Roxette is a Swedish pop music duo, consisting of Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle. They enjoyed worldwide success, from the late 1980s until the mid 1990s, gaining nineteen UK Top 40 hits and four US #1 singles with, "The Look", "Listen to Your Heart", "It Must Have Been Love" and "Joyride". Two further singles "Dangerous" and "Fading Like a Flower" hit #2.
After a hiatus in the mid-1990s, their popularity continued in other territories such as Europe and South America, where they earned various Gold and Platinum awards until the beginning of the new millennium. The duo took an extended hiatus from recording and touring, when in 2002, Fredriksson was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Roxette took to the stage together again for the first time in 8 years, in 2009, during Gessle's European Party Crasher tour.
Roxette's songs continue to receive radio airplay. "It Must Have Been Love" and "Listen To Your Heart" have both recently received awards from BMI for four million radio plays. They have sold an estimated 45 million albums and 25 million singles worldwide, with over 2.7 million album sales in the United States, achieving platinum for Joyride and Look Sharp! there.
Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson first met in Halmstad, Sweden, in the late 70s. Gessle performed in one of Sweden's most popular bands of the time Gyllene Tider 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.
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?. According to Gessle, the group's first English-language release was in response to interest expressed by EMI's American label Capitol Records, in an attempt to reach into the lucrative American market. The 11-track Heartland Caf? was released in February 1984 and sold 45,000 copies in Sweden. Capitol took six of the tracks and released an extended play (EP) record in the United States 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".
The newly-named Roxette issued one near-invisible release in the United States, "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 v?gen, and received in 1986, a Rockbj?rnen award as Best Swedish Female Artist.
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 glasses") into English, which became their first single, "Neverending Love". It was released in late 1986 under the name "Roxette" and reached the Swedish Top 10, selling 50,000 copies.
"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 sound good. Of course I?m a bit proud of getting the idea for Roxette".
? Rolf Nygren
1986?1987: Pearls of Passion
"Christmas For the Broken Hearted" was released in 1987 after EMI Germany asked the duo to come up with an intelligent Christmas single.
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 became an even bigger success in Sweden with their next singles "Goodbye to You" and "Soul Deep". Some singles from Passion were released in other countries, including Canada, Italy, Japan, Australia and other European countries. Their international releases didn't emulate their Swedish success. Damas of Allmusic retrospectively wrote:
...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.
The album was followed by a compilation of remixes of the same songs entitled Dance Passion.
In 1987, Fredriksson released and publicised her third solo album Efter Stormen, which won her the 1988 Swedish Grammis Award as Best Female Pop/Rock Artist and two Rockbj?rnen awards for Best Swedish Album and Best Swedish Female Artist. 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)", a holiday themed song that received some attention 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.
1988?1990: Look Sharp!
In native Sweden, "Dressed for Success" and "Listen to Your Heart" were chosen as the first two singles from Look Sharp!, as Gessle and EMI Svenska 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 3 of the Swedish singles charts, while the album Look Sharp!, which was released in Sweden in October 1988, holding the #1 position for fourteen weeks. Music critic M?ns Ivarsson was underwhelmed by the album, "To consist of two such original persons as Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle, the album sounds unbelievably conventional."
When the third single from Look Sharp, "The Look" became another Top 10 success 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, and quickly spread 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, making for good press for many years, with Gessle telling this as the story which highlighted the beginning of their international success.
After the popularity of "The Look" in the U.S. 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 #1 in the U.S. on April 8, 1989, where it remained for one week. At the end of the year, Billboard named "The Look" one of the 20 biggest Hot 100 singles of the year. The breakthrough for Roxette became international when "The Look" also successfully topped the charts in 24 other countries.
"Dressed for Success", featuring Fredriksson on lead with Gessle singing short parts for accentuating, was the second international single. The single peaked at #14 on the Hot 100 as well as at #3 in Australia and #2 in Japan. "Listen to Your Heart" was released thereafter. The power-ballad differed from previous singles and instead resembled the guitar-heavy ballads of Heart. Gessle didn't like Roxette being compared to Heart: "That wasn't the intention behind Roxette at all." he exclaimed. "Listen to Your Heart" spent a single week at #1 in the US in November 1989 and reached the Top 10 in most territories.
A fourth single, "Dangerous", was released at the end of the year, entering into the Hot 100 at the end of December. The single, a duet between Gessle and Fredriksson, spent two weeks at #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".
Look Sharp! won Gessle his first Swedish Grammis award in the category Best Composer. Roxette received two Rockbj?rnen awards for Best Swedish Album and Best Swedish Group while Fredriksson won her third consecutive Rockbj?rnen for Best Swedish Female Artist.
"It Must Have Been Love" - Pretty Woman soundtrack
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.
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 #1 on the Hot 100 in June 1990, three months after the film's release, and stayed for two additional weeks at #2, spending a total of seventeen weeks in the Top 40. Billboard named "It Must Have Been Love" the #2 Hot 100 single of the year behind Wilson Phillips' "Hold On". The song also topped the charts in more than 20 other countries (including Australia and Japan) around the world. In Germany the single spent 9 months in the Top 75, and peaked at #3 in the United Kingdom, the group's highest singles chart position there. The soundtrack went on to be certified three times platinum by the RIAA.
In Sweden, Roxette collected their second Rockbj?rnen as Best Swedish Group and Fredriksson won her fourth award as Best Swedish Female Artist.
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 Worldwide hit and is Roxette's best selling album. Their record company EMI invested almost 2 million dollars on promotion for the album, which stayed at #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."
"Joyride" the single became Roxette's first #1 in their home country. It also topped the charts in more than 25 countries around the world, including Germany, Australia and the United States, becoming their 4th and last U.S. #1. The single also reached #4 in the U.K. and achieved success in Canada which resulted in Roxette being nominated in 1992 for Juno Award in a 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 #2 in the U.S. in July and was a major hit in other big markets as well, peaking in the Top 5 in Australia, Germany and Sweden. "Fading Like a Flower" became Roxette's last U.S. Top 10 single.
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 United States. Reviewing Roxette's New York debut concert at Beacon Theater, Jon Pareles wrote in The New York Times:
"Roxette seems to have learned staging through careful mimicry of MTV. On a set painted in a Piet Mondrian primary colors, Miss Fredriksson struts, leans on the other band members, makes symmetrical arm motions, pouts and straps on a guitar to take a few chords; she took off her leather jacket and later her long sleeves, like a G-rated stripper."
It was at this time that EMI's American subsidiary made personnel changes that resulted in a downturn in the 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 U.S. charts. Gessle said of the situation, "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."
Music tastes in the USA were changing, with the emergence of new genres such as new jack swing, grunge, harder-core rap and hip-hop. As William Ruhlmann of Allmusic 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 the BBC, Gessle highlighted Nirvana and grunge music as part of the cause which contributed in Roxette's downturn of success.
Although Roxette's commercial momentum in America was slowing down dramatically, elsewhere, singles from the Joyride album made the charts when "Spending my time" hit the Top 10 in Germany and Australia, while the catchy guitar pop tune "The Big L" made the Japanese and Swedish Top 10 as well as the Top 20 in most European countries.
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, Tourism was meant to "capture the energy within the band", Per & Marie said.
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 American radio and record stores but the first single "How Do You Do!", hit the Top Five in a number of countries. Tourism charted well outside of the USA, reaching #1 in Germany and Sweden, #2 in the UK as well as peaking at #5 in Australia.
It was also in 1992, that the group's European and Australian success reflected in Germany's ECHO Award (the equivalent of the Grammy) nomination for the International Group of the Year. They also won a Swedish Grammis Award as Best Pop Group and two Rockbj?rnens: for Best Swedish Album and Best Swedish Group. In October 1992, Marie Fredriksson released her first solo album in Swedish in five years, titled Den st?ndiga resan (The Eternal Journey). It brought her second Swedish Grammis Award, this time as Artist of the Year.
"Almost Unreal" was originally slated for the film Hocus Pocus.
It became Roxette's last Top 10 single in the U.K. Although their 1999 hit "Wish I Could Fly" still managed to reach #11.
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. At home, Roxette won a Rockbj?rnen Award for Best Swedish Group, the last Rockbj?rnen the group would receive, though there have been nominations in the years since. Also Roxette received their second ECHO Award nomination for the International Group of the Year.
It was also in 1993 when 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 to 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 reached the Top 10 on the U.K. singles chart, the group's first time there since "Joyride" two years before. Roxette themselves were dismissive about the song, "Not one of our most inspired moments.", Fredriksson said. While 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."
In the Autumn of 1993, a second re-issuing of "It Must Have Been Love" managed to reach the UK and Irish Top 10 singles charts, after the UK television premiere of the film Pretty Woman.
1994: Crash! Boom! Bang!
Roxette took a turn with the 1994 release of Crash! Boom! Bang!, "It all sounded so... perfectly grown up", Fredriksson described. Bryan Buss of Allmusic wrote, "To go from the painfully pretty "Fading Like a Flower (Every Time You Leave)" on Joyride to the apathetic "Vulnerable" to the haunting and powerful title track of the same name on this album shows a serious downward slide.... Though the two have an edge on this album, they almost seem to have become a bit bored."
Although Crash! Boom! Bang! saw some chart success, (#1 in Sweden, #2 in Germany & Australia, #3 in the UK), it was seen as a flop in comparison to previous albums. EMI America were reluctant to release the album, and it didn't sell well, despite a successful campaign by McDonald's, which advertised and sold a 10-track Favorites CD. The Favorites CD reportedly sold about 1 million copies. Crash! Boom! Bang! became the last Roxette release EMI would issue in the US.
The first single release from Crash! Boom! Bang! was "Sleeping in My Car". The distortion guitar-heavy pop song, born out of anger and frustation of the album's grown up nature, managed to grab some attention, reaching the Billboard Top 50 and the Top 15 in the UK, Australia and Germany, as well as returning Roxette to #1 in Sweden after several years. 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.
1995?1998: Don't Bore Us, Get to the Chorus! and Baladas En Espa?ol
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 years, and included self-censoring the lyrics. The band did re-write some of their lyrics but used the original lyrics after all during the concert.
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. The song managed to hit the Swedish Top 10. The compilation gained high praise from Allmusic's Bryan Russ, saying, "This compilation exhibits what pop masters Gessle and Fredriksson are." Also that year, a compilation of demos, B-sides and remixes, alongside some of the 1993 MTV Unplugged material, was released in Japan and parts of South America under the title Rarities. Roxette received their third ECHO Award nomination for the International Group of the Year.
In 1996, Roxette took instrumental masters of many of its ballads and recorded translated Spanish lyrics over them, released on the album Baladas En Espa?ol, which sold well in Argentina, Chile and other parts of South America, reaching platinum in Spain. Also in 1996, Marie Fredriksson released another solo Swedish-language album, I en tid som v?r (In a Time Like Ours). Meanwhile, Gessle reunited with Gyllene Tider for what turned out to be a successful tour, that brought the band three awards in Sweden.
Per Gessle released a solo English-language album, The World According to Gessle, in 1997. One song "I'll Be Alright", featured Fredriksson singing backing vocals.
1999?2000: Have a Nice Day
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 successful comeback in continental Europe.
Containing elements of techno and house music, Have a Nice Day produced singles that returned Roxette to European charts. The first single, "Wish I Could Fly", became their highest charting UK single since 1993, while in Sweden, it charted at #4, the 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 countries.
NME's review called Have a Nice Day "...another clever-clever bastard of an album which defies Doctor Rock". Damas of Allmusic called the album "an effort to encapsulate Roxette's trademark sound with Brit-pop and electronica, and, by gosh, it works." He called one of the tracks, "You Can't Put Your Arms Around What's Already Gone", "quite possibly the best song (Gessle has) ever written." Sales were brisk in South America as well, but there was no U.S. release of Have a Nice Day.
In 2000, Fredriksson released ?ntligen (At Last). The greatest-hits compilation, titled after one of her songs, is composed of material from her Swedish solo career. It went on to be a big seller in Sweden, peaking at #1 for three weeks, and resulted in a successful tour. Meanwhile, Roxette signed a U.S. distribution deal with Edel Music, which re-released Don't Bore Us, Get to the Chorus!, replacing some non-U.S. hits with songs from Have a Nice Day. It resulted in the most recent chart action for Roxette in US: the single "Wish I Could Fly" included in the album reached #27 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and #40 on the Adult Top 40 tally.
2001: Room Service
Roxette in a 2001 concert in Spain.
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." While Per Bjurman, from Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, bluntly put "It (the album) is not very good.", and thought the album was not original, "Many songs sound like covers of old Roxette material. Perhaps inevitable when you return to 'roots', but a little more imagination may be required." He did praise the three singles, "Real Sugar", "The Centre of the Heart" and "Milk and Toast and Honey", which he called "Roxette's strongest ballad since "It Must Have Been Love" and "Listen to Your Heart"", but ended the review with "Roxette is not finished. But soon, I suspect."
Allmusic said the duo were in "fine vocal form, especially Marie, who's equally proficient whether she's doing elegiac laments or burning the house down"
The album topped the Swedish charts and reached #3 in Germany, but received little attention in the U.K. The first single, "The Centre of the Heart", emerged, hitting #1 in Sweden, and making the Top 20 in such countries as Finland, Latvia and Argentina. The second release and the album's opening track was "Real Sugar". It was followed by "Milk and Toast and Honey", which was the only single from the album to be released in the U.K. It did not chart well there, but it did reach the Swedish and Swiss Top 30. Roxette again went on a successful tour, this time in Europe only, as concerts planned in South Africa were cancelled after the September 11 terrorist attacks. On reviewing one of their concerts, Per 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.
While the album wasn't released in the United States, it did peak at #2 on CNN's Worldbeat album chart. "We'd love to release the album there (US), but currently no-one?s interested." Gessle exclaimed.
2002?2008: Compilations, solo albums & hiatus
In 2001, 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 early 2003. Each set contained a separate CD with material previously available and never heard before tracks. The single "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 #23 before climbing to its peak position of #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 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".
In September 2002, after a fainting spell, Marie Fredriksson was diagnosed with a brain tumor, 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 Fredriksson later sued the newspaper for 500,000 kronor.
It was during her recovery that she wrote and compiled songs for her first-ever English-language solo album, The Change, which was released October 2004. Inspired by Fredriksson's brush with mortality and made mostly in partnership with her husband, Mikael Bolyos, the album entered the Swedish album chart at #1, and quickly gained Gold status from the IFPI.
With Fredriksson's illness and rehabilition, the duo took a hiatus, allowing Gessle to release Mazarin (Cupcake) in 2003, his first Swedish-language solo album in 18 years. The album ended up solidifying Gessle's legacy in his home country. It reached #1 on the Swedish album chart, became five times platinum, and brought Gessle numerous Swedish 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 25th-anniversary celebration that included the band's first album in 20 years, Finn 5 fel!, and another successful tour in Sweden. They beat the Ullevi attendance record, previously held by Bruce Springsteen, and the band played to almost half a million fans. As a result, the group was honored with four awards in Sweden.
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, the various mixes of the song reached U.S. clubs in late 2004. By the mid 2005, the song reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, and was certified gold in October by the RIAA. Throughout 2005, 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's dance chart. Also, there was a white label (independent, unauthorized) release, "Joyride 2005", which clubs in the United Kingdom played.
On November 23, 2005, Per Gessle released his first English-language solo album in eight years, titled Son of a Plumber. He was in the middle of publicizing for the album when, on November 29, 2005, Gessle and Fredriksson appeared at the Dorchester Hotel in London for an awards presentation by Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI). Gessle received an award for "It Must Have Been Love", which, by 2005, had been played on U.S. radio more than 4 million times. 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 tumor 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".
Marie returned in 2006 with an album of Swedish cover songs, titled Min b?ste v?n (My Best Friend). Min b?ste v?n was a cover album with songs from the 1960s and 1970s from Marie's childhood.
20th anniversary & The Rox Box
In mid 2006, Roxette released to radio "The Rox Medley" to promote the forthcoming "20th Anniversary package". The medley includes 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/Roxette 86-06 was released on October 18, 2006. Spanning over 4 CDs and single DVD, it included two new singles, "One Wish" and "Reveal". The Rox Box was released to commemorate Roxette's successful 20 years in the music industry. A new standard greatest hits album, A Collection of Roxette Hits - Their 20 Greatest Songs!, was released at the same time as The Rox Box. "One Wish" and "Reveal" were also included onto the CD.
"One Wish" was released internationally on October 6, and features both Fredriksson and Gessle singing lead. It was their first new song in 4 years and was recorded in May 2006 especially for The Rox Box. On February 14, 2007 the second single "Reveal", was released, not internationally, but "here and there". Following rumours that Per Gessle was unhappy with the album version of "Reveal" a special "single version" was created and released to radio.
In a radio interview on Vancouver Island's CKWV-FM "The Wave", Gessle shared information about the Roxette single, "One Wish" and The Rox Box. "It's four CDs, a DVD, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, outtakes and demos and stuff. It's like a coffee table thing, and it's really, really big 80-page booklet and stuff."
Gessle also shared his feelings about working with Fredriksson again:
"It was, in fact, wonderful, and emotional of course. But also ... it took about an hour, and then we were back in the groove. It was the same jokes, the same... everything was like the same. So, even though time has gone by, it feels as if time has stood still for a bit so... It's not like it was before because, you know, Marie is somewhat a changed person because of all that she's gone through. But nevertheless, she still sings very well and, you know, it's just been a pleasure to be able to record these songs. If you had asked me like 2 years ago if this would ever happen, I would definitely would never believed it to have happened. I'm really pleased that we actually could do it."
2009: The Reunion of Roxette
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". On Friday, 23 October the band will perform in the Antwerp Sportpaleis for a series of concerts.
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.
On 28 September 2009, Roxette re-released remastered versions of all seven of their studio albums, Pearls of Passion, Look Sharp!, Joyride, Tourism, Crash! Boom! Bang!, Have a Nice Day and Room Service. All physical copies of the albums will feature three previously released bonus tracks except for Tourism, which only included two. More previously released bonus tracks featured on the iTunes release. No previously unreleased material was planned for these releases.
The band play of styles : Soft rock, europop, blues, country, pop rock, pop and rock.
This section requires expansion.
This section requires expansion.