“Look Sharp!” 25 years today!

  • Look Sharp! turning 5 million.

Amazingly enough it’s been 25 years since Roxette’s breakthrough album Look Sharp! was released… Whatever happened? Although the sleeve, and Wikipedia, state the release date as October 19, it was really released the 21st, a Friday. Expressen’s reviewer wrote that the album sucked because it contained too many hits. Go figure.

From Wikipedia (modified):

Look Sharp!
Studio album by Roxette
Released     October 19, 1988

Look Sharp! is the second studio album by the Swedish pop duo Roxette. It was recorded at EMI Studios in Stockholm and at Trident II Studios in London between March and June 1988. The album was released on October 19, 1988, two years after their debut Pearls of Passion. The album became an international hit, reaching #23 on the Billboard 200 and spawning the major hit singles “The Look” (U.S. #1), “Listen to Your Heart” (U.S. #1), “Dressed for Success” (U.S. #14), and “Dangerous” (U.S. #2). Because of the worldwide success of the album and its singles, Look Sharp! is considered as Roxette’s breakthrough.

The album has sold over 9 million copies worldwide.


“The Look”, “Chances”, “Dressed for Success”, “Listen to Your Heart” and “Dangerous” were released as singles. In native Sweden, “Dressed for Success” and “Listen to Your Heart” were chosen as the first two singles, as Gessle and EMI Svenska chose to highlight Fredriksson’s singing. The singles reached #2 and #3 on Swedish chart respectively. But despite huge popularity in their homeland Roxette were still unknown globally.

Everything changed when the third single “The Look” was released in Sweden. It was while studying in Sweden, that an American exchange student from Minneapolis, Dean Cushman, heard “The Look”, and brought a copy of Look Sharp! home for the 1988 holiday break. He gave the album to a Minneapolis radio station, KDWB 101.3 FM. The station started playing “The Look” and based on positive caller feedback, the song became very popular, and quickly spread to other radio stations. The song became a radio hit before any Roxette music had been commercially released or promoted in the US market. The story was covered by radio, newspapers and TV in the US and in Sweden, making for good press for many years, with Gessle telling this as the story which highlighted the beginning of their international success.

Until 2009 Look Sharp! has sold over 9 million copies worldwide including over 1 million copies in US alone, which gave the album platinum certification by RIAA in January 1990 (it has sold 402,000 since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991). Look Sharp! peaked at #4 in UK, where it stayed on the charts for 53 weeks and was certified platinum by BPI in the UK in December 1990 for sales in excess of 300,000. It is also the second best selling album in Swedish music history (only behind ABBA’s Arrival) where it held the top spot for 14 weeks and has gone 6x platinum. Furthermore Look Sharp! collected gold and platinum certifications all around the world.

The CD edition of the album features the track “(I Could Never) Give Up” which was omitted from both the cassette and vinyl editions. “Chances” is also 40 seconds longer.

Gessle won his first Grammis award in the category Best Composer. Roxette also received two Rockbjörnen awards for Best Swedish Album and Best Swedish Group.

Track listings

CD original release

All songs written and composed by Per Gessle, except where noted.
1.     “The Look”       3:57
2.     “Dressed for Success”       4:09
3.     “Sleeping Single”       4:38
4.     “Paint”       3:30
5.     “Dance Away” (Fredriksson, Gessle)     3:25
6.     “Cry” (Fredriksson, Gessle)     5:19
7.     “Chances”       4:57
8.     “Dangerous”       3:49
9.     “Half a Woman, Half a Shadow” (Fredriksson, Gessle)     3:35
10.     “View From a Hill”       3:40
11.     “(I Could Never) Give You Up”       3:58
12.     “Shadow of a Doubt” (Gessle, Mats MP Persson)     4:14
13.     “Listen to Your Heart” (Gessle, Mats MP Persson)     5:29

Total length:



        “Silver Blue” (Demo)

    “The Look”

        “The Look”
        “Silver Blue” (Demo)

    “Dressed for Success”

        “Dressed for Success”
        “The Voice”

    “Listen to Your Heart”

        “Listen to Your Heart”
        “(I Could Never) Give You Up”


        “Surrender”/”Neverending Love” (Live)


Country, Peak, Certification
Australian Albums Chart, 2    
Austrian Albums Chart, 3, 2× Platinum
Canadian Albums Chart, 8, 6× Platinum
German Albums Chart, 7, 2× Platinum
New Zealand Albums Chart, 12, 2× Platinum
Norwegian Albums Chart, 1    
Swedish Albums Chart, 1, 6× Platinum
Swiss Albums Chart, 2, 2× Platinum
UK Albums Chart, 4, Platinum
U.S. Billboard 200, 23, Platinum

This article was written for an earlier version of The Daily Roxette.
Technical errors may occur.

  ★ The author:

  ★ Publishing date:

October 21st, 2013

Internal reference code for TDR's Good Reporters: [tdr 309]

This article was posted here on TDR in these categories:

TDR:Misc, TDR:Roxette, vintage.

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