Peak UK Chart Position: #4 in March 1991.

Per Gessle – born Per Håkan Gessle, in Halmstad, Sweden – celebrates his 58th birthday today. He is the lead singer of the Swedish pop group Gyllene Tider and formed Roxette with Marie Fredriksson in 1986 (Gessle being the chief songwriter in both bands). Roxette became an international act in the late 1980s, when they released their breakthrough album “Look Sharp!”. Their third album “Joyride”, which was released in 1991, became just as successful as its predecessor. Roxette went on to achieve nineteen UK Top 40 hits and several US Hot 100 hits, including four US number-ones with “The Look”, “Listen to Your Heart”, “It Must Have Been Love”, and “Joyride”. They have sold an estimated 75 million records worldwide, with over 10 million in certified units from Germany, the US and the UK, achieving gold and platinum certifications for “Joyride” and “Look Sharp!” in all three regions.

Quick facts:

  • “Joyride” was Roxette’s first chart-topper in their native Sweden.
  • It was their second biggest UK hit, behind 1990’s “It Must Have Been Love” which got to number three.
  • Gessle has said that the opening line of the song was inspired by a note his girlfriend (now wife) left on his piano, which read: “Hej, du dåre, jag älskar dig” (“Hello, you fool, I love you”).
  • It also topped the charts in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States.

On 18 April 2016, an official statement was released, cancelling the last leg of the RoXXXette 30th Anniversary Tour due to concerns about Marie Fredriksson’s health (she was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2002, and had a malignant tumour successfully removed). As her doctors have advised her to refrain from playing live, there will be no further Roxette tours. Fredriksson stated: “Sadly, now my touring days are over and I want to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful fans that has followed us on our long and winding journey.” Gessle added: “The joyride on the road is over now – but we sure had fun, didn’t we?”. Their most recent album, “Good Karma”, was released in June 2016.

Here’s “Joyride”, performed live in Sydney, Australia, in 1991.

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