"Their style is so adorably dinky, with rinky-tink rhythms, toy power chords, and teensy vocals, that you practically want to pet it. And the affection, apparently, is mutual."
—Entertainment Weekly review
Roxette is a Swedish
soft rock duo consisting of Per Gessle (guitars, vocals, main songwriter) and Marie Fredriksson (lead vocals). They are the second most successful pop group to come out of Sweden, and considering who's first
, that's no mean feat. Their height of popularity was from the late 80's
into the mid 90's
, mainly because that's when their U.S.
popularity faded and they went their separate ways. After a difficult period in the late noughties
when Marie struggled with cancer, they announced their reunion and began a European comeback tour.
Already successful in their homeland, their international breakout came when the song "It Must Have Been Love" was included on the soundtrack of the film Pretty Woman
and the highly successful single "The Look" was introduced on American radio by a DJ who bought the record while on holiday in Sweden. The duo subsequently gained nineteen UK Top 40 hits, and four US number one singles. They continue to be popular in Europe and South America, whereas they'll always be remembered in the U.S. as being strictly an 80's band. Discography:
- 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)
Roxette provides examples of:
- Album Title Drop: Look Sharp! is a cutaway vocal line by Per just before the guitar solo on "Dressed for Success" on the album. Joyride and Crash! Boom! Bang! are named after songs on the albums themselves.
- Award Bait Song: "It Must Have Been Love", which also counts as a Breakaway Pop Hit.
- Boxed Set: The Rox Box, issued in 2006 as a 20th anniversary celebration.
- Breakaway Pop Hit: The aforementioned "It Must Have Been Love". To a lesser extent, "Almost Unreal", though they're less than proud of it.
- Cover Version: Heart Of Gold, I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) and So You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star appeared in their "MTV Unplugged" set. Help! - recorded at Abbey Road! - was a B-Side to You Don't Understand Me.
- Determinator - Plucky Girl: Marie can no longer read or count, is blind in one eye and has some loss of movement in her right side - this has not stopped her peforming a full world tour with the band.
- Greatest Hits Album: One of their best known ones acknowledged the Ear Worm qualities of their songs with the title, Don't Bore Us, Get To The Chorus!
- Intercourse with You: While rare compared to the songs about love and general happiness that make up the majority of the band's oeuvre, there are some examples of this too, "Sleeping In My Car" probably being the most obvious.
- MacGyvering: "Here Comes The Weekend" uses a suitcase for percussion - there were no drums available, as the song was recorded in a hotel room.
- Never Trust a Title: "Crash! Boom! Bang!" is actually a slow ballad.
- New Sound Album: "Have a Nice Day" veered into this territory, the uptempo songs in particular featuring a lot more electronic instrumentation than the fans were accustomed to.
- Non Indicative Name: The title track of the album "Crash! Boom! Bang!" is a ballad. Not even one of Roxette's signature power ballads (see below), but an honest-to-goodness ballad, in 3/4 time and with violins.
- Power Ballad: A staple of the band's oeuvre. "Listen To Your Heart" is a pretty well known example. Per Gessle has explained that it was intended to be a homage to the FM radio tunes that were big in America during the eighties.
- Rearrange the Song: "It Must Have Been Love" came back in a country-tinged remake for the "Tourism" album. "Travelling" features both guitar-heavy and synth-heavy mixes of "It's Possible", creatively labeled "Version 1" and "Version 2".
- Revival by Commercialization: "The Look", after its reappearance in Rock Band.
- Singer Name Drop: Done in "Joyride".
- Unplugged Version: The MTV Unplugged appearance, eventually released as a DVD.
- Vocal Tag Team
- Word Salad Lyrics: More than a few times. All Music Guide actually praised Gessle's solo album for having Swedish lyrics - all the easier to ignore this little trait.