Per Gessle – Gessles nio i topp – Nine songs about cities

Last Saturday, Per Gessle and Sven Lindström discussed songs about cities in the new episode of Gessles nio i topp on Swedish Radio. At the beginning of the podcast Sven mentions that Per is associated with Halmstad that belongs to pop culture in a way. Per agrees and says there are different sounds associated with different cities. There is certainly a DNA even via laptops that shows where one comes from even in this digital world. Sven asks what the top of mind cities are to Per in pop culture. He says Liverpool for The Beatles of course, but there is also a typical Los Angeles sound, Chicago sound, Miami sound, New York sound. Also London sound. Sound of Stockholm bands at the end of the ’70s. According to Per, Halmstad was Sweden’s Liverpool in 1980-81. There were 130 bands in Halmstad in the ’80s, which is not bad given the population was 80,000. Per says there are bands that are named after cities, e.g. Boston, Kansas, but he picked songs that have a city or a district in the song title.

Per’s Top 9 songs about cities

9. Moon Martin – Hot Nite in Dallas
8. Bob & Earl – Harlem Shuffle
7. Bobby Bare – That’s How I Got to Memphis
6. Mott the Hoople – All the Way from Memphis
5. The Chainsmokers – Paris
4. Ike & Tina Turner – Nutbush City Limits
3. Katrina and the Waves – Going Down to Liverpool
2. Scott McKenzie – San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair)
1. Linnea Henriksson – Halmstad

No. 9 on the list is Moon Martin with Hot Nite in Dallas from 1978. Sven says Moon Martin is a common favourite of Per and him. He tells the singer is not super famous and Per tells he bumped into MM’s music in the beginning of the ’80s. PG saw him on Måndagsbörsen and he was also at the same record label as Gyllene Tider, EMI. Per says his first 2-3 albums were awesome. He was called ”Moon” because he used the word moon so many times in his lyrics. His real name was John Martin. He had a very special, expressive voice, the guys say and he was a talented songwriter. Moon Martin wrote e.g. Bad Case of Loving You that became a hit in Robert Palmer’s interpretation, Cadillac Walk and Rolene for Mink DeVille. Hot Nite in Dallas is from his first album, the first song on it. He passed away not too long ago. Producer of his first album was Craig Leon who also produced the Ramones’ first album. One can hear a little scaled-down Ramones sound on Moon Martin’s album. Per says it’s very simple, but sounds very good. He thinks American recordings sounded better than Swedish recordings at the time.

Next on the list is Harlem Shuffle from Bob & Earl from 1963. It wasn’t the Bob & Earl version of the song Sven and Per heard first, but The Rolling Stones’ who did a cover of it many years later. It wasn’t a big hit in 1963, but Sven says it has a great sound. Per says George Harrison called it his favourite song of all time. In 1969 it was reissued after the record label being bought by another one and then it became a big hit in the UK. Then the Rolling Stones covered it in 1986. The guys talk about the mid ’80s, that it was a dark period for The Rolling Stones, but also for Tom Petty. Sven says there was a kind of climate change in pop music back then.

That’s How I Got to Memphis from Bobby Bare is next. There is a typical Memphis sound too, Per says, referring to the beginning of the podcast. This song he picked is not a very famous one, if someone is not a country fan of course. It’s written by Tom T. Hall and is also known as How I Got to Memphis. Per chose the original version of it from 1970. It has a lovely, classic country style and a storytelling text that makes it special. The ’70s was a wonderful era for country. Sven says his favourite quote is from Tom Petty when he produced Johnny Cash in the ’90s and said they should make a classic country album, because ”I think most country today sounds like bad rock with a fiddle”. Bobby Bare sounds like classic Nashville country. Per agrees and tells modern country for him sounds like ’70s and ’80s arena rock, if you are listening to Keith Urban for example. It doesn’t sound like Kris Kristofferson or George Jones. Bobby Bare tried to break through with his songwriting in the ’50s. He got a record contract from guitarist Chet Atkins at RCA and in 1963 Detroit City was his break-through song. Gunnar Wiklund covered it in Swedish, Nu reser jag hem.

Staying in Memphis, the guys start talking about Memphis, Tennessee from Johnny Rivers. It’s a 1964 cover of Chuck Berry’s original version. Per sings a little here. Sven says he bought the live album that has Memphis on it and is dreaming away that it would be awesome to have a time machine and go back to see of course The Beatles live, but also Johnny Rivers at a small club in the US. Per says it’s not a bad idea.

Still staying in Memphis, Per picked All the Way from Memphis from Mott the Hoople as No. 6. Both Per and Sven love Mott the Hoople. This song is from 1973, the middle of the glitter era. David Bowie helped them to find a new audience when he produced their album, All the Young Dudes. Per thinks it’s hard to listen to their early records, but Bowie cleaned up their sound and made it more mainstream. Their album, Mott that includes ATWFM was their best record, Per thinks. Sven agrees. The band was on a roll that year. They had another big hit, Honaloochie Boogie released on the same album. Per thinks it’s a song that is incredibly hard to listen to. He thinks all the bands that have a prominent piano in their soundscape, it takes so much space that it easily confronts with other instruments. That was the case with Mott the Hoople. Sven thinks the production of ATWFM is awesome. Per says Mick Ralphs’ guitar riff fits the song’s essence very well, the storytelling of touring life. Ian Hunter is a fantastic songwriter and storyteller, but first of all a damn good lyricist. On stage he is boring, but his solo albums with Irene Wilde or Once Bitten Twice Shy on them are damn good. Both Sven and Per have the book, Diary of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star by Ian Hunter. They are joking that it’s probably only them two who have it in Sweden.

Mr. G says it’s hard to pick modern songs, because when he is listening to them, sometimes he thinks, shit, it sounds like Neil Young, but he was a bit better, or that sounds like David Bowie, but he did it a bit better, or it’s like Tina Tuner, but she was sharper. So it’s hard to choose new productions, mainly in pop music that the DJ culture has taken over. As No. 5, Per thought to pick a more modern song, Paris from The Chainsmokers. It’s a 3-year-old song and Per thinks it’s damn good. Sven agrees. Mr. G tells it’s new music for him, but a 19- or 20-year-old would probably say Paris is a golden oldie. Sven says when The Beatles released their compilation album in 1966, it’s title was A Collection of Beatles Oldies. That included songs that were only 3 years old. Back to Paris, Per says he really likes the sound of it. It’s open, warm, an easy listening and there is a swinging rhythm in it. It’s simply a nice pop song. According to Sven, it’s a typical modern pop song. Per adds, it’s a bit better than other modern pop hits. Sven asks Per in what way he is listening to new music. He says he is like his parents were: he picks up new music via his son. Sometimes he hears a song from Gabriel’s room and asks what that is because he thinks it’s very good. He realized that his son’s generation is constantly listening to music. Per’s generation did too, but this new generation doesn’t know what they are listening to. It comes in a flow. Per’s generation sat down with the physical album and read the inner sleeve, read the lyrics, who the technician was etc. They were waiting to listen to music. After Paris is played, Per asks Sven what he thinks about Chainsmokers. He says it was surprisingly good. Sven adds DJ pop is not so close to him.

Next one on the list is Nutbush City Limits from Ike & Tina Turner. Nutbush is a very little village in the US. Sven asks Per if he knows why Ike & Tina sang about it, but Mr. G doesn’t know. Sven informs that Tina Turner was born there and the song was written by her. Per says if you google Ike & Tina, you can find almost only cocaine addiction stuff, mainly from the ’70s. Per says this was one of their best songs and he had it as a single which he bought when it was released. It was a big hit in many countries in Europe, but not as big in the US. It’s a short and effective song. Sven tells there is an artist from Detroit, Bob Seger, who was kind of an underground rocker before he became a mainstream artist in the mid ’70s. He recorded a live album in 1975 on which the opening song was NCL, as he opened his shows with the cover of this song. Per says Tina Turner has always been an absolutely fantastic singer. Sven adds that she was also a great stage artist. She became one of the biggest artists in the world in the ’80s with Private Dancer. Sven tells Tina performed at Olympen in Lund in autumn 1983. It was in the beginning of her comeback after appr. 10 years of not being in the limelight. Her manager was Roger Davis. Per tells he never saw Tina performing live, but he was at her home. When she lived in Cologne, Marie and Per were there for dinner. Tina is married to a German guy who worked at EMI. Per tells Tina was at a Roxette concert in Germany. She was a big fan of Marie ”and hated me”, he adds. Just kidding. Sven says it must have been tough for Marie to know that Tina was her fan. Per said she also liked Tina.

No. 3 is Going Down to Liverpool. It became a hit when The Bangles covered it, but the original recording was done by Katrina and the Waves, the band that has one of the world’s most played songs, Walking on Sunshine. Both GDTL and WOS were written by Kimberley Rew and they are fantastic songs. Kimberley reminds Per a bit of Alex Chilton from The Box Tops and Big Star. In a certain period of his life he wrote fantastic songs. Same thing with Noel Gallagher, for some years anything he wrote was damn good, then it became half good. The guys have the theory that Kimberley and his band were fighting and fighting, then they got the record contract and WOS became a super hit and he got shocked. Per says people react on success in different ways. Some feel assured by it, others feel lost. The Bangles released GDTL on their debut album which was released only in Canada. Per likes the original version of the song more than The Bangles cover, because he thinks it’s rougher and Katrina Leskanich is an incredibly talented singer. Sven says he saw them at Kulturbolaget in Malmö in 1985 or 1986. They were a super tight, exemplary power pop band.

No. 2 is San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair) from Scott McKenzie. Regarding San Francisco, Per could have chosen San Francisco Nights as well, from Eric Burdon and The Animals, but he picked this one, because he thinks it’s one of the best songs in the world. Per thinks it’s magical: the whole sound, Scott’s voice, the production, the melody, the chord progression. Playing it on a guitar is a delight. Sven says there is a kind of secret in the composition of this song that makes it so good. All songs that become this good have the same secret according to Per: great production, wonderful voice, wonderful expression, very nice melody, touching lyrics. For him it symbolizes the perfect summer song. There is an aura of summer and harmony in it. Per was a bit too young for the Summer of Love (1967), he was only 8 years old then, but he still associates it with summer. Sven says the timing was also perfect. It was released in May, so the whole summer was ahead. One could have the feeling that the ”summer song” expression was born with San Francisco and Scott McKenzie. It was written by John Phillips, who was the leader of The Mamas & The Papas. He was a very talented composer and producer. Scott McKenzie himself was also a very talented songwriter. He wrote e.g. What About Me for Canadian singer Anne Murray and Kokomo for The Beach Boys. John Phillips was in top shape that time. While he was writing this song, he was organizing the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Per says when Roxette ended up in the US at the end of the ’80s, they got to know Wilson Phillips. The band was at the same record label. John Phillips’ daughter was a member of them. Sven asks if John Phillips was a member of The Mamas &The Papas, why he gave the song away to Scott McKenzie and not recorded it themselves. Per thinks Scott was asked to be a member of The Mamas & The Papas, but he said no, because he was coming from another band and wanted to do a solo career. So John gave him this song then.

Sven says Per lives both in Stockholm and Halmstad and he knows one of the candidates for this list of songs about cities was No Train to Stockholm by Lee Hazelwood from his album Cowboy in Sweden. Per thinks it’s a fantastic song, but since there was another list of nine forgotten artists earlier and he picked that song as No. 1 on that list, now he chose another one. That way the No. 1 on the songs about cities list is Halmstad from Linnea Henriksson. It’s a nice song and Linnea is super talented. Per thinks it’s her best song and of course he also thinks it’s a lovely idea to write a song that has the title Halmstad. He is wondering why it wasn’t him who came up with it. The guys are laughing. Linnea was the support act on Gyllene Tider’s 2013 tour and she also joined GT for their soccer song, Bäst när det gäller.

Pic of PG in the woods is from Roxette’s Facebook page and it was taken during the recording of Linnea’s Halmstad video in May 2014

Per Gessle – Gessles nio i topp – Nine songs about colors

Last Saturday, in the new episode of Gessles nio i topp on Swedish Radio, Per Gessle and Sven Lindström discussed songs about colors. According to Per, when you are listening to music, you often associate the songs with colors. In the studio he also associates his songs with colors. Sven says he read it about John Lennon that he also talked about colors, e.g. ”I want a green sound”. Mr. G says he can understand it and adds that there are a lot of songs that have colors in their titles.

Per’s Top 9 songs about colors

9. Cyndi Lauper – True Colors
8. Billy Idol – White Wedding
7. The Rolling Stones – Paint It Black
6. The Stranglers – Golden Brown
5. The Who – Behind Blue Eyes
4. Small Faces – Red Balloon
3. Visage – Fade To Grey
2. Booker T. & the M.G.’s – Green Onions
1. Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl

The ninth song on the list is True Colors from Cyndi Lauper from August 1986. It’s a fantastic song written by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg who were a very successful songwriter team before the ’90s. They wrote e.g. Like A Virgin for Madonna, I Drove All Night, Eternal Flame for The Bangles. Cyndi Lauper broke through 3 years before True Colors with Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Money Changes Everything is also a fun pop song of hers. True Colors was her last No. 1 on the US Billboard charts and then she disappeared. She did several come-backs though. One of her come-backs was with Kinky Boots, the musical which was a big success. True Colors was covered by Phil Collins in the ’90s. Sven says he read a story of Noel Gallagher who stated that their goal when they formed Oasis was to kick Phil Collins off the charts. Back to Cyndi, Per thinks she is a fantastic artist and has a very strong personality which can also be seen on stage.

Sven tells white is a color too and here comes one of Per’s bleached favourites. Next one is White Wedding from Billy Idol. Mr. G likes Billy Idol and thinks he released fantastic singles. He and his right hand, guitarist Steve Stevens looked out really cool. White Wedding was produced by Keith Forsey who started as a drummer. Drummers are very good producers, the guys say and mention Butch Vig as another example. White Wedding is on Billy’s first solo album from 1982, the year when GT released Sommartider. Sven thinks Sommartider was a bigger hit than White Wedding. Per agrees, but he still thinks WW is damn good. Sven has the feeling that the song was growing and growing and became a bigger hit later, not when it was first released. It came out as a single in autumn 1982, but didn’t chart on Billboard, which Sven can’t understand. Then it was released again in summer 1983 and peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100. Dancing with Myself was the first single from the same album. That was a new recording of the old Generation X song. Billy Idol was in Generation X under the punk era in England, but then he moved to Los Angeles and started his solo career.

Song No. 7 is Paint It Black from The Rolling Stones from 1966. Per thinks it’s a magical song. It has a clash, being dangerous, but beautiful at the same time. The Rolling Stones was damn good in 1965-66. Per says he always thought PIB was recorded in England, but they recorded it in Los Angeles. Sven asks if Per realized that originally the song was released with the title Paint It, Black, with a comma. It disappeared later and Per thinks Mick Jagger wanted to add something intellectual. He couldn’t really find out why the comma was there. [The comma is said to be just a clerical error by Decca Records. /PP] PIB was released on the album Aftermath, which was the first LP of The Rolling Stones with songs written solely by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. A year later came another album, Their Satanic Majesties Request, which is almost unlistenable according to Mr. G. They did fantastic singles though, e.g. Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow? which is phenomenal. It’s pop-psychedelia at its best. PIB is more than a classic pop song. Brian Jones plays the sitar in it and Per says The Rolling Stones was awesome when he was in the band. One could recognize it when it was Brian playing the instruments. Sven says Johnny Ramone was following Brian Jones and he even copied his hairdo.

Next is Golden Brown from The Stranglers. Their first album was Rattus Norvegicus. They came with the English new wave era in the end of the ’70s. Per doesn’t have a close relation to them, the only song he was listening to was Golden Brown from 1981. He liked the harpsichord sound in it. Their song Peaches was damn good too. Sven remembers when he was in London in 1977-78, it was there in all pubs on the jukebox. They even had a song about Sweden, Sweden (All Quiet on the Eastern Front) written by Hugh Cornwell. In Golden Brown one can hear The Doors influence. Per doesn’t really know what the song is about. Drugs or something else. Its best position on the charts was No. 2 in the UK. Well-deserved, Per says. The song has a lovely atmosphere, great production and it’s in fine 6/8 time signature. It’s a little odd for being a song from 1981. It certainly stood out on the radio when it was released.

No. 5 is Behind Blue Eyes from 1971 from The Who, one of Sven and Per’s common favourite band. Sven says earlier they had a program with nine best songs from 1971 and this song wasn’t on that list. Per says it could have been on that one too. It’s from The Who’s 5th album and for Per that’s the best The Who album of all. There is no bad track on it. Maybe you can skip John Entwistle’s My Wife. Pete Townshend peaks here and the whole band is in top shape. Sven also thinks they were one of the biggest bands in the world in the ’70s and this album was incredibly perfect. It was kind of a follow-up album to Tommy, instead of the rock opera, Lifehouse. Behind Blue Eyes is a wonderful ballad according to Per. Sven says it’s a ballad for appr. 2 minutes and 18 seconds, but then comes Keith Moon in and the band explodes. The power chords of Pete Townshend are awesome. Mr. G says he always thought The Who’s weakest link was Roger Daltrey’s singing, but he reconsidered it and now he thinks he is a fantastic singer. When he was listening to Pete Townshend’s demos he realized how much Roger Daltrey added to the songs. Also if you are watching their early live performances, you can see he is a great frontman.

Next song is Red Balloon from Small Faces. It came out in 1969 on The Autumn Stone double LP which Per had when he was a child. It was a cover of Tim Hardin’s song. Sven says there is more hippie feeling in it, but Per says one could sense it already in Tin Soldier or Lazy Sunday. It’s a typical Small Faces song, it has a fantastic soundscape. Tim Hardin was a great songwriter. He also wrote If I Were a Carpenter and Lady Came from Baltimore. Red Balloon was not a big song for Tim. Bobby Darin covered it too. It was one of Per’s favourite songs when he grew up and his records were his best friends. Sven asks if one can say it’s a cozy song. Per says not really if you know what the lyric is about. It’s about drugs. Sven laughs and says it’s a recurring theme, but they are picking songs about colors after all.

No. 3 is Fade To Grey from Visage from 1980. It was one of the first synthpop hits. It sounded modern. When you say synthpop, today people think of the digital world we live in and how you make music on laptops. It was actually the beginning of it all. Visage was a new wave band and they became linked to the New Romantic movement. Sven says regarding the genre, one can link to Bowie’s Berlin albums or maybe even Kraftwerk. Per adds Bowie’s Scary Monsters album too, which was released the same year as Fade To Grey. Steve Strange, who was the brain behind Visage appeared in the video to Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes. Steve Strange was a scene-maker what was hip in the ’70s in London. He had a club there, called Billy’s. Midge Ure, founding member of Visage, singer-songwriter was in another band too, Ultravox and they released their album Vienna the same year as Visage released FTG. Everyone in Visage wanted to do a different project, so no wonder the band broke up. The video to FTG was directed by Godley & Creme from the band 10cc.

No. 2 is Green Onions from Booker T. & the M.G.’s. It’s one of Sven’s favourite bands, he thinks they are super cool. GO was their break-through song in 1962. They became a houseband at Stax Records in Memphis and played on hundreds of recordings. They also did instrumental covers of The Beatles’ Abbey Road songs. Sven asks Per if he knows Hammond organ. He says he stumbled over it, but he is a keyboard guy. He tells Sven ”you know, I come from a band that plays Farfisa organ.” Sven says Hammond organs already existed in the ’30s. It was invented by Laurens Hammond and it has a fantastic sound. Jazz musician Jimmy Smith was a Hammond organist. Jon Lord from Deep Purple also played it even live on stage, Billy Preston too on The Rolling Stones tours. Mr. G says they should have a separate program about songs with Hammond organ. In Green Onions Booker T. Jones also plays Hammond organ and Steve Cropper plays the guitar. Booker T. & the M.G.’s was a band that consisted of both white and black members. Their name comes from the British car brand MG, however, their record label stated that it stood for Memphis Group.

No. 1 is Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl. Whenever Per hears this song he becomes happy. Van Morrison was the singer of Them before, but this was released by him as a solo artist. BEG was released in 1967. It’s one of the most played songs on American radios of all time. Once when Sven was in Liverpool with a gang of Beatles fans, a friend of him from Malmö said he knew the guitarist in Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Brian Nash. He was also from Liverpool and he was there and showed them around. It was much fun. He talked a lot about his career in bands, playing at weddings and parties, as well as in cover bands. Sven asked which song is the most popular that people ask most often to be played and he said Brown Eyed Girl. And then they all started singing it there in Liverpool. It has a magnetic effect, Per says and he thinks it’s a song of timeless quality.

Per Gessle – Gessles nio i topp – Nine songs about sweets

In the latest episode of Gessles nio i topp, Per Gessle and Sven Lindström are talking about sweet songs. Sven says Sweets for My Sweet from The Searchers should have been No. 1 on the list, but rumor has it, there is something else on the top. Per grabs his list and says he can’t even see that song on it. Honey from Bobby Goldsboro is also not bad, there was a Swedish version of it, Raring by Björn Ulvaeus, but it’s not on the list either. Per rather chose old songs from the ’60s and ’70s.

Per’s Top 9 songs about sweets

9. Millie Small – My Boy Lollipop
8. The Rubettes – Sugar Baby Love
7. Marcy Playground – Sex And Candy
6. The Velvet Underground – Sweet Jane
5. The Strangeloves – I Want Candy
4. Lynsey De Paul – Sugar Me
3. Echo & The Bunnymen – Lips Like Sugar
2. The Kinks – Sweet Lady Genevieve
1. The Archies – Sugar, Sugar (medley with Wilson Pickett’s version of Sugar, Sugar)

My Boy Lollipop from Millie Small was a mono release in 1964 when Mr. G was only 5 years old. It was one of the first ska songs. Per remembers he saw Millie on Swedish TV, maybe on Hylands hörna and Swedish radio also played MBL. It’s an awesome song still today. Millie passed away not so long ago [5th May 2020]. Sven mentions she didn’t receive royalties for this song which he can’t understand. The original version was recorded in New York in 1956 and record company executive Morris Levy purchased it and listed himself as one of the authors of the song. When John Lennon did Come Together, Morris Levy sued him because of using a line, ”Here come old flattop” from Chuck Berry’s You Can’t Catch Me. As penalty, John recorded three songs from Levy’s publishing catalogue for his Rock ‘n’ Roll LP. MBL was the first hit for Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records. Sven adds that Blackwell bought records in New York and sold them to DJs in Jamaica after he recorded them on tape. When Millie came into sight, he found the recording of the original version of MBL and that’s what they recorded in Millie’s version. After playing the song, Per and Sven are discussing who played the harmonica on this one. Per says it was Rod Stewart as Millie also told about it in an interview, but Sven says it was Pete Hogman. It stays a mystery why it wasn’t clear who played the harmonica.

Sugar Baby Love from The Rubettes is next. Per thinks it’s a guilty pleasure song, a one hit wonder, but it’s damn good. The falsetto voice is awesome in it. Mr. G has the single, he bought it in 1974 when it was released. Sven tells ”Bop-shu-waddy” is being sung over the whole song and Per presents it by singing it two times. Everyone told the songwriter it won’t work to sing ”Bop-shu-waddy” for 3 minutes, but the more people said that to him, the more convinced he was doing it that way. 6 million copies were sold of the single. Per tells the guys who wrote this song wrote another awesome hit, Nothing But A Heartache for The Flirtations in 1968.

Per picks Sex And Candy from Marcy Playground from the ’90s (1997), to have a modern song on the list too. Marcy Playground is a band from Minneapolis that was at the same record company as Roxette. The song has a psychedelic aura which Per thinks is appealing. Sven says he likes a lot of ’90s songs and it was a phenomenal decade. Mr. G says there was a natural development of pop music. Technology advanced and it sounded different, but Sex And Candy is still a very good song. Sven adds it’s innovative.

Sweet Jane from 1970, from The Velvet Underground’s fourth album, Loaded comes next. Sven asks Per if he listened to The Velvet Underground back in the days. Per tells he had an album, he can’t remember which one it was, it had a black & white cover and Pale Blue Eyes was one of the songs on it. It was a very strange album with very good songs. Mr. G says he discovered Lou Reed on his live album, Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal. Sven says it was the same with him. Until Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal Lou Reed was just a name for him, but he was fascinated by that album. Per says Sven probably heard Walk On The Wild Side from the Transfomers album. Mr. Lindström didn’t have it, but he heard it on the radio. Per is kidding Sven and acts like he is surprised that they had radio in Växjö. Sven laughs and says they had pirate radio. The Velvet Underground was present in the arty New York scene during the Andy Warhol era. Sven says they were style makers and went their own way. The guys agree that at the age of 13 they were not matured enough for that. Sweet Jane is a phenomenal song according to Per. There are several live versions released of it, but the original is on the album, Loaded.

Song No. 5 is a real dynamite hit, I Want Candy from The Strangeloves from 1965. Among others, it was also covered by Bow Wow Wow in 1982. Per thinks The Strangeloves was a great band, they had several good songs, e.g. Night Time. Richard Gottehrer, who was part of the band formed Sire Records together with Seymour Stein. He produced Blondie’s first album and Marshall Crenshaw’s debut album too. Before forming The Strangeloves, the 3 guys were writing songs for other artists, girl group acts included. The girl group sound was going out of fashion due to the British Invasion style, so the guys decided to form an own beat group. They couldn’t fake British accent, so they pretended to be Australians. Per tells one version of Hang On Sloopy was on the same album as IWC. Per finds the Bo Diddley beat quite cool in IWC and tells that they also used the beat in Roxette’s Harleys & Indians.

After the song is played, the guys get back to Bow Wow Wow and are talking a bit about their debut album. It had a very strange title, See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang Yeah, City All Over! Go Ape Crazy! Sven asks what a record company can say when you come up with such title. Per says he doesn’t know. They laugh.

Sugar Me from Lynsey De Paul is next. Per says he bought the single when it was released on MAM Records. Lynsey De Paul was a singer-songwriter and it was she who wrote and also produced the song. Mr. G mentions Lynsey took part in the recording of one of the best pop songs of all time, Roll Away the Stone from Mott the Hoople. She is the one who is whispering ”Well I got my invite” on the album version. There is another story related to Mott the Hoople. When new guitarist, Luther Grosvenor joined the band, Lynsey De Paul suggested to change his name to Ariel Bender. Per says he saw them on their farewell tour last year in London and Ariel Bender was wearing quite tight pants that left nothing to the imagination. The guys are laughing. Sven tells they had their 40th anniversary reunion in 2009 and then he saw them in London. Lead singer Ian Hunter is still fantastic, the guys say. Getting back to Sugar Me, Per says one gets hooked immediately because of the piano intro. He thinks it’s very special.

Before talking about the Top3 songs, the guys mention two more that could have been on the list, Pour Some Sugar On Me from Def Leppard and Sugar Town from Nancy Sinatra. These didn’t make it, but No. 3 is Lips Like Sugar from Echo & The Bunnymen. The band is from Liverpool. Per thinks this is their best song and Sven says they broke through with this one. It’s very typical of the time, 1987 music (U2, Simple Minds). Mr. G thinks the song is a bit too long, but the chorus is awesome and they could have get to it a bit earlier. Sven reacts maybe ”Don’t bore us, get to the chorus!” was inspired by that. Haha. Per informs that the cool video to the song was directed by Anton Corbijn.

No. 2 is Sweet Lady Genevieve from The Kinks. The band is a favourite both for Per and Sven. Mr. G says that at the beginning, The Kinks were not an album band at all, rather a hit factory. Ray Davies was writing big stories and in 1973 they released Preservation Act. There was Preservation Act 1 and 2, the latter one was a double LP. The first one was a fantastic album according to Per. If you are looking back at the ’60s, Ray is definitely one of the best songwriters of that era. Sven says there is something disarming in his style. Per adds he started with songs like You Really Got Me, 3-chord riffs and he had his style, but he also left his style. Sweet Lady Genevieve is one of Per’s favourites from The Kinks, it’s absolutely magical. Sven asks Per as a songwriter what he thinks the magic is in this song. Mr. G says the magic lies in the complete song, in Ray Davies’ voice, in his expression, the whole story and the sound. It sounds how only The Kinks can sound. They had their own studio, Konk Studios. If you look at albums from before digital times, they sounded in a certain way (e.g. Olympic Studios). The Konk Studios sounded differently. It’s hard to do it these days when everything is digital. It sounds the same if you make songs on your laptop or e.g. in Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles. Sven jokes and says it would be cool to have a Konk plugin.

No. 1 is Sugar, Sugar from The Archies. According to Per it’s one of the absolute best songs that has ever been written. The Archies is a cartoon band that featured in an animated TV series in the US. The song was written by Jeff Barry and Andy Kim. Per says Andy Kim had an own hit, Rock Me Gently which was a big hit in the US. Jeff Barry worked together with his wife, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector. They wrote together e.g. Da Doo Ron Ron, River Deep – Mountain High. Sugar, Sugar was released in 1969. No one really knew who The Archies were, but Sven says they found out 2 older gentlemen were involved. One of them, the guitarist was born in 1922, which was unusual in the ’60s pop world, to have a 40-year-old guitarist. Per says it’s real, sugar sweet bubble gum music. Sven first thought it was The Archies who invented the bubblegum pop genre, but he realized it was Ohio Express a bit earlier with Yummy Yummy Yummy and Per adds Simon Says by the 1910 Fruitgum Company was also an early bubblegum success. Sven asks Per if he says Sugar, Sugar and soul, what Mr. G thinks about. Per says Wilson Pickett. He did a soul version of the song which is fantastic. So the guys play a medley of The Archies’ and Wilson Pickett’s versions as the last song in the sweet podcast.

Real Sugar pic of Marie & Per by Jesper Hiro

 

Per Gessle – Gessles nio i topp – Nine fuzzbox songs

Last Saturday Per Gessle and Sven Lindström discussed fuzzbox songs in Gessles nio i topp on Swedish Radio. First of all, the guys explain what fuzzbox is. It’s a device which distorts the sound of an electric guitar or other electric instrument. This technique popped up in the ’60s. Per says he chose this topic, because he has always been thinking about why we like certain sounds in music and why we don’t like others. Fuzzbox is an important thing in Mr. G’s life. He says the first albums he bought when he was a little boy, contained a lot of distorted guitar sounds. He finds it interesting why one likes fuzzboxes and distorted sounds. Sven adds it sometimes sounds like a killer bee, bzzzz and sometimes it’s crunchier when there is an amplifier.

Sven plays a short part of Marty Robbins’ song, Don’t Worry from 1961. There is a fuzz effect in it which Per finds fantastic. Sven mentions that in 1962 Phil Spector recorded the song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah with Bob B. Soxx and the technician pressed the wrong button, so it became a different distorted sound. Sven plays a bit of it and Per finds it wonderful. Mr. G says the fuzzy sound is only one of the many colors on the ’60s sound palette. One was looking for some unique sound to make the soundscape more interesting. Nowadays it’s much easier to distort the sound.

Per’s Top 9 fuzzbox songs

9.  David Bowie – Moonage Daydream
8. Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze
7. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones
6. The Yardbirds – Heart Full Of Soul
5. The Beatles – Think For Yourself
4. The Animals – Don’t Bring Me Down
3. T.Rex – 20th Century Boy
2. Ola & The Janglers – Poetry In Motion
1. The Spencer Davis Group – Keep On Running

No. 9 on the list is David Bowie’s Moonage Daydream from the Ziggy Stardust album (1972). Per says here it’s more about Mick Ronson than David Bowie why he picked this song. There is a fantastic distorted tone in his guitar. On all the albums they worked together one can recognize it’s Mick Ronson playing the guitar. He most often used Gibson Les Paul. Sven mentions Moonage Daydream came out already before Ziggy Stardust, Bowie recorded it with his band Arnold Corns.

Next on the list is Purple Haze from Jimi Hendrix. The guys agree that the ’60s fuzzbox sounds were more authentic than the ’80s fuzzy sounds. The intro of this song is so cool, one couldn’t hear anything like that before. It was released as a single in spring of 1967. When in December 1966 Hendrix was in the studio in London with Chas Chandler and Chas heard the riff, he said it would be the next single. Sven asks Per why he put this song so high on his list and if he was hooked on Jimi Hendrix. Per replies he can’t say so, but he liked Jimi’s hit singles, e.g. Hey Joe or The Wind Cries Mary. One can realize what a pioneer Hendrix was. When the Woodstock film came out it was magical to watch Jimi playing the guitar. Even though he was a rock star, in 1967 Hendrix was very much pop. He was trying to make black music for white audience. There was a lot of rhythm & blues and soul in his music, but also pop.

After the song Sven asks Per if he remembers when he got hold of his first fuzzbox. Mr. G says it was the same day he bought his first guitar in 1977 or 1978. It was a Maestro Fuzz and there were 2 fuzz modes on it: 1 and 2. Mode 1 was nice and mode 2 was awesome. The problem was that it occupied a huge space in the soundscape, so one couldn’t hear anything else.

It’s The Rolling Stones turn on the list. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction from 1965 is the next song and Sven says he thinks the first time he heard a fuzzbox sound was on this one. Per says it’s a fuzzbox signature song with its immortal riff. Sven says The Rolling Stones recorded ICGNS in Hollywood on May 12 and released it on 6th June in the US. It became an instant superhit. That’s why Sven can’t understand why they waited so many weeks with the UK release on 20th August. Per thinks maybe they had another single in England. Sven says they released The Last Time in the UK before that as a single, but one must add that they also released a live EP, Got Live If You Want It! in June. So because of that their biggest hit had to wait 10 weeks to be released. As Per is reading about the song, he realizes and proudly states that Keith Richards also used a Maestro fuzzbox on ICGNS. Don’t miss Per singing at the end of the song. Haha. Sven asks Mr. G if he knows which song dethroned ICGNS on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1965. Per doesn’t know, so Sven tells it was I’m Henry VIII, I Am from Herman’s Hermits.

The guys play a little quiz. Sven says the song titles that were in the Top10 on Swedish Radio (Tio i topp) in August 1965 when ICGNS was No. 1 and Per has to find out the bands. Help! was No. 2 from The Beatles and No. 3 was Mr. Tambourine Man from The Byrds. No. 4 We Gotta Get out of This Place from The Animals. No. 5. I Got You Babe from Sonny & Cher. No. 6. Wooly Bully from Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. No. 7 I’m Henry VIII, I Am from Herman’s Hermits. No. 8 Bald Headed Woman from Hep Stars. No. 9 One More Time from Them (this is the only song Per couldn’t match a band with, but he realized it was Van Morrison’s group). No. 10 I’m Alive from The Hollies.

Song No. 6 on Per’s fuzz sound list is Heart Full Of Soul from The Yardbirds. Mr. G asks Sven if he likes The Yardbirds. Mr. Lindström says they are not his favourite, even if several phenomenal guitarists played in the band. Per says HFOS is the first single with Jeff Beck on guitar, but also Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page played in the band. They worked with outsider producers, e.g. Mickie Most on their singles. HFOS was produced by Giorgio Gomelsky and written by Graham Gouldman who was a teenager songwriter. He was only 18-19 years old when he wrote this song and many others for English bands. He wrote e.g. Look Through Any Window, Bus Stop, For Your Love. Mr. G thinks he is a complete mystery that at such a young age he could write such songs. Sven asks Per if he had the HFOS single. Mr. G says his brother had the Shapes of Things single, nothing else from The Yardbirds. But one could listen to it on Tio i topp and record it, before Pirate Bay existed. The guys are talking a bit about producer Giorgio Gomelsky who owned the Crawdaddy Club in London where The Rolling Stones were the house band. After The Rolling Stones became so big, he hired The Yardbirds as the house band.

The next song includes a fuzz bass, Think For Yourself from The Beatles’ 1965 album, Rubber Soul. It was written by George Harrison and it was Per’s favourite song from the album when he was a child. It’s one of Sven’s favourites too, but there are many others, e.g. Drive My Car or Girl. Per mentions In My Life too. Sven tells Paul McCartney used a Rickenbacker on TFY instead of his usual Höfner violin bass, because that sounded a bit better. Per is thinking again why one likes this fuzzed sound and he says it jumps out all the time and it works like a magnet, you want to listen to it again and again. It’s a nice song, but the distorted bass sound gives it a little aggression and makes it a little rougher. Sven tells he heard in an interview with George Harrison that the fuzzbox sound was not inspired by The Rolling Stones, but he credited Phil Spector’s production of Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah by Bob B. Soxx.

Don’t Bring Me Down is next from The Animals from 1966. It was written by songwriters who worked at Brill Building in New York, Gerry Goffin and Carole King. Per thinks the guitar sound in it is damn good. Sven says it was a new sound for The Animals, a little tougher. Their producer was Mickie Most at the time, but they changed him for Tom Wilson, who also produced Bob Dylan. According to Per, Goffin and King was one of the ’60s biggest songwriter teams. Sven adds it feels like The Animals were on their way out from the R&B world towards something else. Per is hooked on the fuzz sound on DBMD.

No. 3 on the list is 20th Century Boy from T. Rex from 1973. It was recorded in Tokyo while the band was on tour. Per thinks T. Rex is the world’s strangest duo with Marc Bolan who did everything except for hand clapping and playing the conga. Mickey Finn did that. Sven says conga was a popular instrument in the ’70s. Per laughs and says it was for Osibisa and Santana. 20th Century Boy had its revival in the ’90s when it was used in a commercial.

No. 2 is a song from a Swedish band, Ola & The Janglers. Poetry In Motion was released in 1966 on the album Lime Light. Claes ”Clabbe” af Geijerstam plays fuzz guitar on it. He does an awesome job, he is a fantastic guitarist. Sven says the band wrote the soundtrack to the ’60s and back then he thought Ola & The Janglers, The Mascots and Hep Stars were as good as… maybe not The Beatles, but they were very good. Mr. G thinks Ola & The Janglers made several very good albums and Ola Håkansson had a great voice, while ”Clabbe” af Geijerstam wrote great songs and drummer Leif Johansson was one of their strengths too. Sven says the keyboard guy was also good. The guys are playing the quiz again. When Poetry In Motion was No. 1 on Tio i topp in October 1966, the other songs in the Top5 were: No. 2 Just Like A Woman from Manfred Mann, No. 3. Little Man from Sonny & Cher, No. 4 The Kids Are Alright from The Who, No. 5 All Or Nothing from Small Faces.

Keep On Running is Per’s No. 1 fuzzbox song from The Spencer Davis Group. Mr. G says it’s actually a reggae song written by Jackie Edwards. When you are listening to Edwards’ version you are wondering how the arrangement became how it is on The Spencer Davis Group’s version. Per thinks the guitar sound in it is incomparable, you want to listen to it again and again. Steve Winwood on lead guitar was only 17 when they recorded Keep On Running. Per thinks the band was awesome. They had hits like I’m a Man, Somebody Help Me (also written by Jackie Edwards), Gimme Some Lovin’.

Per Gessle – Gessles nio i topp – Nine songs about dogs

Last Saturday Per Gessle and Sven Lindström talked about dog songs in Gessles nio i topp on Swedish Radio. ”Tea at 8 o’clock I took the dog for a walk in the morning. I never really liked him but let’s keep that between you and me.” Touched By The Hand Of God. Nah. It wasn’t on the list.

Per says he likes cats much more than dogs. He is a cat person. Sven is also a cat person which is probably because their neighbour’s dog in Växjö in the ’60s bit him in the leg. Since then he has a skeptical attitude towards dogs. Per tells they had a Norwegian Buhund when he was a little child. His name was Buster. When Mr. G’s mom was coming home by bus, Per put a leash on the dog and Buster was so happy he dragged Mr. G along for tens of metres until they reached Mamma Elisabeth. Per says he must have been 5-6 years old then. He still likes dogs anyway.

Per’s Top 9 songs about dogs

9. David Bowie – Diamond Dogs
8. The Everly Brothers – Bird Dog
7. Led Zeppelin – Black Dog
6. Tom T. Hall – (Old Dogs, Children And) Watermelon Wine
5. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Dogs on the Run
4. The Who – Dogs
3. Elvis Presley – Hound Dog
2. Neil Young – Old King
1. The Beatles – Martha My Dear

The first song the guys are talking about is David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs. Sven is surprised, because he thought this would be on top of Per’s list. Mr. G says Diamond Dogs is an eminent album from 1974. He already loved it when it was released and still does. It is related to George Orwell’s novel, 1984 and the science fiction touch is there all over. It’s David Bowie himself who plays the guitar on the whole album and the influence of The Rolling Stones can be heard. Previously, it was Mick Ronson who played the guitar and he was one of the world’s best guitarists. He had his own style. One could hear it when e.g. Rebel Rebel was played live, it never sounded like on the album, because it was Bowie who played it on the album. The riff in Diamond Dogs sounds a bit like Keith Richards, Sven says. Per adds that the saxophone sound fits the guitar amazingly well in the song. Sven mentions the single flopped and Mr. G says maybe because it was 6 minutes long. The lead single from the album was Rebel Rebel, but according to Mr. G, there are no real singles on this album. It’s not that type of an album. There was more single material on Aladdin Sane. Diamond Dogs is more like an epic.

Next on the list is Bird Dog from The Everly Brothers from 1958. Per first heard this song in the interpretation of Hep Stars. It was written by Boudleaux Bryant. He wrote a lot of songs for The Everly Brothers and for many others. Bryant was often writing together with his wife, Felice. Their better known songs are Love Hurts, All I Have to Do Is Dream, Wake Up Little Susie, Bye Bye Love. All phenomenal songs. Per says he met their son, Del Bryant. He was the leader of BMI, the largest music rights organization in the United States. Del visited Per in his apartment in Stockholm, he handed out awards for their success on American radio. He is a very nice person, still lives in Nashville and talks a lot about his parents. Sven says one gets starstruck by meeting a legend. Per jokes and says it’s cool he knows someone whom Sven doesn’t know in person. Regarding Bird Dog, Sven says it was released only a few days after it had been recorded and a couple of days later it already entered the US Billboard and very soon became No. 2. It succeeded fast. Per says releasing a song so fast after recording it is not unique. John Lennon’s Instant Karma is another example of that. Mr. G thinks Bird Dog is shockingly good.

The guys are talking about nostalgy and Per says the older you get you realize that you heard tens of thousands of songs and you like maybe 2-3-5,000 of them. When you like 5,000 songs, it’s hard to take in new music. Sven says there are some artists who don’t sound like anyone else and they are hard to be copied. The Everly Brothers were like that. Many tried to sound like them though.

Mr. G asks Sven about his dog-related bravados. Sven says the closest he got to a dog-related bravado was buying an album in 1971 where the first song was about a black dog. It was Led Zeppelin’s fourth album and Black Dog was the first track on it. The title refers to the black labrador that was wandering around outside the studio while Led Zeppelin were recording their album. It was their most successful record. Jimmy Page once read in a magazine that Led Zeppelin was compared to Black Sabbath and he hated Black Sabbath. He thought they sounded ridiculous and played primitively, while Page was an equilibrist on his instrument. Many thought it was Jimmy Page who wrote the riff to Black Dog, but it was John Paul Jones, bassist in Led Zeppelin. It was inspired by an old blues riff, as Per heard, but according to Sven, it was inspired by Muddy Waters’ Electric Mud album, which is more acid jazz than blues. The guys agree that it’s something one had not heard before and they haven’t heard anything similar since then either. The riff is fantastic and so are Robert Plant’s voice and John Bonham’s playing the drums. It’s one of rock history’s coolest recordings of all time. Black Dog wasn’t released as a single in the UK, but they released it in the US with Misty Mountain Hop as a B-side.

The next song is (Old Dogs, Children And) Watermelon Wine from Tom T. Hall. Per says there was a quite controversial Swedish version of it, Hundar, ungar och hembryggt äppelvin by Alf Robertsson. Sven says it’s rather a black hole for him. Mr. G says he always liked Tom T. Hall’s songs, e.g. Harper Valley PTA, which was a big hit when Per was a child. He also always loved That’s How I Got to Memphis. There are many versions of it, one by Solomon Burke for example. Per asks Sven if he has any relations to Tom T. Hall. Sven replies that Tom for him sounds very similar to one his old favourites, Roger Miller who made country songs, but with a little pop feeling. Mr. G says the storytelling style that was present in those times’ country music is fantastic. Sven asks Per if he knows what the ”T.” stands for in Tom’s name. Per jokes and says ”Tax” [Swedish name of Dachshund /PP]. Sven says the T was just added to make the name look better. Per jokes further that it could have stood for Teddy. Sven asks Per if he knows who made a Swedish cover of Harper Valley PTA. Mr. G thought it was Siw Malmkvist, but it was Björn Ulvaeus and the song’s title was Fröken Fredriksson. The Swedish lyrics were written by Stikkan Andersson.

Song No. 5 is Dogs on the Run from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Per asks Sven if he has any relations to this song. Sven replies he does, but it’s not really positive. Mr. Lindström says the album on which it was relased, Southern Accents was a concept album, but he doesn’t know what the concept was. Sven thinks Tom Petty should have renamed the album to Southern Accidents. Per agrees that this one is Tom Petty’s weakest, but there is e.g. Don’t Come Around Here No More on it. Tom wrote it together with Dave Stewart from Eurythmics. Sven thinks that’s the only good song on Southern Accents. Per disagrees. He also likes The Best of Everything, co-produced by Robbie Robertson. Mr. G also likes the title track, Southern Accents. He thinks it’s one of Petty’s finest songs. Mr. G says Tom Petty was magical at the end of the ’70s and in the beginning of the ’80s with albums like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers or Long After Dark. Then came some boring years. Then he came back with albums produced by Jeff Lynne. Full Moon Fever and Into the Great Wide Open. Per thinks Petty needed some new collaborators to satisfy his recreational drug habit. The guys agree that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is one of the world’s best rock bands.

No. 4 on the list is a song from 1968, Dogs from The Who. Per didn’t have it as a single, but always loved it. It was also released on an early compilation album of The Who. Mr. G thinks it’s a strange song, it’s not a hit in any way. It’s like the result of a weird mid period between all the big The Who hits and Tommy. Dogs has a wonderful melody. It is about greyhound dogs and people are talking in cockney accent in it. Sven thinks it might have been inspired by Lazy Sunday from Small Faces. Singles by The Who released before were Pictures of Lily and I Can See for Miles. Phenomenal, classic The Who singles. Then nothing and then comes Dogs. Per thinks it’s brilliant. Mr. G also listens a lot to Join Together and The Seeker.

No. 3 is Hound Dog from Elvis Presley from 1956. Per thinks they add Elvis Presley rarely to their top9 lists. According to Mr. G, Elvis was a great singer and Sven says one can understand why his songs exploded in the ’50s. Hound Dog was recorded originally by Big Mama Thornton 4 years before Presley’s version came out. They sound very different to each other. Elvis’ version was a bomb on the radio, one can understand it. Sven tells that in 1956 Elvis was a flop in Las Vegas. A band called Freddie Bell and the Bellboys did a version of Hound Dog with somewhat changed lyrics and that became Elvis’ version later. Per says they should watch an Elvis movie in the evening. Then some dog movies. Sven says maybe they could combine it. Elvis did like 600 movies in Hollywood, are there any dog movies among them? Per laughs and says Lassie. Haha.

No. 2 on the list is Old King by Neil Young. Per says the song has a nice melody about Neil’s dog called King. It’s on the 1992 album, Harvest Moon. It’s kind of a spiritual follow-up to Harvest (1972). Harvest Moon is fantastic from A to Z. Sven also thinks Neil Young is awesome. One of his absolute favourites is Long May You Run from him. He always comes back. Per says it feels like Neil Young has so many things that when he opens a box that he forgot to open in 15 years, suddenly a song pops out which he wrote 15 years ago and was absolutely amazing already then. Per and Sven are wondering what kind of dog Old King could have been. Maybe a labrador. Mr. G asks Sven if he could imagine Neil Young with a poodle or a Dachshund. Sven adds Chihuahua. Haha. Sven mentions there is a photo taken by Henry Diltz where Neil Young appears with a dog and it’s definitely not a Chihuahua. Per adds he knows the picture where Neil is inviting the dog for a joint, which is not politically correct.

No. 1 is Martha My Dear by The Beatles. Martha was Paul’s dog and the song is about her, Per says. Sven asks if he is sure about it, because there were speculations that the song might be about Jane Asher [Paul’s former girlfriend]. Per says he is 100% sure it’s about the dog. Sven adds that’s what Paul says too. According to Mr. G, it’s a typical dog song. It was one of the last songs to be recorded for the White Album in 1968. According to Per, it’s an absolutely fantastic composition, only Paul McCartney can write such music. Sven thinks it’s a complex and tricky song. Mr. G thinks it’s kind of music hall music and no one else in The Beatles wrote this type of pop music. It’s a typical McCartney song, like Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da. The guys agree that the White Album is The Beatles’ best album ever. It’s not an album of singles. John’s songs don’t sound like Paul’s and George Harrison blossomed as a songwriter on this one with While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Sven shares a trivia at the end of the program. Martha was born in 1966 and passed away in 1981. She was a sheepdog. One of Martha’s offspring, Arrow, appeared on the cover of one of Paul’s live albums.

5-year-old Per Gessle with Buster (photo from Per’s archives published in Att vara Per Gessle)