Per Gessle on Top 2000 in the Netherlands

There was a short interview with Per today about The Look on Top 2000 (Dutch music program). The program is available in the Netherlands only, but hopefully, they will soon upload it to their YouTube channel as well.

The interview was done on 19th November at Baggpipe Studios (the old EMI studio) in Stockholm. Per tells they recorded a lot of Roxette songs there and shows the place where e.g. Jonas Isacsson was sitting, playing the guitar, where the drums were, etc. Per says it’s a magical place for him.

Mr. G thinks Pearls of Passion was a good album, but he wanted Roxette to be a bit more programmed, digital and modern. There was a conflict between him and the original producer of Look Sharp!, because the producer wanted to use his favourite musicians. Per was lucky in the end, because their engineer broke his leg and they got another engineer. He was an amazing porgrammer and digital guy. He, Per and Clarence wanted Roxette to go to the computer world. Per bought a synthesizer with a sequencer and started learning how to use that. He wrote The Look on it. 3 chords, 1 finger. It was written for Marie, that’s why he was singing ”he’s got the look” in the demo. Marie liked the demo, but said she can’t sing it, because there is no melody. It’s almost like rap. But then she said ”I can sing the nanana part and I can do the answering in the choruses”.

Per was against releasing it as a single, because the whole idea behind Roxette was that Marie was going to sing the songs and Per was the main songwriter. So in Per’s world it didn’t really make sense to release it as a single.

In 1988 there was an American exchange student in Sweden and he became a big Roxette fan. He moved back to Minneapolis and on his favourite radio station, KDWB there was a show where listeners can call in and ask for their favourite songs or they can leave their records there. He went there and gave them the Look Sharp! album. It was lying around for a couple of weeks and he went back to pick it up again. The program director was there at the reception and thought that’s a really cool album cover. Because it looks like a magazine. So he put on the album and the first song was The Look. He thought this is an amazing song. He put it on air and as soon as he did so, the phone started to ring and people were asking what’s that. They rush released the single because it was all over the radio and it took 8 weeks until it became No. 1. It changed their lives of course.

Per explains all the Nordic countries have great traditional melodies. That’s in their DNA. If you listen to old classic Swedish songs from the 19th century, it’s very beautiful melodies and they grew up listening to that kind of music. You can hear it in ABBA’s music, you can hear it in Per’s music.

That particular Roxette sound was created in the old EMI studio, in Stockholm, with Swedish people. EMI in the US wanted them to move to Los Angeles or at least to New York or at least to London, to be part of the international music scene. But they said no, because if they moved to Los Angeles, they would have sounded like Richard Marx or what was happening at the time in the US. Roxette sounds special because it was made in Sweden.

Still is from the interview.

Thanx for the technical support, Ludo van Denderen! (Until the original video is available on the Top 2000 YouTube channel, you can watch Ludo’s recording of it HERE.)

Update on 13th February 2020: Top 2000 a gogo uploaded the video to YouTube.

Musical fountain in Budapest plays The Look by Roxette 3 times a day

The musical fountain on Margaret Island in Budapest, Hungary plays The Look by Roxette 3 times  a day. The fountain provides a multimedia musical show since 2017 and this year Roxette got on the setlist. Woohoo! Watch it HERE!

The fountain basin has an area of 1,000 square meters and a total of 154 nozzles are lit by 227 colored lamps. You can sit under the plane trees and enjoy the attraction from 19th April until the first frost (~ end of October), each day from 10 am to 10 pm. Shows are 15 to 60 minutes long and start every hour from 11 am. If you want to hear Roxette, you have to be there at 3 pm, 8 pm and 9 pm.

Setlist of the session starting at 3 pm:

  1. Roxette: The Look
  2. The Dave Clark Five: I Don’t Know
  3. Simon and Garfunkel: Cecilia
  4. The Beatles: I Feel Fine

Setlist of the session starting at 8 pm:

  1. The Rolling Stones: Let Me Down Slow
  2. Herman’s Hermits: No Milk Today
  3. The Searchers: Saturday Night Out
  4. Guns N’ Roses: Sweet Child O’ Mine
  5. Roxette: The Look
  6. The Dave Clark Five: I Don’t Know
  7. Simon and Garfunkel: Cecilia
  8. The Beatles: I Feel Fine

Setlist of the session starting at 9 pm:

  1. The Rolling Stones: Let Me Down Slow
  2. Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik
  3. Liszt: Liebestraum
  4. Radics Gigi: Budapest szerelem
  5. Herman’s Hermits: No Milk Today
  6. The Searchers: Saturday Night Out
  7. Johann Strauss: Radetzky March
  8. Guns N’ Roses: Sweet Child O’ Mine
  9. Johann Strauss II: The Blue Danube
  10. Roxette: The Look
  11. The Dave Clark Five: I Don’t Know
  12. Ákos: Hazatalál
  13. Vivaldi: Four Seasons – Spring
  14. Simon and Garfunkel: Cecilia
  15. The Beatles: I Feel Fine
  16. Film: Budapest tánclépésben
  17. Film: Nagy Magyarok

You can see the complete list of the songs played during a day HERE.

It’s not the first time a Roxette song is used for the attractions of a musical fountain. I know Listen To Your Heart was already used in Prague, Czech Republic 2010 and Kislovodsk, Russia 2017. Probably, there were / are more fountains where you could / can enjoy our fave band’s music.

Don’t give it a miss when you are in Budapest anytime between April and October this year!

Watch the video HERE! (The kid in the video doesn’t belong to me, but he was too cool. Came to the front only when Roxette and The Beatles were playing. Haha.)

 

Roxette on Rocksmith

Rocksmith is an award-winning method, the fastest way to learn to play guitar. You can plug any real guitar or bass into your PC, Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 or PS4 and join over 3 million people who have learned to play guitar with this method that adapts to you as you play. Hundreds of songs are available and now 3 Roxette hits are also added. The Roxette Song Pack contains The Look, It Must Have Been Love and Listen To Your Heart and is available on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and Steam. The songs may be posted later for players in territories served by the European PlayStation Store due to differences in publishing times. See the tunings and arrangements in THIS VIDEO.

Roxette Song Pack

  • “It Must Have Been Love” – E Standard – Lead/Rhythm/Bass
  • “The Look” – E Standard – Lead/Rhythm/Bass
  • “Listen To Your Heart” – E Standard – Lead/Rhythm; D Standard – Bass

Thanx for the hint, Gaby Hildebrandt!

 

Finnair campaigns with Per Gessle

Finnair announced their new campaign with Per Gessle. The largest airline of Finland will continue their award-winning “Hear the Taste” campaign and they are launching it for their long-haul flights in Sweden. “Hear the Taste” concept aims to improve the taste of food served on flights through soundscapes. It’s a scientific fact that sound affects how food tastes.

Tommy Myllymäki, Finnair’s signature chef (38; Cook of the Year 2007) created a 3-course menu for business class and each course will have its own soundscape. Finnair relies on Swedish expertise regarding music, that’s why Per Gessle is also involved. Snippets from “The Look” will be used in the campaign.

Check out THIS video with Per and Tommy in the studio and check out THIS video to see how it all worked in Finnair’s previous campaign.

If you fly Finnair and have the opportunity to hear the taste, let us know how it is. 😉

UPDATE on 18th November 2018: Finnair made all 3 soundscapes available.

The menu:

Update on 11th March 2019: Finnair wanted to offer Hear the Taste experience also on the ground. So, there is a Roxette soundscape made to enhance the flavours of chocolate.

Use headphones for an optimal experience!

 

Thank you, 2015! Welcome 2016!

2015

Another year, another retrospective!

2015 was once again a year full of releases, concerts, travelling, meetings, happy faces… everything a fan could wish for.

In January we got a sneak peek of the newly built and designed stage that would be premiered a few weeks later. February brought Roxette to New Zealand (finally!) and Australia. Back in February we heard that the new Roxette album would be out in autumn 2015. Well, we already know that the release of the album has been postponed a few times and it seems 2016 will be the year! When? Let’s hope we will get some news in a few weeks. In February, some more dates were announced for summer 2015 too.

In March the big news were that a biography about Marie would be released in autumn. And also that a 25th Anniversary version of “It Must Have Been Love” would be released. The PLECtionary was updated with the latest plecs from the 2015 Australia tour.

In April we got to know who would make our waiting time before a concert shorter and fun: Eskobar! I was personally very happy that Eskobar were chosen as supporting act for Roxette’s European leg of the tour. I have liked this band since early 2000 and it was about time to see them live! It turned out to be a great decision. Roxette fans loved the 3 guys, we hear some have started a fanclub….

The tour in Europe kicked off on May 10th in Milan and took the band to 20 countries (including Faroe Islands!) with a total of 36 concerts between May and August (including a cancelled one in Mainz) plus 2 corporate concerts, one in September in Poland and one in November in Stockholm. The cover of Marie’s book was revealed and we published an interview with Pelle and Eskobar.

Also we found out that Roxette Diaries – a documentary of Roxette done by Jonas Åkerlund with old recordings from late 80ies and early 90ies – would be released soon. The premiere took place in Göteborg in August and later on, it was revealed that the documentary will be released on DVD in March 2016.

In June Roxette visited Dublin, Trondheim, Ostrava, Sofia, Warsaw, and started the “mini-Germany” tour (in total 8 shows, plus one that was cancelled) in Cologne. Also this month the “The Look” remake was announced.

The (digital) new version of the super hit was released on 17th of July, right on time when Roxette was about to bring the tour to Sweden. The remake was recorded as part of Kappahl’s campaign and remixed by Addeboy vs Cliff. A video of the making of the song was also released. A 7″ vinyl was released later in August.

In August the tour ended in Drammen, Norway, with a very special concert with many fans from around the world. But we would not have time to get bored, since the dates for South Africa were announced. The PLECtionary was updated once again. As we mentioned before, Roxette Diaries movie was premiered on August 14th in Göteborg.

In September the promotion of Marie’s biographyKärleken till livet” started. The co-author Helena von Zweigbergk, visited the Göteborg book fair to talk about the book and give some signing sessions. An interview with Marie and articles about Marie and the book could be found on the major Swedish newspapers/magazines around the time the book was released (October 10th). Roxette played in a corporate concert in Warsaw, which despite the difficulties to get a ticket, some fans managed to attend. Also “Some Other Summer” by Sebastien Drums was released. This song is actually composed by Per, and the single released by Sebastien Drums is even sung by Per (and a few backing vocals by Marie). According to Per, the “original version” of “Some Other Summer” will be included in Roxette’s upcoming album.

More 2016 tour dates were announced in November. To our surprise… for Europe! Everybody was expecting South/North America, and maybe a handfull of shows in Europe. But so far we already counted 11 concerts, and rumours have it that there are more to come! According to the information available so far, the first concert we know of will be on June 3rd in Switzerland. The last one on the list is on September 11th, in Moscow. Tickets for all the shows are already on sale, so hurry up! Roxette gave the last concert of the year at Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, a corporate concert for Tele2 (telecommunications operator) customers and other invited guests.

Marie gave a signing session in Stockholm on December 5th. On the same day, an interview with her and Helena was broadcast on TV4 Nyhetsmorgon. Many fans travelled to Stockholm for the chance to say hi to Marie and get the book  signed personally by her.

As I am finishing writing this article one thing (Aretha Franklin’s performance yesterday at Kennedy Center Honors, if you are interested) brought me to another (Aretha’s influence on Marie, which made me think of I Never Loved a Man) and I ended up listening to Roxette’s MTV Unplugged from 1993. Yes, recorded almost 23 years ago!

If one would ask me what would make the 30th anniversary of Roxette in 2016 very special my answer would be, loud and clear: an (or more) unplugged show.

Of course, looking very much forward to Roxette’s tour in Europe, something that came very much unexpected. And one can only feel thankful. That is the world I would choose for all what is happening. I am thankful it IS happening and I can experience it. With a small break in between in 2013, we have been able to see Roxette live almost every year since 2009.

What will happen in 2016? Here is a schedule of what we know so far:

  • January / February: Roxette to tour in South Africa
  • March: Roxette Diaries released on DVD.
  • June (?) – September (?): Tour in Europe is planned
  • Roxette turns 30!
  • Somewhen in 2016: a new album should be out soon. Per mentioned some days ago on FB that it’s almost done! (and Christoffer is very busy mixing!)

A big thanks once again to all of you reading us, sharing our articles (thanks Per!), joining our discussions on FB, for the hints, sharing your experiences in articles on our website.. thanks for your support! And from me big thanks to the RXB team, it wouldn’t be possible without you! We’ve had some issues this year with the servers (especially because the site doesn’t stop growing) so I’ve been kinda busy trying to solve that and some other tech-stuff in the background, so I feel so lucky to count on such a great team, thank you Patrícia, Kirsten, Tomasz and Sascha for the articles, brainstorming, ideas, laughs, meetings, experiences etc etc.

Happy new 2016 to you all!