Sunday, March 28, marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Swedish pop duo Roxette‘s hit 1991 album, Joyride, the title track from which topped the Billboard Hot 100 in May of that year.

Joyride peaked at #12 on the Billboard 200 and featured three other top-40 singles — “Fading Like a Flower (Every Time You Leave),” “Spending My Time” and “Church of Your Heart,” which respectively reached #2, #32 and #36 on the Hot 100. The album ultimately sold a million copies in the U.S.

“Joyride” was the duo’s fourth #1 hit in just over two years, following “The Look,” “Listen to Your Heart” and “It Must Have Been Love.”

Roxette’s Per Gessle recalls about the challenge of keeping the group’s run of successes going, “Björn Ulveaus once told me how he felt when ABBA recorded ‘Mamma Mia.’ It was like the whole pop world revolved around them. Their sound was spot-on, they had produced a string of hits and everybody was waiting for the next one. But despite that pressure, they never thought it was difficult to deliver. And that’s exactly how I felt about Joyride.”

As for the inspiration for Joyride’s title track, Gessle notes, “I had read an interview with Paul McCartney, where he said that ‘writing songs with John Lennon was just a long joyride.’ The song came very easily, and I instantly knew it was a hit.”

Gessle also tips his hat to his late band mate Marie Fredriksson, who died in December 2019 of brain cancer at age 61.

“Marie’s superb vocals is one of the main reasons that Roxette — and not least our biggest album, Joyride — was such a huge success,” he says.

An expanded 30th anniversary reissue of Joyride, with previously unreleased and rare material, is due this fall.

By Matt Friedlander
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