“Joyride” by Roxette in animated award-winning documentary “Flee”

I remember I read it maybe a year ago or so that a documentary about a refugee who had to leave Afghanistan behind contains Roxette’s Joyride. Months have passed and it turned out that this animated documentary, Flee is a real award-winning film. It tells the extraordinary true story of a man, Amin Nawabi, on the verge of marrying his husband which compels him to reveal his hidden past for the first time. Director is Jonas Poher Rasmussen (Denmark) who has been close friends with Amin for appr. 20 years.

The documentary has already won several awards at bigger and smaller film festivals (e.g. Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, European Film Awards etc.; check Wikipedia for details) and is nominated as Best Picture – Animated at the Golden Globes and the Danish Oscar committee has selected it to represent the country as its contender for the 2022 Academy Awards in the best international feature category.

Now, during the Budapest International Documentary Film Festival I had the chance to watch Flee. It’s a very emotional and moving film. I don’t want to write a review of it, I think everyone in the 21st century should watch it and think about what’s happening around the world these days and how one’s life can change in a minute. The story starts in the 80’s and look what’s happening in Afghanistan still today… While I was watching the docu and heard A-ha’s Take On Me, then Roxette’s Joyride and Ace of Base’s Wheel of Fortune, music from my childhood and early teenage years, music from Amin’s childhood and early teenage years, I just couldn’t help comparing Amin’s life to mine. And it made the experience even more heartbreaking. What „problems” I had back then and what PROBLEMS Amin had. Shocking…

Joyride is on for appr. 1 minute in the movie. Amin starts to play it on his walkman while – together with another guy – he is being driven in a van by people smugglers to get from Russia via Turkey to Denmark. The song seems to be expressing his desires.

Fingers crossed the docu wins all awards it’s nominated for! HERE you can watch the official trailer.

Update on 8th February 2022: Flee is on the shortlist for the Oscars in 3 categories: Best Animated Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best International Feature Film. Good luck!

Per Gessle – Joyride 30 interview in Aftonbladet

Per Magnusson from Aftonbladet did an interview with Per Gessle via Zoom. Mr. G joined the meeting from his Stockholm office.

PG tells Per Magnusson that pop music is an escape. It was the same thing when Mr. G was little. He loved the pop world, because there was everything that didn’t exist in his real world. When you were a teenager; girls, drugs, eccentric people.

When I think of the Joyride era, we were like Zlatan, doing bicycle kicks all the time. At least it felt like that. At the same time, we were shocked and grateful to have broken through. That a band from Sweden would do it was not on the map. With “Look Sharp!” and “It Must Have Been Love” we had had five huge hits before “Joyride” came. But I was just motivated by the success, I just poured myself into it.

In the interview Per tells Aftonbladet that during those times, long before iPhones, he used to call home and record song ideas on the answering machine. Sometimes he woke up his wife, Åsa in the middle of the night. He als tells that Joyride and Spending My Time were written the same day.

I lived and breathed Roxette 24 hours a day. “Joyride” began with the note that my then girlfriend, now wife put on my piano: “Hello, you fool, I love you”. It’s a great pop chorus, I thought. I had just read an interview with Paul McCartney who described songwriting with John Lennon as “a long joyride”. That combination: “Hello, you fool, I love you / C’mon join the joyride” felt like a great pop campaign.

Aftonbladet shares that when Roxette reached their fourth US number one in May 1991, Per with entourage was eating dinner at the La Coupole restaurant in Paris when the phone rang.

It was magical. But then you already knew what it was like. When you are in the flow, it’s just another success. Many years later I was at Östermalmshallen and bought vegetables when they called and said that we had become number one with “Charm School” in Germany. In fact, that kind of success is appreciated even more today.

Aftonbladet informs that Joyride topped the charts in seven European countries and was certified multi-platinum in several territories. The tour that followed reached with its 100 concerts four continents and 1.7 million people.

It’s the South America tour that stands out, for several reasons. There were bad economic times there. Guns N ’Roses, Madonna and Michael Jackson had cancelled their tours. They said: “you can do your tour, but you won’t make any money”. From our side it was: “we are from Halmstad and get to play in South America. Then you can make money elsewhere”. It was thought that we would play for about 6,000 people. But a few weeks before we got there, everything exploded. We were moved to football stadiums. 50,000 in Buenos Aires. 65,000 in São Paulo. 45,000 in Santiago. Incomparable.

Aftonbladet tells that at the end of 1991 American EMI was acquired by the newly started record company SBK. 123 employees were fired overnight, in favour of about a hundred new ones – most of them completely unrelated to Roxette. The band received little support from their new record company. Singles didn’t climb as high, a video was completely scrapped.

It was super bad timing. Suddenly we were sailing against the wind. It just completely capsized. It never really turned out right after that. It was an absolute setback. A disappointment, above all. We hadn’t toured the US with “Look Sharp!”, so it was the first time we were there. It would be a big victory for the whole Roxette package. But that didn’t happen.”

To Aftonbladet’s question regarding how Per sees it today he replies:

We should have had a different strategy in the US. But we had like no one to talk to, there was no one else in Sweden who went through the same thing at that level. On the other hand, we had been on the Billboard chart for three and a half years without falling off, so there was probably a saturation within the band, “it will surely work even if we remain on this miserable record company”.”

At the same time, in other parts of the world it was a huge success. Joyride is still one of the best-selling albums ever in Argentina, Austria and Germany. The album has sold over 11 million copies. Per is three decades later proud of the album, which draws its aesthetics and energy from both The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour and South American carnivals.

You said something about it being colorful and full of confidence? That’s exactly what it is! It’s bursting with positivism. We had no time pressure, no budget. From time to time I think it’s a great craft. A wonderful record from a wonderful era in pop music.

Marie is of course a big part of everything. Per agrees:

Yes of course. It’s very sad that she’s not here. And it’s the same with Pelle Alsing, who was also very important in that era. But it was a fantastic journey we had anyway, so you have to think positively. We had a devilishly long career together. I’m super grateful for everything we’ve been through. And I’m very proud to have worked with Marie and what she did with my songs.

To Aftonbladet’s question how Mr. G looks back on this carousel today, whether it is with undivided joy, or there is a sadness that something similar will probably never happen again Per replies:

It’s exactly as you say: it happens once in a lifetime – if you’re lucky. Most people will never experience anything like this. I think you can compare it to winning the World Cup in Formula 1. It’s a success that still gives confidence today. And you have to have a certain self-confidence to work with creative things, to stand on your own two feet. It’s quite hard to be so extravagant all the time. Now I’m going on tour again, I disclose myself every night and anything can happen. So of course you need self-confidence.

Per Gessle about…

… the idea behind Joyride: “The idea was that you could pick any song as a single. The ambition was to make a super-commercial record in the same spirit that we had success with – and that we were very good at.

… Roxette’s manifestation: “Roxette was a hybrid of my pop geek mixed with Clarence (Öfwerman’s) magical productions and Marie, who was a fantastic singer from a completely different school. I tried to match their geniuses in my way.”

… more memories from South America: “In Córdoba, Argentina, there were fans from the airport to the hotel. It was like a marathon with a riot fence, flowers and Marie and Per signs. I know Marie tried to go out in a wig at some point, but it didn’t work out so well. It became a street race.

… Bryan Adams (Everything I Do) I Do It For You (which was often the only obstacle from first places around the world): “I’ve always hated that song. And it was probably in our way, right? But I like Bryan Adams. He is a nice guy and a good photographer as well. And he sings damn good, always did.

… the legacy of Roxette: “I see it on streaming, the interest in Roxette is increasing all the time. People do covers and new generations come. The big songs seem to become evergreens. You have to pinch your arm.”

Roxette – Joyride 30th anniversary release

The Joyride 30th anniversary box with the whole story, demos and previously unreleased material will be released on 26th November.

Already tomorrow, 8th October, the single Small Talk will be released with two previously unreleased versions of Small Talk and Hotblooded.

This year marks 30 years since Roxette released her third album Joyride, which followed up the band’s record global breakthrough with the album Look Sharp! in 1989.

Roxette had in record time turned into a global hit phenomenon thanks to the three US hits The Look, Listen To Your Heart, It Must Have Been Love and other big hits such as Dressed For Success and Dangerous.

Joyride was the album that was supposed to cement the unlikely successes of Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle. Which indeed it did. The album not only became Roxette’s bestseller, the title track zoomed all the way up to the top of the US charts on 1st May 1991 – giving Roxette their fourth US No.1. Thus, the group set a record that no Scandinavian group or artist has managed to surpass.

Massive box with unique material

The Joyride anniversary is celebrated with a vinyl box consisting of 4 LPs and a 3-CD box, which in addition to the original edition contains lots of unreleased or hard-to-get material that paints a larger picture of a piece of Swedish music history: demos, alternative versions and leftovers.

In addition, a richly illustrated 32-page booklet is included, which in text and with unique images from Roxette’s archive tells the story of how a classic Swedish pop album came to be.

Twelve previously unreleased songs

Twelve of the songs are previously unreleased, including the first recording of Hotblooded, which for a while was intended as the album’s opening song before Joyride pushed it to second place. Interestingly enough, there are also two Gyllene Tider songs here, which in January 1990 were candidates to end up on the upcoming Roxette record.

Per Gessle remembers:

It’s about “Run Run Run” and “Another Place, Another Time”, which Gyllene released on our English album “The Heartland Café” in 1984. And when I was looking for material for the new album in the autumn of 1989, I got hooked on these two. We made new and more “Roxified” demo versions of them – and especially, “Run Run Run” I think could have been a very strong one.

However, the recordings were shelved – in the Rox HQ there was a small but strong taboo against Roxette and Gyllene Tider being mixed together, so therefore they have been collecting dust in the archive. Until now.

Candy for all Roxette fans

Other 1990 demos that can now be heard for the first time are Small Talk, Church Of Your Heart, Physical Fascination, Things Will Never Be The Same, I Remember You and especially the upcoming single B-side The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye – one of the strongest songs that never managed to take a place on the album, later a big favourite among many Roxette fans and recorded by several other artists, including American singer Laura Branigan.

Sweet Thing is also one of many candidates which never managed to elbow its way onto the Joyride album, but which now sees the light of day for the first time.

In addition to the LP box with four vinyl albums, the original album is also released for the first time with a gatefold cover and pressed in marbled or black vinyl.

Joyride 30th Anniversary Edition tracklists

4LP box

LP #1 

1 Joyride
2 Hotblooded
3 Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave)
4 Knockin’ On Every Door
5 Spending My Time
6 Watercolours In The Rain

1 The Big L.
2 (Do You Get) Excited?
3 Small Talk
4 Physical Fascination
5 Things Will Never Be The Same
6 Perfect Day

LP #2 

1 Soul Deep
2 I Remember You
3 Church Of Your Heart
4 The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye
5 Fading Like A Flower (US single version, Humberto Gatica mix)*

1 Joyride (US single version, Brian Malouf mix)
2 Soul Deep (Tom Lord-Alge mix)
3 Church Of Your Heart (US adult contemporary mix)*
4 Hotblooded (Live Sydney Dec 1991)
5 Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave) (Live Sydney Dec 1991)

LP #3 

1 Joyride (T&A Demo – May 23, 1990)
2 Hotblooded (T&A Demo – Jan 23, 1990)*
3 Fading Like A Flower (T&A Demo – Aug 31, 1990)
4 Knockin’ On Every Door (T&A Demo – Aug 15, 1989)
5 Spending My Time (T&A Demo – May 24, 1990)
6 I Remember You (T&A Demo – Apr 1, 1990)
7 Watercolours In The Rain (T&A Demo – Jan 24, 1990)

1 The Big L. (T&A Demo – Apr 1, 1990)
2 (Do You Get) Excited? (T&A Demo – Aug 19, 1989)
3 Small Talk (T&A Demo – aug 30, 1990)*
4 Church Of Your Heart (T&A Demo – Jan 8, 1990) *
5 Physical Fascination (T&A Demo – Jan 3, 1990)*
6 Things Will Never Be The Same (T&A Demo – Jun 17, 1989)
7 Perfect Day (T&A Demo – Aug 23, 1990)

LP #4 

1 Sweet Thing (T&A Demo – Oct 28, 1990)*
2 Seduce Me (T&A Demo – Aug 22, 1990)
3 Run Run Run (T&A Demo – Jan 10, 1990)*
4 Things Will Never Be The Same (T&A Demo – Sep 17, 1989)*
5 Love Spins (T&A Demo – Jan 3, 1990)
6 Come Back (Before You Leave) (T&A Demo – Apr 8, 1990)
7 The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye (T&A Demo – Mar 16, 1990)*

1 Hotblooded (T&A Demo – Dec 13, 1990)
2 Things Will Never Be The Same (T&A Demo – Dec 13, 1990)
3 Another Place, Another Time (T&A Demo – Jan 11, 1990)*
4 I Remember You (T&A Demo – Mar 15, 1990)*
5 Queen Of Rain (T&A Demo – Jan 2, 1990
6 The Big L. (T&A Demo – Mar 29, 1990)
7 Joyrider (T&A Demo – May 22, 1990)

*Previously unreleased

CD and Digtial tracklists


  1. Joyride
  2. Hotblooded
  3. Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave)
  4. Knockin’ On Every Door
  5. Spending My Time
  6. I Remember You
  7. Watercolours In The Rain
  8. The Big L.
  9. Soul Deep
  10. (Do You Get) Excited?
  11. Church Of Your Heart
  12. Small Talk
  13. Physical Fascination
  14. Things Will Never Be The Same
  15. Perfect Day
  16. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye
  17. Joyride (US Single version, Brian Malouf mix)
  18. Fading Like A Flower (US Single version, Humberto Gatica mix)*
  19. Soul Deep (Tom Lord-Alge mix)
  20. Church Of Your Heart (US adult contemporary mix)*


  1. Joyride (T&A Demo – May 23, 1990)
  2. Hotblooded (T&A Demo – Jan 23, 1990)*
  3. Fading Like A Flower (T&A Demo – Aug 31, 1990)
  4. Knockin’ On Every Door (T&A Demo – Aug 15, 1989)
  5. Spending My Time (T&A Demo – May 24, 1990)
  6. I Remember You (T&A Demo – Apr 1, 1990)
  7. Watercolours In The Rain (T&A Demo – Jan 24, 1990)
  8. The Big L. (T&A Demo – Apr 1, 1990)
  9. (Do You Get) Excited? (T&A Demo – Aug 19, 1989)
  10. Small Talk (T&A Demo – Aug 30, 1990)*
  11. Church Of Your Heart (T&A Demo – Jan 8, 1990) *
  12. Physical Fascination (T&A Demo – Jan 3, 1990)*
  13. Things Will Never Be The Same (T&A Demo – Jun 17, 1989)
  14. Perfect Day (T&A Demo – Aug 23, 1990)


  1. Sweet Thing (T&A Demo – Oct 28, 1990)*
  2. Seduce Me (T&A Demo – Aug 22, 1990)
  3. Run Run Run (T&A Demo – Jan 10, 1990)*
  4. Things Will Never Be The Same (T&A Demo – Sep 17, 1989)*
  5. Love Spins (T&A Demo – Jan 3, 1990)
  6. Come Back (Before You Leave) (T&A Demo – Apr 8, 1990)
  7. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye (T&A Demo – Mar 16, 1990)*
  8. Hotblooded (T&A Demo – Dec 13, 1990)
  9. Things Will Never Be The Same (T&A Demo – Dec 13, 1990)
  10. Another Place, Another Time (T&A Demo – Jan 11, 1990)*
  11. I Remember You (T&A Demo – Mar 15, 1990)*
  12. Queen Of Rain (T&A Demo – Jan 2, 1990
  13. The Big L. (T&A Demo – Mar 29, 1990)
  14. Joyrider (T&A Demo – May 22, 1990)
  15. Hotblooded (Live Sydney Dec 1991)
  16. Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave) (Live Sydney Dec 1991)

*Previously unreleased

Listening links to the Small Talk single (released on 8th October): Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube (1; 2), Deezer.

Per says:

The “Small Talk”-demo was made by MP and me at the old Tits&Ass Studio on August 30, 1990. It was written two days earlier. “Hotblooded” was recorded by Marie, MP and me the day after Marie and I wrote it in my tiny penthouse apartment in Halmstad in January 1990.

You can already pre-order all the Joyride 30th anniversary goodies that will be released on 26th November (black vinyl, marbled vinyl, 4LP box, 3CD set) on Bengans, Ginza and other well-known places, as well as in your local record stores / online record shops.

Click for the PRESS RELEASE in Swedish.

Promo video can be found HERE!


Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – June 2021 – Joyride 30

Per Gessle and Sven Lindström celebrated Joyride’s 30th anniversary in Per’s kitchen in Stockholm in the June episode of Nordic Rox on Sirius XM last night.

There are pictures of Per’s icons in the kitchen. Sven mentions there is a John Lennon poster behind him, Per adds there is a signed poster from Sir Paul McCartney which he got as a birthday present a couple of years ago. There is also a great Anton Corbijn photography of Pete Townshend sitting in a London cab. Sven tells John is above Paul and asks Per if it’s a sign for something. Mr. G tells it’s just because John was already hanging there and when he got Paul’s poster, he just put it under John’s.

Sven tells Per has been around for more than 40 years and kicked off at the age of 20 or so. He asks Mr. G if it means he is getting old. PG tells it means he is getting experienced. Sven tells anniversaries come closer and closer and Per’s reaction is that every time he realizes it, he thinks ”oh, we have to make an anniversary edition!” Now it’s 30 years since Roxette released their 3rd album, Joyride. It will get a 4-LP box set and a 3-CD set anniversary release in autumn. It will contain demos, outtakes and alternative versions as well.

The guys now zoom back to 1991, but besides Joyride, they also play other songs on the show.

The first one they play is Adiam Dymott’s Pizza. Her first, self-titled album in 2009 was produced by Thomas Rusiak from the Teddybears (Swedish band).

The next song is Santa Monica Blue Waves by Chris Linn. Per would say it’s a one hit wonder, but it’s not even a hit. It was a semi-hit when it came out in 1981. Per bought it on a 7-inch vinyl and still has it and likes it. It’s produced by Ulf Wahlberg, who used to produce and be part of the Secret Service (Swedish band). They had lots of hits, especially in Europe. According to Per, it sounds so 80’s and he loves that.

Unseen Footage from a Forthcoming Funeral by Nicole Sabouné is next, released in 2012. It’s power synth pop and Per loves it too.

Sven asks if Mr. G remembers his plans when he was thinking about making Joyride. Sven adds Per came from being big in Sweden and then breaking through in the world with The Look, so this album was the first for them to be international stars. Mr. G tells it was difficult in a way, because Look Sharp! had 4 huge songs on it, Listen To Your Heart, Dangerous, Dressed For Success and The Look, and then It Must Have Been Love happened from the Pretty Woman movie. In 1990, when they started recording Joyride, they were a very big band all over the world, so of course there was a certain amount of pressure to come up with some more goodies. Per always felt they were on a roll. Their style of music was special, they had a certain sound created in Stockholm by Swedish musicians. Per wrote maybe 30 songs for this album and they recorded 15-16. They took it step by step. Having all the success gives a lot of energy, says PG. It was fun days in the studio. They didn’t have any budgets, because they were big, so they were just hanging out in the studio for 6 months and the record label paid for it.

Sven tells there was no time for chilling. When they were not in the studio, they did promotion trips all over the world. For 8 years they were living like that, Per says. They were either in the studio or did tours or promo tours. On those few days when they didn’t work, Per went back home and wrote songs and made demos. So there was a constant flow of creativity, which he loved more than Marie did. She needed a little bit more space outside of Roxette. Per liked to be in that Roxette bubble 24/7. Sven jokes that for Per life outside of Roxette was overrated. Per laughs and agrees.

Mr. G had an apartment in Halmstad and one day he found a note on the piano from his wife, Åsa. It said ”Hej, din tok, jag älskar dig”, which translates into ”Hello, you fool, I love you”. He thought it was such a great phrase, he had to use that in a song. So he started working on Joyride. The expression ”joyride” comes from an interview with Paul McCartney in which he said writing songs with John Lennon was like being on a long joyride. At the time Per didn’t know what a joyride was, that you steal and crash a car and just leave it. For him it was like a very positive journey. So he came up with ”join the joyride” and that became a slogan for the whole project.

The guys play Joyride in the Brian Malouf mix, which was customized for the American radio. The difference between the album version and this is that the mix got more drums and there is a different groove to it, it’s a little faster.

Joyride became Roxette’s 4th US No. 1. The follow up song was Fading Like A Flower, which peaked at No. 2. It’s probably Per’s favourite track from the album. Marie was outstanding when she was singing this one. It’s just custom-made for her. Per doesn’t really consider it a ballad, it’s a mid-tempo song. He can’t remember writing it, but he has the demo which includes the piano intro, so he wrote the piano intro. Normally, when he wrote songs for Roxette those days he didn’t really write the intros, because he knew they would be going to change them anyway.

Sven asks Per if he heard Marie on his mind when he was writing a song, how Marie would deliver it. Per says he did and he also tried to write the lyrics from a female perspective (he laughs and says it sometimes didn’t go that well), as Marie was supposed to sing it. Per thinks if a song is written from a guy’s point of view and it’s sung by a girl, it gets a different meaning. It’s interesting in duets, e.g. in Paint. He thought FLAF becomes a stronger lyric when it’s sung by a girl. Joyride was meant to be sung by Per. The Look was sung by Per but it was intended for Marie. She didn’t feel comfortable singing that dadadadada. Sven tells Per had no problem doing that. Mr. G laughs and says that was his limit. Haha. PG thinks a love song, like IMHBL, becomes stronger when it’s sung by a girl. It becomes a little bit more fragile. Using this female-male trick Per thinks was one of the reasons why Roxette became so successful.

The guys play FLAF here. Bryan Adams blocked it from the top position on the Billboard.

Sven asks Per about the drama during recordings of the Joyride video. Per says they were sitting on the hood of a fake Ferrari in which there was a hidden driver lying on the floor, so you couldn’t see him. That was a big mess and Marie and Per sometimes just fell off. He thinks it was fun though in the desert somewhere in California. It was in the MTV days and they spent a lot on making video clips.

The FLAF video they did in Stockholm, at the City Hall, in the very beautiful golden room. The video became an homage to Stockholm.

Per picked Spending My Time as the next song to be played. He says it felt like it was going to be the big song from the album, probably because IMHBL and LTYH were so big. SMT felt like a natural follow up to those ballads. Mr. G thinks it’s a great song. He co-wrote it with Mats MP Persson. Marie is doing an amazing job on it, as always. Sven says it sounds really tailor-made for her with this melancholic touch to it.

Per had the idea to write a lyric that starts in the morning and ends at night. He says Marie delivered it so well. It became a big song for them. When they did live shows, it was always a show stopper.

Sven tells he and Per started knowing each other in 1987, when Sven beat Per severely in a pop quiz contest. The guys are laughing. Sven mentions it because he remembers they met at a pop quiz contest in the summer of 1990, when Roxette was recording Joyride and Per was really ecstatic about having written a song. When Per arrived he said he wrote a song including a line ”I leave a kiss on your answering machine”. Per thinks it’s beautiful and very romantic. He says the end melody of SMT was written as the intro of the song. Then when they recorded it, they didn’t have an intro, just Marie starting the song. (Here Per sings ”What’s the time?”.) It’s probably because all the intros, especially to LTYH was so famous, so they tried to do something different.

That concludes the Joyride special and the guys are back to Nordic Rox ”normality”. So here comes a song from The Beathovens from 1966, Summer Sun. Per thinks it’s an amazing track, beautiful noise from the 60’s.

James by Ex Cops is next from Denmark. Per likes them a lot. Sven tells they were based in Brooklyn, but the singer, Amalie Bruun qualifies them for being on Nordic Rox. They broke up in 2015. It’s a trend of this kind of music disappearing up in thin air, Sven adds.

It’s time for some Swedish garage rock – one chord, one riff, what more can you ask for, as Sven says. They play Something Wicked by The Teenage Idols.

At the end of the June epsiode, Sven tells they will celebrate another anniversary in the next one, the 20th of Room Service. Per picks the opening track from the album, Real Sugar as a teaser. He always loved that one.

The guys thank everyone for listening and Anita Lindblom’s Cigarettes is closing the show.

Still is from the 4K anniversary version of the Joyride video.

Thanks for the technical support to János Tóth!

Roxette – Joyride 30 Q&A with Per Gessle & restored 4K Joyride video premiere

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Joyride reaching No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 on 11th May 1991, Warner Music Sweden organized a video Q&A with Per Gessle. Fans could send their questions in video format in advance and Per answered them today at 3 pm CET. It was a 15-minute-long session, but we wouldn’t have been bored even after an hour of listening to Mr. G’s great answers to fan Qs.

Right after the Q&A, the anniversary version of the Joyride video premiered in 4K! What a wonderful remake it is! So sharp and there are new details in them! No monkey though. Haha.

As the press release says, the beginning of the 90’s was the peak of the MTV era and a powerful – and expensive – video was of course a must for anyone aiming for the top of the charts.

The Joyride video became a really playful and spectacular video, where Marie and Per, among other things, sat on a Ferrari while a driver laying down, being invisible to the camera took care of the gas and brake.

Those 30 years undoubtedly had left its mark on the original video and it was time for restoring it. As part of the celebration, therefore, here comes a 30-year-old version of the Joyride video with sparkling colours and maximum sharpness in 4K resolution.

Per Gessle smiles and says:

The MTV era was a fun period, because everything was so big and you bought all the crazy ideas that came up. There were very few barriers – not even to make a video where you sit in headwind half the time.

Director Doug Freel had done a solid job. In total, he had recorded 186 minutes of raw material for a song that is just under four minutes. After the recordings, 18 rolls of 35 mm film were shipped from Los Angeles to Swedish EMI, where they spent their time on a shelf in the darkness of the basement until the 30th anniversary began to approach.

But the original master of the approximately 4-minute-long Joyride video was not among the materials. So to update the video, there was only one thing to do: start from the beginning and go through all the materials to recreate the video from scratch.

Said and done, box after box of 18 rolls of film was sent to mastering and restoration expert Thomas Ahlén at Filmtech in Stockholm. He immediately noticed that the materials were in unexpectedly good condition and started the work of removing dirt and sharpening colours and details.

Thomas Ahlén tells:

Since the film reels haven’t been used in all these years, they were very well preserved. It’s been a time-consuming job, but at the same time much fun to be able to present a 30-year-old video in the best possible way. The fact that all the raw materials were silent films and then they had to be matched to the single version was just one of the challenges.

In this project of Joyride – the 30th anniversary version, a piece of Swedish pop history meets the enormous technological development that has taken place in moving media since 1991. The result is a version that follows the original video to 75%.

Per tells:

Some so-called “green screen” scenes have been removed, because they were very difficult to recreate. Instead, we’ve found other goodies in the raw material. In the long run, however, we plan to restore the video completely – and perhaps also other Roxette videos – in 4K resolution.

Joyride’s 30th anniversary is celebrated this autumn with a vinyl box that will consist of 4 LP’s and a 3-CD set, which in addition to the original edition will contain lots of unreleased or hard-to-find materials that paints a larger picture of a piece of Swedish music history.

The 4K video is available on YouTube, as well as the Q&A with Per. Stills are from these videos.