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Roxette

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the Dr Feelgood song, see Roxette (song).

Roxette

Roxette at the Beacon Theatre in New York City on 2 September 2012

Background information

Origin

Halmstad, Sweden

Genres

Pop rock, adult contemporary

Years active

1986present

Labels

Capitol Records
EMI
Edel Music
Parlophone (2013present)
Warner Music (2013present)

Associated acts

Gyllene Tider

Website

www.roxette.se

Per Gessle

Members

Marie Fredriksson

Roxette is a Swedish pop rock duo, consisting of Marie Fredriksson (vocals) and Per Gessle (vocals
and guitar). Formed in 1986, the duo became an international act in the late 1980s, when they
released their breakthrough album Look Sharp!. Their third album Joyride, which was released in
1991, became just as successful as its predecessor. Roxette went on to achieve nineteen UK Top 40
hits and several US Hot 100 hits, including four US number-ones with "The Look", "Listen to Your
Heart", "It Must Have Been Love", and "Joyride". Other hits include "Dangerous", "Fading Like a
Flower", "Dressed for Success" and "The Centre of the Heart".
[1]

[2]

[1][2]

Before coming together to form the duo, Fredriksson and Gessle were already established artists
in Sweden, with Fredriksson releasing a number of solo albums and Gessle being the lead singer
and songwriter of Gyllene Tider, which had three No. 1 albums. On the advice of the managing
director of their record label, they came together to record "Neverending Love", which became a hit
single in Sweden.
After the release of Don't Bore Us, Get to the Chorus!, a greatest hits record, the duo took a hiatus
from the mid-1990s before returning with the albums Have a Nice Day (1999) and Room
Service (2001). They continued to chart in other territories, mainly in Europe and Latin America,
where they earned various Gold and Platinum awards until the beginning of the new millennium. In
2002, the duo took a break from recording and touring when Fredriksson was diagnosed with a brain
tumour. Gessle went on to release solo albums and reunited with Gyllene Tider before Roxette took
to the stage together again for the first time in 8 years, in 2009, during Gessle's European Party
Crasher tour. In 2011, they released Charm School, their first studio album in ten years. This was
followed by Travelling a year later.
[3]

[4]

Their songs "It Must Have Been Love" and "Listen to Your Heart" continue to receive wide
radio airplay, with both singles recently receiving awards from BMI for achieving four million radio
plays. They have sold an estimated 60 million records worldwide,
with over 10 million in certified
units from Germany, the US and the UK, achieving gold and platinum certifications
forJoyride and Look Sharp! in all three regions.
[5][6]

[7][8][9]

[10][11][12]

Contents
[hide]

1 History
o 1.1 19791986: Formation
o 1.2 19861988: Pearls of Passion
o 1.3 19881990: Look Sharp!
1.3.1 "It Must Have Been Love" Pretty Woman soundtrack
o 1.4 19911992: Joyride
o 1.5 19921993: Tourism
o 1.6 19941998: Crash! Boom! Bang! and Don't Bore Us, Get to the Chorus!
o 1.7 19992001: Have a Nice Day and Room Service
o 1.8 20022008: Compilations, solo albums and hiatus
o 1.9 20092010: Night of The Proms and European Tour
o 1.10 20112012: Charm School, Travelling and World Tour
o 1.11 20132014: Break and new world tour

2 Awards
3 Discography
4 Tours
5 See also

6 References
7 External links

History[edit]
19791986: Formation[edit]
Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson first met in Halmstad, Sweden, in the late 1970s.
Gessle
performed in Gyllene Tider, one of Sweden's most popular bands of the time, and Fredriksson in the
less successful Strul and MaMas Barn (Mama's Children) before both embarked on solo careers. In
1981, Fredriksson sang for the first time with Gyllene Tider on stage and was featured as a
background vocalist for a Swedish-language album the band released in 1982. Gessle also worked
with ex-ABBA singer Frida, for a song that appeared on her 1982 album Something's Going On,
setting music to a Dorothy Parker poem.
[13][14]

[15]

While working on her first solo album, Het vind (Hot Wind), Fredriksson performed more background
vocals for Gyllene Tider's only album in English, The Heartland Caf. The 11-track album was
released in February 1984 and sold 45,000 copies in Sweden. According to Gessle, the group's first
English-language release was in response to interest expressed by EMI's American label Capitol
Records. Capitol took six of the tracks and released an extended play (EP) record in the US with an
abridged title, Heartland, but the company insisted on a different name for the band. Gessle and the
other members of Gyllene Tider (Swedish for "Golden Times" or "Golden Age") chose the title of a
1975 Dr. Feelgood song, "Roxette".
[16]

[16][17]

"I remember that Per had written a damn good song. I thought that Per and Marie would fit in as Per writes great music and Marie can sing a
phone book and get it (to) sound good. Of course Im a bit proud of getting the idea for Roxette".
Rolf Nygren [18]

The newly named Roxette issued one near-invisible release in the US, "Teaser Japanese", whose
video reached MTV's studio but received no rotation to speak of. It, and subsequent singles, fared
better in Sweden, and Gyllene Tider briefly toured the country to support the album. However, "the
album died soon enough and the international career died before it even started", Gessle wrote. "We
decided to put Gyllene Tider to rest... until further notice." Gessle then turned solo work, recording
his second Swedish-language solo album, Scener, released in 1985 and again featuring Fredriksson
on background vocals. While Fredriksson recorded her second solo album, Den sjunde vgen (The
Seventh Wave).
[16]

It was then that the Managing Director of EMI, Rolf Nygren, suggested that Gessle and Fredriksson
should sing together. Gessle translated a song called "Svarta glas" ("Black glass") into English,
which became their first single, "Neverending Love". It was released in the summer of 1986 under the
name "Roxette" and reached the Swedish top 10, selling 50,000 copies.
[18]

[18]

19861988: Pearls of Passion[edit]


...while the album was a hit in Sweden, the rest of the world failed to pay much attention at all. And listening to the album, it's not that hard to
tell why: nothing here is bad, but it lacks nearly all of the elements that made albums like Joyride and Look Sharp into massive hits just a few
years later.[19]
Damas of Allmusic retrospectively reviewing Passion

After the success of "Neverending Love" in Sweden, Gessle and Fredriksson quickly recorded a full
length album, translating songs Gessle had written originally for his third solo album. With the
release of Pearls of Passion in October 1986, Roxette maintained their commercial momentum in
Sweden with their next singles "Goodbye to You" and "Soul Deep". Some singles from Passion were
released in other countries,
however these international releases didn't emulate their Swedish
success. The album was followed by a compilation of remixes of the same songs entitled Dance
Passion.
[20]

[18][20]

Roxette together with Eva Dahlgren on the Rock Runt Riket tour in 1987

In 1987, Fredriksson released her third solo album Efter stormen (After the Storm). Meanwhile,
Roxette released the single "I Want You" in collaboration with Eva Dahlgren and Ratata. Later in the
year, they released "It Must Have Been Love (Christmas For the Broken Hearted)" after EMI
Germany asked the duo to come up with an intelligent Christmas single. The holiday themed song
received some attention in their native country as Roxette prepared their next album, though EMI
Germany decided against releasing the single. Pearls of Passion was re-released internationally in
1997, and included "It Must Have Been Love (Christmas for the Broken Hearted)" as a bonus track.
[17]

19881990: Look Sharp![edit]


In native Sweden, "Dressed for Success" and "Listen to Your Heart" were chosen as the first two
singles from their second album Look Sharp!, as Gessle and EMI Sweden chose to highlight
Fredriksson's singing. Gessle said "I always thought we should promote the songs Marie sang. Me
being a lead singer wasn't part of the plan, not for me anyway." Both singles reached the top 10 of
the Swedish singles chart, while the album, which was released in Sweden in October 1988, held the
No. 1 position for fourteen weeks. Music critic Mns Ivarsson was underwhelmed by the album, "To
consist of two such original persons as Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle, the album sounds
unbelievably conventional. Most striking are the lyrics. Gessle's once so subtle Swedish lyrics have
became desolate English nonsense" The album won Roxette their first Rockbjrnen awards in
Sweden and Gessle his first Grammis award in the category Best Composer.
[17]

[21]

[18]

[22][23]

"The Look"

MENU
0:00

"The Look" topped


the Billboard Hot 100 in the
US on April 8, 1989, and
would go on to top the charts
in 25 other countries.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

When the third single from Look Sharp, "The Look" became another top 10 single in their home
country, Roxette were still unknown internationally. It was while studying in Sweden, that an
American exchange student from Minneapolis, Dean Cushman, heard "The Look", and brought a
copy of Look Sharp! home for the 1988 holiday break. He gave the album to a Minneapolis radio
station, KDWB 101.3 FM. The station started playing "The Look" and based on positive caller
feedback, the song became very popular, quickly spreading to other radio stations. The song
became a radio hit before any Roxette product had been commercially released or promoted in the
US market. The story was covered by radio, newspapers and TV in the US and in Sweden, with
Gessle recently telling this as the story which highlighted the beginning of their international
success.
Fredriksson dismissed rumours that Cushman was paid to take the record to the
radio station.
[14][24][25][26][27]
[14]

EMI had previously rejected Roxette as unsuitable for the American market and they did not have a
recording contract there,
but after the popularity of "The Look" in the US, EMI officials made the
decision to release and market the single worldwide. "The Look" and pressed copies of Look
Sharp! were issued in early 1989 to record stores and radio stations. "The Look" became their first
No. 1 in the US on April 8, 1989, where it remained for one week. The breakthrough for Roxette
became international when the song also topped the charts in 25 other countries, and at the end of
the year, Billboard named "The Look" one of the 20 biggest Hot 100 singles of the year.
[14][27]

[13]

"The Big Bad Ballad. This is us trying to recreate that overblown American FM-rock sound to the point where it almost becomes absurd. We
really wanted to see how far we could take it. When it hit big in the States we suddenly found ourselves lumped together with bands like Heart
andStarship, which wasn't the intention behind Roxette at all. But we got out of that one... I hope."
Gessle talking about "Listen to Your Heart".[17]

"Dressed for Success", featuring Fredriksson on lead vocals with Gessle singing short parts, was the
second international single. The single peaked at No. 14 on theHot 100 as well as at No. 3 in
Australia. "Listen to Your Heart" was released thereafter; it differed from previous singles and
instead resembled the guitar-heavy ballads of Heart. Spending a single week at No. 1 in the US in
November 1989 it bore the distinction of being the first US Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 to be not
commercially available on 7-inch vinyl.
[2][28]

[29][30]

A fourth single, "Dangerous", was released at the end of the year, entering the Hot 100 at the end of
December. The single, a duet between Gessle and Fredriksson, spent two weeks at No. 2 on the Hot
100 in February 1990, and again becoming a worldwide success by reaching the top 10 in important
music markets such as Germany and Australia.
"Dangerous" was released as a double A-sided
single in the UK with "Listen to Your Heart".
[28][31]

[1]

"It Must Have Been Love" Pretty Woman soundtrack[edit]

It was around this time that Touchstone Pictures approached EMI and Roxette about contributing a
song to the soundtrack of an upcoming film, Pretty Woman, starring Richard Gere and Julia
Roberts. Gessle has claimed that "It Must Have Been Love", by then a 2-year-old recording, was
chosen because Roxette didn't have time to compose and record a new song. The film's producers
turned it down, asking for another song, but Gessle declined to produce another song. Some weeks
later after re-editing the film before release, the producers re-requested "It Must Have Been Love",
but Roxette had to remove the Christmas lyrics. Gessle and producer Clarence fwerman then
took the old recording, had Fredriksson replace a single Christmas-referenced line in the song and
added some instrumentation and background vocal overlays.
[15]

[15]

[15]

[15]

Though not the first single released from the soundtrack, "It Must Have Been Love" would prove to
be Roxette's most successful single release. The song spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 in
June 1990, three months after the film's release, and stayed for two additional weeks at No. 2,
spending a total of seventeen weeks in the top 40. Billboard named the song the No. 2 Hot 100
single of the year behind Wilson Phillips' "Hold On". The single also topped the charts in more than
20 other countries (including Australia ) around the world. In Germany the single spent 9 months in
[32]

[28]

the top 75, and peaked at No. 3 in the UK, the duo's highest singles chart position there.
soundtrack went on to be certified three times platinum by the RIAA.

[1][31]

The

[33]

19911992: Joyride[edit]
As 1990 wound down, Roxette completed its tour and returned to Sweden to record its follow-up
to Look Sharp! The 14-track collection titled Joyride, which was released in March 1991, became a
critical and commercial success. It topped the charts in a number of countries and became Roxette's
best selling album. Their record company EMI invested almost 2 million dollars on promotion for the
album, which stayed at No. 1 in Germany for 13 weeks, while staying on the US album chart for
over a year. J.D. Considine of Rolling Stone magazine reviewed Joyride: "By emphasizing its sense
of personality, Roxette delivers more than just well-constructed hooks; this music has heart,
something that makes even the catchiest melody more appealing." The album's success brought
the duo two Rockbjrnen awards for Best Swedish Album and Best Swedish Group, the second time
they had achieved that feat.
[24]

[34]

[35]

[23]

"Joyride" the single became Roxette's first No. 1 in their home country. It also topped the charts in
more than 25 countries around the world, including Germany, Australia and the US; it was their fourth
and last US No. 1.
The single also charted well in the UK and achieved success in Canada which
resulted in the song being nominated in 1992 for a Juno Award in the category, Best Selling Single
by a Foreign Artist. Its follow-up, "Fading Like a Flower (Every Time You Leave)", a power ballad
similar to "Listen to Your Heart", with Fredriksson on lead, spent a week at No. 2 in the US in July
and achieved success in other big markets as well.
[21]

[2][28][31]

[36]

[1][2][28][31]

It was then that Roxette embarked on an ambitious worldwide tour.


The Join the Joyride! World
Tour 1991/92 tour eventually reached more than 1.5 million fans in 107 concerts around the
world, including a few dates in the US. On reviewing their Universal Amphitheater performance,
Dennis Hunt of the Los Angeles Times said, "Fredriksson is squandering her talents in pop's low-rent
district. She's clearly superior to Roxette's uncomplicated, hook-crammed material..."
[37][38]

[39]

[40]

"I believed this ("Spending My Time") was going to be our biggest hit ever, which might have happened if not our American record company
had fired a lot of...ah, never mind."[17]

"When Charles Koppelman took over the American [record] company in 1992 more than hundred people got replaced. Those folks who got
sacked were the same people who made Roxette happen in 89-90-91."[41]
Gessle, on the downturn of Roxette in the US.

The end of 1991 saw the merger of SBK, Chrysalis and EMI record companies, to form EMI Records
Group North America.
The resulting merger saw many personnel changes that resulted in a
downturn in publicity for Roxette. Though Joyride was certified platinum and made impressive
worldwide sales, subsequent singles from the album, the ballad "Spending My Time" and "Church of
Your Heart", failed to reach the heights of previous singles in the US charts.
[42][43]

[10]

Music tastes in the US were changing, with the emergence of new genres such as new jack
swing, grunge, harder-core rap and hip-hop. As William Ruhlmann ofAllmusic later wrote, "Americans
probably lost interest [in Roxette] at about the time that Nirvana came roaring in from the
Northwest." In a 2009 interview with theBBC News, Gessle highlighted Nirvana and grunge music
as part of the cause which contributed to Roxette's downturn of success. Although Roxette's
commercial momentum in America was slowing down dramatically, elsewhere, singles from
the Joyride album continued to become hits when "Spending My Time" and "The Big L." charted in
many countries.
[44]

[26]

[1][28][31]

19921993: Tourism[edit]
Roxette continued the Join the Joyride tour through into 1992. It was during this tour that most of the
material for Tourism: Songs from Studios, Stages, Hotelrooms & Other Strange Places was
recorded. Instead of releasing an album of brand-new material, Gessle and Fredriksson re-mastered

older recordings, including several slated for but not included on Look Sharp! and Joyride. They also
recorded some of their live performances, recorded a country music inspired version of "It Must Have
Been Love" in a Los Angeles studio, and recorded new material in various locations around the
world an empty dance club, a hotel room and compiled everything on to the album. Released in
October 1992, Gessle and Fredriksson said Tourism was meant to "capture the energy within the
band".
[39]

The first single off the album was "How Do You Do!" followed by the ballad "Queen of Rain" and an
electrified version of the song "Fingertips", originally recorded acoustically for the album and re-titled
"Fingertips '93" for single release. Singles from Tourism barely dented the American radio and record
charts but in the rest of the world, the first single "How Do You Do!", hit the top 5 in most European
and South American countries. The album Tourism also charted well outside of the US, reaching
No. 1 in Germany and Sweden, No. 2 in the UK as well as peaking at No. 13 in Australia.
The
duo's success reflected in an ECHO Award nomination for International Group of the Year. At
home, Roxette won a Rockbjrnen Award for Best Swedish Group. It remains the last Rockbjrnen
the duo has received. In October 1992, Fredriksson released her first solo album in Swedish for five
years, titled Den stndiga resan (The Eternal Journey).
[1][21][28][31]
[45]

[23]

[21]

"Almost Unreal"

MENU
0:00

Mike Schiller
from Popmatters called the
song "awful"; and wrote,
"...not only does it sound like
corporate pandering, but it's
probably the most forced
smash hit wannabe Roxette
ever created."[46]

Problems playing this file? See media help.

In early 1993, Roxette became the first non-native-English speaking artists to be featured
on MTV's Unplugged series, though the songs from the performance were never released on an
official Unplugged album. In the same year, Roxette recorded and released "Almost Unreal", a song
originally slated for the film Hocus Pocus starring Bette Midler. However, the song was moved to
the soundtrack of the film based on the Nintendo video game Super Mario Bros. Supported by an
expensive video and ultimately receiving respectable airplay, "Almost Unreal" managed to briefly
reach the lower end of the Billboard Hot 100 but charted highest in the UK reaching the top 10, the
group's first time there since "Joyride" two years before. Roxette themselves were dismissive about
the song, with Fredriksson saying it was "not one of our most inspired moments." On the other
hand, Gessle stated: "I still like the song in a way... but if you wanted to make a parody of Roxette, it
would probably sound something like this." To coincide with the UK television premiere of the
[13]

[17]

[17]

[1][2]

[17]

[17]

film Pretty Woman, "It Must Have Been Love" was re-issued in September 1993 and entered the UK
and Irish singles charts for the second time.
[1][47][48]

19941998: Crash! Boom! Bang! and Don't Bore Us, Get to the Chorus![edit]
"MF: It was just before Christmas '93 and we were listening to the first playback of the Crash! Boom! Bang! album and realized we were all
missing something. It all sounded so... perfectly grown up. PG: We had worked for a year, much too long, endless hours of studio time... I
mean, I loved it but there was too little P-O-P."[17]
Roxette, on the first playback of Crash! Boom! Bang!

Roxette changed their musical style with the 1994 release of Crash! Boom! Bang!. Bryan Buss of
Allmusic wrote, "They rock harder than on their pop-friendly albums prior to this, and the result shows
growth but not the fun that made them so popular in the first place... Though the two have an edge
on this album, they almost seem to have become a bit bored."
[49]

Although Crash! Boom! Bang! saw chart success (No. 1 in Sweden, No. 2 in Germany & Australia,
No. 3 in the UK
), it didn't sell as many as their previous albums. EMI America were reluctant to
release the album, and instead promoted a shortened 10-track Favorites CD in association
with McDonald's. The Favorites of Crash! Boom! Bang! CD reportedly sold about 1 million
copies.
It was noted by journalists that the McDonald's promotion CD and other CDs by Tina
Turner, Garth Brooks and Elton John, led to US music retailers of the time being unhappy with the
promotion on several fronts, including that it bypassed established music stores and that the price of
the CD was way below normal wholesale costs. Some stores refused to sell the albums published by
EMI, with one major chain protesting by temporarily pulling all products from CEMA (EMI's
distribution wing) out of its sales and ad campaigns.
Relations with EMI's North American
subsidiary, never on the best of terms, collapsed after the release of this album. Crash! Boom!
Bang! became the last Roxette release EMI would issue in the US, untilGreatest Hits was released in
2011 on subsidiary label Capitol Records.
[1][21][28][31]

[50]

[50]

[50][51]

[52][53][54][55]

[56]

The first single release from Crash! Boom! Bang! was "Sleeping in My Car". The distortion guitarheavy pop song, born out of anger and frustration of the album's grown up nature, reached No. 2 in
Canada, as well as the top 10 in 7 European countries (including No. 1 in Sweden) as well as the top
15 in the UK, Australia and Germany. However in the US it was less successful, reaching only
the Billboard top 50. Subsequent releases, the title track "Crash! Boom! Bang!", "Fireworks", and
"Run to You", were less successful but managed to reach the charts in some countries.
[17]

[1][31]

Roxette then embarked on another, albeit scaled-down, worldwide tour, skipping North America in
the process. It was during this tour that Roxette became the first Western band to be allowed to
perform in China (Workers' Indoor Arena,Beijing) since Wham! in 1985. The procedure to get
permission for this concert had taken over a year, and included self-censoring the lyrics. In 2008
they were ordered to pay 4.5 million kronor in unpaid taxes to the Swedish Tax Agency, for money
earned during the German part of 94/95 tour.
[57]

[58]

[59]

[60][61]

In October 1995, Roxette released their first greatest hits compilation Don't Bore Us, Get to the
Chorus!, which reached the top 5 in many European countries including the UK, as well as the top 10
in Australia. It featured four new songs, three were released as singles, including the ballad "You
Don't Understand Me", co-written by Desmond Child. Also that year, a compilation of demos, Bsides and remixes, alongside some of the 1993 MTV Unplugged material, was released in Japan and
parts of South America under the title Rarities.
[1][28]

[17]

Gessle briefly reunited with Gyllene Tider in 1996, then Roxette took instrumental masters of many of
its ballads and recorded translated Spanish lyrics over them. The resulting album, Baladas En
Espaol, sold well in Spanish speaking regions reaching 2 platinum in Spain and platinum in
Argentina.
The single "Un da sin ti" ("Spending My Time") accompanied by a video directed
by Jonas kerlund, became their first Latin Pop Airplay chart entry. The duo then released solo
albums, I en tid som vr (In a Time Like Ours) by Fredriksson and The World According to Gessle by
Gessle, with both charting in Sweden.
[62][63]

[2]

[21]

19992001: Have a Nice Day and Room Service[edit]


Gessle and Fredriksson reunited in 1998 to record material for a new Roxette album, Have a Nice
Day, which was released in March 1999 and gave Roxette a comeback in continental Europe. It
entered at No. 1 in Sweden and No. 2 in Germany. The first single, "Wish I Could Fly", became their
highest charting UK single since 1993 (No. 11). In Sweden it charted at No. 4, their best position
since "Sleeping in My Car". Although the second single, "Anyone", didn't chart well in Europe,
"Stars", the third single, charted well in Scandinavian and German speaking countries. NME's review
called Have a Nice Day "...another clever-clever bastard of an album which defies Doctor Rock". A
review of "I Wish I could Fly" by Hkan Steen of Aftonbladet said "The come-back single is a
disappointment. The lyrics which conveys a sense of distance in a relationship, are not particularly
engaging." The album, according to Billboard magazine, was under discussion for release in the US
but ultimately it was not released there.
[21]

[1][21]

[64]

[65]

[66][67]

In 2000, Fredriksson released a greatest hits compilation called ntligen (At Last), which went on to
be a big seller in Sweden, peaking at No. 1 for three weeks. Meanwhile, Roxette signed a US
distribution deal with Edel Music, which re-released Don't Bore Us, Get to the Chorus!, replacing
some non-US hits with songs from Have a Nice Day. To promote the release the duo did a small
tour of America, performing at the Boston Mixfest and at the Virgin Megastore in Times
Square.
The single "Wish I Could Fly" included in the album reached No. 27 on the Billboard Adult
Contemporary chart and No. 40 on the Adult Top 40 tally.
[21]

[67]

[68][69]

[2]

Room Service followed in 2001 to a mixed response from critics. "Probably the best Roxette album
since Joyride", wrote Leslie Mathew of Allmusic, "Room Service is an exciting, immediate, high-gloss
pop gem that contains very little filler indeed." Per Bjurman from Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet was
critical of the album, "It is not very good." he wrote. He did praise the three singles, "Real Sugar",
"The Centre of the Heart" and "Milk and Toast and Honey", but ended the review with "Roxette is not
finished. But soon, I suspect."
[70]

[71]

Roxette in a 2001 concert in Spain.

The album topped the Swedish charts and reached No. 3 in Germany, but received little attention in
the UK. A penned US release through Edel America Records did not happen as the label was
disbanded due to financial difficulties,
though it did peak at No. 2 on CNN's Worldbeat album
chart. The first single, "The Centre of the Heart" topped the charts in Sweden, made the top 10 in
Spain, and the top 15 in Finland.
The other singles, "Real Sugar", the album's opening track and
"Milk and Toast and Honey" were less successful. Roxette again went on tour, this time in Europe
only, as concerts planned in South Africa were cancelled after the September 11 attacks. On
reviewing their Lfbergs Lila Arena concert, Bjurman from Aftonbladet said "Roxette succeed in all
cases, to never leave the 80s.", criticising Roxette's playlist which consisted of some of their early
hits. Johan Lindqvist from Gteborgs-Posten was more positive, scoring their Munich concert four
stars out of five.
[72][73]

[74]

[21][75][76]

[77]

[78]

[79]

20022008: Compilations, solo albums and hiatus[edit]


In 2002, at the Grammis ceremony, Roxette received a Music Export Prize from the Swedish
Government. After that came a set of compilations, The Ballad Hits in late 2002 and The Pop Hits in
[22]

early 2003. Each set contained a separate CD with material previously available and never heard
before tracks. "A Thing About You" was released as the lead single from The Ballad Hits. The album
was released in the UK on February 14, 2003, to coincide with Valentines day and entered the charts
there at No. 23 before climbing to its peak position of No. 11 a week later. It also peaked in the top
10 in Germany and The Netherlands. The single "Opportunity Nox" was released from The Pop
Hits in 2003. The Ballad Hits which sold over a million copies within a year, helped the duo win
a World Music Award as the Best selling Scandinavian artist in October 2003. In that year, Roxette
were also awarded with achievement medals by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden "for appreciated
achievements in Sweden and internationally".
[80]

[81]

[82]

In September 2002, Fredriksson was hospitalised after she received concussion during a fainting
spell at her home. She was then diagnosed with a brain tumour, which was later successfully
removed in surgery. Four months later, Swedish newspaper Expressen reported Fredriksson had
been diagnosed with a second tumor. This turned out to be false and the newspaper issued an
apology saying its report had no basis but dismissed demands from Fredriksson for
compensation.
During her recovery, she recorded her first-ever English-language solo album, The
Change. The album which was inspired by her brush with mortality, entered the Swedish album chart
at No. 1 in October 2004. With Fredriksson's illness and rehabilitation, the duo took a hiatus,
allowing Gessle to release Mazarin (Cupcake) in 2003. It was his first Swedish-language solo album
in 18 years and became very successful in his home country, topping the charts and winning
numerous awards.
One of the tracks, "P promenad genom stan" ("Strolling Through the
Town"), featured Fredriksson singing back-up. In 2004, Gessle and Gyllene Tider reunited for a 25thanniversary celebration that included the band's first album in 20 years, Finn 5 fel!, and another
successful tour in Sweden.
[3][83]

[84][85]

[21]

[21][22][23][86]

In 2005, Belgian dance group D.H.T.'s trance-cover of "Listen to Your Heart" became a worldwide
club hit. Originally released in Belgium in 2003, by the mid-2005, the song reached the top 10 of
the Billboard Hot 100, and was certified gold in October by the RIAA. Also that year, several songs
were released as re-mixes and covers. Among them: two prominent versions of "Fading Like a
Flower", one a trance cover by German group Mysterio and one a sampling by Dancing DJs that
reached the UK chart. In November 2005, while Gessle was in the middle of promoting his Son of a
Plumber album, he and Fredriksson appeared at the Dorchester Hotel in London for an awards
presentation by Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI). Gessle received two awards, the first for "It
Must Have Been Love", which by that time had been played on US radio more than 4 million
times, while he and co-songwriter Mats Persson also received an award for Dance Song of the Year
for D.H.T.'s cover of "Listen to Your Heart". The ceremony marked the first time Gessle and
Fredriksson had appeared in public together since before the onset of Fredriksson's brain tumour
and subsequent surgery in 2002. When asked by an Aftonbladet reporter if there would be a Roxette
reunion, Gessle replied, "We haven't decided yet. No doors are closed. We're still
young". Fredriksson returned in 2006 with an album of Swedish cover songs, titledMin bste
vn (My Best Friend), while Gessle recorded two more solo albums, En hndig man (A Handy Man)
(2007) and Party Crasher (2008).
[87]

[1]

[6]

[88]

[89]

"They were a legitimately popular band, but they dont fit neatly into the story of American pop music. The Swedish duo wasnt a boy band
like New Kids on the Block, they werent glammy enough to be hair metal, and vocalist Marie Fredriksson didnt have the outsize personality
to be a diva like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, or Janet Jackson. They were far from the only guitar-based pop act on the airwaves in the
80s, but they came too late to be mentioned alongside Journey, Survivor, or REO Speedwagon, and they didnt have the rock legacy of Heart
or Starship."
Chris Conaton from Popmatters reviewing Greatest Hits[90]

In mid-2006, Roxette released to radio "The Rox Medley" to promote a forthcoming 20th Anniversary
package. The medley included six Roxette hit singles: "The Look", "Joyride", "Listen to Your Heart",
"Dangerous", "It Must Have Been Love" and "Fading Like a Flower (Everytime You Leave)". It was
eventually released as b-side to the single "One Wish" and was also available to download. The 20th
Anniversary package better known as The Rox Box was released on 18 October 2006 to
commemorate Roxette's 20 years in the music industry. Spanning over 4 CDs and single DVD, it
included two new singles, "One Wish", which was their first new single in four years and "Reveal".

Both songs were also included on a new greatest hits album, Roxette Hits, which was released at the
same time as The Rox Box. Nunstedt of Expressen was disparaging of Roxette Hits, giving the
album two stars and ending the review, "...the CD subtitleTheir Twenty greatest songs is a matter of
discussion, I can only count eight hits."
[91]

20092010: Night of The Proms and European Tour[edit]


Rumours started of a Roxette reunion when Gessle was interviewed by the BBC in April 2009.
"Yeah, we've talked about it. It's really up to Marie." Gessle said. Online news sites also picked up
on the possibility of a reunion.
On 5 May 2009 an announcement was made that "Roxette would
re-unite after 8 years and play for the first time on the Night of the Proms in Belgium, The
Netherlands and Germany". The tour started on Friday, 23 October in the Sportpaleis
Antwerp.
Roxette were due to play the Night of the Proms back in 2002, but Fredriksson's illness
meant they had to pull out.
[26]

[92][93]

[13][94]

[94]

Roxette on stage on 6 May 2009

Despite the Night of the Proms announcement, the first appearance of Roxette after 8 years was on
6 May 2009, during Per Gessle's concert in Amsterdam as part of his Party Crasher tour. Almost at
the end of the concert, Gessle said: "I'd like you all to welcome an old friend of mine: Marie
Fredriksson", then she joined the band to perform "It Must Have Been Love" and "The Look". Later
she also appeared on stage with him in Stockholm, at the last concert of his solo tour, 9 May
2009. Later in July 2009 they took part in the New Wave festival in Latvia.
[4]

[13]

[13]

In January 2010 a concert at The Race Legends event in Sweden on 14 August was
announced, followed by confirmation of other concerts in Russia, Denmark and Norway which took
place during August and September 2010. On 18 June 2010, Roxette performed a one off set at
Stockholm Concert Hall, performing "The Look" in front of Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden,
during the gala concert on the day before her wedding. On 4 August 2010 Roxette played a 2 hour
secret gig at Leifs Lounge, Hotel Tylsand, just outside Halmstad. This was seen as a dress
rehearsal for the upcoming European tour. On 31 December 2010 Roxette performed in Poland at
New Year's Eve concert, transmitted live from Warsaw internationally.
[95]

[96]

[97]

20112012: Charm School, Travelling and World Tour[edit]

Roxette at the Bospop festival in Weert, The Netherlands, 9 July 2011

On 23 October 2009, the Swedish newspaper Expressen reported that Roxette were recording new
songs. Per stated that he had been working on new material for an upcoming album since May
2009. In early November 2010, it was announced that the band would undertake their first world
tour since 1995. Their eighth studio album, Charm School, was released in Europe on 11 February
2011 and peaked within the top 20 of eleven European album charts. The set also became their first
since 1992's Tourism to reach No. 1 on the German album chart, where it was certified gold for
shipments in excess of 100,000 units. The album was preceded by the single "She's Got Nothing
On (But the Radio)" on 10 January 2011, which became Roxette's biggest hit in the German market
since "How Do You Do!", and for several weeks was the fourth most-played song on radio in the
world. Charm School also received a full commercial release in South America, debuting at No. 1
on the Argentinian album chart. The Charm School World Tour, their first in 15 years, started on 28
February 2011 in Kazan, Russia. It is expected to comprise up to 130 concerts and run until
October 2012, with the band performing to over 800,000 people in the 79 concerts held in 2011
alone.
On 15 November, Roxette played their first UK gig in 17 years at London's Wembley
Arena, and in March 2012, they performed two concerts in China, after the Chinese Ministry of
Culture gave them permission to play.
[98]

[99]

[12]

[100]

[101]

[102]

[100]

[100][103]

[104]

In early 2012, Gessle confirmed through his official Twitter account that recording for Roxette's ninth
studio album, titled Travelling, had been completed. The fifteen track album and the first single "It's
Possible" was released in March 2012.
[105]

20132014: Break and new world tour[edit]


In 2013, Per Gessle reunited with his former Swedish boy band Gyllene Tider in which they released
a new album and toured Sweden. Roxette's first Blu-ray/DVD concert titled Roxette Live Travelling
The World was released. Meanwhile, Roxette lead singer Marie Fredriksson promoted her new
Swedish solo album Nu which led to a successful tour in the spring. In April 2014, succeeding the
announcement of the 25th anniversary of Roxette's first United States #1 hit "The Look" they
announced they will be embarking on another World Tour starting in Russia in late October. Per
Gessle has also confirmed working in the studio; it is unknown if this is new material for a new
Roxette album or solo career. Fredriksson and Gessle have both been quoted as stating that they
would like to do another album in the near future.
[106]

Awards[edit]
Year

1988

Recipient

Look Sharp

Award

Grammis (Sweden) Composer of the Year (Gessle)[22]

Result

Won

Rockbjrnen (Sweden) Best Swedish Album[23]

Won

Roxette

Rockbjrnen (Sweden) Best Swedish Group[23]

Won

"The Look"

MTV Video Award (USA) International Viewer's


Choice (Europe)

Won

Rockbjrnen (Sweden) Best Swedish Group[23]

Won

Silver Bravo Otto (Germany) Best rock/pop Group[107]

Won

Bronze Bravo Otto Best rock/pop group[108]

Won

Brit Award (UK) Best international group[109]

Nominated

1989

1990
Roxette

Silver Bravo Otto Best rock/pop group[110]

Won

Rockbjrnen (Sweden) Best Swedish Group[23]

Won

Rockbjrnen (Sweden) Best Swedish Album[23]

Won

Grammis Pop Group of the Year[22]

Won

MTV Video Award International Viewer's


Choice (Europe)

Won

Australian Music Awards Most Popular International


Group

Won

Gold Bravo Otto Best rock/pop Group[111]

Won

Rockbjrnen (Sweden) Best Swedish Group[23]

Won

1991
Joyride

"Joyride"

Roxette
1992

"Joyride"

1993

Roxette

1995

1999

"Wish I Could Fly"

2000

2002

Roxette

2003

Juno Award (Canada) Best Selling Single by a Foreign


Artist[36]

Nominated

Echo (Germany) International Group of the Year[45]

Nominated

Echo (Germany) International Group of the Year[45]

Nominated

Echo (Germany) International Group of the Year[45]

Nominated

Fono Music Award (Europe) European No. 1 Airplay


hit[112]

Won

WMA Best selling Scandinavian artist[113]

Won

Grammis (Sweden) Government Music Export Prize[22]

Won

WMA Best selling Scandinavian artist[81]

Won

Discography[edit]
Main article: Roxette discography
Studio albums

Compilations

Pearls of Passion (1986)


Look Sharp! (1988)
Joyride (1991)
Tourism (1992)
Crash! Boom! Bang! (1994)
Have a Nice Day (1999)
Room Service (2001)
Charm School (2011)
Travelling (2012)

Tours[edit]

Rarities (1
Don't Bore
Baladas E
The Ballad
The Pop H
A Collecti

Christoffer Lundquist (guitarist) and Malin Ekstrand (backing vocals), who accompanied Roxette during the 2010 European tour

Rock Runt Riket Swedish Tour (with Eva Dahlgren and Ratata) (1987)
Look Sharp '88! Tour Swedish Tour (1988)
Look Sharp Live! European Tour (1989)
Join the Joyride! World Tour (1991/92)
The Summer Joyride European Tour (1992)
Crash! Boom! Bang! World Tour (1994/95)
Room Service Tour (2001)
Night of the Proms (2009) (Classic meets Pop headliner, with several artists)
European Tour (2010) (Six dates as a test for a bigger tour in 2011)
Charm School The World Tour (2011/12)
World Tour (201415)
[114]

[114]

[114]

[114]

[114]

[114]

[114]

[114]

[115]

[106]

See also[edit]

Book: Roxette

Further information: List of songs recorded by Roxette

Join the Flumeride a mockumentary of two fictional bands parodying Roxette and Gyllene Tider, and featuring a cameo
appearance by Per Gessle.

List of artists who reached number one in the United States


List of bands named after other performers' songs
List of best-selling music artists
List of Billboard number-one singles
List of Swedes in music
Swedish popular music

References[edit]
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101. Jump up^ "Ranking Mensual Pop". CAPIF. 2011-02-01. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
102. Jump up^ Dahlbom, Anders. "Hela vrlden vill se Roxette" [The whole world wants to see Roxette]. Expressen (in Swedish).
Retrieved 2012-01-04.
103. Jump up^ Evensson, Thomas (2011-12-09). "Roxette returns to South America in 2012".The Daily Roxette. Retrieved 2011-1212.
104. Jump up^ "Nu fr Roxette spela i Kina" [Now Roxette play in china]. Hallandsposten (in Swedish). 2012-01-13. Retrieved 201201-14.
105. Jump up^ Gessle, Per. "Gessle's official Twitter account". Retrieved 2012-02-01.
106. ^ Jump up to:a b "Roxette - Tour". Roxette.se. Retrieved 2014-05-20.
107. Jump up^ "Bravo magazine archiveOtto awards 1989". Bravo (in German). Retrieved 2010-02-01.
108. Jump up^ "Bravo magazine archiveOtto awards 1990". Bravo (in German). Retrieved 2010-02-01.
109. Jump up^ "1991 Brit Awards". Brit Awards (BPI). Retrieved 2010-11-18.
110. Jump up^ "Bravo magazine archiveOtto awards 1991". Bravo (in German). Retrieved 2010-02-01.

111. Jump up^ "Bravo magazine archiveOtto awards 1992". Bravo (in German). Retrieved 2010-02-01.
112. Jump up^ "Roxette fick guldskiva i Tyskland". Expressen (in Swedish). 1999-09-01. Archived from the original on 2001-07-07.
Retrieved 2010-03-08.
113. Jump up^ "2000 WMA winners list". WMA. Archived from the original on 2000-06-19. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
114. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h "List of Roxette's tours". roxette20.eu.[dead link]
115. Jump up^ Roxette goes on world tour. The Daily Roxette (2010-11-03). Retrieved 2011-02-16.

Sources

Lundgren, Larz; Wikstrm, Jan-Owe (1992). Roxette: The Book. ISBN 91-46-16211-