebel
1. Norman Greenbaum – Spirit In The Sky

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PG screenshot is from the ZDF interview

Black Sabbath’s Paranoid has a fantastic guitar riff. Per thinks the song itself is a little too pop for being a Black Sabbath track. The Rolling Stones is a gigantic riff band, Keith Richards is called The Human Riff. The Last Time has a very catchy riff which goes on in a loop in the verses. The hook was played by Brian Jones, not by Keith and so it’s assumed to be composed by Brian. When the guys start talking about Led Zeppelin it turns out that Sven had a weak moment in the ’80s and got a ZoSo tattoo, which symbolizes Jimmy Page. Jimmy is also a fantastic, tricky guitarist.

Pete Townshend from The Who is another riff king, having a great archive of incomparable guitar riffs. Pete has a completely unique style. After I Can’t Explain got played, Sven asks Per which he thinks the coolest guitar riff is written by Mr. G himself. Per says it’s Sleeping In My Car. PG tells the story of how he wrote the song. When they recorded the album Crash! Boom! Bang!, the record company missed a very strong song to have a lead single. So Per went home and wrote SIMC. He says he thought about Paul McCartney’s album, Ram which includes the song The Back Seat Of My Car. He found it catchy and included it in the lyrics of SIMC. Mr. G played the demo for the song at EMI with Anders Herrlin and Clarence Öfwerman and they liked the song from the beginning and thought it had a real power pop title.

AC/DC make damn good pop music. Per remembers he saw them live as the support act to Black Sabbath at Olympen in Lund, 1977. AC/DC were an unknown band back then, but they actually became much better than Black Sabbath. Their song Back In Black has an awesome guitar riff. Sex Pistols with God Save The Queen is at No. 4 on Per’s list. It has a deadly guitar riff, awesome lyrics and it’s a fab pop song. Per says he missed Sex Pistols playing live in Halmstad 1977. Mr. G already talked about this memory in a previous podcast episode, why he and MP didn’t go in and see the show. They thought it was a bit too dangerous there. Sven and Per talk about Mr. G’s Sex Pistols single collection and that there was a most expensive single in England ”Pretty Vacant” which was worth 13,000 GBP. But that’s not the copy Per has in his library.

No. 3 is You Really Got Me by The Kinks. It has a legendary guitar riff, a very sexy groove. The first guitar riff Per heard from The Kinks was however another one, in Till The End Of The Day. The funny thing about YRGM is that it was written by Ray Davies on piano, but he then thought it would work better on guitar. It’s a super cool production.

Here comes David Bowie at No. 2 with Rebel Rebel. It’s a wonderful song and has a fantastic, intelligent guitar riff. The hit sounds a bit outside of the album, Diamond Dogs. Per loves DD. There were no lyrics to the album and there was no Google at those times. Per finds it important to have the lyrics to be able to follow the text. He bought a kind of sheet music where he could follow the chords and got the lyrics as well. The songs on the album have very sophisticated texts. Rebel Rebel feels like it’s the end of Bowie’s glam period and it’s David himself who played the guitar in it. Per says it was an incredible shock when Bowie died, but his music lives on. He is Per’s biggest hero, he was a fantastic artist and he changed PG’s life.

Mr. G’s No. 1 guitar riff is in a one hit wonder song, Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit In The Sky. Per thinks it’s the coolest riff one has ever written. The song is a tribute to Jesus or something like that. The guitar sound and the whole production are fantastic. The producer of the song is Erik Jacobsen, who also produced e.g. Tim Hardin, The Lovin’ Spoonful and even Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game.

 

Is it really the last podcast in this series? Can’t be! This should go on and on for the rest of our lives! The good thing in the podcast is that you can listen to it again and again anytime. In case you want to listen to all episodes again, check our article including the link to each of the 10 parts. Enjoy!

Thanx Per and Sven for your enthusiasm and sharing it with us and thanx to Swedish Radio for the opportunity! Keep up the good thing!

 

Per Gessle’s Top9 songs sung by John Lennon

The penultimate part of Swedish Radio’s Per Gessle podcast is about Per’s favourite Beatles songs sung by John Lennon. PG thinks this is probably one of the best lists he has ever put together. Mr. G says he is a big Paul McCartney fan, but he always loved John Lennon’s voice. He thinks Lennon had a completely different composing style vs. McCartney’s and it’s a little closer to Per. Paul is a little too advanced for Mr. G. Per thinks why John and Paul could work so well together, writing songs is exactly their very different style. Sven says he is a Lennon freak and he loves actually everything The Beatles did. Listen to the podcast or download it from HERE!

Mr. G’s Top9 Beatles songs sung by John Lennon:

9. A Hard Day’s Night
8. I Feel Fine
7. I Am the Walrus
6. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away
5. Cry Baby Cry
4. I Should Have Known Better
3. And Your Bird Can Sing
2. Come Together
1. Rain

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Still is from the ”How did It Just Happens come to life” video

A Hard Day’s Night has the world’s coolest intro chord and it’s fantastic pop music. Gyllene Tider did a cover of this song on their early tour. Per couldn’t remember why, but they just couldn’t resist. Micke Syd was Paul and Per was John with a questionable result. Per thinks I Feel Fine’s intro sounds fantastic and he played it again and again to enjoy that ”nnnnnnwahhhhh”. Sven says it’s definitely an attention grabber pop intro, the riff is very original. I Am the Walrus is a fantastic song according to Mr. G. He always loved its nonsense lyrics, the amazing melody and John’s wonderful voice.

You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away is an incredibly attractive, John Lennon style song. Lennon’s acoustic guitar and his voice drive the whole song. It has no strange intro, it’s a super simple one. Per and Sven say there are many Beatles books around, but most of them are full of speculations. Cry Baby Cry is one of Sven’s absolute favourite hits. Per thinks it’s a terribly awesome song, one of John’s finest moments. Mr. G says The White Album is probably his favourite Beatles album. He was 9 when it was released and he played it a lot of times. I Should Have Known Better is a magnificent pop loop. John had the best voice during that period. Sven says in one of the books ISHKB was mentioned as a throw away track, even Lennon thought so and Per says he as a songwriter would love to have such a throw away song. PG says he can respect that and he also read that some of the Lennon songs he thinks are the best, John thought were throw away tracks. Per talks about his childhood when A Hard Day’s Night, the movie was on TV. There wasn’t too much pop on TV when he grew up and it was always sensational when any pop stuff appeared on the telly.

No. 3 on the list is And Your Bird Can Sing from the album, Revolver. The whole album is guitar-based and Mr. G loves it. Per tells Gyllene Tider recorded a Swedish version of AYBCS [Och jorden den är rund (And Earth is round)] on the EP which was included with their album Moderna Tider, 1981.

The second best Beatles song sung by Lennon is Come Together. It’s the first song on Abbey Road. Other Beatles albums sound very much ’60s, but Abbey Road is so modern that it still sounds awesome today. According to Per, Come Together has a sexy hypnotic groove. It has John’s fantastic voice, Paul’s cool bass play and Ringo’s drum beat.

Mr. G’s No. 1 Beatles song sung by John Lennon is Rain. It was the B-side of the Paperback Writer single in 1966. Per says 1966 is the best year when it comes to pop music. Rain is a bit hypnotic song, a very advanced one including backwards vocals.

Only 1 more podcast to go and this fab series of awesome chat between 2 pop nerds about great music is over. Tune in next Thursday for the last show!

 

Per Gessle’s Top9 producers

The 8th episode of Swedish Radio’s Per Gessle podcast is about producers. Per says they are very important in pop history. Actually, nowadays producers are sometimes more important than the artists themselves. Mr. G tells he works very well together with his producers, Clarence Öfwerman and Christoffer Lundquist. Listen to the podcast or download it from HERE!

Mr. G’s Top9 producers:

9. Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax
8. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Here Comes My Girl
7. The Ronettes – Be My Baby
6. The Cars – Drive
5. Lesley Gore – It’s My Party
4. The Spencer Davies Group – Gimme Some Lovin’
3. David Bowie – Sound and Vision
2. The Knack – My Sharona
1. The Beatles – Something

Per chose Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax, produced by Trevor Horn as No. 9 on his list. The song has a sound Per had never heard before and he thinks it’s a great club music, a classic pop song. Here Comes My Girl was produced by Jimmy Iovine. Jimmy has a unique sound and he even worked together with John Lennon. Be My Baby by The Ronettes was produced by Phil Spector. Sven says he’s a legend. Mr. G is not the world’s greatest Phil Spector fan, but what he likes about him is how he produced all the girl groups’ songs. Phil Spector is the producer behind John Lennon’s Imagine as well.

Drive by The Cars was produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange. He is also one of the greatest producers and hit makers. Quincy Jones is the producer of Lesley Gore’s It’s My Party. Per says he is a phenomenal musician and producer. PG doesn’t know much about Quincy, but he knows he was the producer of the classic Michael Jackson records. When the album Thriller came out, it sounded magical and it still sounds so. The Spencer Davies Group’s Gimme Some Lovin’ was produced by Jimmy Miller who also produced some Rolling Stones albums. Per thinks Jimmy made the songs attractive.

No. 3 on the list is David Bowie with Sound and Vision. Bowie’s producer was Tony Visconti and their cooperation was magnificent. Per and Sven have a long chat about both David’s and Tony’s greatness. No. 2 is The Knack’s My Sharona, produced by Mike Chapman who is a hit maker, mostly known for producing Blondie and The Knack. No. 1 is The Beatles with Something, produced by the greatest of all, Sir George Martin.

This part was the most nerdish so far, linking tremendous amount of songs and albums to each and every producer who were mentioned. It’s really so enjoyable to listen to these two pop nerds, Per G and Sven L. Too bad now only 2 podcast parts are left. Tune in next Thursday!

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Per Gessle’s Top9 new wave songs from England

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

Mr. G’s Top9 English new wave hits:

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

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The still is from Spotify España’s promo video.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Per Gessle’s Top9 songs from the ’80s

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

Per’s Top9 ’80s hits:

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

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

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Still is from Warner Music Sweden‘s PG short video

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

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

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

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

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

 

Per Gessle’s Top9 songs from the ’70s

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

 

Per’s Top9 ’70s hits:

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

 

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

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

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Still is from the Warner Mexico video

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

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

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

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

 

Per Gessle’s Top9 songs from the ’60s

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

Per’s Top9 ’60s hits:

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

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

 

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

One week left until the next podcast part is out.

 

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.

 

Per Gessle’s podcast on Swedish Radio

According to today’s news, Per Gessle will have a podcast on Swedish Radio P4 together with Sven Lindström. The title of the program is Gessles nio i topp (Gessle’s Top 9).

It will premiere on 24th March and will have 10 parts:

  • 24 March: Nio låtar jag önskar att jag skrivit (Nine songs I wish I had written)
  • 31 March: Nio svenska hjältar (Nine Swedish heroes)
  • 7 April: Nio bästa sångerskorna (Nine best female singers)
  • 14 April: 60-tal – de nio just nu bästa (’60s – the nine best right now)
  • 21 April: 70-tal – de nio just nu bästa (’70s – the nine best right now)
  • 28 April: 80-tal – de nio just nu bästa (’80s – the nine best right now)
  • 5 May: Nio new wave från England (Nine new wave songs from England)
  • 12 May: Nio bästa producenterna i rockhistorien (Nine best producers in rock history)
  • 19 May: Nio bästa Beatleslåtarna sjungna av John Winston Lennon (Nine best Beatles songs sung by John Winston Lennon)
  • 26 May: Nio bästa gitarriffen i rockhistorien (Nine best guitar riffs in rock history)

How exciting! Listening to Per and Sven talking about music is one of the best things in life. And now we will have some ear candy each Thursday!

When Per was asked about the idea by Per Scholander from P4, he never hesitated. He says it was obvious to say yes.

Sven and I like to talk at once and have no respect for each other’s opinions. Perfect breeding ground for a podcast.

The podcast will be available HERE!

pg_nio_i_topp1    pg_nio_i_topp2

 

Per Gessle on Swedish Radio about Kaj Kindvall

As we already informed you about it in an earlier article, Per could be heard on Swedish Radio P4 today.

During the first half an hour of the program Kajs spellista, Kaj Kindvall played some songs from the past he thinks still sound good today. Then came the interviews with several listeners, artists and colleagues. The interviews were done by Micke Cederberg who met Per for recording his thoughts on 6th December.

In the 2-minute-long interview with PG (starting at 1:05:19 at THIS link) he talked about his memories related to Kaj Kindvall and his programs and mentioned Kaj always had a significant role in his life as a radio host. At the time Per became an artist, Kaj was the host of Poporama (1974-1984), a radio program that was very important in Gyllene Tider’s history. Per talks about the story we could read I think in Att vara Per Gessle and could also hear it in older interviews that they, the guys from Gyllene Tider and their friends sent a lot of postcards to Kaj to ask him to play Flickorna på TV2 on the show. The only “mistake” they made was that all the postcards were sent from Halmstad, what Kaj saw and mentioned it on the radio, too. But they succeeded with that action after all. There is even a short cut of a call from those times when Kaj talks to Per on the phone about the song. Funny.

Per says Kaj’s other program, Tracks (1984-2011) also meant a lot to him as a solo artist, but also to Gyllene Tider and Roxette. Mr G mentions that Kaj has a really good radio voice that one can recognize immediately and he is a great host and one couldn’t miss any of his programs. Per wished him a nice life after retiring and not to forget to clean the dust off the gramophone every now and then.

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Interview with Per Gessle on Swedish radio P4

Per Gessle was interviewed today in the Swedish Radio P4 show “P4 extra med Lotta Bromé”.

In the approximately 20 minute long interview Per explained about live on tour, about him being quite picky about certain things, playing with Barbies, “Travelling” and much more. You can listen to the interview – in Swedish of course – on SR’s website here.

Roxette Café has uploaded it on mp3. And Roxette.RO has done a short translation to English of the interview.