News Archives: April 2001
Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on April 30, 2001 to Music Business.
In a lengthy interview published in Saturday’s Dagens Industri, Per Öqvist asked the following question of Tomas Johansson, who heads EMA Telstar (worldwide booking agents for Roxette):
Roxette has had three #1’s and a #2 on the American Billboard list. How can you get them to hit in the USA one more time?
“I’m going to talk with my owners that have 1,200 radio stations across the USA and ask them to play the new record,” Johansson replied. “It’s absolutely good enough to hit in the USA, it only depends on the right launch.”
Tomas Johansson, who was called the “rock watchman” in the story’s headline, is talking about Clear Channel Communications. Clear Channel, headquarted in Texas, acquired New York-based SFX Entertainment last year, the world’s largest promoter and producer of live entertainment events, including concerts, theatre and sporting events. SFX, in turn, had recently purchased EMA Telstar in Sweden.
SFX owns 120 live entertainment venues in 31 of the top 50 worldwide markets, including 16 owned and operated amphitheaters in the top 10 markets.
The opportunities for synergies among all these Clear Channel divisions are just beginning to be exploited, and Johansson intends to use this leverage on behalf of Roxette. He described himself in the article as being stubborn, goal-oriented and quick.
Reaching over 110 million listeners in the U.S. every week, Clear Channel has stations taking to the airwaves in all 50 states including 47 of top 50 markets.
Photo ©2001 Dagens Industri. Used with permission.
Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on April 30, 2001 to Live.
The Daily Roxette has already reported that plans for a tour are underway. Further confirmation came over the weekend.
“I can reveal that we’re negotiating a European tour, since their album is doing really well on the Continent and sits at number one, two or three in several countries,” said Tomas Johansson, head of EMA Telstar, in an interview published Satuday in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri.
- Dagens Industri article (In Swedish, with photos of artists Johansson has worked with.)
Written by geytenbeek on April 30, 2001 to Misc.
JOHANNESBURG - Three weeks ago, “Centre of the Heart” entered the Coca-Cola Top 40 chart on 5FM in South Africa at position #20. This was the highest new entry for the week, and the presenter commented that it is very seldom that a song enters straight into the Top 20. Last week, it climbed to #15 and this week, it climbed another six positions to #9.
Interestingly, the station’s website lists the song as “Centre of the Earth.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Obviously, we’re not able to publish an article about how “Centre” - or any other single - is doing on each and every radio station around the world. We’re leaving that to Jim Greulich and the few other individuals who follow chart activity. However, when there’s something exceptional, or when what’s happening at one radio station indicates potential success in an entire country (as is the case here), we’ll publish the story. TDR is happy to have a worldwide “staff” of reporters. Be one of them by using the “Submit Article” button if and when you become aware of any solid news item. - LEO
Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on April 30, 2001 to Misc.
“Room Service” was released by EMI in Australia today, along with “The Centre of the Heart” as a single.
Many fans have reported widespread difficulty in actually finding the album in stock, but that problem is expected to be resolved quickly.
Graham Ashton, a spokesman for EMI Australia, reports that the company is optimistic the album will sell well, now that Roxette is getting exposure on radio and TV.
Written by roxeteer on April 29, 2001 to Misc.
Roxette are preparing to shoot the video for “Milk And Toast And Honey” in the Stockholm archipelago on May 2nd and 3rd. This will be the third single release from their latest album “Room Service”.
The second single, “Real Sugar” is expected to be released in early May. Per has said at Roxette.se that “Fool” is a strong candidate to be the fourth single.
Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on April 27, 2001 to Misc.
NEW YORK - Roxette is at #3 with “Room Service” on the CNN World Beat Top 10 Album Chart, the first ever weekly rundown of the world’s best-selling albums.
Hosted by Brooke Alexander here in New York, the half-hour program offers in-depth profiles and interviews with artists from around the world. World Beat airs on all feeds of CNN International, Domestic, and Airport.
HELSINKI - The next single from “Room Service” will be “Real Sugar.” Per told The Daily Roxette today that the video for the single has already been shot and that it will be something totally new - at least for Roxette.
“We’re using puppets,” Per said. “Me and Marie are the only real people in the video. We have a puppet band looking like The Ramones. The video starts with two puppets watching ’The Centre Of The Heart’ video from TV.”
The “Real Sugar” single is expected to be released as soon as early May. The director for the video is Jesper Hiro, who works for the same video production company as Jonas Åkerlund.
HELSINKI - (TDR EXCLUSIVE) Christoffer Lundquist, an all-around musician on Roxette’s two latest albums and in the band Brainpool (“discovered” by Per’s company Jimmy Fun Music), was playing bass in Roxette’s band here today. Speaking with The Daily Roxette at the end of their mini-concert here, he said that he has enjoyed working with Per and Marie. “They are really nice people,” Lundquist said.
It doesn’t bother Lundquist that Per and Marie grab all the attention of fans. He was able to walk out from the studios without being surrounded by autograph hunters. “That’s the way it is,” he said laconically.
At the press conference, when asked about a tour, Per only revealed that they are going to have a big meeting about it tomorrow. But when we asked Christoffer if he knew anything about tour plans, he said that the decision to mount another major Tour has already been reached. “They want to have a proper tour,” he says. “And I’m in the band.”
Christoffer also told TDR that Brainpool is working on a new album. “It’s a rock opera and it will sound something like our previous album,” Lundquist said. That album, “You Are Here”, was their first without Janne Kask, who left the band’s lead singer position in 1997. The album was a flop, but Kask is not going to be back in the band. “We don’t want to work with him anymore,” said Lundquist.
HELSINKI - As you probably already know, Roxette doesn’t have a record deal for the US. They had a deal with Edel America Records (EAR) that was supposed to have included the “Room Service” CD out now, but it only lasted for one album - a Greatest Hits compilation. So, what went wrong?
“We’re not used to working with small record companies,” said Per at a press conference held here today in response to a question from The Daily Roxette. “They are always like ’We have to move in 6 months’ and things like that. We’re not used to that. We are a big record company band.”
Roxette has their entertainment lawyer in the States attempting to talk with bigger companies, but without success so far. The reason may be that Roxette is reluctant to lower their price. “If we’re going to have a record deal in the US, it will be on our terms,” said Per.
HELSINKI - Per and Marie were here in Finland today to promote their new album and The Daily Roxette was in the center of the action.
The band had a very tight schedule. They arrived around 11am, held a press conference at 2pm, ate lunch after that, and then had a brief meet & greet with fans at 3:30pm. A live performance was recorded at 5pm and, after that, they rushed to the airport for a flight back to Sweden.
The band was supposed to have done a live interview for TV-show Jyrki (a daily music program broadcast live), but because they were running late, the interview had to be cancelled at the last minute.
Roxette was backed by Clarence Öfwerman on keyboards, Pelle Alsing on drums and Christoffer Lundquist on the bass. Per played the guitar. They also had a Finnish string section of four people. They played “The Centre Of The Heart” (twice), “Milk And Toast And Honey”, “Wish I Could Fly” and “Real Sugar”.
Written by roxeteer on April 25, 2001 to Misc.
UPDATED Per has answered to new questions at the Roxette.se site. Here are the highlights:
- “Room Service” sheet music is coming.
- Roxette does have plans on releasing a compilation of b-sides and unreleased tracks.
- They are working on an US contract. “But nothing will be happen until later this year at the earliest,” says Per.
- About paying 200,000 SEK for driving Formula 1 car, Per said: “Don’t believe the media.”
- The album is out in the UK, but the first single there is likely to be “Milk And Toast And Honey” later in the summer. After the single release, Per and Marie are going to do promotion there.
- As discussed here earlier, Roxette is planning to release a DVD compilation before Christmas. “With lots of forgotten and unseen goodies,” says Per.
- “Room Service” has sold better than expected, 700,000 copies so far.
(joyrider and Berci Karoly contributed to this article.)
- Roxette.se (the official Roxette site)
Written by roxeteer on April 23, 2001 to Misc.
UPDATED Sonera Plaza Kaista, together with a couple of radio stations and Iltalehti newspaper, has a competition in which you can win and meet Per and Marie in Helsinki, Finland on Thursday this week. Roxette will be then on a short promotional visit in Finland.
At 5pm, Roxette will have a live show in the studios of the TV show Jyrki in the very centre of Helsinki, in Lasipalatsi. Roxette is going to play 5-6 songs that are recorded for a TV special shown probably in early May. Jyrki will also make their own interview which will be shown next week.
Radio Nova will have a special Roxette day on Thursday. No further information on its content yet.
As a sidenote, “Room Service” entered the Finnish album chart’s Top 10 this week, on its 3rd week on the chart. The album is now at #10.
(Mari contributed to this article.)
- Roxette competition (in Finnish)
Written by administrator on April 23, 2001 to Misc.
Jonas Åkerlund, well-known for directing Roxette music videos such as “The Centre Of The Heart,” has signed on to direct the dark indie comedy “Spun.”
Movie rumour site Ain’t It Cool News reports that the film deals with an unemployed guy (played by Jason Schwartzman) who uses methamphetamine and gets entangled with the maker of the drug (Mickey Rourke), who then takes him on a three-day journey. Other actors involved include Brittany Murphy (playing a stripper), John Leguizamo (a dealer), Patrick Fugit (a speed addict), and Swedish actor Peter Stormare, who plays a policeman. The script was written by Creighton Vero and Will De Los Santos.
Åkerlund previously directed the 1997 short film ’The Hidden,’ but this appears to be his first-full length feature.
Written by roxeteer on April 22, 2001 to Misc.
Per’s dream came true last week when he was allowed to drive a McLaren Formula 1 racing car in Hockenheim, Germany. The car wasn’t their official race vehicle, but a 2-seated version (on the left in picture) for promotional use.
Per is known for being a Formula 1 enthusiast. He had to pay 200,000 SEK (almost 20,000 USD) to get this chance. However, not everyone even if they have the money is permitted to drive the car. McLaren only lets people with promotional value to test their Formula 1 car.
Per was in the car only as a passenger. The person who drove was McLaren’s test driver Darren Turner.
- Expressen’s article (in Swedish)
Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on April 20, 2001 to Misc.
Looking at only at Top Ten chart positions, Roxette’s “Room Service” moved up one notch to the #3 spot on the German album chart this past week, while retaining their top #1 position in Belgium and Sweden. In Switzerland, the album dropped from #2 to #4; in Austria, from #4 to #7.
Written by roxeteer on April 20, 2001 to Misc.
Today’s Metro Helsinki has published Top 10 list of best love songs ever, as voted by the listeners of Stockholm radio station Lugna Favoriter 104,7 RTL. The listeners of Lugna Favoriter (“Easy-listening favorites”) voted Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love” as their all-time favorite.
#2 was Michael Bolton with “When A Man Loves A Woman” and #3 Bette Midler with “The Rose”. Elton John was the only one to have 2 songs in Top 10, “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” at #4 and “Sacrifice” at #10.
Written by roxtexanet on April 18, 2001 to Misc.
Sweden’s DeeJayPromo.com features the remixes of “The Centre of the Heart” as a new release this week (entering the dance charts at #35), and shows the cover of the maxi CD. Fans can preview clips of some of the remixes and vote “hit” or “miss”. So far, the highly critical visitors to this site have voted it a hit!
Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on April 17, 2001 to Misc.
NEW YORK - Billboard magazine, in its current issue published here, shows that the Eurochart for albums has Roxette placed at #6.
London-based Billboard reporter Paul Sexton, in writing about the additions to the top 10 in the online edition at Billboard.com, refers to Roxette as “chart evergreens.”
- Billboard’s Daily Music News (April 16)
Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on April 17, 2001 to Misc.
The feeling is, “if it worked before, why not try it again?”
With the memory of a “successful” petition drive last summer still fresh in their heads a campaign that was credited at least with convincing Marie Fredriksson to tour Sweden Judith Seuma, along with several other fans, have launched a similar effort to urge Roxette to mount a “Room Service” world tour.
A joint effort between RoxSpain and the OIRFC in the Netherlands, hundred of fans have already signed the petition being hosted at www.roxetteontour.com.
Nout Van Den Neste contributed to this article.
Written by Roxmaniac on April 17, 2001 to Misc.
With a prize package that seems both obvious and brilliant, the EMI companies in Germany and Austria began contests today, in conjuction with various online partners, where the winners will receive airfare for two to Los Angeles… and a week’s stay at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Opisbo, California, where the “Centre of the Heart” video was shot!
Cleverly designed to be fun and engaging, the “Room Service Internet Competition” takes you through some of the rooms at the Madonna Inn, where you can click on certain items. There are some hidden specials there, including soundfiles, pictures and interviews. After collecting the passwords to be able to visit the last room, the contest entry form awaits.
The contests are open to residents of Germany and Austria only, but anyone (even without much knowledge of German) can “play” the game.
Stefan Schönhacker contributed to this article. Photograph of the “American Beauty” room (named after a type of rose) ©2000 by Tom Meinhold. Used with permission.
Written by roxeteer on April 16, 2001 to Misc.
The Japanese edition of “Room Service” features a previously unreleased bonus track, “Entering Your Heart (Extended version)”. The same song, but 30 seconds shorter, appeared as the b-side for “The Centre Of The Heart” single. The extended version contains lyrics missing from the single version.
“Room Service” was released in Japan by Toshiba-EMI on April 11th. (Ryan Cameron contributed to this article.)
- Toshiba-EMI release information (in Japanese)
Written by roxeteer on April 16, 2001 to Misc.
A couple of days ago, we had an English summary of part one of Expressen’s article series on Roxette’s history. Now we’ll continue with parts two and three. Expressen also published a column by Anders Nunstedt, entitled “Roxette is not hungry anymore”. We’ll have a summary on that one later in this article. So, read on! (Probably the longest article in TDR ever :-)
Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on April 13, 2001 to Misc.
Perhaps it’s different for say… a Madonna fan. You pick up a copy of Billboard, her latest song is at #1… no big deal.
But for Roxette fans, who have gone for long periods without such gratification or validation, this is a special time. The Daily Roxette’s SmallTalk forum is full of messages from excited fans talking about the success of Roxette both on singles charts, with “Centre of the Heart”, and on album charts, with “Room Service”.
Looking just at the album charts, Roxette has cracked the Top Ten in Norway, where it’s at #7; Spain, where it’s at #5; Austria, the Czech Republic, and Germany, where it’s at #4; Switzerland, where it’s at #2; and in Sweden and Belgium, where they rule at #1.
TDR reader and RoxNorthAmeriFan board member Jim Greulich has been known to the Roxette online fan community for years as “the chart guy”. He spends hours compiling chart data from around the world, and he’s finally found a “home” on the Web for his listings: charts.roxattaq.org.
Written by Junkie on April 13, 2001 to Misc.
ST. PETERSBURG - In Russia, a lot of pirated “Room Service” albums have been made. In this city, for example, it is almost impossible to find a real album with the booklet and photos inside. One reason for this is that a pirated CD costs only $3 while the real licensed one costs more than $20. Many, if not most shops here sell the cheap pirate CDs. Indeed, one could say that the Russian Mafia owns the Russian music industry. Read more…
Written by sanjayka on April 13, 2001 to Misc.
According to the Spanish official album sales list, Roxette’s “Room Service” entered at position #5 for the week of April 2nd. Translated into sales figures, this means that Roxette have already sold more than 50,000 copies in the Spanish market, which means the GOLD category. It is possible that the album will reach the Platinum category in weeks to follow.
Written by administrator on April 13, 2001 to Misc.
“Room Service” rocketed to the top position on the official Belgian “Ultratop 50” album chart this week, up from #29 the first week, no doubt helped by Roxette’s involvement with the Radio Donna birthday party promotion.
This marks the second country with “Room Service” as the #1 album, as Roxette is also at the top of the album chart in Sweden.
Two years ago “Have A Nice Day” also went to #1 in its second week and remained for two weeks. Although Roxette hasn’t really done a lot of promotion, it’s clear that they have a strong fanbase in little Belgium.
The Belgian chart is maintained by the AC Nielsen company, famous in the U.S. for monitoring the viewership of American television programs.
Written by roxeteer on April 12, 2001 to Misc.
The Swedish newspaper Expressen started today a 3-part article on Roxette’s history. Part 1 was published today and part 2 will follow in tomorrow’s paper.
Part 1 concentrated in the years 1985-88 when Roxette had success in Sweden, but not abroad. Everything started with a song called “Svarta glas” (“Black glasses”) that Per wrote for Pernilla Wahlgren in 1985. She didn’t want to record it, so the MD of EMI Svenska in those days, Rolf Nygren, suggested that Per would sing the song together with Marie Fredriksson, a popular Swedish singer who had had chart success with her albums “Het vind” and “Efter stormen”. Per translated the song into English and it became “Neverending Love”.
- Expressen’s article (in Swedish)
Written by roxeteer on April 12, 2001 to Misc.
“Room Service” is #1 - on its first week on the Swedish album chart. Rammstein and Bruce Springsteen also had new albums in the top three, but they didn’t reach the #1 spot.
As “The Centre Of The Heart” still dominates the Swedish single chart after three weeks at #1, we can safely say that the Swedish audience hasn’t forgotten Roxette. Even the poor reviews in the Swedish press didn’t frighten the record buyers.
Update: Both Aftonbladet and Expressen have published stories about Roxette’s current success.
- Swedish album chart (week 15)
Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on April 10, 2001 to Misc.
RoxNorthAmeriFANS south of the U.S. border are pleased that EMI México has had the new album “Room Service” available in stores since Friday and that MTV Latin America has begun to show the video “The Centre of the Heart.”
Victor Diaz and Elizabeth Ramos contributed to this story.
Written by administrator on April 10, 2001 to Misc.
RIO DE JAINERO - While most of the countries in the world are playing “The Centre of The Heart” as Roxette’s new single, the song hasn’t been released here. As previously reported, EMI Brazil negotiated a deal with Rede Globo - the nation’s biggest TV company - to include one of the other “Room Service” songs on their novella “Um Anjo Caiu do Céu” (“An Angel From Heaven”), so it’s “Milk and Toast and Honey” that’s getting almost all the airplay.
The song isn’t yet on the TV program (the actor who plays the angel is pictured above), but most of radio stations are already playing it, and the reaction from the public has been favorable. The biggest young adult radio station in Brazil, Jovem Pan, is back to playing Roxette after six years!
The last Roxette “single” to be promoted here was “I’m Sorry” in 1995. Roxette is one of Brazil’s most loved international bands, as evidenced by the fact that the first pressing of their “Greatest Hits” album - some 500,000 copies - sold out in Brazil (representing almost 10% of the worldwide total).
- Rede Globo’s “Angel” website (In Portugese)
Written by JohnUK21 on April 9, 2001 to Misc.
Room Service made it to the UK today… although many of The Daily Roxette’s readers report difficulty in finding it in stock in their local record stores.
Again, according to messages in TDR’s SmallTalk section, there has been very little, if any, advance publicity put out by EMI UK to support the release of the album.
Along with RoxAttaq UK, a fan website called “Centre Of The Campaign” has been launched to lobby EMI UK to release the singles, and to help provide promotion for the new album.
Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on April 9, 2001 to Misc.
If only we would have had this for April Fool’s Day.
André Humphris was sitting at his computer terminal in South Africa, and decided to do a internet search for “Roxette”, using www.aardvark.co.za.
The result? Well, on a website owned by Taurus, a cooperative whose mission is to improve the quality of South African livestock, André found that Balloo, pictured on the left, belongs to the Roxette cow family!
Written by administrator on April 6, 2001 to Misc.
On todays Top100-Germany, “The Centre of the Heart” lost over 20 places from a moderate #31 down to #55. Trend Charts made by MediaControl (a German tracking service) are still showing a falling trend.
The good news, however, is that TCOTH climbed the European charts up to #17. Last week it was #23.
Written by Lars-Erik_Olson on April 4, 2001 to Misc.
Two of the songs Roxette performed at Café Opera in Stockholm Sunday night are currently showing on the Mr. Edmundo entertainment website. “Dressed For Success” and “The Centre of the Heart” are both available for on-demand viewing. The site uses RealPlayer 8, and the quality is exceptionally good.
Written by roxeteer on April 2, 2001 to Misc.
“Seldom, if ever, has Café Opera had so much people in at the same time,” writes Aftonbladet’s reporter Klas Lindberg of yesterday’s Roxette show in a club in Stockholm. About 550 invited guests saw Roxette’s first live concert in their home country since 1996.
After the gig, Per felt very pleased of the concert. “We haven’t really played in clubs before. And it’s always special to perform in Sweden and in Stockholm. Many old friends are also here tonight,” he told the Aftonbladet reporter.
The concert was promoted by radio station NRJ. They have a set of photos from the concert available on their website.
Written by roxeteer on April 2, 2001 to Misc.
Both Aftonbladet and Expressen have published reviews of Roxette’s new album “Room Service”.
Expressen rates the album 3 out of 5. Expressen’s Anders Nunstedt titled his review (roughly translated) “Effective songs and stupid lyrics”. In his opinion Roxette is strong in making single tracks, but weaker in making albums. He admits that Roxette has not been in the critics’ favor, but that the band still gets a lot of airplay. “And no-one can still tell us how that happens,” he says. “The most recent example of this is of course ’The Centre Of The Heart’ which is #1 on both Trax and the single chart.”
The lyrics of the songs on the album don’t please this critic. “’Room Service’ is as merry as the surface of the album booklet, and as flat as the plastic it comes in. Though you won’t have a problem in singing along the songs for the rest of the year,” Nunstedt finishes his review.
Aftonbladet’s Per Bjurman, who is known for his previous anti-Roxette comments, rates the album only 2 out of 5. He writes that “Roxette isn’t finished… but the end is near”.
“Real Sugar” and “The Centre Of The Heart” are his favorites from the album, as well as “Milk And Toast And Honey” which he praises as “their strongest ballad since ’Listen To Your Heart’ and ’[It] Must Have Been Love’.” But then, “everything else on the album feels like Gessle’s creativity has gone dry.”
(Helge contributed to this article.)
Written by roxeteer on April 1, 2001 to Misc.
Today is the official release date of “Room Service” in many parts of the world. In Finland, for example, as in many other countries, the album was already in the shops over the weekend.
“We’re #1 on the saleschart, #1 on the videochart Voxpop – which is a total suprise – and #1 on the Tracks radiochart, all in Sweden,” said Per and Marie to The Daily Roxette today. “Needless to say, we’re extremely happy! And it’s going well in the rest of the world too.”
The release date may vary in some countries. Typically, Roxette albums have not been released at the same time all over the world. Artists such as Madonna and Oasis have used worldwide release dates as a teaser to get everyone in the record stores on the same morning. This, however, would require tight cooperation between Roxette’s record company’s local offices around the world. Roxette’s record company worldwide, except for the USA, is EMI.
Confirmed later release dates are April 30th for Australia and May 15th for Canada.