Per Gessle interview by Dagens Nyheter

When Per Gessle shared some beach boogaloo pics and a video 3 weeks ago, we still didn’t know what it was about. Just that there was a photo session in Tylösand. Then it turned out that the photos have been taken by Thomas Karlsson for a Dagens Nyheter (dn.se) interview with Mr. G, done by Martin Jönsson.

The interview is very long, very much detailed and very nicely written. Martin is a talented journalist, he put the material together very professionally and Thomas took fab photos of Mr. G (don’t miss any of them in the article, as well as the ones Thomas shared on his Instagram). Hats off!

I tried to summarize the whole thing in English as detailed as I could (with all respect to Martin Jönsson and Per), but it probably won’t give the real feelings and expressions back completely. So, learn Swedish you all! 😉

NASHVILLE, OCTOBER 2016

At the beginning of the article you can read a bit about Nashville, the capital of country music and Blackbird Studios, where Per recorded his new albums. The list of musicians who already recorded there is long from Dolly Parton to Taylor Swift. For an artist who had 4 US No. 1 hits it would have been easy to sail in as a star through the studio doors. But when Per Gessle arrives to Nashville with Christoffer Lundquist, Anders Herrlin, Clarence Öfwerman and Helena Josefsson, he does it with a slightly lower profile. He doesn’t live in a luxury hotel in the center, but hires through Airbnb in the villa area a few kilometers away and walks home in the evenings. And he chooses a smaller one instead of a great prestige studio, because it’s more intimate. A living room with recording possibilities. This is his home for 3-4 weeks, but also new ground. And it’s necessary for what he wants to accomplish. What’s going to be not one album, but two: first “En vacker natt” released next week, then “En vacker dag”, released in September. Though at that time he didn’t know it.

HALMSTAD, APRIL 2016

In April 2016 Roxette had to cancel their tour due to the recommendation of Marie’s doctors. So the touring period ended for Roxette. Suddenly, Per had no plans. Roxette was over, Gyllene Tider was too early to do something together again and Mr. G felt he has to do something different vs. what he did lately. The question was only what. And where. After he spent more than 400 days in Christoffer’s studio in Vallarum, Skåne during the past 10 years, it was not an option to go there again. In addition, there was nothing to record. The only thing lying around was some songs in the archive that were written for Roxette.

Per tells dn.se he can’t write songs unplanned, it only works if he does it for a particular project. Then slowly, it became clear that he wanted to do something for himself. He wanted to write strong lyrics, for something musically different. A few months later the trip was booked to Nashville, Tennessee and Per Gessle began writing seriously. There was a lot about looking back on his roots. However, a new geographical location was required.

NASHVILLE, OCTOBER 2016

October 2016 is the second time Per Gessle was in Nashville, however, he can’t remember clearly the first time. It was a premiere show on one of Roxette’s US tours, 17 years ago. As Martin writes in the article, it’s really strange that Mr. G has not been there more times, because the city is completely built around songwriting and commercial music production, so it should have been like a second home for an artist who has long been fascinated by the music industry’s all mechanisms – and mastered them better than most.

The country sound was present on Per’s first solo album in 1983, partly on “Scener” in 1985 and on “Mazarin” in 2003. But then it was most like spice, not the base component. Per says the starting point for him was that it should sound like a merger of his Nordic heritage and Nashville. He is not a hardcore country fan, but has always liked a certain kind of country. Like Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Neil Young at the time of “Harvest”, but also Jim Reeves, whom he first heard through Gunnar Wiklund. It’s very close to him, but at the same time, he is also very much in the legacy of Swedish music.

The challenge was to bring together the Nordic and Nashville heritage in songs that still sound like Per Gessle. To tie up the career that began as a county troubadour in Halmstad, where Per and his friend sang “Drömmen om Elin” for pensioners, with a 58-year-old popnerd’s album that smells like country.

Per tells Dagens Nyheter that what he understood instantly was that the project had to be based on texts that felt credible and genuine. The song must be much more in focus. It’s an extra challenge to Mr. G, who for a long time hated the sound of his own voice. He tried to sing without thinking too much.

The first challenge was to find local musicians who can bring the Nashville sound. There was no plan, which is unusual for a control freak like Per. But studio owner John McBride helped. Per asked him about good pedal steel players. John said there are only two really good players and he called them to check if they were available. On the third day since they arrived in Nashville, Dan Dugmore came to the studio, wearing a T-shirt, jeans and cap, a gray-haired veteran who played on many albums that Per listened to in the ‘70s, like Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks and James Taylor, and who in the recent years played with two of the most successful new country stars, Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton. Per immediately felt he met the right musician and decided to have Dugmore on all the songs they recorded.

The next instrument missing was violin. Then came Stuart Duncan, who toured with Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. He made Per and the gang open even more. He has never worked with violin or bluegrass, but Stuart introduced a completely new atmosphere, which also made the songs and arrangements different than Per imagined. Per describes Stuart’s way of playing as if he is dancing ballet between Per’s beats and it was completely new to Per musically. Totally amazing.

Martin Jönsson asks Per about what these Nashville musicians knew about him. Per says they of course heard Roxette hits, but they liked more what they heard in the studio related to this project.

Per unfortunately couldn’t work with bluegrass star Alison Krauss, but one of the greatest Nashville musicians, harmonica player Mickey Raphael was available. He played with many musicians from Bob Dylan to Emmylou Harris, but most of all with Willie Nelson since the early ‘70s. On one of the songs of “En vacker dag”, Raphael’s harmonica has an important role, together with acoustic guitars and a children’s choir.

Per tells Dagens Nyheter that he knew from the beginning that this would be his least poppish album, but by letting these musicians control and influence much, they went farther than he had thought. That’s why it became two albums in the end. The recordings were fast and improvised and the songs grew organically.

TYLÖSAND, APRIL 2017

Martin and Per are talking at Hotel Tylösand after the seaside photo session and Per shows the pictures of the album covers on his mobile. The first, “En vacker natt” is dedicated to Per’s sister, Gunilla. She appears on the cover. It was taken on the westcoast in 1966. The second, “En vacker dag” has Elisabeth, Per’s mother on the cover. The picture was taken on a trip in the late ‘60s, with the picnic table just behind the family’s Volvo Amazon.

Per’s mom, Elisabeth died 3.5 years ago. Gunilla, who was 14 years older than Per, died in cancer last autumn, just before the trip to Nashville. Per’s brother, Bengt also died not too long ago, in spring 2014. He was 7 years older than Per and died after a period of illness. Per’s father, Kurt, who ran his own business as a plumber and did not show any interest in his son’s music ambitions died after a long period of illness already when Per was 19 years old.

Mr. G says it’s strange and obviously one gets affected. His father died when Per was still so young and his siblings were so much older than him, so it was more about his mom and himself. The relationship with his siblings was not too close, because they were so much older. Per says Gunilla was Elvis, Bengt was The Beatles and Per was Bowie. There was a big age gap between them. Gunilla never lived at home when Per grew up, she lived her own life.

Per describes Gunilla as a very humanist person, an artistic soul. She was very committed to the care of severe cancer, at the hospice. Then she suffered from cancer herself. She was ill for a long time, so her death wasn’t unexpected.

Mr. G tells Dagens Nyheter that Bengt was very important to Per when he grew up, because he introduced music to Per. At the same time, Bengt also moved and lived his own life early. Then Per was much on the road with Gyllene Tider and when he got home to Halmstad, no one was at home, only his mom. Per and his dad were never so close to each other. Mr. G had the closest relationship with his mother.

The song “Några glas rosé” has the lyrics: ”Allt verkade vilset mitt i mönstret / Det var hög tid att komma bort / Jag undrade vem jag kunde vara / Och sökte efter en av samma sort”. It sounds like a more personal Gessle. Per tells Martin when he writes, he tries not to think too much. He had the ambition to write in a new way, but you never know until after succeeding. But now he can say that this feels very close to himself.

Martin and Per are talking about the fact that Mr. G has always been very much concerned with protecting his private life. Per says he feels better this way. He likes to talk about records and guitars and cars, but he has no interest in taking part in TV shows like “Så mycket bättre” or other programs and being “personal”.

To the question why, Per replies that when writing songs, you are digging all the time in yourself, you love your own story. He has sometimes become very tired of himself. Then, of course, it also comes from the fact that he has been living in the centre of attention. When Roxette was the biggest, Expressen had a small section on the entertainment pages called “Roxette of the Day”. Every day. When everyone constantly observes what you do you grow thick skin. Of course you’ll be affected anyway. You don’t have alligator skin. Martin asks Per how he handled it. Per says through his family. They are very close, always. And also through those he chooses to work with. It’s like an extended family.

Martin asks about those who Per works together with. They are the same people over the years and he is curious if it is more because of feeling safer or because of control freak reasons. According to Mr. G it’s more for the reason of feeling safe. He needs a small group of people he can trust and enjoy working with. He knows that he has to develop it and once in a while tries to work with new people in a new project, to bring in another dynamic, but some always remain. He has been lucky enough to find people whom he gets on well and can learn from, even musically. Per has never had the ambition to do the same thing. Even if the basics are always the same, he likes changing a bit between each project.

One of the central songs on “En vacker natt” is “Allt gick så fort”. It stands out, even musically. It is about different stages of life. Per says he couldn’t have written it and some other of the new songs 5-10 years ago. He couldn’t have told the stories in that way. At the same time, he doesn’t want this or other songs to be interpreted autobiographically. It’s still about storytelling and conveying feelings. Even if he mentions his mom in the text he thinks many can identify with the topic itself. The feeling of being eight years with your mom or the feeling of meeting someone. It doesn’t have to be his story.

Per tells Dagens Nyheter that he loves texts where the listeners are allowed to shape the answers and interpret the song themselves. He doesn’t want to control the listener’s experience. He can give the palette, then every painting gets ready by itself. It’s rarely good when artists explain their lyrics. When Paul McCartney told “Martha, my dear” was actually about his dog, it was not as strong anymore…

Martin asks Per about what has changed in his way of writing. Per says some of these lyrics have taken 58 years to mature. Then he can write them down in half an hour. That’s how he works. But he can’t pretend to be anything but who he is.

VALLARUM, JANUARY 2017

Besides “Småstadsprat”, a duet with Lars Winnerbäck, they talk about the duet with Helena, that she went to Nashville for the recordings, but other Swedish duet partners’ vocals were recorded in Sweden. On the autumn album, “En vacker dag” the last and perhaps most important duet is with Per Gessle’s ‘70s idol, John Holm. Title of the song is “Det är vi tillsammans”. Holm has not recorded anything since the late ‘90s and until last year he had not played live since the ’70s. But for Per he is extremely important. He sent fan mails to John Holm in the ‘70s. Mr. G is very happy that John joined him for this duet. He says John Holm is the best, a hero for him, but he thinks John has no clue how much he really meant to Per.

When Per started writing lyrics, it was by translating long, brushy English texts by Bowie, Cohen and others. Then he heard John Holm and then fell so much in place. Per thought he had a strange vocal voice. Holm also had it and it made Per’s strange voice more legitimate.

When Per made his first solo record, which was more a personal album, one of the first decisions was to make a cover of John Holm’s “Den öde stranden”. Now when he becomes more personal again and looks for the roots, Holm is an important part again. Per laughs a bit that nothing has happened since 1983, he is back to where he started. But there is a quality in it too. This is the music he comes from, the one he loves most. It still feels fresh for him, as he constantly tries to do it in new ways.

Martin Jönsson thinks there is an indisputable chemistry between Per’s and John’s voices and their duet will be heard at many weddings in the coming years.

NASHVILLE, NOVEMBER 2016

In November 2016 it was clear that there will be two albums. The musicians barely left the studio, they only visited the country sanctuary Grand Ole Opry and a few country clubs nearby, as well as paid a quick visit at the Johnny Cash Museum in the center. One evening they were invited to the BMI Awards in Nashville. Per says over a hundred prizes were awarded and most of them sounded the same. White muscle rock with country color. It’s not really the kind of country he can relate to. Although there are exceptions. Per likes Chris Stapleton and there is a song “Die a happy man” by Thomas Rhett. But basically Per is old school and he always liked the classics more.

Per and Martin also talk about Roy Orbison. Mr. G knows Roy’s son, Roy Orbison Jr., who is now building a museum about his dad. He wanted them to be blessed by Roy so he brought some of his father’s old Gibson guitars.

STOCKHOLM, APRIL 2017

When Martin and Per are having coffee at the record company office in Stockholm, Per checks “Småstadsprat” on Spotify and realizes that the single passed half a million streams. He is surprised by this, because he didn’t think the audience would be so receptive. He says it’s not Drake or Zara Larsson after all.

Martin asks Per why the word “småstad” is so important to him. Per says it’s filled with images, some words have that feature. Then it’s rewarding to write small town stories. That’s what he has been doing all his life. His language is very local, he writes about places that are perceived to be natural to many and they stick in the brain. Then the listeners make the places to their own.

To Martin’s question regarding in what aspect Per is still a small town person Per replies that it’s very much about the balance between security and looking for a personal identity, but there is both humility and insecurity in it. Both he and Marie had ambitions and dreams to get away from the small town, but at the same time they were very deeply rooted in it.

Success was very important for Per in the old days. He says when you are young and hungry you think you are unstoppable. With Roxette he never stopped. If they did interviews all day, he thought they could continue with telephone interviews with newspapers in another time zone. It was always possible to do more. Today he is more relaxed with such things. He knows he wouldn’t be able to write “The Look” today. But the records they made now could have never been done during the Roxette years. Now he feels more comfortable writing like this.

Martin asks if it’s like finding home and Per says it is. To reach here and be pleased to be right here. He thinks he is getting better. The day he doesn’t feel like it anymore, he won’t continue.

In the article there is a Spotify playlist including 20 country songs Per chose exclusively for dn.se. HERE you can listen to it.

At the end of the article there is a fact sheet with info about Per’s career, family and interests, as well as a little info about the new albums and the tour. There is a list of musicians Per worked together with on the albums: Clarence Öfwerman, Anders Herrlin, Helena Josefsson, Dan Dugmore, Stuart Duncan, Elizabeth Goodfellow, Mickey Raphael, Savannah Church, Lars Winnerbäck, Linnea Henriksson and John Holm. And we get to know who will be in the band on the summer tour: Clarence Öfwerman, Christoffer Lundquist, Helena Josefsson, Magnus Börjeson, Ola Gustafsson, Malin My-Wall and Andreas Dahlbäck.

Fantastic interview! Thanks a lot for it, Dagens Nyheter!

 

25th anniversary It Must Have Been Love single on Spotify

As we already informed you about it, a 25th anniversary It Must Have Been Love 10″ single in red vinyl will be released soon. The physical release date is 6th May, but today, on the 25th anniversary of Pretty Woman’s movie premiere the single is made available on Spotify. Click HERE to have a listen!

Check Bengans, Ginza and CDON for the limited edition vinyl!

imhbl

 

The Per Gessle Archives – all volumes are out!

Per Gessle signing the boxes. Photo taken from The Per Gessle Archives Facebook site.
Per Gessle signing the boxes. Photo taken from The Per Gessle Archives Facebook site.

Surprise of the night! Even if the official release date is 24th September, all volumes of The Per Gessle Archives are available already on Spotify and on iTunes (maybe not in all countries yet)! Well, all volumes, except The Roxette Demos!, Vol. 5, which is on a LP in the box and is not planned to be released digitally. At least not in the very near future. Probably more streaming sites will have TPGA, but don’t forget to order the real deal, the box itself! Here you have some possibilities to order it: Bengans, Ginza, CDON. If you were an early bird, you probably pre-ordered the box, so you’ll get your signed copy in some days. Remember to check your signed copy thoroughly, since Per wrote a hidden message on one of them. If you are the lucky one, please, post a photo of your box! We are dying of curiosity! 😉

Check TPGA website for more info on the archives!

The tracklists to all volumes you can see here. The Spotify and iTunes links to each volume:

Demos & Other Fun Stuff! Vol. 1: Spotify   iTunes
Demos & Other Fun Stuff! Vol. 2: Spotify   iTunes
Demos & Other Fun Stuff! Vol. 3: Spotify   iTunes
Demos & Other Fun Stuff! Vol. 4: Spotify   iTunes
Mazarin – demos:                        Spotify   iTunes
En händig man – demos:             Spotify   iTunes
The Roxette demos, Vol. 1:         Spotify   iTunes
The Roxette demos, Vol. 2:         Spotify   iTunes
The Roxette demos, Vol. 3:         Spotify   iTunes
The Roxette demos, Vol. 4:         Spotify   iTunes
The Roxette demos, Vol. 5 (LP – not available digitally)

 

Update on 3rd October:

As Per shared the info in September, he wrote a special “message” on one of the signed boxes. Today it turned out that the special box has a Leif on it besides Per’s signature. The fan who got it, Álex Usero ordered it from Ginza. Great that it’s a hardcore fan who got this special item. Congrats!

The Roxette Demos!, Vol. 2 on Spotify!

TPGA The Roxette Demos Vol 2Last week we got vol. 1 of The Per Gessle Archives The Roxette Demos! and tonite we can’t go to bed without listening to vol. 2 on Spotify. The Roxette Demos!, Vol. 2 (65m 11s demos, 31m 13s conversations) is out! In case it’s not available at you yet, you will have to wait until midnight (your local time).

Check TPGA website for more info on The Roxette Demos!, Vol. 2 and earlier TPGA releases!

The tracklists to all volumes you can see here.

In case you want a signed TPGA box badly, pre-order your copy until 23rd September latest! Hurry up, only 1 week left! The offer is valid at Ginza, Bengans and CDON. The whole huge box of beauties is out on 24th September!

 

The Roxette Demos!, Vol. 1 is out on Spotify!

PG_ARCHIVES_ROXDEMO_1_rsLast week we got vol. 3 and vol. 4 of The Per Gessle Archives Demos & Other Fun Stuff! and tonight we can have another sleepless night listening to even more pearls on Spotify. The Roxette Demos!, Vol. 1 (65m 09s demos, 36m 17s conversations) is out! Click on the title! In case you can’t listen to this volume yet, you will have to wait until midnight (your local time).

Don’t forget to check TPGA website for more info! Next Spotify release is in 1 week again!

The tracklists to all volumes you can check here.

As Per informed on Roxette Official today, he is going to sign at least 1000 copies. Piece of cake! Give him more job to do and pre-order your copy until 23rd September latest! You’ll get a signed TPGA box then. The offer is valid at Ginza, Bengans and CDON.

 

The Per Gessle Archives – It’s S.E.P.T.E.M.B.E.R.!

Unbelievable, but this month has come! And what a great surprise it was on the first day of September that the website for The Per Gessle Archives went live. Lookin’ fab! Besides the exclusive content, you can get a FREE DOWNLOAD if you type in your email address. It looks great getting an email from a sender called Per Gessle. 😉 The free download contains the Real Sugar demo and the conversation about it, as well as the cover of the TPGA box. There will probably be more and more exclusive content until the release date, 24th September.

TPGA_D&OFS_vol_3-4Another great news is that we don’t have to wait 3 more weeks to be able to listen to The Per Gessle Archives – Demos & Other Fun Stuff!, Vol. 3 (70m 27s demos, 35m 8s conversations) and Vol. 4. (74m 43s demos, 33m 18s conversations). They are already available on Spotify (click on the titles in the previous sentence). Woohoo! In case you can’t listen to these 2 volumes yet, you will probably have to wait until midnight (your local time). Who needs sleep … ? Oh and the website now says the next Spotify release is in 1 week. So we’ll probably have the chance to listen to maybe 2 more volumes. Christmas is early this year.

The tracklists to all volumes you can check here.

Don’t forget to pre-order until 23rd September latest if you want a signed copy of TPGA! The offer is valid at Ginza, Bengans and CDON.

 

Complete list of tracklists in The Per Gessle Archives

Per was kind enough to share all the tracklists to The Per Gessle Archives during the past weeks. The box will contain 11 volumes (10 CDs and 1 LP):

TPGA_box_final_designDemos & Other Fun Stuff! Vol. 1

Demos & Other Fun Stuff! Vol. 2

Demos & Other Fun Stuff! Vol. 3

Demos & Other Fun Stuff! Vol. 4

Mazarin – demos

En händig man – demos

The Roxette demos, Vol. 1

The Roxette demos, Vol. 2

The Roxette demos, Vol. 3

The Roxette demos, Vol. 4

The Roxette demos, Vol. 5 (LP)

 

As Per informs, there will also be a 48 page book in the box. The promo video also shows it’s gonna be something extremely special. Release date is 24th September 2014. Now seeing all the tracklists, it’s such a torture to wait until then!

 

Demos & Other Fun Stuff! Vol. 1 (you can already listen to it on iTunes, Spotify, Deezer)

1. Walk on, Lonely Eyes (T&A Demo – Dec 16, 1999)
2. Being with You (T&A Demo – Oct 22, 2004)
3. Loud Clothes (T&A Demo – Aug 30, 2002)
4. Cafe con leche (AGM – Apr 25, 2007)
5. Fish in a Bowl (T&A Demo – Apr 30, 2000)
6. Hjärta av glas (T&A Demo – Apr 2, 2006)
7. Something in the System (T&A Demo – Jan 3, 2002)
8. Black Sails (Studio 38 Demo – Summer 1982)
9. Always the Last to Know (T&A Demo – Nov 21, 2004)
10. Den tunna linjen (T&A Demo – May 15, 2010)
11. A Girl Like You (T&A Demo – Sep 25, 2004)
12. Byter bara blickar (T&A Demo – Nov 21, 1997)
13. Lägg din hand i min om du har lust (Hamilton Demo – Jun 12, 1978)
14. Kyss från en främling (T&A Demo – Oct 18, 1999)
15. What’s She Like? (T&A Demo – Dec 3, 2010)
16. Before You Go to Sleep (T&A Demo – Nov 23, 1992)

 

Demos & Other Fun Stuff! Vol. 2 (you can already listen to it on iTunes, Spotify, Deezer)

1. Kvar i min bil (AGM – Apr 28, 2007)
2. Apple in the Mud (T&A Demo – Jul 4, 1995)
3. Beautiful Girl (T&A Demo – Apr 19, 1999)
4. Stay (At Home, At Work, At Play) [T&A Demo – Jul 5, 1995]
5. When I Close My Eyes (No One Can See Me) [T&A Demo – Jul 20, 1999]
6. Heaven Is Just a Motion Away (T&A Demo – Jan 28, 2006)
7. Jo-Anna Says (T&A Demo – Jan 8, 2005)
8. Mannen med gitarr (T&A Demo – Nov 20, 2002)
9. Hold on My Heart (T&A Demo – Oct 6, 2012)
10. Västra sidan (T&A Demo – Nov 18, 1984)
11. Jag borde förstås vetat bättre (T&A Demo – Oct 28, 2003)
12. Being with You (T&A Demo – Sep 11, 1997)
13. Faller ner på knä (T&A Demo – Feb 15, 1996)
14. Gå & fiska! (T&A Demo – Feb 15, 1996)

 

Demos & Other Fun Stuff! Vol. 3

Read more

Heikki L feat. Per Gessle – You Don’t Want Love is out on Spotify

Heikki LHeikki_L_feat_PG, aka Heikki Liimatainen, is a house music producer, DJ and remixer from Finland. He seems to be a great musician of the genre he represents and he surely likes Roxette. Some days ago the cover of the 3m 46s long track, You Don’t Want Love he did together with Per appeared on the web, but we didn’t really know what to expect. Click HERE to listen to it on Spotify!

As Team Roxette informed this afternoon:

DJ Heikki L invited Per to sing the top line on this new track called “You Don’t Want Love”. Per liked the sound of this modern pop song and added his own pop signum to it, the result is to be heard tomorrow on Spotify and released everywhere else on Monday May 26th.

Then Per posted:

HEIKKI L UPDATE. Yes, loved this track. Great melody lines to sing and a very cool production to my ears. Hope you’ll like it!

 

Like it? I can only say, if what Per Gessle is cooking with all the other DJ’s, including David Guetta is anything similar to this, I’m in! This sounds so fresh and amazing and catchy and aaah! A new side of PG and a wonderful tone of his voice in this song. It would be great to know a bit more about the background of this project.

Heikki L says to Ilta-Sanomat:

Roxette is the cutting edge of pop music and I’m really excited to work with one of our time’s most famous singer.

Per says at the same place:

As you may know, I’m crazy about good songs. When I got the demo of the song and the request to be part of it, I couldn’t resist. I like the melody and the whole atmosphere of the song is irresistible. This is modern pop music spiced with a traditional twist. I am very proud to be part of this.

 

The song is on repeat next to Vol. 2 of TPGA. One can’t get enough of all the beauties we’ve been provided with during the past few days!

 

You Don’t Want Love
Heikki L feat. Per Gessle

I’m holding on
I’m holding out for love tonight
You keep saying it’s a futile fight
Cause you don’t want love

Ooh, you say you don’t
But something tells me that’s not quite true
And something tells me to stick with you
Though you don’t want love

You are still by my side, yeah
Though you insist you’re a loner
I’m yet to be convinced

Right now
I see fire in your eyes
I see love
Even through your disguise
Yeah you lost
But I’m giving it all back
No, don’t believe you don’t want love

You took it hard
And never want to feel again
Locked tight and you won’t let me in
Cause you don’t want love

Ooh, but I’m not him
I’ll keep you here in a loving place
He made you play in a vicious game
I don’t call that love

You are still by my side, yeah yeah
Though you insist you’re a loner
I’m yet to be convinced

© Patric Sarin/ Sharon Vaughn/ Heikki Liimatainen/ Per Gessle

 

Per’s vocals were edited in February, the single was mastered in April.

The Per Gessle Archives – Vol. 2 available on Spotify

SpotifyTPGA_Vol.2 didn’t let us wait too long and made The Per Gessle Archives – Demos & Other Fun Stuff!, Vol. 2 available at midnight again. What can I say? Yet another sleepless night. But I could really spend all my Thursday nights like this until the box-set is out in September.

Besides 1-2 well-known demos and demos of well-known songs you can find more real gems on this album, too. There is even a demo from almost 30 years ago and oh yeah, that’s a hilarious one! Mannen med gitarr, which is my all time fave PG demo (as some of you also commented on an earlier post, I can see it’s your fave, too) well deserved its place in this set of Mr. G’s pearls. This way it will surely get more plays than it gets on the Tycker om när du tar på mej single. Now we get to know who to blame for it has never been recorded for an album.

Interesting to hear the first version of the Being with You demo. Decide yourself if you like this one or the other version you can find on Vol. 1 more. I definitely vote for the 2004 version, but it’s really great to hear different demos of the same song.

I have to mention that the variety of how Per can sing / say / pronounce the word ”beautiful” is too cool. Here we can find a totally new & hot version in Beautiful Girl.

This you can’t hear in the conversations, but Per shared it on Roxette Official earlier and you can find it in the PG about songs section, so I think it’s worth adding this background info to Stay (At Home, At Work, At Play):

Hahaha! Stay! At home, at work, at play! That last phrase came from a Sparks-song. I always loved that! This demo was recorded at Tits&Ass in the summer of 1995 with Micke Syd on drums, MP on bass guitar and me fooling around with loads of guitars. I love that solo!!! It took off with the lyrics and then I wrote the music together with MP, I think most of the chorus came from him actually. There are some chords in there I wouldn’t have used myself…. This was just after the CBB-tour had ended and I geared up for the first Gyllene Tider-comeback in 1996. Neither Rox nor myself recorded it “properly”, this is the only version that exists that I’m involved in. However, a Danish girl, Ann-Louise did a version of it. You’ll probably find it on YouTube.

 

The conversations are again fab. I love that Sven knows so much about Per’s music that he can always ask the right questions and this way we get to know loads of information not only related to the demos that are on this album, but also about other songs or albums. Great job, Sven and hats off, Mr. G! September seems to be too far away now…

 

The Per Gessle Archives – Vol. 1 available on Spotify

Vol1Right at midnight CET, The Per Gessle Archives – Demos & Other Fun Stuff!, Vol. 1 became available on Spotify. That meant no sleep at all! And not only to me. My neighbours will surely kill me one day (if I’m not killed by Per’s voice by then)… Yeah, you could guess it, I’m in love with this stuff!

Started listening to the songs one by one and I got breathless already by the first track. Don’t want to reveal what song it (or part of it) became later, because it’s an amazing thing, listening to such a demo for the first time without knowing any background to it. Awesomeness! Goosebumps all over me!

Always loved how Per can leave a song alone for years, even for more than a decade and then suddenly take the demo out of his drawer, come up with new ideas to it and oh-la-la, a new song is born. He is talking about it in details in the Conversations with Sven Lindström. I could really listen to him talking about songs and songwriting 24/7.

Per says regarding the release:

I’m a big demo fan myself … and I know there are so many people out there – hardcore Roxette fans and Per Gessle fans – who are really interested in my work. I just thought it was a nice thing to release for those guys.

The conversations are just like what we are used to anytime there is an interview / discussion involving Mr G and Sven. Good mood, friends talking to each other with the same enthusiasm about music. Lots of fun, smiles and laughs.

It’s fab to hear that Per is still planning to release an acoustic album in the future. Not the first time he mentions it and I trust he will really come out with such a record. That will be a glorious day.

In the first volume we get many Gessleish lyrics and melodies, as well as tremendous amount of details about where, when, how or even why the demos were recorded. It’s also cool to have this mix of English and Swedish demos.

Per says regarding the project that there is ”no stone unturned”. He is so wrong! There ARE stones unturned, but he is doing it so right. He gives us so much, but there is still something left to be longing for. After this project he could do a ”1st version demos” compilation album. He surely knows that after listening to the 3rd or any other numbered version demos we are just too curious about how they sounded for the very first time. Anyway, we can only be grateful for this wonderful gift from him. Still 10 volumes are waiting for us! Woohoo!

Enjoy listening to the first volume and don’t forget that Vol. 2 is out in a week on Spotify! iTunes will have it from 2nd June.

Roxette featured in EMI Sweden Yearbook 2011

“No One Makes it on Her Own” is the last track of EMI Sweden’s Yearbook 2011, a compilation released for Spotify only. The ablum features singles by Magnus Uggla, Mauro Scocco, Timbuktu, Me and My Army among others.

This is mentioned in the press release from EMI:

2011 was a fantastic year for EMI. With new sign-ups like Magnus Uggla, Mauro Scocco or Alice b, releases by Lykke Li, Timbuktu and the acclaimed debut album by Me and My Army, three albums by Robyn and much more.

Eldkvarn got 40 and celebrated with both gold and platinum records, Magnus Uggla’s first album signed under EMI sold gold as well, and Roxette did their comeback with “Charm School” which has sold so far about 0,5 million copies.

All this resulted in a great bunch of great songs. Therefore we have put them all together in an album, “Yearbook of 2011”, which can be found on Spotify starting February 1st. A collection of great titbits from 2011.

“We are incredibly happy with 2011, it has been both an eventful and successful year for EMI. Therefore, it feels good to give some songs some extra attention,” says Stefan Blom, VD of EMI Music Nordic.

Listen on Spotify

Roxette interview in Nyhetsmorgon tomorrow

TV4 posted a short teaser of the forthcoming interview with Roxette that will be broadcasted on Nyhetsmorgon tomorrow, February 19th.

Watch this teaser here. Per and Marie talk about the songs they choose to play for the audience before they go on stage.

Update February 19th: Here is the full interview from Nyhetsmorgon today!

Christoffer Lundquist – Major & Minor Songs EP [review]

Written by Emilio Gimenez Bahl from Argentina:

Christoffer Lundquist - EP>Besides Per Gessle undoubtedly Christoffer Lundquist is my favorite artist from Sweden. I started to know more about him from the latter days of Brainpool when he assumed a more active role in the band from Lund. Actually “Junk a Rock Opera” became my favorite and the best album they made, ever.

One day, wasting some precious time on the iTunes Store, I got a beauty surprise – “A Christoffer Lundquist EP“. There were only four songs, so I asked myself why not to give it a try? The album was released under the extinct Junk Music AB in 2005 an it’s called “Major & Minor Songs EP”. Let’s see.

The opening track is “Happy new year”. Maybe the song matches the most the Brainpool sound but until 1:40 when you start to listen a very familiar sound – Christoffer’s guitar. Then you start to listen to synths like in “Mazarin” and beautiful guitar sounds as in the outro of “Late, later on”.

The first impression was strange, because the EP doesn’t have the sound I was expecting to listen, I mean… like “God bless free Radio” or “Designer dreams” from Brainpool and “Happy new year” has the sound and atmosphere of … “Son of a Plumber”, yes! Sort of acoustic and organic music with a very 70s sound.

“I would fain fly” has to most “up to date” sound of the EP. It’s an amazing story of love with all the tips that I used to enjoy in a good pop song. Simple lyrics, harmonical vocals and a sweet guitar melody – when you have this music’s algorithm, you have a hit. And “I would fain fly” is it!

The track #3 “Let’s Talk” follows the same plot, an extraordinary acoustic and simple pop love song “…so let’s talk you and I till the wondering sky kiss the night goodbye…” Sometimes it reminds me the voice of Peter Hammill, when he sings “Refugees”.

The ending track is “Take out for one”, a sweet American ballad like “Since I don’t have you”, with Christoffer singing in a higher tone and with a very 50’s piano rhythm.

I really enjoyed this EP and “I would fain fly” in particular. Christoffer has finished to record his first full length solo album right now and as he said “it is ready and waiting to be released”. So I do hope to see it on the shelves very soon.

You can listen the EP here: Christoffer Lundquist – Major & Minor Songs >
Spotify (album:0IRoJNaY655DcuCK1Zf2Lm) or buy it here iTunes