Ghost tracks

Ghost Tracks: FIREWORKS

FEATURE – Ghost Tracks comes to an end today! This is the final article of our 10-part special 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: Fireworks
Album: Crash! Boom! Bang!
Year: 1994
Track: #3

This is the last entry for this series of Ghost Tracks and y’all had better stand back! There’s a whole lotta passion coming your way.

“Fireworks” is bloody amazing but for some reason, it feels like this song has been written out of Roxette history? Everyone reading this, please do me a favor. Take a moment to scroll through your Roxette catalog on your iTunes and find me a catchier chorus than this one – go ahead. I dare you!

Do you know this song has never made it on to a compilation? Do you know that after not one, but TWO RoxBox releases, this song still never made it? Someone call the police – this is criminal!

Remember back in 2002 when Roxette released The Pop Hits? A compilation CD packed with up-tempo, power-pop goodness? This song FAILED to make it there too. Remember the lovely Don’t Bore Us Get To The Chorus!? Yep. Same deal.

Look, I get it. This song cannot, does not, will not qualify as a Ghost Track  – I hear you scream at the computer! It was a single! Yes. We kicked this series off with an A-side single that got a promo video and here we are ending the series with the same type of an entry – so yes, this song has had way more attention than “Place Your Love” or “Cooper” or “Voices” but damn it, “Fireworks” is in another league!

People, listen to that guitar riff! How cool is that? But the chorus! Marie in that chorus! How does a band fall out of love with such an incredible song? “Checkin’ in, checkin’ out” is absolute heaven!

fireworksCDSLook, I understand. This song didn’t set the charts on fire back in 1994 – but so what? And YES, I know, this song was played at every show during the Crash! Boom! Bang! World Tour – so yes, I get it, this song has had plenty of love… but since then? Since that cold day in Moscow in 1995 when it made its last public appearance? Since then, this song has died a slow, cold death and compilation CD after compilation CD, this song never gets its rightful place in Roxology.

Ok, so many questions – so little time. Here’s a thought! Was this song supposed to be the first single off the Crash! Boom! Bang! album? 

Think about it. If “Sleeping in my Car” was never written at the last minute, would Team Rox have led with “Fireworks”? First singles for Roxette were (almost) always uptempo ones, so perhaps “Crash! Boom! Bang!” was always intended to be the second single and they were going to stick to their tested formula of an uptempo, guitar, power-pop number to kick off their “Crash” campaign? But then “Sleeping in my Car” came along at the very last minute and shook the plans up, so the title track remained as the second single and “Fireworks” became single #3. But the HUGE question I have is, did “Fireworks” go from #1 to #3? Have always wondered that. Anyone know?

And let’s be real here. #3 is still an important single choice, so Team Rox obviously had faith in this song at the time. They believed in it at one point, I mean, the video that they shot for it is a big budget clip. The single was released as a two-part promotion in certain territories, it even got a Jesus Jones remake! The “Fireworks” campaign had all the trademarks of a “big single hope” that it makes no sense as to why it’s disappeared into the ethos. Is it because it didn’t deliver the fancy chart numbers at the time? Unfortunately, not every song can set the world on fire, so who was it that fell out of love with this amazing song in the Roxette team?

Thomas: Let me help you out there, Stevo. Now, I don’t know if “Fireworks” was going to be the first single, but I think so. The album was in fact called Fireworks to begin with and not Crash! Boom! Bang! They even shot the sleeve art – fireworks… (duh) You may find the original shot as the backside of the “Fireworks” single sleeve. Interesting how the idea evolved, and disappeared. Back to you Stevo.

Stevo: Are you serious Thomas? You’ve been sitting on this information for how many years now and only now you tell me this? You’re officially off my Christmas card list. Don’t talk to me! Can anyone confirm or deny this rumour that Fireworks was supposed to be the title of the fifth Roxette album? Where’s Per when you need him? Oh wait, here he is…

Per: Yes, it was the working title of the album. I thought “Fireworks” was splendid, one of the best pop songs I’ve ever written. Almost up there in the “Joyride” -cloud, but with even sharper lyrics. Funny story about the two gals. Of course it was also a real duet between Marie and myself which always is something to strive for.

However, in retrospect I’ve changed my mind slightly, I feel that the chorus in “Fireworks” isn’t good enough. It lacks the killer touch and could have been much more special and unique. But the lyrics are still crazy enough for me.

Stevo: Does this now mean Per and I are officially co-writers of this article? I’m more than happy to give a credit!

But in all seriousness, we end this series of Ghost Tracks on a fascinating insight into the history of Roxology… and the harsh reality that I have to accept that perhaps I’m alone in my passion for this chorus, the very chorus that Per feels is perhaps “good”, but perhaps not as “killer” as what it could have been. Interesting stuff. Anyone else love these little tidbits of Roxette information?

So there we have it folks, hope you’ve enjoyed the series and who knows, we might be back in a year to spook you some more with some forgotten Roxette classics! As always, get involved, share your thoughts and keep your eyes glued to The Daily Roxette for all your Rox-needs!

“…Checkin’ in checkin’ out, making love I like watching all your fireworks…”

Thoughts from The Daily Roxette crew:

Paul: This one has always been a bit hit and miss for me, especially more recently.  Yes, the chorus is super catchy, but the whole thing sounds quite dated and flat to me.  I much prefer the live version from the Crash! Boom! Live! VHS. I do like the video though.

Thomas: Love this, always have. Good song, good video. I don’t understand why Per isn’t a huge fan. It would be great to hear it live again. Is it dated? I’ll have to check that out. It’s been a while, and lots of miles…


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  ★ Publishing date:

October 10th, 2015

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  • Ramūnas Navalinskas

    After CBB tour also 2 tracks were “forogotten” – “Harleys…” and “Lies”. Evnethough they were not singles, “Lies” was my most favourite track for a very very long time…

    • Stevo Petkovic

      The Harley/Lies medley on the CBB Tour is unforgettable! Vintage moment! Both awesome songs!

  • Chris

    This song is a killer. You have to hear it loud. I never understood why Per doesn’t like that song anymore. Why???? It is so damn good. The production, the guitars and drums. Everything sounds perfect! Even the outro is so cool and untypical when you hear it starts again but the fade out is already there.

    • Stevo Petkovic

      No need to convince me 😉

  • James Crompton

    Fireworks is a great number with a great video and I also like the Jesus Jones remake. I’m not the biggest fan of sleeping in my car to be honest. I didn’t think its lyrics were that great. But fireworks tells a story. Harleys and Indians is also rocking. Im not sure why run to you became a single either. Was never one of my tops on the album. Not a bad song but just not up there in my mind with some of the other numbers on there. Love how fireworks morphs into the sound of fireworks at the end. Beats Katy Perry’s number in my humble opinion.

    • Stevo Petkovic

      I never loved the Fireworks video. Always made me feel sea sick, and I wanted more Per + Marie together, but I like the bonfire sequence on the beach at the end.

  • Barry Mieny

    I wish Per would regale us with an interesting tidbit like this every day! Tidbit is probably an understatement in this instance, but he could throw out more of these morsels on Facebook every now and then. I’m sure there’s a treasure trove of information that we have no clue about.

    • Stevo Petkovic

      I demand a book of Rox-Facts!

  • Skyrider

    Real great song, I also like the demo. I remember watching the video back then on music television.
    Interesting to know that Fireworks was the first name for the album.

    • Stevo Petkovic

      Very interesting indeed! I had NO idea that was the working title. I’m so glad we’ve learned something new from this series. Really cool that Per helped us out with that info! Makes the whole thing so much more satisfying!

  • BVerfG

    “Where’s Per when you need him? Oh wait, here he is…”

    Haha^^ Yeah I love Fireworks too. I don’t think it would have been nearly as successful as “Sleeping in my car” even as the first single, but I like it a lot. Although I must say I think the verses are much better than the chorus, they’re really cool like “I once knew a girl, can’t remember her name but I remember her face cause her sister looked the same” Anyway it would be nice if “Fireworks” was resurrected somehow. It’s a really good song. Also kudos to the “Ghost Track” series, I thoroughly enjoyed the articles and everyone’s comments.

    • Stevo Petkovic

      Thanks BVerfG – appreciate the comments. It’s just nice to get us talking about the songs, there’s over 200 of them or so, i want to talk to other nerds about the songs and music… I’m not as interested in Per’s wines or Per’s hair cuts or Marie’s shoes 🙂

  • Tavo

    I’ve always loved this song and I have always wondered why it was not part of any compilation. I just thought Per/Marie or Clarence didn’t like it. Anyway, there are at least 3 more singles that have never made it to a compilation: I Call Your Name-Chances-Fingertips ’93 (although the latter was included on Rarities, which is actually a compilation but well…). I knew that Fireworks was originally going to be the name of the album, I’d read it somewhere. However, although I like this song (and video and remix version), I never really thought of it as a great thing. I’m so glad the first single was “Sleeping In My Car” since that is in my opinion the best track from the album. I agree that Run To You and Vulnerable should have never been singles (someone suggested that). To me, after this third single, other candidates would have been “I’m Sorry” and “Lies” or “Harleys” as a fifth single. Anyway, Crash! Boom! Bang! is a great album which has a unique sound, no other Rox album ever sounded even close to that and that’s why it is so special regardless of the fact it didn’t yield so many successful singles (one of which became the father of Ghost Tracks). 😉

    • chris

      I think “Run To you” was a good choice for a single. It’s catchy and very radio friendly. Vulnerable could be easily replaced by “I’m sorry”. But at the end of the day they released 5 singles (!!!) from that record! Thats a lot and shows that it was indeed a successful record. At that time Roxette became more a Band for successful records instead of the big #1 hit singles. That happens to most of the bands during a long career. From that point of view all singles did a great job to promote the record. In Germany all 5 Singles were Top50. I think this is pretty good.

      • ChrisGa

        Run To You is my favorite CBB track; never understood why it wasn’t a bigger hit worldwide(no surprise that it wasn’t here in the US–things fell off here after Joyride and CBB was a bust; I think Sleeping In My Car barely scraped the Top 50). Speaking of, never understood why that was chosen as the lead single; pleasant enough I guess, but I wouldn’t rank it among their imperial singles(as far as CBB goes, I’d consider Run To You and the title track as the only real “classic sounding” singles–again, SIMC was ok but HATE Vulnerable). In that respect, I do think Fireworks would’ve been a better lead off single.

  • Krischan76

    This is one of my all time favourites. Melodic, uptempo, guitars, great chorus – the very essence of what Roxette is to me.

    Hardly ever played live though, regrettably.

  • Tridy

    I didn’t know about Fireworks title, so thanks for writing about that. I think that CBB theme worked better from where I can judge. Weren’t EMI staff making a great impact/suggestions on which songs should be singles?

    For me, personally, Fireworks is the song that I would call one-of-a-kind. I mean if you take The Look, Joyride and The Big L., for example, you find style similarities. With Fireworks I cannot find anything similar. I do like the song a lot, and the video as well. Fireworks has the style and uniqueness. It’s a pity market did not react those days. It would be hell of a job to resurrect this song in any other remix/remake form, I think, but it has a good tempo for a club mix.

    One thing that I did not really see coming was choosing “Run to You” over “The first time we met time stood still” for the single at that time. Could have been a great story as well.

  • RobS

    Another doozy of a track from Rox. I remember playing this song before school almost each day for while after getting the single. It’s just a great thumping track. I do recall reading/hearing about the album being titled Fireworks. Interesting to know how far they got before scrapping it favour of SIMC and CBB. Strangely this was one of the few songs that I actually heard on my local radio at that time. Only SIMC got some airplay and nothing after that.

    Loved the video and didn’t Marie look great in that vid! Ending scene I thought was really nice too.

    Not sure what Per is on about the chorus could’ve “been more special and unique”? It’s perfect as is. Just rolls off the tongue, has a great sentiment in it, and sounds awesome!

    While I liked the live version on CBL! it never struck me the same as the original version, or other live tracks from that period. But the Jesus Jones mix has always been a favourite.

    Loved this Ghost Tracks series, Stevo. Hopefully more to come. So many songs to discuss!

    I miss days of the forum and being able to discuss this stuff with other fans. Where do people do this these days?

  • rad6380

    Fireworks is my favourite up tempo Rox song and it annoys me so much how it gets missed off not only all the greatest hits albums, but the roxboxes too. I just adore this track so much.

  • Robert Quinteros

    it’s the song that made me want desperately to buy the álbum!! First time I heard it on the EPK, that short piece was enough to fall un love with the song. It’s incredible how they disregard some gems… bit I think in a way is like the joy of finding the difficult card, difficult piece.. i dont know if you know what i mean..

  • Daniela

    Another song with great and outstanding memories, I was called up by a radio station to introduce the song for their radio charts. I was so nervous that I didn’t remember anything about me, but of course the song title, Roxette, and the telephone number everyone had to dial to get the song into the charts! I seem to have convinced enough listeners, Fireworks entered at number 4.

  • Bernie Fok

    Because of this article, I started listening to one of my favourite Roxette tracks again! It’s like a Joyride adventure Part 2, but also different. I have to disagree with Per, the chorus is as catchy as the guitar riff and the lyrics!! The whole song just flows, perfect Per-Marie duet and has such a great summer vibe to it!

  • David Andrew Carmon

    Probably in my top 3 Roxette songs along with Run To You. Really needs a revival, maybe played with Sleeping In My Car or The Big L similar to the How Do You Do/ Dangerous set up. Bring Back Fireworks! I once knew this song, I can’t remember it’s name……..

  • s1974x

    When you consider how generic and gimmicky modern music sounds, isn’t it a complement to refer to “Fireworks” as sounding dated?

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