Roxette – Listen to your heart
Sometimes you wonder if this fight is worthwhile.
The precious moments are all lost in the tide, yea.
They're swept away and nothing is what is seems,
The feeling of belonging to your dreams.
Listen to your heart marked the first worldwide success of a group who really joined the 80s and the 90s, Roxette! Their first album in 1986 gathered some success only in Sweden. And also their single Dressed for success in June 1988 did not leave an undeletable mark. Things changed in September 1988 when Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson, the two components of Roxette, released this fantastic hit. And within a month, they also released also fantastic album Look sharp! And in a short time Roxette received Abba’s legacy, and in some sense overcame their success.
Roxette really did pop music, no doubt on this. Yet, their pop sounded differently from the hits of the early 80s. Marie and Per had a peculiar sound, definitely happy, with some rock influence. We saw many particular types of pop sounds in the 80s, but this was different, it was the result of an evolution. I don’t want to say that it was better or worse than others, it simply sounded differently, even if the influence of the 80s was still clear. Roxette had admitted that with this song they wanted to try to reproduce the great American pop ballads, and see how far they could go. I would say that they have reached the goal, if it is true that this song opened the doors of world success for them by breaking through in America!
The song comes from a true story. In particular, it comes from a night spent by Per Gessle next to a friend who was at the end of the story with his wife, and was trying to accept that it was over, and ask for a divorce. This is the content of the song. When, months later, the song hit the top spots in America, Per’s friend commented with him: “Me, you and Marie are at the top of the charts”!
The video is very nice, and is shot in the ruins of Borgholm castle, a Swedish city located on the island of Öland, in the south east of Sweden, not to be confused with the Åland islands which are further north between Sweden and Finland. The ruins of the castle are very impressive, and the American crew couldn’t believe that the set was real, and not some kind of reconstruction to shoot videos.
Listen to your heart was a smash hit, and Per often tells another funny story. While he was at customs to enter the United States, the officer asked Per about his job. When he learned that Per was a musician and a singer, he challenged him by saying “Really? And if this is true, is there any song you wrote that I might know?” And Per just had to answer “Yes of course, this one!”: in that very moment the radio in that area of the airport was playing Listen to Your Heart!
Roxette had a fantastic career and found planetary success. Their success continued through all the 90s and even after, sadly marked by Marie’s health issues. Marie sadly left us in December 2019, at the age of only 61. They will always remain one of the most beloved groups (counting myself among their fans!) of the end of the 80s
Roxette on Wikipedia