Ghost tracks

Ghost Tracks: SMALL TALK

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.

small_talkSong: Small Talk
Album: Joyride
Year: 1991
Track: #12

Now you’ll have to forgive the overwhelming bias in this review – it’s impossible to write objectively when it comes to this song because this is an all-time top 5 favorite! If you don’t like this song, probably best you stop reading now.

Ignore that slightly clunky seven second intro at the start of the song with that weird countdown and after that you have nothing but pure Rox-perfection!

it’s not the chapters he reads when you’re feeling low down…” sings Maries as she takes you on a 3 minute 54 second stunning pop journey. If there was EVER a song that has everything, then this has EVERYTHING. Let’s break down this gem!

There’s a catchy chorus that SOARS so damn high that it makes “you wanna fly, yes it does!” The chorus is so strong, you can’t get it out of your head. So catchy in fact that it’s backed up again with a bunch of “na na na na nas” towards the end that proves just how damn catchy the melody is.

How about the adorable acoustic guitar that comes in at the end of “…when you wanna buy a daydream?”. How about the second time we get to the chorus we are introduced to a new catchy factor “just like that” – and THEN, we get the real kicker, “information heart and soul a whisper a word…” with Per stepping in to share some of the vocal duties, it’s a brand new element that keeps the song building! Building to what? “…Come on now! Come on now…” Marie’s yelling at the listener by now, telling us how she “rocks so heavenly“! Then of course, the one and only Jonas takes us through a classic Rickenbacker/mandolin-esque solo that just keeps this delightful pop bomb pumping through to the very end, where you don’t need words anymore, just Marie screaming “na na na na na” and it eventually fades out.

Roxette toured the globe with “Join The Joyride” and this song never made the playlist. Outrageous! If it were to ever get a live treatment today, I imagine something along the lines of the live version of “Real Sugar” where the crunching guitars replace the more synth sound during the verses.

An up-tempo Marie track, a dash of Per, a strong hook and yes, a very produced sound but what you get is a bright, shiny, gleaming, catchy lesson in how to master pop music!

Sadly it didn’t even feature in The Per Gessle Archives. Truly one of their best! Answers! I DEMAND answers, why has this song been so neglected for so long?

Agree? Disagree? Thoughts?

“confessions that have to heard…”

  ★ The author:

  ★ Publishing date:

January 3rd, 2015

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  • sleepingsingle

    Totally agree!!

  • cylon8

    the song always felt like a soul deep knock off

  • Daniela

    Small Talk never belonged to my favourite songs, but it is very interesting to read your explanation why you love it so much!

  • Sandra

    The song has always been one of my favourites too!

  • Josep Suárez Martínez

    I have to say that my father likes Roxette in general but not like I do as a hardcore fan.
    Small Talk is the only not-single song from Joyride that made him dance.and.sing immediately when it started to play. You could.see him enjoying the song even more than Joyride itself. This song has something special. If a not-so-fan reacts that.way…it means something. And yes. I love it too!!!

    • URCogProf

      YES! “Half a Woman, Half a Shadow” is my #1 ghost track – how could this song get so completely overlooked? The only extra acknowledgment it got was the honour of serving as the B-side to “Listen to Your Heart” in Canada and the US. Big deal! Should be played live – every tour! 😀 Oh, and “Small Talk” rox – my sister’s favourite when we were kids, she’d put it on repeat and listen for hours!

    • Fabio Deluca

      Half a Woman, Half. A Shadow is a more ‘middle of the road’, average song. I’ve never been crazy about it (to be honest, I skip it more often than I hear it). It’s not as catchy as Small Talk nor as powerful as Shadow of a Doubt, I think.

      • Andre jnr

        I recall Per said in an interview at the launch of Joyride that either View from a Hill or Shadow of a doubt would not have made it onto Joyride. Those two songs however both have something special about them.

        • Fabio Deluca

          I think Moseley’s production killed all the VFAH chances. It sounds dreadful, the intro reminds me of a Whitney Houston song (Love Will Save The Day).

      • Josep Suárez Martínez

        I think that it’s Marie’s voice what makes me surrender to Half a Woman, Half a Shadow, rather tan the song itself. Her performance is absolutely breathtaking. Makes me wanna listen over and over again! And shadow of a Doubt is a song that got me astonished at the first listening of the album, more than any other song. It deserved to be a single for sure!

  • Skyrider

    Agree. Always liked this one a lot.

  • Adriano Antunes

    “It’s not the way his eyes persuade you to stay the night… Come on now. You make it rock so heavenly…”

  • SmallTalker

    Always been a fave of mine, I recall walking home from school with that brick build Sony Walkman and this song blasting out! 😉

  • TheRoxettishFan

    Totally agree too! This song is so, so… ROXETTISH!!! I love it! Hope to read some about Beautiful Things too! So beautiful!

  • Lucian Lennox

    I think that this song sounds so delicious!!! So early 90’s!!! C’mon Now! C’mon Now! C’mon… it’s my favourite part, it’s an explosion of pop music in it’s best shape.

  • Fabio Deluca

    It’s a nice song, maybe one of Joyride’s stand-outs. I think it could have been a single. The arrangement hasn’t aged that well, but who cares about that? Shame it was never performed live, at least during the Joyride tour when they had less material to choose from. Other songs that deserve an entry in this list are: From One Heart To Another, Fingertips ’93, Keep Me Waiting, Harleys & Indians, Do You Wanna Go The Whole Way?, Cooper, I Was So Lucky, It Takes You No Time To Get Here and Entering Your Heart.

    • Stevo Petkovic

      Keep reading Fabio 🙂 More to come, including some you mentioned 😉

      • Fabio Deluca

        I hope Entering Your Heart will make the list, haha!

  • Sandra Knospe

    After “I remember you” yesterday I ended up listening to the full Joyride album and when “Small Talk” started I thought exactly the same. Another ghost track and yet such a powerful and somewhat clever song. I love it and it felt good to turn up the volume while listening to it and dancing through the flat singing…

  • Kathie Winn

    This is another one of those Roxette songs that plays constantly in your head well after you have finished listening.

  • hadebe

    Sorry, disagree. Back in the days, I always used this song as an example for pointing out Roxette also can make bad songs. Funny to read your opinion about the song, because I always thought the opposite about it 🙂

    • Stevo Petkovic

      That’s great hadebe – that’s EXACTLY what this feature is all about. Sharing opinions and thoughts 🙂 Agreeing. Disagreeing. Debating. Let’s get talking about the music again! By all means disagree, that’s excellent! Please feel free to expand more and keep checking The Daily Roxette for more reviews 😉

      • hadebe

        Agree 🙂

  • Antonio Epifania

    Ah yes another lost gem! Great choice for a “ghost” track! I remember when Joyride first came out it wasn’t near the top tracks for me, at least initially… However years later I love it! Every time I hear it, it puts a smile on my face 🙂 Marie’s vocals are sublime on this. The way she sings “Its not the way his eyes persuade…” in the second pre-chorus = PERFECTION!! Though it might sound a little dated today (I blame the drums) I love the production on this. It’s got a great feel of tension and release, love those acoustic guitars that pepper the song and the Jonas solo… ahhh that guy never puts a foot wrong! Each section shines on its own, put together the song is one big winner! And the na na na na’s to close the song, GREAT! I probably could also have done without the count in though 😉

  • Chris

    Another great song on the Joyride album. Nowadays I like the song a lot. Back in the Joyride-days, I skipped the song (together wit Physical Fascination) quite often.

  • Chris

    To me this is one of the weakest released roxette tracks. It is the only song on the joyride record that I always skip. Maybe because it sounds too childish to me. Not my cup of tea.

    • Stevo Petkovic

      Blasphemy 😉

  • It was never a favorite of mine. Nor did I hate it. I went back and took it for a spin yesterday and still felt it was a decent, but not awesome, track. Like Per said: Dressed for Success light. 😉

    • Stevo Petkovic

      What would you know? You like “lover lover lover” – so shush 😉

  • EliJ

    I personally adore this song, and have found it to be one of their catchiest. It’s good when you want to listen to a song for the tune rather than the meaning or the words.

    • Guest

      Here’s what Per said on Facebook – “I think it’s cool. But for me Dressed For Success is better. ST follows the same tradition but didn’t really make the chequered flag! /P.”

      So that answers it somewhat 🙂

  • Truther

    Absolutely, one of my all time favorites!! Would also love some answers as to why this has been ignored for so long.

    • Stevo Petkovic

      Here’s what Per said on Facebook – “I think it’s cool. But for me Dressed For Success is better. ST follows the same tradition but didn’t really make the chequered flag! /P.”

      So that answers it somewhat 🙂

  • One of my favourites too. Love it!

  • Nico

    Great Topic!!! some other ghost tracks IMHO:
    From One Heart To Another,
    Joy Of A Toy
    I could Never Give You Up,
    So Far Away,
    Comeback Before You Leave
    Cinnamon Street (both versions)
    Place Your Love
    Seduce Me
    I Don’t Want To get Hurt
    Beautiful Things
    It Takes You No Time To Get Here
    I’m Glad You Called
    Siitting On Top Of The World
    Touched By The Hand Of God

    Lover Lover Lover

    • DavidRox

      Cinnamon Street is one of my all time favorites and should be mentioned for sure.

  • Nico

    The 10 articles will probably have to turn 20 by popular demand, 😉

    • Stevo Petkovic

      You’re right Nico! Only 10 were planned for this “off-season filler” but the response has been incredible, didn’t expect this, seems so many people are hungry for these articles… we may just have to do more 😉 Keep checking The Daily Roxette, some of the ones you listed may just pop up very soon 😉

    • Also, please feel free to submit your own Ghost Track articles!

  • Coolbluez

    Yes reminds me of my school days when I used to listen to Joyride album…It’s an ‘OK’ song, not v.classic…

  • Thomas Lawrie-Clark

    I cannot fault any song on the Joyride album, even Small Talk. For me, along with Look Sharp! – the Joyride album just cannot be perfected.

    Small Talk brings something very different to the album from the other tracks. Its kinda sexy in a none assuming way. Marie delivers on the vocal front, per delivers on the clever lyrics and Clarence and co deliver in the excellent production. Would love to hear the demo to see how this particular song evolved.

    Joyride without Small Talk wouldn’t be Joyride to me. I have very fond memories travelling through the countryside in Majorca on holiday, listening to the Joyride album and this song in particular along with I Remember You – another gem!

  • ajac71

    I always loved ‘Small Talk’ (ok the intro always confused me….but meh) I actually was second row in Adelaide for the Joyride Tour in 91’…and I remember saying to my friend at the end ‘They didnt do small talk,Huh?’

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