The sad news reached us this week that Roxette singer Gun-Marie Fredriksson had died after a 17-year long battle with cancer.
Roxette were very successful in the late 80s and early 90s , in fact at some stage they were the biggest band in the world. But this success may never have been if it wasn’t for a young American exchange student Dean Cushman.
Roxette had already been quite successful in their native Sweden. The Look was the 4th single from their second album. It was actually their Christmas song “It Must Have Been Love (Christmas for the Broken Hearted)” released in December 1987,which had not been included on any of their albums. that had been their biggest selling single to date
The song became a top five hit in Sweden. In 1990 it was re-released for the movie “Pretty Woman” leaving out the Christmas for the Broken Hearted bit of the original title.
“The Look” was released as the fourth single of their 2nd album “Look Sharp” in January 1989,=reaching the top 10 in Sweden. American exchange student from Minneapolis, Dean Cushman, had been an exchange student in Sweden where he bought the album and brought it home to the US., giving a copy of it to his local Top 40 radio station, KDWB 101.3 FM. “The Look” soon became very popular, and the station began distributing the track to their sister radio operations. EMI America had previously rejected the duo as unsuitable for the American market, and Roxette didn’t have a recording contract in the US.
“The Look” had already entered the top fifty of the Billboard Hot 100 before the duo began official promotion. It would go on to peak at number one eight weeks later. It gradually became a global hit over the next year, topping the charts in 25 countries.
To put things in perspective,their debut album Pearls of Passion which was only released in Scandinavia and Canada sold 800,000 copies(this number includes the sales of th remastered version released in 1997) Where “Look Sharp” sold 9,000,000 copies worldwide.
RIP Marie- You always had the look.
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