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Roxette

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Halmstad, Sweden (1986 – present)

In the end of the and in the early , Roxette, a duo from Halmstad, Sweden, stood among the top bands in worldwide sales and notoriety, brandishing a simple yet effective blend of pop with a slight edge and occasional hints of dance. The group claims influences ranging from The Beatles to Blondie to new wave music to Joni Mitchell and Aretha Franklin. Formed in 1986, the duo became an international act in the late 1980s, when they released their breakthrough album Look Sharp!.

Perhaps, years after the fact, Roxette’s popularity can be difficult to understand or appreciate in light of what critics considered its infectious but nonetheless lightweight music, lightweight even compared to what was otherwise on the at the time. Regardless, there was a time in 1991 when Roxette could command an arena filled with tens of thousands of fans in places as diverse as Buenos Aires, Frankfurt and Sydney. The 1992 release Tourism: Songs from Studios, Stages, Hotelrooms & Other Strange Places — with a recording of audience members singing along to the tune of the group’s biggest hit, “It Must Have Been Love” — exemplifies this temporary but impressive hold Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson had.

Though there is no firm figure, Roxette is believed to have worldwide sales of as many as 75 million copies of its albums and singles, no minor achievement for any pop act. The group’s success in the United States alone was arguable.

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