Pearls of Passion

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Pearls of Passion
PearlsOfPassion.jpg
Studio album by Roxette
Released 31 October 1986
Recorded March – September 1986
Studio EMI Studios, Stockholm
Genre Dance-pop[1]
Length 48:27
Label EMI
Producer Clarence Öfwerman
Roxette chronology
Pearls of Passion
(1986)
Dance Passion
(1987)Dance Passion1987
Singles from Pearls of Passion
  1. "Neverending Love"
    Released: 8 July 1986
  2. "Goodbye to You"
    Released: 27 November 1986
  3. "Soul Deep"
    Released: 18 February 1987
  4. "I Call Your Name"
    Released: 20 January 1988

Pearls of Passion is the debut studio album by Swedish pop duo Roxette, originally released on cassette and vinyl on 31 October 1986 in Scandinavia and Canada. The album was remastered and released on CD on 31 October 1997, with several previously unreleased bonus tracks.[2] It was remastered and re-released again in 2009.

Background and recording[edit]

Roxette are a Swedish duo consisting of Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle, who were both established artists in their home country prior to the duo forming. Gessle had experienced considerable commercial success with his previous band Gyllene Tider, releasing three number one albums in Sweden during the early '80s. When the band broke up in 1984, however, Gessle's solo albums failed to replicate that level of success: 1983's Per Gessle and 1985's Scener both failed commercially.[3] The latter peaked at number 39 on Sverigetopplistan,[4] and sold less than 20,000 copies—a substantial drop from 400,000 copies sold by Gyllene Tider's self-titled debut album five years earlier. Gessle later revealed his contract with EMI Sweden was close to being terminated after the commercial performance of Scener.[3]

Meanwhile, Fredriksson was also signed to EMI Sweden, and had released two commercially successful albums: 1984's Het vind and 1986's Den sjunde vågen, as well as several hit singles. On the advice of Rolf Nygren – the managing director of EMI Sweden – Gessle translated a song called "Svarta glas" ("Black Glass") into English. It was originally written for Pernilla Wahlgren. Nygren then suggested that Gessle record the song as a duet with Fredriksson. This became the duo's first single, "Neverending Love",[3] which peaked at number three on the Swedish Singles Chart.[4] The rest of the album was recorded sporadically throughout the summer of 1986.[3]

Dance Passion, a compilation EP containing seven remixed versions of tracks found on Pearls of Passion, was released in Sweden in 1987, and a further two songs from the album were re-recorded for inclusion on later Roxette albums: CD versions of 1991's Joyride contained a version of "Soul Deep", while Tourism, released the following year, contained an acoustic version of "So Far Away".[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Jason Damas from AllMusic gave the album a negative review, rating it one-and-a-half stars out of five and writing: "Nothing here is bad, but it lacks nearly all of the elements that made Look Sharp! and Joyride massive hits just a few years later." He elaborated that "Roxette's most intriguing qualities are that they are a pop band that can rock, and that Per Gessle is a crack songwriter that almost never produces a bad tune. Here, however, there's a lot of indistinguishable dance-pop, and their trademark gritty guitars are completely absent". He went on to say that the album contained three great songs: "Soul Deep", "Neverending Love" and "Secrets That She Keeps", but charactised the rest of the album as being "insignificant, except to the most serious of fans."[1]

Commercial performance[edit]

The record was an immediate commercial success in Sweden,[1] peaking at number two on the albums chart,[4] and going on to sell over 200,000 copies by the end of 1987.[3] However, it failed to chart internationally.[1] "Neverending Love", "Goodbye to You", "Soul Deep" and "I Call Your Name" were released as singles, with the first three becoming top twenty hits in Sweden.[4] A non-album single, "It Must Have Been Love (Christmas for the Broken Hearted)", was released in December 1987, and became their second top five hit there.[4] The song was later re-recorded – with the reference to Christmas changed to a neutral winter reference ("It's a hard Christmas Day" replaced by "It's a hard winter's day") – and became a substantial international hit after appearing on the soundtrack to the 1990 film Pretty Woman.[5]

Pearls of Passion was remastered and released on CD for the first time eleven years after its original release, on 31 October 1997. Three songs were re-released as promotional singles in selected territories to promote the reissue: "From One Heart to Another" was issued as a promotional single in Brazil, and a slightly remixed version of "I Call Your Name" – "I Call Your Name '97" – was released as an airplay-only single in Spain. EMI Spain also reissued "Neverending Love", to commemorate shipments of over 50,000 units of the album in that country.[2] As of 2001, Pearls of Passion has sold 800,000 copies worldwide.[6]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics and music written by Per Gessle, except where noted.

Peals of Passion – Original release
No. Title Length
1. "Soul Deep" 3:41
2. "Secrets That She Keeps" 3:48
3. "Goodbye to You" 4:03
4. "I Call Your Name" 3:39
5. "Surrender" 4:23
6. "Voices" (Music by Marie Fredriksson and Per Andersson) 4:46
7. "Neverending Love" 3:30
8. "Call of the Wild" 4:32
9. "Joy of a Toy" (Music by Mats Persson and Gessle) 3:09
10. "From One Heart to Another" 4:11
11. "Like Lovers Do" 3:25
12. "So Far Away" (Lyrics by Gessle and Hasse Huss) 5:17
Total length: 48:27

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Pearls of Passion.[7]

  • Roxette are Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson
  • Recorded at EMI Studios, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Remastered by Alar Suurna at Polar Studio, Stockholm (1997 version)
  • All songs published by Jimmy Fun Music, except: "Soul Deep" by Happy Accident Music; "From One Heart to Another" by Sweden Music AB; "Voices" and "Turn to Me" by Shock the Music/Jimmy Fun Music

Charts[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
position
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[4] 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Jason Damas. "Pearls of Passion - Roxette | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 14 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Thorselius, Robert (May 2003). The Look for Roxette: The Illustrated Worldwide Discography & Price Guide (1st ed.). Sweden: Premium Förlag Publishing. ISBN 978-9197189484. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Digital booklet". The Rox Box/Roxette 86–06 (liner notes). Roxette. Stockholm, Sweden: Roxette Recordings and Capitol Records. 2006. 9463 67972–2 9. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Swedishcharts.com – Roxette – Pearls of Passion". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Roxette Bio | Roxette Career". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  6. ^ Ninni O Schulman (15 April 2001). "Sagan om Roxette: På väg tillbaka - eller?" [Lord of Roxette: On the way back - or?]. Expressen (in Swedish). Bonnier AB. Archived from the original on 5 June 2001. Retrieved 8 September 2016. 
  7. ^ "Digital booklet". Pearls of Passion (liner notes). Roxette. Stockholm, Sweden: EMI Records. 1997. 7243 836196–2 7. 

External links[edit]