For a significant period of time in the early 1990s, Roxette stood among the top bands in worldwide sales and fame, brandishing a simple yet effective blend of pop with a slight edge and occasional hints of dance. The group claims influences ranging from The Beatles to Blondie to new wave music to Joni Mitchell and Aretha Franklin.
There was a time in 1991 when Roxette could command an arena filled with tens of thousands of fans in places as diverse as Stockholm, Mexico City, Paris, Buenos Aires, Frankfurt and Sydney. The 1992 release Tourism: Songs from Studios, Stages, Hotelrooms & Other Strange Places - with a recording of audience members singing along to the tune of the group's biggest hit, "It Must Have Been Love" - exemplifies this temporary but impressive hold Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson had.
Though there is no firm figure, Roxette is said to have worldwide sales of 75 million copies of its albums and singles. The group's success in the United States was arguable. While seemingly not interested in doing so, even by default Roxette could not associate its image with the now-iconic ABBA, another Swedish pop group that struggled for recognition in America while still intact in the late 1970s, but that managed, through revisionism beginning in the early 1990s, to grow into something more intriguing as a legacy.
ABBA did have some Billboard Top 10 singles and one No. 1 in the 1970s. Even though Roxette couldn't ultimately leave behind the same legacy, the group did outperform ABBA on the singles chart, achieving four No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1989 and 1991. Roxette also had two No. 2 singles and a few other Top 40 peaks until falling out of sight of the Hot 100 in 1994. Even so, by that token, Roxette can be considered a highly successful singles act. The group has been certified by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) with two platinum albums - 1988's Look Sharp! (released in the U.S. in 1989) and 1991's Joyride - and two gold singles - "The Look" and "It Must Have Been Love."
In the spring of 2009 Per embarks on a solo tour of Europe backed by Roxette stalwarts Clarence Öfwerman (keyboards), Christoffer Lundquist (guitar) and Pelle Alsing (drums) as well as Magnus Börjeson (bass) and Helena Josefsson (backing vocals). The set mixes solo material with Roxette classics and after eight years, misty-eyed Roxette fans sees Marie Fredriksson reunite with Per in "It Must Have Been Love" and "The Look" on stage in Amsterdam.
Shortly thereafter the dreams of many loyal fans come true when Roxette announces that it will reunite for the 25th Anniversary "Night of the Proms" tour in Holland, Belgium and Germany during the fall of 2009. The tour is a magnificent success comprising 42 shows, and more than 600 000 ecstatic Europeans experience the group's comeback in a neo-classic surrounding with a full symphony orchestra. The tour works so well that Roxette starts to look ahead, writing material for a comeback album as well as lining up new shows for 2010.
On June 18 2010 Roxette performs live at the Crown Princess Victoria's and Daniel Westling's wedding party at the Royal Castle in Stockholm. A few weeks later the band kicks off their summer tour at the Hotel Tylösand, standing in front of a Swedish audience for the first time since 2001. Six shows in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Russia is convincing proof that Roxette is back in the game. Ticket demand is unexpectedly high and in Moscow Roxette outsells both Ozzy Osbourne and Sting, who play the same arena the same week.
Back home in Sweden Roxette continues the recordings of the upcoming album while announcing its 2011 World Tour – their first trek around the globe since the "Crash! Boom! Bang!" tour of 1994-95. The future's so bright they gotta wear shades,