Ghost tracks


FEATURE – Ghost Tracks is BACK! Series 2 of our 10-part special returns where we take a fun look back at some of the forgotten and rarely ever mentioned Roxette songs from their incredible 30 year history.


Song: Beautiful Things
Album: Have A Nice Day
Year: 1999
Track: #14

Here’s an absolute under-rated classic; 1999’s “Beautiful Things”. When re-listening to Have A Nice Day‘s closing track, just one word springs to mind – sublime!  This isn’t just “good”, it’s a in league of its own.

It’s songs like these that really reiterate the importance of an incredible production team – because for Clarence Öfwerman and co to turn the “interesting” demo of “Beautiful Things, Terrible Things” into this smooth, polished gem is nothing short of a miracle. Let’s be frank, when I use the adjective “interesting”, it’s a polite way of saying… err… well…, bottom line, the demo ain’t good. It’s got this ’60s vibe to it and it’s got this reverb guitar thing and well, thankfully, the final version sounds nothing like the demo. (Not to mention a totally different melody, written by Marie…)

The final album version has so much warmth to it, it’s a very inviting song with a very catchy chorus. The production on this song, much like most of Have A Nice Day, is super smooth – the song feels like a bright golden ray of sunshine on a crisp Autumn day. It slowly pulls you in before all those glorious, classic Roxette elements kick in.

First, it’s just a delicate Marie over a somber string section. The song then takes a moment to change gears in the first verse as a drum beat kicks in along with a piano as Marie proclaims “…the terrible things, like when you wake up…”.

And then, there’s THAT chorus! What a beauty! Whatever the verses lack in catchiness, is more than made up for by the incredible hook in the chorus. “Is there someone, I can talk to? Someone out there, on the line?” – as heart wrenching as the lyrics are, the amazing melody ensures the overall tone is a positive one. All the elements work in such harmony during the chorus, especially Per’s ever so slight raspy backing vocals echoing Marie’s lead vocals – it’s pop perfection from the masters of the game.

Another absolute top five personal favorite that I would love to wax lyrical about is the breathtakingly beautiful “Go to Sleep” – but considering that song served as the closer to the Crash! Boom! Bang! Tour, it doesn’t really qualify as a forgotten song – but “Beautiful Things” feels like it’s the sister track to “Go to Sleep”. Not just in sound either, but also in its creation. While the lyrics for both tracks were written by Per, the music was actually written by Marie.

Taken from the 1999 Have A Nice Day Press Release:

MARIE: This feels like the beginning of a new way to work. I got this very beautiful lyric from Per and wrote the music from that. It was very inspiring.

PER: I was stuck. And then Marie came back with this melody. What a wonderful chorus.

MARIE: First time we’ve done it that way.

PER: But not the last.

Full credit to Marie for that gorgeous melody. Considering all the unfortunate events and changes that have happened to Marie over the past decade, it’s a real shame that she isn’t as active as she used to be in the writing process because the occasional couple of Marie-written tracks that have popped up on Roxette’s studio releases have really enhanced the whole feel of the album – they added another element to Per’s already incredible songs! And while we often associate Marie with songs like “Watercolours in the Rain” or “Little Girl”, she did co-write the music to the ear thumping “Hotblooded”, for instance, with Per.

Nonetheless, back to the ballad at hand, in summary, the best and simplest way to surmise this stunning song is simply by referring to its title – Beautiful Things! Indeed it is!

“…Make the grass grow in the garden, when the rain is passin’ by…”

Thoughts from The Daily Roxette crew:

Paul: A masterpiece of an album closer!  Sounds different to anything else of HAND and for that reason it stands out. Marie’s vocals are spot on and the lyrics/music is haunting. A true Rox-gem!

Thomas: Leave me to be the odd man out. I don’t really care for this song, and I don’t really like the demos either. Not my glass of Coke really. Mail Stevo your complaints.

  ★ The author:

  ★ Publishing date:

October 4th, 2015

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  • James Crompton

    Yeah I can’t say this is one of my faves either. Its a bit hit and miss to me, a bit like the album. I like some of the lyrics but others grate slightly. I like the melody, but yeah the lyrics don’t really do it for me. Much prefer Go To Sleep, Queen Of Rain, Perfect Day and Cry as album closers. I prefer Cooper to this actually on this album. Its alright though. Its not the worst song on the album. That’s “Pay the Price” haha.

    • RobS

      Really Pay The Price? Not the most inspired song sure, but for me the guitar solo more than makes up for it. Love, love, love it!

      • BVerfG

        “Pay The Price” is actually one of the better songs on HAND (and I think HAND is hands down [ha! no srsly] the weakest album) imo. I dunno, I like the chorus of Beautiful things but the song, with all due respect, sounds a little whiny to me. My unpopular opinion is, that the worst song on HAND is “Wish I could fly” or “7twenty7”. My favorites are “Staring at the Ground” or “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around What’s Already Gone”. But I understand why people like Wish I could fly, it’s sorta “the ballad” of the album. But 7twenty7? Meh. 😛

  • Skyrider

    One of the best songs from HAND and from Roxette in general, I think. Would have sounded awesome with the NOTP orchestra.

    • Stevo Petkovic

      Yes, the 2002 NOTP would have been cool!

      • Skyrider

        Agree. But quite unlikely that they would have ever played it at NOTP of course.

  • RobS

    Definite favourite of mine. Just one of those songs that just sounds so good, and you can feel the emotion in Marie’s voice. Pretty sure this was one of the few songs that gave me goosebumps the first time I heard it, and that is always a good sign! Love Marie’s demo of this as well, the guitars give it a different vibe. But the final version is really quite a masterpiece.

  • Tavo

    Once again, the first time I heard this song was on February 19th, 1999 ON THE RADIO! They had gotten the album in advance and were playing some tracks (COY, It Will Take A Long, Long Time and this one). Fortunately I got my copy of HAND that afternoon as it had already been released in my country (although the official date was Feb 22nd). I just love this song and your description is perfect. I couln’t agree more. I like Per’s Beatle-ish version but this one’s better. The drums remind me of Marie’s “Tro”. It’s one of their greatest closing tracks.

    • ChrisGa

      Love It Will Take A Long, Long Time; great track there, among a number of great tracks. Not a sentiment shared by many I suspect but overall I’d say HAND is probably my second favorite Rox album behind Joyride.

  • Coolbluez

    Beautiful things is good song, my sis totally loved it when I played it for the first time. Regarding the b-sides on Hand album, Waiting for the rain, Cooper and Staring at the ground are nominations from my side

    • Stevo Petkovic

      Don’t share your enthusiasm for WITR or Cooper but still interesting to get an insight into what fans like and don’t like 🙂

  • chris

    Beautiful things is a masterpiece. The whole production sounds just perfect and the moment the chorus kicks in with Per on backing vox is amazing.

    • Stevo Petkovic

      Definitely. A perfect album closer.

  • Robert Quinteros

    I love this song mainly because of the melancholy it is perceived in the tone, the melody. The 60 vibe is quite good, in the same line of Waiting for the rain.. its a good song…

    • Stevo Petkovic

      Agree, it’s an awesome song!

  • Bellenger1981 .

    “Beautiful Things” … what a gem! I adore this song. Everything came together perfectly for this song. It’s so beautiful! I hate picking favorites because I have so many for so many different reasons, but this is right up there among my favorite Roxette songs.

    • Stevo Petkovic

      Absolutely agree! Thanks for reading!

  • Beautiful song!

  • Alexandre Costa

    It’s a beautiful song! But I can’t help but imagine it a little different: get the instrumental part that starts at 02:37 and put it at the start at the song, but only with the cellos, then merging it with the current start… Something like Madonna’s “Oh Father”…

  • Krischan76

    It think, it’s the chorus that makes this song worth listening to me. The verse’s melody not so much. Pretty solid song. I skip it a lot less a I grow older.

  • Daniela

    I love this beautiful song, especially the lyrics! It means a lot to me and it is one of my favourite songs from Have a nice day which in my opinion is a very good album. I’d say the best songs from Have a nice day are: 1. Anyone, 2-4 Salvation, Waiting for the rain and Beautiful things (can’t decide between 2-4, it changes from day to day!). My favourite one of the very few uptempo songs from that album is Crush on you.

  • s1974x

    I know it’s not a Roxette song, but I would love for Marie’s “Bad Moon” to pop up on a Roxette album someday.

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