Roxette
Editorial

“…Chasing Your Shadow…” 30 Years Later!


“Neverending Love”, Roxette’s first ever single was released 30 years ago today!


Roxette’s “XXX World Tour” might have come to an end, but the 30 Year Anniversary festivities continue across the globe and today, the celebrations reach a special milestone as the 8th of July 2016 commemorates thirty years since Roxette’s first ever single; “Neverending Love” was released.

NL

Signed July 7!

We all know the origins of this song; it originally began as a Swedish song titled “Svarta glas” (“Black Glasses”) but the song was initially intended for Swedish singer, Pernilla Wahlgren of Eurovision fame. As legend would have it, Pernilla wasn’t too keen on the song and instead passed it on to her brother, Niclas, who ended up recording it in Swedish but head of EMI Sweden at the time, Rolf Nygren stepped in and suggested to Per Gessle to try recording “Svarta glas” in English with Marie Fredriksson. The pair did so, Niclas’ version never saw the light of day and the rest, as they say, is history.

“Neverending Love” debuted on the Swedish charts at #19 before reaching its peak position of #3. To help propel interest in the song, Per encouraged all of his friends to send in postcards to the radio show “Sommartoppen”, seems Per was the original “Roxattaq” guru for those who remember the intense late 90s internet days of the “Have A Nice Day” era. How many fake Yahoo! emails did you create at the time? Also, fun fact, for those keen to know (and to make you feel really old), when “Neverending Love” reached its peak of #3 on the Swedish Charts in September 1986, the two spots above it were filled by Samantha Fox’s “Do Ya Do Ya (Wanna Please Me)” at #2 and Peter Cetera’s mega ballad “Glory of Love” was #1. The single was also released in Germany, remixed by Frank Mono, and in France – both sporting different sleeves than the Swedish release.

rox_neverending_fr

French

rox_neverending_ge

German

Anyway, back to 1986 and the decision to omit a picture of Marie and Per on the cover of the single was a deliberate one; should the song flop, no one will remember, and both Marie and Per could carry on with their solo pursuits and other musical projects without having caused much damage to their careers…

but fate had other plans. Speaking of the sleeve, upon closer inspection, the very first typo popped up on this one, the lyric “You’re one in a 1,000,000” was incorrectly printed as “You’re in a 1,000,000“. Also, as per the sleeve details, this song saw the debut of mystery guitarist “King Kong Passion” – which of course was a pseudonym for long-time partner in crime, Mats MP Persson.

Unfortunately, this pop gem seems to have fallen by the wayside during the band’s illustrious thirty year career, ask most casual listeners what was Roxette’s debut song and most will answer “The Look”. The moment Look Sharp! broke the band internationally in March 1989, all remnants of “Neverending Love” and debut record Pearls of Passion all but disappeared outside of Sweden. The song did pop up during Roxette’s early national and European tours during the late eighties, although, the song was performed in a stripped back, acoustic “organic” version – ironic considering Per was adamant with the song’s producer, Clarence Öfwerman, that he wanted the sound of “Neverending Love” to be created using synthesizers and computers.

To help us celebrate the song’s birthday, The Daily Roxette reached out to Team Rox and Per Gessle and King Kong Passion himself, Mats MP Persson, got back to us and shared their “Neverending Love” memories with us…

rox_neverending_se_12

Swedish 12″

Per: I was always disappointed that Clarence wanted to use a band instead of machines, it felt old and wrong (I’m much younger than him, remember). The song keeps changing the key, something that I started experimenting with at that time… but overall, it’s not an important song to me. I’ve written far better, both musically and lyrically… I was never convinced we had recorded a hit, or even something good, but it was great recording something with MF.

MP: I remember it was thrilling to record with the Stockholm mafia and also a little nervous. I recall Per was away and meanwhile I nailed the Nile Rodgers riff in the song, the one with all the key changes, together with Clarence. Per came back, listened and said “You didn’t nail it! The demo is much better!”, so I rolled up my sleeves, focused to the max and re-did it. And it actually came out a lot better. Other than that, a classic recording where everyone plays together and records the whole track at once, except for a few dubs, like the one I mentioned.

So, thirty years on, how do you feel about Roxette’s debut single? Has it stood the test of time? One of your favorites? Share your thoughts below and help us wish this song a Happy 30th Birthday!

  ★ The authors:
Stevo
Thomas Evensson


  ★ Publishing date:

July 7th, 2016


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This article was posted here on TDR in these categories:

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  • rad6380

    I adore Neverending Love! Pearls of Passion is, to me, the greatest 80s movie soundtrack that never was. Per never rates the songs I love (Fireworks, for example)! I think NEL could easily have been a big hit globally had it had airplay, it sounds very of its time, in a good way.

  • Not up to scratch if we compare it to what was going to come. Still, it’s a nice song.

  • roxulikeababy

    It was a good warmup song that hinted of the potential of Per & Marie together. And still fun to listen to once in awhile.

  • Daniela

    Neverending love never belonged to my favourites, living in Germany and being still pretty young at that time, I missed it in 1986 and heard it the first time in autumn 1991 after my best friend had received a copy of Pearls of Passion from her cousin. In my opionion Pearls of Passion wasn’t as good as Joyride and Look Sharp, but there are some nice tracks on it. My favourite one is Goodbye to you. Well, but apparently we should all love Neverending love as without this song all the other beautiful Roxette songs would have probably never been recorded and released! Happy 30th anniversary day!

  • Giannis Skokos

    I love this song , the beat the guitar the lyrics ! I think that the guitar solo of the demo version was played in a tv advertisement back in those late 80s in greek television.

  • Ally

    Grattis Roxette! The day you released ‘Neverending Love’ was my 9th birthday, so today I am feeling very old… 🙂

    • Daniela

      Happy anniversary to you! One of my cousins is having her 50th birthday today, that means that she is exactly 11 years older than you and you needn’t feel old!
      This cousin is still in really good shape, so no reason for you to worry about your age… Moreover, I think it is an honour to share the birthday with the one from Roxette!

  • silviabräutigam

    it’s a great song, I love this song to hören.Alles Happy 30 years Roxette for their birthday and makes such beautiful more song, Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle.ich hab euch ganz toll fond lg silvia

  • Tridy

    I remember getting a Polish bootleg cassette of “Pearls of Passion” (I already had cassettes of Look Sharp without “Shadow of a Doubt” and Joyride without “I Remember You ” around 1993), not knowing it was actually their first album. It had a typo of “Secret That The Keeps” on it. Isn’t it amazing how many surprises a non-Internet era had. There was actually something cool about meeting people personally and discovering news, or going to the record stores and asking them for the info. PoP became a very [I am trying to pick the right word here] sincere album when I listened to it. The only thing I didn’t like (and still don’t) on the album was the banging “Soul Deep.” “Neverending Love” was an OK track for me but no more than a non-skipper, and I did not know at that time it was their first single. It was not so easy to skip the tracks on cassettes thought. I think that the “diving” pattern of the song isn’t really my cup of tea in this one, when repetitively emphasizing the last word of the line. Could be cool to refresh it with a remix for the anniversary but maybe for the next one ;).

  • Coolbluez

    In Pakistan, I bought a bootleg of Pearls of passion which was released in 1990 containing It must have been love (Pretty woman version) as Roxette became a big name in the country from Look Sharp era to Ballad Hits era. Interestingly the playlist of the album was changed to make it more ‘dance-able’. The album opener was ‘I call your name’ so I always thought it was the first song they ever recorded. Never ending love is beautiful track as it contains fresh and young voices of Per and Marie and a nice video containing the obvious mistake of the shoe placed in front of the chair and table, even before the lady in white comes and sits. I had Never ending love music as my mobile ringtone. I wish they sang this song during XXX tour.

  • Eduardo Fernandes

    Powerful song. I really like it. Not one of my favorites, though…

  • Ettexor

    I love it

  • John Barker

    I think PoP is a highly underrated album — one that rates up with Joyride and (believe it or not) Tourism in my top 3.




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