Deluxe Versions, special additions and other re-releases of albums are typically not part of my Flyctory.com coverage. For the 30th Anniversary Edition of Joyride by Roxette, however, I just had to alter my thoughts. The original album contains several songs, which would easily be worth to feature in the Songs Of My Life category. A lot of time has passed by since these songs were a soundtrack of my youth. The re-release comes on three CDs and will be published on 26th November 2021. By the way, the album in fact had its 30th anniversary about half a year earlier, 28th March 1991.
Roxette – About The Artists
Roxette has been founded in 1986 in Halmstad in West Sweden. The two band members were Per Gessle (born on 12th January 1959 in Halmstad) and Marie Fredriksson (born 30th May 1958 in Össjö South of Halmstad, died 9th December 2019 in Danderyd near Stockholm). Their debut album was Pearls Of Passion, which has been released in the same year and made it to the second spot in the Swedish album charts. Three songs, Neverending Love, Goodbye to You and Soul Deep, thereby were Swedish single Top 20 hits. The breakthrough album was Look Sharp, which had four songs with international Top 10 singles, Dressed For Success, Listen To Your Heart, The Look and Dangerous. The album sold nine million times worldwide. It, however, did only top the charts in Sweden.
Joyride was the highlight of the iconic Swedish pop-rock career
Joyride was the best selling Roxette album of all times. Eleven million units were sold. The album got a seven time golden record in Germany and was at least double platinum in markets like the UK, Switzerland, Australia, Canada or Spain. The title song was the big seller of the album, but especially their second single Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave) was a global hit as well. The following albums were Tourism (1992) and Crash! Boom! Bang! (1994), which had massive success in Europe, but did not perform too well in the US, for example. Overall, Roxette released ten studio albums, the last being Good Karma in 2016 (with a hiatus of ten years between 2001 and 2011). In the same year, the duo announced not to be able to tour any more. Already in the shows before, she had to sit due to her serious cancer situation. She died in 2019. One year later, Pelle Alsing, the long-time Roxette drummer, faded away as well.
Roxette – Joyride (30th Anniversary Edition) – The Review
As said, the edition comes in three CDs with a total of fifty songs (track list below). Thus, I am going for a rather traditional (and this time: also more emotional) review than the normal Flyctory.com track-by-track format. The total playtime is 3:13 hours. The price for the box is very moderate: at the time of writing, Amazon Germany, for example, had a price of 19.99 EUR* – which is slightly above the normal price of an album in Germany.
I could make the story of the first fifteen tracks, roughly the first hour, really short. It is a soundtrack of my youth. It is a collection of musical memories for a generation. Regardless if I am listening to the opener Joyride or to later songs like Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave), I can sing along. Per and Marie create the same feelings like in 1991. Marie. Whenever I think of her, I get goosebumps. The world of music simply misses this amazing lady. But even less well-known tracks like the rocker Hotblooded or the beautiful, almost country-alike ballad Watercolours In The Rain – I am sure that many of you agree and simply sing along to the Swedes while listening to these tunes.
The first fifteen songs are the intro to this anniversary box. The warm-up. It reminds you of the perfection Per Gessle’s work as a lyrics write. It makes you re-live also the simplicity of tools Roxette needed to do the big songs. For many listeners, this box will somehow start with the sixteenth song, The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye. Gessle wrote the track for the Joyride album, the ballad was finally dropped from the original release and was part of the 2009 Joyride reissue. Thus, it is less well-known. From then on, the box heads more or less to the rarities. While you might know the remix of Joyride, the Humberto Gatica Mix of Fading Like A Flower is the first version, which is initially released in 2021. Not too different, but a nice nuance with more echo. The previously unreleased adult contemporary remix of Church Of Your Heart allows me to finish the first CD with a smile on my face.
CD2 – Demo Time
All songs on the second disc are labeled as T&A Demo – which simply stands for Tits & Ass, the studio in Halmstad where these demos have been recorded. Even though just four of the tracks on this tracks are previously unreleased, I have to admit that I heard all of them for the first time for this review. Thereby, the disc follows the same track order – only Soul Deep is missing, as it was originally a Pearls of Passion track.
To me, the second disc is the most fascinating listen. The demos are close to the original releases already, but have their special touch. Some songs like Spending My Time feel a bit of childish and naive at that state, other tracks like I Remember You are pretty close to the final mastering. The most remarkable track in this set of fourteen songs to me is (Do You Get) Excited, which much more sounds like a synth-pop song without too many rock elements int he T&A Demo version. Interesting to look at the details as well. Things Will Never Be The Same, for example, is more than one a half minute longer in the final album version than in the demo. Overall, the second CD works well as a documentation of the early stages of the legendary Joyride album.
CD3 – More Demos – and Rarities
More demos occur on the third disc. Very interesting to see the second in very different versions. While the second CD, for example, features Things Will Never Be The Same in a June 1989 version, the third disc features the same song three months later. In the meantime, the duo converted the song into a bloody synth-pop song with keyboard chords, The December 1990 version is then an acoustic recording. which feel to dominate the lyrics. Overall, there is more rare and also a bit of obscure material on this final set of songs. This also includes demos of songs like Seduce Me or Love Spins, which did not make it on the album.
Highlights of the demos are to me the May 1990 version of the title track, which funnily is named Joyrider, and the demo of Queen Of Rain, which finally made it to the Tourism album. Another nice rarity (previously unreleased) is the Roxette demo of Another Place, Another Time, which Gessle has released with his band Gyllene Tider in 1984. Fans will love the Roxette live feeling at the end of the third CD. The 30th Anniversary Edition of Joyride closes with two Sydney December 1991 recordings, Hotblooded and Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave). Especially Hotblooded gives a nice rock blend.
Roxette – Joyride (30th Anniversary Edition) – Spotify
You can listen to the full release on Spotify:
Roxette – Joyride (30th Anniversary Edition) – My View
Joyride is a piece of musical history, Roxette are truly legends of pop and rock. This re-release of Joyride definitely re-states that. Is the box worth the purchase? Definitely, if you do not happen to have the original album for whatever reasons. But even for fans, it contains a lot of fascinating material – especially if you don’t know the Per Gessle Archives. Quite a lot of stuff has been released before in several albums and DVDs. Nonetheless, I loved stepping back in time and enjoy all the memories I had with Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson. Tack sa mycket for your music, guys!
Roxette – Joyride (30th Anniversary Edition) – Track List (3 CD Edition)
Here is the track list of the three CD release of the Joyride (30th Anniversary Edition):
3. Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave)
4. Knockin’ On Every Door
5. Spending My Time
6. I Remember You
7. Watercolours In The Rain
8. The Big L.
9. Soul Deep
10. (Do You Get) Excited?
11. Church Of Your Heart
12. Small Talk
13. Physical Fascination
14. Things Will Never Be The Same
15. Perfect Day
16. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye
17. Joyride (US Single version, Brain Malouf mix)
18. Fading Like A Flower (US Single version, Humberto Gatica mix)
19. Soul deep (Tom Lord-Alge mix)
20. Church Of Your Heart (US adult contemporary mix)
1. Joyride (T&A Demo – May 23, 1990)
2. Hotblooded (T&A Demo – Jan 23, 1990)
3. Fading like a flower (T&A Demo – Aug 31, 1990)
4. Knockin’ on every door (T&A Demo – Aug 15, 1989)
5. Spending my time (T&A Demo – May 24, 1990)
6. I Remember You (T&A Demo – Apr 1, 1990)
7. Watercolours In The Rain (T&A Demo – Jan 24, 1990)
8. The Big L. (T&A Demo – Apr 1, 1990)
9. (Do You Get) Excited? (T&A Demo – Aug 19, 1989)
10. Small Talk (T&A Demo – Aug 30, 1990)
11. Church Of Your Heart (T&A Demo – Jan 8, 1990)
12. Physical Fascination (T&A Demo – Jan 3, 1990)
13. Things Will Never Be The Same (T&A Demo – Jun 17, 1989)
14. Perfect Day (T&A Demo – Aug 23, 1990)
1. Sweet Thing (T&A Demo – Oct 28, 1990)
2. Seduce Me (T&A Demo – Aug 22, 1990)
3. Run Run Run (T&A Demo – Jan 10, 1990)
4. Things Will Never Be The Same (T&A Demo – Sep 17, 1989)
5. Love Spins (T&A Demo – Jan 3, 1990)
6. Come Back (Before You Leave) (T&A Demo – Apr 8, 1990)
7. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye (T&A Demo – Mar 16, 1990)
8. Hotblooded (T&A Demo – Dec 13, 1990)
9. Things Will Never Be The Same (T&A Demo – Dec 13, 1990)
10. Another Place, Another Time (T&A Demo – Jan 11, 1990)
11. I Remember You (T&A Demo – Mar 15, 1990)*
12. Queen Of Rain (T&A Demo – Jan 2, 1990
13. The Big L. (T&A Demo – Mar 29, 1990)
14. Joyrider (T&A Demo – May 22, 1990)
15. Hotblooded (Live Sydney Dec 1991)
16. Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave) (Live Sydney Dec 1991)
* Referral Link to Amazon
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