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How Roxette came up with their band name



How Roxette came up with their band name

Roxette was formed in 1986 by Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson, becoming in the following years one of the most successful duos in the planet. Relasing hit after hit in the late 80s and early 90s, they conquered the world and became Sweden’s second best-selling group of all time, selling an estimated amount of more than 75 million records worldwide.


They only weren’t able to sell more than ABBA, which sold more than 385 million records.But what does Roxette mean? How did they came up with that name?

What does Roxette mean and how they came up with that name?

Per and Marie first met each other in the late 70s, at the time he fronted Gyllene Tider, which was one of Sweden’s most popular bands at the time, meanwhile she was member of the less successful group Strul and MaMas Barn. In 1986 when both were focused on their solo careers,  EMI suggested that they should do something together, so Roxette was formed. The name was Gessle’s idea and it came from a song called exactly “Roxette” from the British band Dr. Feelgood. The track was featured on their 1974 album “Down By The Jetty” and it was written by the late guitarist Wilko Johnson.

In an interview with Soul & Jazz & Funk in 2017, the guitarist recalled it was actually a girl’s name, but she didn’t exist. So he created the name because he wanted “two syllables with the accent on the second syllable”.

“Funnily enough, I just wrote the song as a song but one peculiarity about it. Certainly at that time, was that I had written the song using a proper name. I was writing this lyric and bang, there it was. It was obvious that the title, this hook line, was going to be this name.”

He continued:

“So what I wanted was a woman’s name in two syllables with the accent on the second syllable. I started walking around going ‘oh man, I need a name for this song.’ But what I had to do, funnily enough, was invent a name. So I walked round and round a bit more and invented this name Roxette. It’s funny, this name has gone on to become very, very popular.”

“There must be a million dogs and cats given that name. Even, I believe, some unfortunate human beings have been given it. Of course, there was that Swedish band in the ’80 called Roxette that got very successful. So at that time I could walk around and go “well, Roxette’s number one again!” (Laughs). It’s such a silly song, it’s not about anyone real,” Wilko Johnson said. The guitarist passed away in 2022 at the age of 75, a victim of cancer.

The group continued with other classic members who have been in the band since 1983.

Their successful career

After Roxette was formed by Marie and Per, they quickly recorded “Neverending Love”, which became their debut single and a hit song in Sweden. After the success, the songs written by Per Gessle for his third solo album were rearranged for the band’s debut album “Pearls of Passion”.

On the following albums they skyrocket to the top of the charts with albums like “Look Sharp!” (1988), “Joyride” (1991), “Tourism” (1992) and “Crash! Boom! Bang! (1994). Among their biggest hits are “It Must Have Been Love”, “Listen To Your Heart”, “The Look” and “Spending My Time”.

They were active until 2019 when the singer Marie Fredriksson passed away at the age of 61. She was battling cancer for 17 years. In 2021, Per Gessle formed PG Roxette and released the album “Pop-up Dynamo!” in 2022.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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