Meanwhile, the tracklist of the upcoming RoxBox was revealed today and TDR received a maelstrom of mostly negative comments that have been answered by Per Gessle himself. The box includes two new songs (One Wish and Reveal) and some demos.
Dear Daily Roxers, hope all is well in the real world!
I’ve noticed, reading on my own and thru various mails, that some of you are unhappy, furious, hurt, suicidal and even displaying a very unpleasant attitude regarding the upcoming Roxette releases.
Roxette has been around for 20 years, this particular year we have decided to release 1 compilation album with our biggest hits + 1 box set which should give a more complete picture of the band and our ambitions. All for a wide audience of old + new fans and people who perhaps didn’t even know they were fans…
We have recorded 2 new tracks which we feel are up to the same standard as our best material. As well as these new ones the box will include 14 tracks that most folks living on this planet aren’t that familiar with. And they’re pretty good too. Yea, that’s about it. No, I forgot the extended version of MTV Unplugged recordings which will also be included in this mighty box.
It has never been our intention to have a box-release leaning heavily towards demos, remixes, song sketches or live material. Like I mentioned before the idea with this particular item is to present the big picture of what Roxette is all about. We don’t want that flow of quality productions to be interrupted by 7-minute remixes or lukewarm demos. Quality over exclusivity has always been our choice.
By the way, talking about demos: Most artists (that I know of anyway) don’t release demos at all. Just so you know, the demo is made by the writer or the artist to try out the song, to find out for oneself what it’s all about. It’s not necessarily meant to be heard by the public. It’s work in progress. Some of you seem to think that these, often primitive, recordings or rough sketches are made for your ears. They are not. They are made for ours. You can’t take for granted that the demoversion of every Roxette-song you like has to be released. That won’t happen.
So…I really can’t understand the dissatisfaction among some of you. If you don’t like it, don’t listen to it and certainly don’t buy it! Marie and I have to be the prime judges of our own music, our own lyrics and our own productions. That won’t change. It’s a beautiful day out there. Enjoy it.
The son of a plumber writes a book about plumber’s son. More exactly, Per Håkan Gessle - from Roxette, from Gyllene Tider, from Mazarin, from Halmstad - writes a book about himself.
With a little help from Sven Lindström (I’ve read he’s a copywriter), he will do what every Q.I.P. (Quite Important Person) does at least once in his or her life: gather together the facts that made him look, stand and live the way he does it now. A typical success-story, that is. Which is always interesting to read for a few fans, but always boring for the general public. Why? Because the facts are always the same: these people tried and, to their own surprise, these people succeeded; so everything's the same, in spite of the different musical styles, different chart positions and different locations – be it Gainesville, Florida, be it Goldenburg, Germany, be it Halmstad, Sweden (no allusions, no comparisons to anything or anybody, I swear), the success story follows the same pattern.
What would make the difference between two or more success-stories in the end? Everything but the facts. Everything but those hallucinatorily exact dates that (I bet!) Gessle kept in his hundreds and thousands of drawers about when a certain line was written and how that line ended up in a hit, and how a potential hit ended up by being an actual hit and how America ended up by ignoring that hit and what time was it when he tried again and what time was it when he tried once again.
Since I'm a researcher (and that's nothing to be proud of), I know that, from a point on, the facts are, however, of very little help; even within a juicy area like anthropology.
This would a fortiori apply to situations in which the facts lead to a more than obvious point– i.e. fame, success, money – that is, in Gessle’s case, stark and clear even before opening the book; in my humble opinion, the predictable (and often well-known) facts should be mentioned in a (auto)biography only for justifying more subtle stakes. In short, in order to make a difference, a story needs reasons. Reasons that are completely unknown by the general public or average fan.
For instance, I’m almost sure I won’t get to find out - from Gessle’s autobiography, I mean - why did he actually decide to talk about his destiny really THAT early? Why all this excessive haste? Why couldn’t he wait for a few more chapters in his life to be closed? Another thing that is surely not to be found in his upcoming book: what exactly - from his personality or from his creed - makes him do unoriginal moves, why does he fail to be himself precisely when he struggles more to be himself (musically that is)? And so on and on.
The things supposed to make a difference in an (auto)biography, are, in fact, those that a human being like Gessle is not willing to share. And if he’d suddenly decide to be open (God forbid), he’ll end up backing up his book in precisely the same manner in which he upheld the Son of a Plumber album; namely, repeating over and over again– somehow in vain – a few sweet things about a little nerd who spent his childhood listening to the big brother’s vinyl collection… I expect you not to get me wrong, I love Son of a Plumber album, I think it's definitely his best album ever (and probably unrepeatable), but people failed to see any substantial connections between Jo-Anna, Havana and what it is like to be a son of a plumber in the 70’s... None would have guessed its personal imprint if Gessle himself wouldn't have mentioned it.
All in all, Gessle never succeeded in getting specific. This lack of specificity made him lose important credits among the listeners of the so-called "good music". And this might have been his very own goal after all. He never wanted to be himself, he always wanted to be “one of those” he admired. He's more a fan, a music-lover, not a creator; and so I always had to look for his originality in other places than those he pointed at. In other words, I had to retrieve him before starting listening to his music. I should praise myself for that.
I know he’s neither stupid nor totally unoriginal. But he simply read too many popstars trivia. He always wanted to be a legendary hero and, therefore, properly trivialized; that is, treated according to his musical hero status, originated in the old classic rock 'n roll league.
So, my humble conclusion is that he simply failed to put the differences between him and his idols to good use.
Taking into account his standards, I do hope his book will be “one of those” already written about his idols. Not better, not worse - just as he wants it. Taking into account my own standards (too much concerned with Serenus Zeitblom's concerns), I'm afraid his upcoming book will make no difference. Poor me, after all.Adela Toplean - A_T_ blog