Ghost tracks

Ghost Tracks: CRUSH ON YOU

FEATURE – Ghost Tracks is a new 10-part series of articles where we take a fun look back at some of the forgotten and rarely ever mentioned Roxette songs from their incredible 30 year history.

crush_1Song: Crush On You
Album: Have A Nice Day 
Year: 1999
Track: #1

A Ghost Track? Or perhaps the biggest ever “should have been a single“?

“Crush On You” is the one Roxette song that wakes you up panicked in the middle of the night in a cold sweat screaming “why, oh why was this not a lead single?” I mean, it was remixed for crying out loud!

Let’s be fair here, compared to previously featured tracks such as “I Remember You” or “Do You Wanna Go The Whole Way?”, this is by no means a typical Ghost Track. Not only was this song played live but it served as the opening song for the 2001 Room Service Tour. So to be fair, this song got its fair share of love compared to your average album tracks… but folks, this ain’t no average album track. Far, far from it.

The ONLY reason I could imagine why they skipped this song back in 1999 from being a single was perhaps because critics could have argued it’s just an updated “The Look”. But let’s be real, critics never liked Roxette and who cares! “Wish I Could Fly” did show a more mature side and Marie’s vocals of course speak for themselves and yes, “Wish I Could Fly”  was a hit for Roxette!

But poor old “Crush On You” was left waiting in the wings, it could easily have been a double A-side single (remember those?) with “Wish I Could Fly”.
And the lyrics aren’t as nonsense as they seem. Sure, these lyrics probably didn’t keep Bob Dylan up at night but still, as silly as they are, they make more sense than “kissing is the wet sand“. The guy in the song is fixated on his crush so much so that he can’t think straight and everything appears to be topsy-turvy. He’s sleeping when it’s daylight, he’s got coffee on the paper, he’s renting the wrong movie and then when he watches the movie, he’s laughing at the wrong guy! Then Marie steps in declaring that the cause of all this hysteria is caused by a “crush”… “a crush on you…” – it’s actually not as illogical as a dog being an alligator might seem.

Do you remember that shocking moment when you realized this song was omitted from the 2006 RoxBox Collection?  You mean this irresistible electro-pop vibe just wasn’t worthy enough to make the compilation? If there was ever a song that defined Roxette Phase 2 (1999-2002), then this sound is it! And I’m sorry, but the day that “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around What’s Already Gone” is considered a more worthy contender than “Crush On You” is the day I eat my hat thank you very much. And another thing, is there a reason why this isn’t getting the live treatment in 2015? I need to calm down now I think, I’m getting angry, might be the dead flies in my scotch with ice. Can you tell I’m passionate about this one?

Here’s what Per Gessle had to say about “Crush On You”  in his book Songs, Sketches and Reflections – “…Written for Roxette’s Have a Nice Day album in the summer of 1998. I always loved this one. It felt like a different songwriting style for me with that monotone synth riff and hey, I almost got to rap!”

 Agree? Disagree? Thoughts?

“…No Elvis in the leather!”

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  ★ Publishing date:

January 9th, 2015

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  • Kathie Winn

    I love any song that is cool enough to pop in the name of “ELVIS’ somewhere. The other great great great awesomely great thing about this song is that Per and Marie share the vocals..that’s always a winner in my book.

  • I was stuck on playing the Almighty remix so when I finally switched to the normal version my 5-year old daughter says “This is wrong, this is too slow.”

    • Paul Belben

      Whilst I don’t mind the Almighty mix, I much prefer the studio version. I even love the live version from the RS tour.

    • Antonio Epifania

      I agree Thomas. The Almighty version packs the punch that I feel is slightly missing from the album version. The 2001 live version is brilliant too. BTW great job on the sleeves for these ghost tracks 🙂

  • Coolbluez

    One of the best songs…the lyrics are reflection of absolute intellect…melody is perfect as well….They should’ve released it as a single instead of Salvation and Anyone.

  • Daniela

    With these song lyrics Per was extremely creative! And after my cat managed to jump into my full coffee cup twice I have an idea what might have inspired him to “my dog’s an alligator”.

  • Nuno Simões

    Try being 17 and yelling, literally yelling the chorus with your best school friend while waiting for a bus to go back home after a long school day lol Everybody stared at us thinking we’re insane but still … this deserves every single bit of my attention. No other Rox song was ever listened 10 times in a row when I first got to buy the HAND album … this just shows how hocked i have been on it lol Not being a single? Well … it happened to some ABBA songs and the same goes for Roxette sometimes some tracks deserved more public attention than others … but this is the “Per thinks this way” vs “Roxers think the other way around”. An opposition as old as time ..

  • Chris

    This is a monster song! Always loved it! But to be fair WICF was simply the better song for a single release so I can total understand why they picked it. On the other hand there were a lot of potential hit singles on the record. Nevertheless I think they did a good job with WICF, Anyone, Stars and Salvation.

  • roxulikeababy

    Awesome lyrics plus shared vocals between Marie & Per is a winning combination in my book. As far as why it wasn’t a single, again a moot point here in the US.

  • Skyrider

    It’s definitely a ghost REMIX. Maybe it would have been a better single than Salvation.
    A lyric sheet was laying around at a 2014 rehearsal video. The new show opener?

  • RoXoR

    I don’t like the song at all. There is something about the uptempo songs from have a nice day that annoys me. Maybe it is the production. But in my opinion they are far away from the classic uptempo Roxette songs before and after have a nice day.

    • Ela

      I agree! I don’t like the uptempo songs from HAND either…Crush on you has an ok chorous but the verses are awful, too “unmelodic”.

      • ” too “unmelodic”

        Yes. This. 🙂

  • Robert Quinteros

    As I am a big fan of electronic music, I loved the direction they took with this album! And I agree with you in every sense… this should have been a single!! but I remember at that time, there was a song sung by Aaron Carter with the same title: “Crush on you” maybe that was a reason for not releasing this track…

  • David Reilly

    Absolute stone-cold classic of a song, one of their best. The HAND album had a swagger and confidence to it which I loved and which this typifies, plus it came out about the time I was 17, 18 and had just started clubbing so this was, along with ‘Stars’, the perfect getting ready to go out song.

  • Vicky Read

    I am absolutely loving this ghost track discussion!! For me, (and in no particular order), my choices would be Paint, Dance Away, Sweet Hello, Sad Goodbye, Place Your Love, Cooper, I Remember You, Physical Fascination, Call Of The Wild, Angel Passing, Rocket, Happy Together, Keep Me Waiting and Cinnamon Street. Sorry I got a bit carried away there with so many great songs!! I am so pleased that Heart Shaped Sea is now being played live and hope it will be in London in July. I would love to also hear Here Comes The Weekend live (which I believe has only been played live on the MTV Unplugged Show), plus please bring back Hotblooded and Knockin’ On Every Door!! Finally I would love to hear Per’s songs Nightwire, Liberty, Sweet Thing, Makin’ Love To You, Threnody and Wish You The Best live. 7Twenty7 still rocks as my fave live track 🙂

    • James Crompton

      Gotta say I love Place Your Love Cooper, Keep Me WAiting and Cinnamon Street. All big songs for me

      • Vicky Read

        Very pleased that a fellow Roxer has similar fave tracks, and Keep Me Waiting is today’s ghost track choice 🙂

  • Coolbluez

    Here in Islamabad, Pakistan, this song stayed in top 5 positions on FM 101 radio station for almost a month. Even though this song wasn’t a single, but based on weekly requested to play this song, it managed to do quite well on the chart. Other songs that were frequently played on radio from Hand were WICF, Any1 and 727.

  • Alexandre Costa

    Everytime I look to those colorful, bright and “uni-dimensional” pictures of HAND booklet while I listen to the album, I can’t help but think that someone at EMI regretted about the style of the songs, since the ones that were chosen as singles got nothing to do with the “real” style of HAND (except for “Stars”). By the way, a real ghost track for this album would be “Staring At The Ground” or “Cooper”, IMHO.

  • Antonio Epifania

    Couldn’t agree with you more! This SHOULD have been the lead single off HAND! And it would have been perfect to follow it up with WICF. But no we got WICF followed by Anyone! Oh dear 🙁 Bad, bad decision in my books. Sure WICF was a “hit” but I think they would have packed a much bigger punch with the COY/WICF combo. After Anyone’s flop the album faded, pity really as the album deserved to do much better. Back to this marvellous “ghost track” though… COY has brilliant imagery, Per at his best really. Marie soaring away in the chorus, it felt fresh the verses are strong the chorus is strong. Nice bridge, the whole thing works. Nowadays I feel the chorus could have been more dynamic, the arrangement feels a bit flat. If I compare it to the 2001 live version, where the chorus really packs a punch I would like to have that sense in the studio version. Speaking of live, Mr G why are you neglecting to put this on the setlist?? Why, why??? It’s frustrating to no end! Another OBVIOUS live winner and again with little lines for Marie to remember!!!! It’s the height of craziness to keep playing the same songs as last tour and overlook these live hidden gems that would send most fans into a frenzy! Oh well what are you gonna do with a stubborn capricorn 😛

    • RobS

      yeah a definite winner & should be added the set list. Fans love it, non-fans should like it as it’s a nice upbeat number, and just a few lines for Marie while still being a big part of the song.

  • RobS

    Never liked this the first time I heard it, just didn’t seem Roxette-like. But after a while I realised this is totally Roxette. The fast paced duet, a little rock/pop/dance. It really is a new version of The Look.

    Lyrics work perfectly in the context of the song, great driving beat and there’s that awesome crunchy guitar throughout. Lovely stuff. Could’ve/should’ve been so much more…

    • Antonio Epifania

      RobS. I was the same. Don’t think it really grabbed me the first time around. I remember hearing so many positive things about it but once I got the album it was a bit of a let down. However after hearing the live version it really began to grow on me and today I think it’s up amongst their best!

  • Totally agree!!! That song could be a huuuuuge hit!

  • jesicadp

    I adore this song! Hope they can play alive again!

  • RS

    Really superb song.
    Power – pop – crashing guitars.
    Pure 100% roxette’sh stuff.
    Love the live version with tlhe guitar an lightig intro. Could have been played on the recent tour as #1 track to blow everyone away even harder.

  • Heartland

    Love this song! Its just cool!

  • Krischan76

    Never liked it UNTIL I heard it live as an opener in some tour. Changed my mind completely. If they could decide to re-record it in, say, Room Service style?

  • NadaLemming

    Never understood why this song wasn’t released in the USA. During this particular time it **would** have been a hit. But.. we are just the US Stepchildren…..

  • Jhonatan Fernandes R

    Crush! Crush! Crushed… this one had a great potential, i love this one, one of the best albums opener at Roxette’s Catalogue… Doesn’t belong here… to be fair the strongest single to be song at this list… Staring at the ground is a great song that deserve to be here… love the staring at the ground demo… Pay the price too…

  • Mister V

    I totally agree!… I could never understand why Rox & Co. do not give this song a chance to be a Monster single.

  • James Crompton

    I remember playing this to quite a few people (non Roxette fans) and they loved it. Everybody couldn’t help but get up and dance their socks off to it. I love the lyrics on this one and think they are actually really good to describe what its like to have a crush on someone. I also like 727 and Cooper. I think Per underrates the songs he sings sometimes. I think this would have made a better single than say Salvation and yeah You Can’t Put Your Arms Around What’s Already GOne…I remember one critic describing that as the best song on the album or something. Its good but there are better. I also really like WAiting For The Rain actually! Its got a real 60s feel. 727 Cooper Waiting For The Rain, Crush On You and maybe Stars would have been my choice of singles perhaps but I like Wish I could Fly and I do like Anyone, but they are quite sad in sentiment. Would have been cool to have something a bit more sunny to go with it but I guess Stars was that, which the non Roxers also had a ball over.

  • Ariel Effe

    I love this song!

  • s1974x

    HAND and Room Service is the period of Roxette history basically pretend didn’t exist. When I create compilation folders I might throw in 1 or 2 from Hand but I don’t ever tend to pick anything from Room Service. The albums are just way too synthesized and all-around “meh” to me including tracks where the drums sound like they are being played on a 1980s Casio keyboard. To me, Room Service seems like the end of music I did not like because all of the Gyllene Tider, Per Gessle solo (most notably Son of a Plumber), and Roxette albums that followed have been great. Marie’s solo stuff never really seemed to dip even with her medical problems, and I’d love for them to make a Roxette version of Bad Moon.

  • Per

    I think a contributing reason for not releasing a single with Per on lead vocals from HAND might have been Per’s weight problem around this time. It is stated in one of the books that Per being unsatisfied with his weight might have contributed to him not wanting to tour with this album, Per was also only briefly part of the Wicf, Anyone and Stars videos, and in the Salvation video he had already lost some weight, Nevertheless I think the singles from HAND are great

  • Edina

    Your dream came true, but you probably already know – Crush on you live! I read in the Swedish tabloids that Victoria, Crown princess of Sweden was dancing to Crush on you at the concert in Kalmar, Sweden.

  • marox79

    Best album opener since The Look. Tha says it all. It was only fitting they used this for their comeback. Should totally have made it to a single, right after WICF, which is my fave of all times. I never could stand Anyone (strangely enough I have a soft spot for the Spanish version; weird, I know) and Salvation was so-so.

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