Resurrection of Roxette

  • 2011-03-09
  • By Rokas M. Tracevskis

THEY’RE BACK: Legendary Roxette, Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson.

VILNIUS - The Swedish duet, whose popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s resulted in 75 million copies of their albums sold around the world, has been revived. After nine years, Roxette again goes on a world tour on four continents. We have a ’80s -’90s revival going on in the Baltics: Roxette will give their concerts in Vilnius’ Siemens Arena on March 14, in Arena Riga on March 16 and in Tallinn’s Saku Suurhall on March 18.

The average Vilnius resident got familiarized with musical video clips of Roxette in rather surrealistic circumstances during the peak of Roxette’s world-wide popularity in 1991. On Jan. 13, 1991, Soviet tanks and paratroopers stormed and occupied Vilnius’ TV center, holding it until late August. Nobody wanted to work in that center – the technicians were brought in from Moscow and Minsk while the communist short TV news was read by a KGB colonel and two teachers from the Vilnius region schools. Due to a lack of staff, this ghostly TV was simply illegally re-broadcasting MTV, which then was still showing video clips, not the brainless talk as it is now. The signal of free Lithuanian TV from the parliament and from Kaunas was weak and, therefore, many kept watching MTV on the coup organizers’ TV. This is how many of Vilnius’ residents got fascinated with Roxette songs such as The Look, Listen to Your Heart, It Must Have Been Love, and Joyride.

These songs will be sung during the concerts in the Baltics, as well as Sleeping In My Car, Roxette’s superhit of 1994 – the audience will have the opportunity to sing lines from that song together with Roxette, composer and guitarist Per Gessle and female vocalist Marie Fredriksson: Sleeping in my car - I will undress you / Sleeping in my car - I will caress you / Staying in the back seat of my car making love to you. It is worth remembering that their It Must Have Been Love was the theme tune to the film Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. Fredriksson was so popular in the early 1990s that then many young women tended to cut their hair ‘like the woman in Roxette.’ Fredriksson has preserved her haircut style until now. She and Gessle are a couple only on stage – both of them have their own families and children.

The music and guitar played by Gessle, as well as the voice by Fredriksson is the right combination for their success. In 2002, Fredriksson was diagnosed with a brain tumor and, according to Gessle, doctors gave just a five percent chance for her to survive. Then, Gessle started his solo career but managed to have success only in Sweden – his music needs the voice of Fredriksson. Miracles do happen sometimes and Fredriksson is healthy again. In 2010, Roxette revived.
All the above-mentioned songs, as well as new songs created in the old good style of Roxette from the new album Charm School, will be presented at their concerts in all three Baltic capital cities.

This year, Charm School, which was recorded as usual by Roxette in the Swedish studio having its official title Tits and Ass, is the best selling album in Germany. Last year, Roxette was invited to sing at the wedding of Swedish Princess Victoria. By the way, earlier, Swedish King Carl Gustaf XVI, who, due to a Swedish royal biography bestseller, recently became famous for having almost the same good taste in women as Silvio Berlusconi, awarded Roxette with Swedish state medals. Gessle and Carl Gustaf XVI were among the last participants of the princess’ wedding to leave the party – it means that Gessle, who, like Fredriksson, is 52 years old now, still has a lot of energy.