Bag of Trix – Part 2 – Volumes 5 – 8 The Lost Songs
Now that the Bag of Trix is finally out in the world, it’s made me think about how lucky we are as fans, in the respect that Per is just as big of a geek as we all are when it comes to loving demos, alternative and live recordings, remixes and outtakes.
It’s fascinating to hear a demo – where a song started and its journey to the end result, that is if it’s lucky enough to make the cut and be recorded properly in the first place, and secure its prestigious place on a studio album.
I’m not here to review Bag of Trix, as I think the TDR gang did a grand job of that already (although I’d probably disagree with some of the highlights, but each to their own, right!)
All I’ll say about Bag of Trix is that it’s the first major opening of the prized (and somewhat dusty) Roxette Vaults. The door has been opened before of course, but only ajar with only a couple of gems escaping their dark and lonely confinement onto re-issues, various single B-sides, bonus tracks, EPs, the slightly disappointing RoxBox, and of course the truly amazing Per Gessle Archives (now that was an amazing release!).
With the door flung wide open in 2020 to focus fully on Roxette for the first time, we really get a taste of their DNA and Roxette’s own ‘Big Bang’ moment in 1986. What a joyride. I personally would have liked a more chronological release, but I suppose that’s just a personal preference. Regardless, Bag of Trix has totally hit the spot – there’s a great spread of eras here. Enough to satisfy casual and even the most hardcore of fans. However, there’s always going to be something missing with such a vast career to cover. Such a shame we only managed the four volumes.
So, what songs are missing? Where are they? Do they even exist? Who knows, but it sure is fun speculating what else remains tucked away in the Roxette Vaults and whether the doors will be opened for us again.
Here we have BAG OF TRIX PART 2 – Volumes 5 – 8 The Lost Songs
Call of the Wild
To kick us off, I think this is the only song from POP we don’t have a demo for? Correct me if I’m wrong people. Perhaps only a Swedish version exists from what was supposed to be Per’s 3rd solo album? Such a shame not to have its demo as this is one of my fave songs from their debut.
Half a Woman, Half a Shadow
Likewise for this Marie gem – is there a demo? We do have footage on The Rox Diaries of an acoustic rehearsal (would have loved that in full), but where is the demo? Had hoped it would turn up on the Look Sharp 30th Anniversary release, alas it wasn’t to be.
She Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
Marie mentioned a “tired sounding demo” of this song during an old interview so we know this one definitely exists, and it would be amazing to hear why it was tired? How did the song begin its Roxette journey? We already know it was recorded by Gyllene Tider of course.
Small Talk, Physical Fascination and Church of Your Heart
We have the majority of demos for Joyride now thanks to various releases, however these three amazing songs and their associated demos remain elusive. Perhaps these are being kept back and will finally see the light of day in 2021 for the Joyride 30th Anniversary release? Yes please, and while we’re at it – hoping we get some additional demos with Marie on vocals – “(Do You Get) Excited?” is firmly placed at the top of my wish list.
Fingertips, Cinnamon Street and Here Comes the Weekend
For Tourism, possibly traditional demos weren’t made as the album was recorded during the Joyride Tour as we all know, however some do exist and have found their way to the masses. “Fingertips” and “Cinnamon Street” haven’t. “Here Comes the Weekend” was leaked and released in poor quality on an old bootleg. Remember those?
The First Girl on the Moon, Place Your Love, Lies and I Love the Sound of Crashing Guitars
We know Per revisits and records demos multiple times, so one does wonder if demos for these CBB album tracks exist, and exist in multiple versions? Solo with Per, some with Marie? Who knows? We are still missing these four album track demos from CBB…
Have A Nice Day!
Per recently said in some Bag of Trix interviews that he’s found more recordings from the HAND era that he’d forgotten about. What could these be? Songs/demos that didn’t make the cut? Alternative versions like The Golden Blow, or the Modern Rock Version of “It Will Take a Long Long Time”? “Only When I Dream”? Your guesses are as good as mine, only Mr G knows.
Make My Head Go Pop
The only song from Room Service where a demo hasn’t been released (I think?). Maybe it’s too close to the album version? Per was/is known to sometimes make elaborate demos. How about “Yellow Bellied Alligator“?? This one we know is an early version (first version?) of “Opportunity Nox.” We first heard of this demo in Per’s book – Songs, Sketches & Reflections where we were treated to the lyrics (and a lovely sketch!). Will we get to hear the demo?
Perfect Excuse, Angel Passing and Easy Way Out
We were treated to the entire demo set for the previous album Charm School, but only managed to hear a few from the follow-up Travelling (Tworism – The Revenge!). These are amongst my favourite later Roxette songs, especially “Easy Way Out.” Hopefully we’ll get to hear their demos or even alternative takes one day.
It’s now well documented that Good Karma was a difficult album to record, what with Marie’s fading health and the surrounding issues that come with that situation. It’s a very sad story, but one also of perseverance. The album was completed and it was a goodie. The Roxette recording process was impacted here, so we are left wondering how the mechanics of the recording process worked? Were demos still recorded, reviewed and selected from? Or was this a Son Of A Plumber situation where the Rox crew went straight in? I do hope there are demos for this album, as it would be interesting to hear the origins of the recordings – are they acoustic versions for the mostly electronic sound we were presented with for the final opus?
Last but not least, we have our dear Marie. Fans have been delighted hearing previously unknown recordings from various studios, including her home. They’ve definitely been a highlight for me – “Pocketful of Rain,” “Beautiful Boy” to name a couple. We know of a few more demos that leaked on another bootleg a long time ago, but again no official release (or remastered quality) exists. They are “Beautiful Things,” “Remember” and “Do You Wanna Go With Me.” I do have a soft spot for “Remember” – I think it’s a beautiful simple ballad that’s befitting of this time of year. I do hope we get a remastered version one day.
To summarize, all I can say is…. C’mon Per, let’s be having you!
As you’ve seen – this release has re-energized the Rox fans while at the same time remembering Marie in all her glory. It’s such a great celebration of two talented souls from Sweden who conquered the world.
The appetite sure is there for Bag of Trix Part Deux – Volumes 5 – 8.
I’m sure you can find sufficient material in your vast archives Mr Gessle.
For now, a big big thank you for opening the Roxette Vault and hopefully there’s more to come to keep the Roxette memory alive for generations to come.
(I haven’t even mentioned the Remixes… Oh and the mock up sleeves were thought up by ‘aka Dave’ and myself.)