Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Music Week: Roxette

This Music Week thing is turning out to be really cool.  I am going to get to talk about the artists I enjoy and be able to showcase my appreciation for them.

Today I am going to talk about the one and only Roxette.  It's a Swedish pop rock duo consisting of Per Gessle (of Gyllene Tider, another Swedish pop group) and Marie Fredriksson that came into full prominence in the 1980s and has barely left since (though they were dormant for a little bit in the early 2000s because Marie was battling some really nasty health issues).

Now, here's the most interesting thing: They are practically an anomaly here in the US.  You typically don't know Roxette if I told you the artist, but if I mentioned songs like The Look, Listen To Your Heart, and It Must Have Been Love, you would go "Oh, okay!"  So, yeah, it's practically an anomaly here in the US.

So, what do I think?  And how did I hear of this wacky group in the first place?  First, I do want to give some background on this.  Here in the States, we used to have a boatload of places that sold actual music on something called a compact disc, or CD for short.  Now this was back in about 2000 or 2001.  I was in a Best Buy, and I think it was like right after Christmas because I specifically remember I had Best Buy money to spend at that point, and I always looked at the CDs.

I specifically remember having listened to Roxette songs before (I think I'd heard the three songs mentioned above), and I saw the Roxette Greatest Hits CD (subtitled Don't Bore Us, Just Get To The Chorus) CD.  Well, I obviously got it, played it to death, and loved every second of it.  So, the Roxette bug bit me right about the time I became a teenager, and while good music has always spoken to me, this just grabbed me and wouldn't let go for anything.  So yeah, I enjoyed them from the very first notes I heard.

This of course is one of my all-time favorite groups and I cannot overstate my appreciation enough.  I think their songs are, to use an 80s terminology that is totally out of date, RAD.  Even wilder, I have gotten to appreciate some of their deeper tracks such as "Wish I Could Fly" and "Almost Unreal". Almost Unreal has a weird, almost bizarre history to it.  It was originally written for Bette Midler's movie "Hocus Pocus", but the song wasn't used in that movie.  Then, a bit later, the infamous Super Mario Bros. movie came out and this song was on the soundtrack for that movie.  It's a fabulous song, but it is horribly out of place in the Super Mario Bros. movie unless you retcon Magikoopas into that dog of a picture.

One song that I really do appreciate is called "Stars".  It has a really nice techno beat to it, and it has a lot of really neat elements, such as a children's choir backing up Marie in places, and just every ounce of that song is just incredible.  (In fact I was expecting that to have a spot in the last Tron movie, it's that good and would fit in that well into the Tron universe.)  So, in conclusion, go find some of Roxette's music.  You won't regret it.