Have a Nice Day celebrates 20 years with a vinyl release
The dawn of a new era! The first Roxette “comeback” album and, for the fans, THE first Roxette album of the “Internet age” and didn’t it raise some heated discussions.
Have A Nice Day is an all time favorite – a heartbreakingly underrated album that really needed some record company love outside of the continental European markets – some instant classics, sadly, went begging. The average punter in Western markets has no doubt heard of “The Look” but they should have known about “Crush On You”. The same casual radio listener humming “It Must Have Been Love” should have been doing the same to “Beautiful Things”. Have A Nice Day will go down in Rox-History as the biggest “should’ve been” record of their career – not to downplay it’s commercial success in certain markets – but sadly, it did not get the love this incredible album deserved. This dynamic and bold album is definitely a must-have for any casual fan who enjoyed Look Sharp! or Joyride.
This record is blessed with quite possibly my favorite album title of all time, but, despite a cool title, there’s one thing this album had that left a lot of die-hards reeling when it launched in early 1999 – THAT cover! Much like the technicolor wonder of the mighty Joyride album, Have A Nice Day’s striking color scheme captures the same vibrant energy of the music as it does in its visual presentation. Call me a minority, but I loved the bold makeup, the striking poses and the new look for Marie and Per.
The last time we heard a full studio album by Roxette was the rock-orientated Crash!Boom!Bang! (which coincidentally turned 25 years this week!) and for Per Gessle lovers, The World According to Gessle, all pointed to yet another guitar pounding Rock album, instead – four years since their last LP, Roxette returned embracing the sounds of the time.
What’s brilliant about this record, compared to the “sister” album, 2001’s Room Service, in my opinion, is the production. It still sounds strong, it sounds timeless and classic. Room Service, for me, dipped into the “trendy tricks” of the early 2000s where a couple of the tracks reveals its era, to put it politely, whereas Have A Nice Day on the other hand, stands on its own. A bombastic, assertive sound that is as crisp and efficient as ever. Best summed up by the Press Release at the time as an “updated classic” – the Joyride of 1999 and definitely Roxette’s last “great” album until 2016’s Good Karma. So, the downsides? The singles choices. Everything that went so brilliantly into the recording of this monster was undoubtedly let down by the overlooked single decisions… and not to mention, the questionable waterfowl inspired videos which, if we’re being honest, did not help its cause. Absolute radio belters were left on the shelf in favor of some beautiful songs… but subsequently, songs that did not resonate with the market of 1999. That’s not to say that just because the album didn’t yield the same singles success as Look Sharp! that the record didn’t make an impact – I’ll never forget staying up too late to see the delayed broadcast of the iconic UK programme “Top of the Pops” to see Roxette perform “Wish I Could Fly” which debuted at its peak of #11 on the UK charts – a welcome return for the band.
“Wish I Could Fly,” the first single worldwide, went on to become a radio favorite in Europe and was performed by the band at the 2000 World Music Awards when they collected the award for the Highest Selling Scandinavian act. The promise of a “Have A Nice Tour” was bubbling away – rumors and pleas were swirling, drowning the official “Have A Nice Site” on the world wide web – but alas, never eventuated as the band nixed the idea and went back to the studio to deliver the follow up; Room Service.
Fans will often cite the divide that Have A Nice Day caused. Plain and simple, some hated it – “Roxette goes techno” some cried – looking back then and now, what a rubbish claim. But can we really apportion the online frenzy amongst the fans as a result of the new Roxette sound presented on Have A Nice Day? Or was it simply the first time that fans from all over the globe were able to express their opinions in the new digital age? 1999, the Internet and Have A Nice Day go hand in hand for me – the RML (Roxette Mailing List) was slowing down, TDR was at the time THE number one “go to” site, TDR’s “Small Talk” caused Thomas Evensson to go grey early, the roxette.nl gave us the official word and haveaniceday.nu launched the first time we got to interact with Per via the “Ask Per” section… where we found out his favorite ice-cream flavour was boysenberry… (sigh… what a waste of such a great opportunity to talk shop instead, the “Ask Per” function was squandered with the all too familiar cry of “pleeeeeeeeeaase Per come to [insert country]” – regardless, the energy at the time was palpable.
Suddenly, fans from Indonesia were speaking to fans in Cologne. Diehards from Zurich were dialling up their dial ups to chat to fans in London, VHS tapes were being traded from Sydney to Santiago. ICQ and MSN messenger were pinging and fake double up user profiles were flooding the “Run To Roxette” forums, arguing who was right, who was wrong and why the album was always intended to be called “Flowers of the Ocean” – whilst the grumpy, no nonsense “tevensso” was on a feeding spree, keeping the trolls occupied before the beloved TDR “Small Talk” eventually closed years later. It was an exciting time to be alive, regardless of how you felt about the album, the ability to finally have some fresh Roxette material and the joy of being able to join fellow, passionate fans to share it with, was an inspiring and thrilling time to be a Roxer! The HAND spurred on some key phases for Roxette fans around the world – we saw the birth of the “RoxAttaq” movement, the HAND era also inspired some rather questionable “fan fiction” sites and suddenly, everyone had either “roxer” or “joyrider” in their hotmail address and about a million “gessle1” passwords were born. Great memories, palpable debate amongst the fans across the globe and 14 brand new, dynamic Roxette songs after a God-awfully long wait! Having said all that, let’s get the other knuckleheads in on this and take a look at the musical wonder that is Have A Nice Day. Marie is the main star here, Per pops in for 4 tracks to lend a hand, but it’s Marie’s vocals carry that carries epic collection of unashamed Roxette pleasures! Knuckleheads? You here?
Crush On You
Thomas: You rang?
Stevo: Yep. Hit play and let’s get going!
Paul: Ahh, what an opener!
Stevo: “Crush On You”. What an absolute belter! This is the ultimate album opener – Jonas’ rib cracking riff, Clarence’s electro-rock production, Marie and Per trading vocals, this is Roxette at its finest. Can’t speak highly enough of this song – back in 1999, when I first heard that gut-punching guitar intro, I was hooked! Masterpiece of the highest order. THIS should’ve been THE single! Yes, they would’ve been criticised for a “The Look rip-off” but it was 1999 and it’s Roxette; they would’ve been criticised regardless! Plus, the 2001 Live version is one of the best things the band have ever done! The 2015 one? Not so much… but the “Room Service Tour” version was sublime! Five stars for this song, THE greatest ever “should’ve been a single” song!
Thomas: An excellent try to make a modernized “The Look.” Yes, an obvious single, but for reasons unknown it was scrapped. Even remixes were produced! Good ones at that! Bad move. Again.
Kai: I never really understood what people liked about this song. I find it utterly boring. Repetitive, too “violent”, too technical. When they used it as the opening song during the tours, I felt more like “Hmmm, well, can only get better from here.”
Thomas: Well, you’re German…
Stevo: …and an idiot! A tone deaf one, at that! An utterly boring, repetitive, tone deaf idiot. There! Geez, off to a good start here, aren’t we?
Paul: Well! Not sure what else I can add to this. Apart from asking Kai what is he thinking? This is surely up there as one of the best Rox-tracks ever. That 2001 live version is epic. The breakdown before the final chorus kicks with Marie’s powerhouse vocals still sounds amazing.
Wish I Could Fly
Thomas: I remember seeing the video, shot at Strandvägen and directed by Jonas Åkerlund, the first time. It’s a decent one. Per isn’t in it because he felt he was too fat at the time.
Kai: An example of the (back then) good old Roxette sound. Moody, calm, this certain vibe. Can hardly put it into words. Maybe it’s the violins, as so often in the better Roxette tunes?
Paul: Was this a little too obvious as the lead single from an album which wasn’t (all) typical Roxette? I loved the song when it first came out, but over the years I have fallen out of love with it a little bit. No idea why, maybe it has been overplayed?
Stevo: Beautiful song, but it didn’t resonate the first time I heard it. After years of re-playing to The World According To Gessle, I didn’t know what to expect for the first “new” Roxette song since 1995 – so I was surprised to hear this and was somewhat underwhelmed with a ballad as the lead. BUT. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the production, Roxette at their most sophisticated, a mature direction and it’s beautiful. I love the recurring bass with its haunting, electro vibe mixed with the glistening acoustic guitars after the second chorus. This is Clarence at his finest… BUT, was this the right lead single? Sure, it worked in Europe, but amidst the boy bands dominating the charts, I always felt the candy pop hungry audience would have welcome “Crush On You” with open arms more so than this moody ballad – a triumph of a song nonetheless.
Thomas: Agree. It wasn’t the best lead single choice in my not so humble opinion. Built around a drum loop, if you care.
You Can’t Put Your Arms Around What’s Already Gone
Stevo: …aaaaaaand the album hits its very first and rather embarrassing pot hole. Don’t like this, never did, don’t get it, never did. Sounds like a MIDI file, the scratch table intro… eeek, skip, skip skip! Perhaps this song could have worked with a proper production… but otherwise, for me… and I say this with the greatest love, this is unlistenable.
Paul: What do you know Stevo? Yeah, it’s not their greatest achievement, but it’s certainly not their worst either. We certainly hadn’t heard Per singing like this on a Rox album either.
Thomas: Moron (Stevo, not Paul). This title is stolen, can’t remember from where anymore. I, for one, totally enjoy this song. And the lyrics as well. Is this the longest title, ever?
Kai: A stolen title, you say? Not the first and not the last time either. Still amazing how it is possible to press so many words into a chorus. I always liked the song for its playful attitude. This “ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba-ha-ha” (did you count along?) portion: Yes! Longest title ever? Not sure anymore, since “I Never Quite Got over the Fact that the Beatles Broke Up” and “Excuse Me Sir, Do You Want Me to Check on Your Wife?” have seen the light of the world.
Waiting for the Rain
Stevo: I was super excited to hear the first ever Roxette song with the words and music by M. Fredriksson. It’s not bad, but I didn’t think it fit seamlessly on the record, but that’s also, in my opinion, what makes this album so great! The collection of different styles and sounds all blended by that classic Roxette touch. The best song on the record? No – bit too much of the “mop tops” for me, but good to have that kind of obscure sound on such an “electro-pop” record.
Thomas: Yes, very Beatles, and not very good in my opinion. I never liked it, it’s not Roxette to me. You say it’s good that it’s different from the rest of the material, and I would normally agree, but this is too different. Per isn’t even involved in the recording of this track. And it’s obvious. It’s better than “Little Girl” though.
Kai: The Beatles you say? Now that you mention it, yes, right. I always thought it’s a good interlude after all these other overproduced songs on this album before. It has “nananana” in it, how can you not like it? Seriously!
Thomas: Like I said, it’s not Roxette enough to me.
Paul: This one has grown on me over the years. I always used to skip this track, but I like it now. It certainly doesn’t sound like Roxette, but Marie sounds great. The live version from 2001 isn’t too bad either.
Thomas: Another great one, even a terrific (and sad) video. Jonas Åkerlund’s follow up video to “Wish I Could Fly”. In the original Marie(‘s character) commits suicide. In the revised version she comes back to life. The original was banned from MTV, wasn’t it?? This song is just amazing. Another single that was just flubbed, it could have been a monster.
Kai: This one should be considered more epic. Great ballad with Marie in top shape, strings, a chorus, the typical recipe for success. Would have needed only another “Pretty Woman” movie to make it go through the ceiling.
Thomas: Agree. It’s available en Espanol too, together with two other tracks.
Paul: Maybe this wasn’t the hit it should’ve been because it followed up WICF. Who knows? I feel like I’m saying the same things for all the songs so far: Marie sounds excellent, the 2001 live version was great as well. Bla bla bla.
Stevo: Look… I get it… I do… but… isn’t there such a thing as too much Burt Bacharach? And this as the follow up single? A radio single in 1999? I… yeah… I don’t… umm… look, I know that I’m alone here… but yeah, no, this is not “single” potential – a solid album track… and I know what they were going for here… but… I’m sorry – it didn’t grab me. I want to love it… but maybe it’s the strings overkill? Hey, but I love the demo medley with “I Love How You Love Me” – that I do love and would’ve killed to have heard Marie do that version… but this one is nice… but no commercial appeal.
Thomas: You’re just wrong. Had this been promoted properly (I know, I know…) it could have gone places. But yes, the medley is superb. And how can you miss with a 6/8 beat?
It Will Take a Long Long Time
Stevo: Phew! Aaaaand we are back in the room!
Kai: One of the simply good simple songs that have defined Roxette’s music throughout their whole career. Then this “Inganakee leo yo” mantra that we kept wondering about until Per revealed it doesn’t mean anything at all. Meaningless lyrics in a Roxette song! Who would have thunk!!!
Thomas: It was obvious it didn’t mean anything. What, would Per have learned Swahili for this? Duh! Great song though.
Stevo: Stunning song. Love it. This had more single potential than the previous track, this song is almost perfect, almost – the mantra really sucks the air out of it for me… and the “jar”… “oh, what a jar”. Regardless, overall, a sweet, brilliant little song that is criminally overlooked. Truly a joy, a burst of warm glorious sunshine giving this aural technicolour masterpiece, that is Have A Nice Day, a bright burst of golden yellow. Love it, such a crying shame it didn’t take off during its small feature in the Hollywood film Runaway Bride.
Thomas: Well, that movie was total crap, I even gave my DVD away, it was that bad. I don’t really remember now, but was “Salvation” in it more than a second?
Stevo: Huh? “Salvation” wasn’t in the movie.
Thomas: Well, this song then, you know what I mean! It’s not even on the soundtrack CD. “Salvation” was in the Swedish non-classic Dykaren.
Paul: I had forgotten that this was in the terrible movie as well. The song itself has a nice vibe, simple lyrics and a pleasant melody. It doesn’t wow me, but I don’t skip the track either.
Thomas: I used to love this, until I heard the demo. Then I started loving that! Even Per and Clair say that they should have kept that arrangement. Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Stevo: You’re wrong! The cute, electro vibes set this song apart from “She Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” or “Lies” – this production is perfect!
Thomas: Yes, I like it fine, it would have been yet another nice single, but I like the demo more. Shoot me.
Paul: After a couple of slower tunes, back to this uptempo belter. Still sounds great to play loud in the car on a sunny day. Definitely a great one to hear live as well!
Kai: One of my favorites for some time. Nowadays, maybe a bit too “oomph oomph” if you know what I mean.
Thomas: You mean untz untz untz, “oomph oomph” is German for tubas, but yes.
Kai: I can imagine a modern reincarnation of this song hitting the radios all over the world. Great, driving rhythm, I like the spirit of the song. A touch of “Sleeping In My Car” in it. Was fun hearing it live on stage. Thomas mentioned the demo, and he was right this time. The demo sounds like a good Gyllene Tider song and a good GT song always beats a good Rox song, if you ask me.
Stevo: Ugh! Enough with the demo! Clarence is “da man” – got it? He knows what he’s doing and this song stands out from the aforementioned tracks because of the dance vibes – loosen up, you grumpy ol’ men! And how about those “aeroplane” effects? I love it, I can’t believe this was dropped from the album at one point – yet another single gone begging.
Thomas: I already said…
I Was So Lucky
Thomas: Written for Gabriel, and Per’s happiness to finally become a father. Also a song that’s just too good to be true. Amazing lyrics! Love it from the intro to the superb solo. Isn’t that a clarinet? “I never felt anything for years”…
Kai: Lovely song, yet I never understood that when this is a Per-to-Gabriel song Marie had to sing it. I mean, technically her voice certainly fits better but I think with Per’s voice it would have got much more personal. I like the instrumental solo in the middle (somebody with knowledge certainly knows a superb word for this part), it’s so typically Swedish-Late-’80s-Early-’90s.
Thomas: The middle 8? The solo?
Kai: Yes but I’m sure someone out there can make it sound more complicated than that.
Paul: I always thought the same Kai, it would’ve been good to hear Per take the lead on this track given the subject matter. Either way, it’s definitely a beautiful song. I do find that Marie sounds a bit sad in her delivery though, which doesn’t match the tone of the lyrics.
Stevo: This is an adorable little song – “the sun through the trees”, it’s such a solid album track and I say that with love because it’s impeccable songs like these that really glue this record together. I love the lyrics, I love where this gentle track takes you, it’s just beautiful.
Stevo: Oh dear…
Thomas: Roxette goes Cher? One can’t help but wonder what went through their minds recording this. Per said that it was supposed to sound like “Listen to Your Heart,” but obviously they missed something in the production. Not half bad live, but on the album, it’s just not working. There’s a version on a single somewhere without the children. Slightly better. That live version from Dubai, that’s likeable!
Paul: The single version without the children were the Almighty remixes, developed for the UK market I believe, which was a waste of time given that there was zero promotion for the song. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with this song – I prefer the more guitar-orientated live version.
Stevo: Oh dear, oh dear…
Kai: “Stars.” Actually a very interesting tune, would it not sound like a fatal crash involving a Love Parade truck and a kindergarten toy car. I used to skip this song whenever I feared someone could hear me listening to it. Have to agree with Thomas (again! What’s going wrong here??) that this was marvellous when played live. Very, even.
Thomas: Hey, I rock.
Stevo: Oh dear… I mean… the ducks? The choir? A single? Oh dear. OK. Listen. I’m not dissing this track because it’s “dance”… or an attempt at “dance” – heck, listen to “Paint” and tell me it’s not produced within an inch of its life… Roxette have always been about the techy studio production stuff… but “Stars” is just… yeah, no.
Thomas: To be fair, the ducks part was stolen from “Itchycoo Park” by the Small Faces.
Stevo: The whole “Stars” experiment was just… yeah, look, again, I stand by the fact that Have A Nice Day needed a song like this, regardless, to give it a spike and to create that polarizing discussion. It adds to the tapestry of what I believe is one of the very best albums ever made – song for song, you find little flaws, as an overall record, it’s interesting and colourful – and this bright burst of “hot pink” adds to it, even if I don’t love the song.
Thomas: No true. I certainly don’t hate it, even like it at times, but it’s not exactly my go-to song.
Thomas: A single, this time with another video by Anton C, (“Stars” being the first) a video with yuge fish in it. A good song though, but yet another single wasted. When this was out, they performed another song on TV and the single was nowhere to be found in stores, until weeks later, when the song was dead.
Paul: That lack of promotion again. Another nice ballad though. I like the way the song builds up and gathers momentum. This was never performed live though was it?
Stevo: Sadly, not.
Kai: Oh yes, the video. Very… ahm… interesting. Although I think that video itself stole too much attention from the music. The song is actually a very vulnerable construction, and then came Anton and brought a fish and strange doors at the beach.
Stevo: Ducks in “Stars”, then a fish and a pumpkin in this one? Really makes you miss Doug Freel and co. from the early ’90s.
Thomas: For sure. Could have been another monster… no, not talking about the fish.
Kai: Interesting thought of yours. When I remember correctly, before HAND was released, the biggest Roxette era had been more or less past, in hindsight. What they tried here is to follow a trend, to adapt to the then modern sounds, which was not met with open arms by the fanbase in the end. Had this song been released years earlier, then yes, I agree it could have been a monster. But at that time, music taste had changed.
Thomas: That too.
Stevo: I have no idea what Kai is saying here. Regardless, I adore this song, another underrated gem, this is classic Roxette with a modern vibe. Marie’s vocals takes me back to “I Was So Lucky”, it’s a lush ballad. I think this album has the best collection of Roxette ballads, ever? Agree? Perhaps the album is one ballad too many, but the production on this is just pure genius. I love Per’s little vocal interjections, I love the chanting backing vocals during the chorus as the song rises to new heights – it’s truly a top notch, quality song. I always felt the “I’m down in the study, holding on to my luck” rhythm in the verse reminded me of an updated “everybody needs a little time away” from Chicago’s “It’s Hard for Me to Say I’m Sorry” with the piano chord progression – anyone? No? Just me? Regardless, superb song – but ugh, that video, avante garde meets Roxette… didn’t work.
Thomas: Never listened to Chicago, or Boston for that matter. I saw “Philadelphia” though, if that counts?
Pay the Price
Thomas: This became a single in Japan! Maybe it was a double A-side? No idea how it went, but I love this. A super nice song. Per sings on the demo.
Kai: These guitars turn it more into a “World According to Gessle” song. I always liked it. It’s a simple happy song. Simple is always good, right?
Thomas: I would say so, usually.
Paul: YES YES YES! Still sounds great today and was always one of my favorites on the album. The most typical Roxette track on the album perhaps?
Stevo: Hmmm… I always felt like the verse was far superior to the chorus. In fact, I’d go as far as saying this chorus is weak – which is insane to say about a Roxette song. I love the guitars, I love Marie on this one… often Marie is associated with the big bad ballads, but here, she is phenomenal. Very underrated vocal performance, especially when she says “something is melting this town like it was all made of snow”. Again, not a bad song and it belongs on the album to give it that light and shade when you’ve got the twinkling dance effects of “Stars” – but why can’t I get into the chorus?
Thomas: Don’t bore us…
Stevo: …are you saying that this article is too long? Is that why you’re bored?
Stevo: Look out! Pothole ahead… and it’s a biiiiiiig one!
Thomas: Not everyone likes this…
Thomas: …but I love it. It’s creepy and cool at the same time. Can’t really put my finger on it. There’s a remix called “Closer to God” that’s quite dreadful though.
Paul: I never understood the hate for this song. Another one that I’ve always loved. Per’s vocals are great on this, the lyrics are great and when the violins kick in – wow! Love it! And I never minded the “Closer to God” version either.
Kai: Most outstanding song of this album for me. So brave, different, unique, these voices, again the strings. Yes! The only other song that ever got close enough for me music-wise was Nick Cave & Kylie Minogue’s “Where the Wild Roses Grow”, don’t you agree?
Thomas: Definitely agree! I like that too. Plus I get some “She’s Leaving Home” vibes from it.
Stevo: So, to our dear TDR readers, let’s get this straight. Kai doesn’t like “Crush On You”, instead, THIS is the best song on the album for him? Let’s just ponder and process this nonsense for a moment. But I will say this, this moody grey number as a stand alone song is… not great – BUT, this is what’s beautiful about the Have A Nice Day experience (because that was this delicious record is, an experience) it’s eclectic. This is an eclectic album and no matter how “different”, “peculiar” or “weird” a song feels, such as “Cooper”, the strength of this record is sum of all parts. In terms of the strength of the union of songs, this album comes second to Joyride. The difference being, every song on Joyride stands on its own and could have been a single – but Have A Nice Day? Not so much, but, together, all those misfit songs mixed in with instant classic tracks, give this musical masterpiece, a Joyride feel without the same quality of stand alone songs. Does that make sense? I’m not saying that this is the second best album, I’m saying collectively, this feels the most enjoyable journey next to Joyride. And it’s songs like “Cooper”, songs which don’t resonate with me, that make it such an interesting listen, full of light and shade and this album really has a firm place in my heart. I love it.
Staring at the Ground
Stevo: Now we’re cooking!
Kai: It’s the harmonica that sells it to me. Apart from this, the song never really meant anything to me. A good filler between the other songs though.
Paul: Yes, another nice enough tune, some interesting lyrics chucked in as well. Not single potential, but not a track to skip either
Thomas: I always liked this, can’t really say why, but it’s catchy. They performed this on the US 2000 tour, semi acoustically. Very nice version at that too.
Kai: Oh, I’m probably too young to remember this.
Stevo: Kai, you don’t remember this because it never happened. Thomas has been drinking… again! Now, back to this delightful and oh so underrated song! I can’t explain it, it’s that modern production with those crisp guitars, I’m telling you, this album and song was ahead of its time! “Like the devil’s deeds in the pocket of my jeans” “I’m bloodless thrown away from the sun” – some killer lines, just a glorious, overlooked song. The production is perfect, this track is ridiculously good!
Thomas: Guess my copy of the live version I’m listening to is fake then…
Stevo: … your face is fake!
Stevo: Ok… so… Thomas has just played me an mp3 of a live recording of “Staring at the Ground”… don’t we all hate Thomas when he’s right? Actually, don’t we all just hate Thomas?
Thomas: I rest my case. And when was I ever wrong??
Stevo: HEAVEN! There is a GOD!
Kai: Oh yes. “Is there someone I can talk to?” This should be a Roxette classic. Never really got the attention it deserved. Which is sad. Power ballad at its best. They don’t make songs like this anymore nowadays! Perfect closer for this album that started too violently and ends on a high note.
Thomas: This is a Masterpiece. After hearing Per’s demo, even more so. Per’s version was written for The World but was left to die in silence. Marie has really outdone herself here. The music fits the lyrics perfectly! And yes, it should have become an instant classic. On the other hand, Marie’s demo isn’t great either, likely produced by her and her hubby. Guessing Clarence took care of it in the end. And of course, Marie sings this like an angel. “Does anybody want to hear what’s on my mind…?” Top score, A+ even.
Stevo: Maaaaaaaarieeeeeeeeee (if I may evoke a little South American) – she rescued this disaster of a demo. Easy Top Five song for me of ALL time! Perfect! Validation that there is an afterlife, this song is a triumph and it dwarfs the cover version they recorded a year or two later on Room Service called “My World, My Yawn, My Whatever.” No, this is the original and this could have been a single and this is why Marie is so underrated! This song is everything, I’m having heart palpitations… I need air … I think I did a Ghost Track entry on this one, it’s just the most marvelous way to close this dynamic, extraordinary and eclectic musical journey!
Thomas: There there, someone wanna get this moron a Valium?
Paul: The others have said all there is to say on this majestic song. There is literally nothing that could be changed on this tune to improve it. Nothing.
Thomas: So what missed the cut here? “Little Miss Sorrow,” this easily could’ve been on the album in place of “Waiting for the Rain.” “The Centre of the Heart” in the much slower version was scheduled to be here too along with “Happy Together”, fortunately that was banished to B-side status… but it didn’t even deserve that privilege. “Bla Bla Bla…” maybe? “It Hurts” is a wonderful song, but wouldn’t likely have fit. “Being with You” was written with HAND in mind as well as “Always the Last to Know ,” “A Girl Like You,” “Bad Moon,” “Makin’ Love to You,” “Ghost in the House,” “Turn of the Tide,” “Better off on Her Own,” “Only When I Dream,” and “Holiday”… Could have been a double?? Most of these we’ve heard on Per’s Archives, but not all of them.
Stevo: Ugh. Don’t you even dare bringing up “Happy Together” – icky. But “Little Miss Sorrow” needed to be here… but then again, if it was there, it wouldn’t be the same Have A Nice Day that I fell in love with. But I vote for “Little Miss Sorrow” in place of “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around…”
Paul: A mish-mash of styles that still sounds fresh today despite being released 20 years ago, Have A Nice Day is definitely up there as one of Roxette’s most creative, inspired pieces of work
Here’s a simple test to validate the strength of this record. Grab a “non-fan” off the streets and play bits of Room Service to them and then ask them what year it was recorded/released. I bet, within the first few attempts, they would easily guess “the early 2000s” or thereabouts. Do the same with Have A Nice Day – I’m telling you, they won’t get it right. It’s grand production keep this bold collection of songs; timeless!
So in summary, let’s all kick back, relax and raise our glasses to Roxette’s sixth studio album and celebrate its glorious 20 years!