The 30th anniversary edition of Roxette's Joyride: proof that less really is more

Joyride shows how pop-rock stars Roxette lost their mojo

Roc=xette: Joyride 30th Anniversary cover art
(Image: © PLG)

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At the turn of the 90s, Swedish duo Roxette – guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Per Gessie and co-lead vocalist/keyboard player Marie Fredriksson – were flying high with the multimillion-selling album Look Sharp! and a string of smash hits including the masterful power ballads Listen To Your Heart and It Must Have Been Love, and the funky rock banger The Look, which topped charts in 25 countries.

Follow-up album Joyride, released in 1991, was another big seller (11 million copies to date). But in the rush to maintain their success, Gessie, as principal songwriter, had come up short. 

There were flashes of brilliance in the Pat Benatar-style rock number I Remember You, Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave) with shades of Def Leppard, and Spending My Time, reminiscent of late-period ABBA.

But there was also plenty of rubbish, such as Knockin’ On Every Door, a clunky attempt to replicate The Look. And while the album’s title track was Roxette’s first No.1 in their homeland, it’s cheesier than a quattro formaggi. 

This 30th Anniversary Edition comes with a vast amount of demos, none of which bear repeat plays. Sometimes less really is more.

Paul Elliott

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2005, Paul Elliott has worked for leading music titles since 1985, including Sounds, Kerrang!, MOJO and Q. He is the author of several books including the first biography of Guns N’ Roses and the autobiography of bodyguard-to-the-stars Danny Francis. He has written liner notes for classic album reissues by artists such as Def Leppard, Thin Lizzy and Kiss, and currently works as content editor for Total Guitar. He lives in Bath - of which David Coverdale recently said: “How very Roman of you!”