Once Upon a Time at the Top of the Charts: Roxette, “Listen to Your Heart”
26 years ago today, Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle—known collectively as Roxette—found themselves atop the Billboard Hot 100 for the second time in seven months, which is a pretty strong showing for a duo who'd previously been written off by their label as not being suitable for the American market.
After topping the chart with “The Look” in April 1989, it became clear that Roxette's chances at US success had been terribly underestimated, and they continued to prove as much with their second single, “Dressed for Success,” which—while not quite as substantial a hit—provided the band with a top-20 hit. It was the next single, however, that confirmed the band's staying power on the airwaves.
Described as “the Big Bad Ballad” by Gessle in the liner notes to Roxette's brilliantly-titled best-of collection, Don't Bore Us, Get To The Chorus, “Listen To Your Heart” was, in Gessle's words, “us trying to recreate that overblown American FM-rock sound to the point where it almost becomes absurd. We really wanted to see how far we could take it. When it hit big in the States, we suddenly found ourselves lumped together with bands like Heart and Starship, which wasn't the intention behind Roxette at all. But we got out of that one....I hope.”
Well, maybe not completely out of it: their next #1 hit, “It Must Have Been Love,” didn't exactly do anything to sway listeners from thinking of Roxette in terms of being all about the ballads. With that said, however, “Listen To Your Heart” is still a pretty great song, and the chorus absolutely kills.