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.
- 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)
- Good Karma (2016)
Roxette provides examples of:
- Album Title Drop: Look Sharp! is a cutaway vocal line 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. Have a Nice Day appears at the end of the first line of the third verse of "You Can't Put Your Arms Around What's Already Gone".
- 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.
- Christmas Songs: "It Must Have Been Love" was originally a melancholic Christmas song added with with the subtitle "Christmas for the Broken Hearted". The Christmas references were omitted once the song was put on the Pretty Woman soundtrack, and this is the most known version of the song.
- 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: After her struggle with cancer, Marie can no longer read or count, is blind in one eye and has some loss of movement in her right side. This did not stop her peforming a full world tour with the band, though she has now had to give up playing live.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Pearls of Passion was pretty much a pure dance-pop album, without any of the rockier elements and guitars that would give their subsequent albums more grit and punch. It only charted in their native Sweden and doesn't have much popularity within their fanbase.
- Excited Show Title!: "How Do You Do!", "Crash! Boom! Bang!"
- 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. Even "The Look" is laced with some Does This Remind You of Anything?.
- MacGyvering: "Here Comes The Weekend" uses a suitcase for percussion - there were no drums available, as the song was recorded in a hotel room.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: From 1 ("Crash! Boom! Bang!") to 5 ("She Doesn't Live Here Anymore"). The band, at least after their first album, always had a rockier sound than a lot of their more pop orientated contemporaries.
- 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:
- Singer Name Drop: Done in "Joyride". Also the first thing heard in "Dance Away".
- The '60s: The video to "June Afternoon" is one long homage to the decade.
- Super Group: At least to Swedes of a certain age. Marie was already a successful solo artist, and Per had been the frontman of New Wave Music band Gyllene Tider before they formed Roxette.
- The Band Minus the Face: After Marie had to stop touring on medical advice, Per Gessle has continued to perform concerts as "Per Gessle's Roxette" with Marie's blessing.
- Titled After the Song: Named for Doctor Feelgood's song "Roxette".
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: "Spending My Time".
- Unplugged Version: The MTV Unplugged appearance, eventually released as a DVD.
- Vocal Tag Team: While the original intent was for Marie to sing lead vocals on most of the songs, in practice Per also sang on some of their hits too including their breakthrough hit "The Look".
- 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.