It was 20 years ago today…
STOCKHOLM - Sweden, July 8 1986. "Neverending Love," a new single was released by a group called "Roxette." No one in Sweden knew at that point what Roxette was, or who, except for the precious few Gyllene Tider fans that knew of the US version of "Heartland."
"Neverending Love" was an English version of the song "Svarta glas" that Per had composed for Swedish artist Pernilla Wahlgren. She turned it down, and gave it to her brother Niklas Wahlgren who recorded it and was about to release it when EMI called his record company and told them to remove the song from the album; Per Gessle needed it himself, but in English, and together with hot rock artist Marie Fredriksson. Enuff said.
When the single was released Per, 27 and Marie, 28, didn't want their picture on the sleeve, therefore a '50s style drawing was used. The song went straight into the Sommartoppen chart, I don't remember how high the first week, and as a matter of fact, I was in the USA so how could I?
I arrived back in Sweden on July 16th after 11 months in the US as an exchange student. I met up with my friend who immediately told me that Roxette had a new song out. That's not possible, I said. Roxette broke up last year. So he gave me the 7" single. I was blown away. In June 1985 Gyllene Tider called it a day, and here was a new Per Gessle project! Amazing! There was a God after all. So I turned the record on… and was disappointed… I felt Per had sold himself to Eurodisco. Nevertheless, I started listening to the one song, hoping for more, and needless to say, it grew on me.
Now it's 20 years later, I'm 20 years older (what happened?) and Roxette is still with me. And Roxette has sold over 70 million records so far. Quite a feat for two timid "hillbillies" from the south of Sweden, don't you think?
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