Sunday, June 26, 2016

Songoftheday 6/26/16 - 1,2,3,4 walking like a man hitting like a hammer, she's a juvenile scam never was a quitter...


"The Look" - Roxette
from the album Look Sharp! (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 13

Today's song of the day comes from the Swedish pop duo Roxette, who had previously been in other bands before coming together in the mid-80s. After having a big hit in their homeland with "Neverending Love" in 1986 (#3), Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson recorded their first album, Pearls of Passion. Although they landed a couple more hits in Sweden, the sound was a bit dated at the time. In 1987, a token holiday single, "It Must Have Been Love (Christmas For The Broken Hearted)" climbed to #4 there, and eventually would be one of their biggest hit singles when they remade it for the Pretty Woman soundtrack in 1990. It also signaled a growth in their sound, drawing possibly from the latter romantically complex work of that other Swedish group, ABBA.

In 1988, Gessle and Fredricksson released their sophomore effort, Look Sharp!. While they again had massive success domestically with "Dressed For Success" and "Listen To Your Heart", it was the third try that caught the attention of an American student, who according to story brought the single back to Minneapolis to be played on their local pop radio station. "The Look", written by Gessle and produced by Clarence Öfwerman (who tours with the act), was a flashy bright slice of rhythm guitar led pop over a pulsing synth-bass beat that carries the tonal delivery of the duo (with the verses shot fast like rap) like it was the "new" new wave...


"The Look" became Roxette's first hit in America, climbing all the way to #1 on the Hot 100 in April of 1989. The song also slipped on to Billboard's Dance Club Play chart for a week at #47. Internationally, the single topped the charts in Australia, Italy, Germany, Norway, Spain, Finland and New Zealand. In their home, the song stopped at #6, and in Britain, it peaked at #7.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's the original version of the music video from the Swedish release of the song in 1988...


...and the duo performing live in 1991...


...and a pretty respectable turn on MTV's Unplugged...


In 1995, a remix of the song from Chaps took the song back into the top-40 in the UK at #28...


Last year, Per and Marie got together to re-record the song yet again. Here's a clips from the recording of it, which is pretty interesting...


...and finally, the final result...


Up tomorrow: A soul songstress with a feminine Marvel.

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