Look Sharp! (Roxette album)

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Look Sharp!
Studio album by Roxette
Released 21 October 1988
Recorded March–June 1988
EMI Studios, Stockholm
Trident II Studios, London
Genre Pop, pop rock
Label EMI
Producer Clarence Öfwerman,
Adam Moseley
Roxette chronology
Dance Passion
(1987)
Look Sharp!
(1988)
Joyride
(1991)
Singles from Look Sharp!
  1. "Chances"
    Released: 28 December 1988
  2. "The Look"
    Released: March 1989 (Europe) / 12 January 1989 (USA)
  3. "Dressed for Success"
    Released: July 1989
  4. "Listen to Your Heart"
    Released: 19 August 1989
  5. "Dangerous"
    Released: December 1989

Look Sharp! is the second studio album by the Swedish pop duo Roxette. It was recorded at EMI Studios in Stockholm and at Trident II Studios in London between March and June 1988. The album was released on 21 October 1988, two years after their debut Pearls of Passion. The album became an international hit, reaching #23 on the Billboard 200 and spawning the major hit singles "The Look" (U.S. #1), "Listen to Your Heart" (U.S. #1), "Dressed for Success" (U.S. #14), and "Dangerous" (U.S. #2). Because of the worldwide success of the album and its singles, Look Sharp! is considered as Roxette's breakthrough.

The album has sold over 9 million copies worldwide.

Background[edit]

"The Look", "Chances", "Dressed for Success", "Listen to Your Heart" and "Dangerous" were released as singles. In native Sweden, "Dressed for Success" and "Listen to Your Heart" were chosen as the first two singles, as Gessle and EMI Svenska chose to highlight Fredriksson's singing. The singles reached #2 and #3 on Swedish chart respectively. But despite huge popularity in their homeland Roxette were still unknown globally.

Everything changed when the third single "The Look" was released in Sweden. It was while studying in Sweden, that an American exchange student from Minneapolis, Dean Cushman,[1] heard "The Look", and brought a copy of Look Sharp! home for the 1988 holiday break.[2][3] He gave the album to a Minneapolis radio station,[2][3] KDWB 101.3 FM.[4] The station started playing "The Look" and based on positive caller feedback, the song became very popular,[3][4] and quickly spread to other radio stations.[3] The song became a radio hit before any Roxette music had been commercially released or promoted in the US market.[3] The story was covered by radio, newspapers and TV in the US and in Sweden, making for good press for many years, with Gessle telling this as the story which highlighted the beginning of their international success.[4]

As of July 2009, Look Sharp! had sold over 9 million copies worldwide[5] including over 1 million copies in US alone, which gave the album platinum certification by RIAA in January 1990[6] (it has sold 402,000 since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991).[7] Look Sharp! peaked at #4 in UK, where it stayed on the charts for 53 weeks and was certified platinum by BPI in the UK in December 1990 for sales in excess of 300,000.[8] It is also the second best selling album in Swedish music history (only behind ABBA's Arrival)[citation needed] where it held the top spot for 14 weeks and has gone 6× platinum. Furthermore Look Sharp! collected gold and platinum certifications all around the world.

The CD edition of the album features the track "(I Could Never) Give You Up", which was omitted from both the cassette and vinyl editions. "Chances" is also 40 seconds longer.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[9]
Los Angeles Times 2/5 stars[10]

Gessle won his first Grammy Award for Best Composer.[11] Roxette also received two Rockbjörnen awards for Best Swedish Album and Best Swedish Group.[12]

Track listings[edit]

CD original release

All songs written and composed by Per Gessle, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "The Look"   3:57
2. "Dressed for Success"   4:09
3. "Sleeping Single"   4:38
4. "Paint"   3:30
5. "Dance Away" (Marie Fredriksson, Gessle) 3:25
6. "Cry" (Fredriksson, Gessle) 5:19
7. "Chances"   4:57
8. "Dangerous"   3:49
9. "Half a Woman, Half a Shadow" (Fredriksson, Gessle) 3:35
10. "View From a Hill"   3:40
11. "(I Could Never) Give You Up"   3:58
12. "Shadow of a Doubt" (Gessle, Mats MP Persson) 4:14
13. "Listen to Your Heart" (Gessle, Mats MP Persson) 5:29
Total length:
53:12

Singles

  • "Chances"
  1. "Chances"
  2. "Silver Blue" (Demo)
  • "The Look"
  1. "The Look"
  2. "Silver Blue" (Demo)
  • "Dressed for Success"
  1. "Dressed for Success"
  2. "The Voice"
  • "Listen to Your Heart"
  1. "Listen to Your Heart"
  2. "(I Could Never) Give You Up"
  • "Dangerous"
  1. "Dangerous"
  2. "Surrender"/"Neverending Love" (Live)

Charts[edit]

Country Peak Certification
Australian Albums Chart[13] 2
Austrian Albums Chart[14] 3 2× Platinum
Canadian Albums Chart 8 6× Platinum
German Albums Chart[15] 7 2× Platinum
New Zealand Albums Chart[16] 12 2× Platinum
Norwegian Albums Chart[17] 1
Swedish Albums Chart[18] 1 6× Platinum
Swiss Albums Chart[19] 2 2× Platinum
UK Albums Chart[19] 4 Platinum[8]
U.S. Billboard' 200[20] 23 Platinum[6]

Credits[edit]

  • Vocals — Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson
  • Drums — Pelle Alsing
  • Programming and bass — Anders Herrlin
  • Saxophone — Erik Häusler, Adam McCulloch ("Cry", "View From a Hill")
  • Electric and acoustic guitars — Jonas Isacsson
  • Harmonica — Jalle Lorensson
  • Slide guitar — Janne Oldaeus
  • Spanish guitar — Erik Borelius
  • Main programming and keyboards — Clarence Öfwerman
  • Production — Clarence Öfwerman (except "Cry", "Chances" and "View From a Hill" produced by Adam Moseley)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Expresson's article on Roxette's history (part 2)" (in Swedish). www.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2001-04-20. 
  2. ^ a b "Gessle bio. on Sirus Satellite Radio". sirus.com. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Nokia Night Of The Proms (Roxette-Comeback)" (in German). Koeln.de. 
  4. ^ a b c "BBC news Talking Shop: Roxette's Per Gessle". BBC News. April 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  5. ^ "Roxette's history by Expressen newspaper" (in Swedish). archive.org. Archived from the original on 2001-06-05. 
  6. ^ a b "Awards for Roxette from RIAA.". www.riaa.com. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  7. ^ "Ask Billboard section on billboard.com (2005)". www.billboard.com. 
  8. ^ a b "BPI certification database". www.bpi.co.uk. 
  9. ^ Allmusic review
  10. ^ Johnson, Connie (1989-06-04). "MILLI VANILLI "Girl You Know It's True; ROXETTE "Look Sharp"". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-12-23. 
  11. ^ "Grammis award winners history" (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 2012-01-31. 
  12. ^ "Rockbjörnen – tidigare vinnare" [Previous winners]. Aftonbladet / Rockbjörnen. Retrieved 2012-01-31. 
  13. ^ "Australian charts archive". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  14. ^ "Austrian charts archive". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  15. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Roxette)" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  16. ^ "New Zealand charts archive". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  17. ^ "Norwegian charts archive". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  18. ^ "Swedish charts archive". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  19. ^ a b "Swiss charts archive". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  20. ^ "Billboard 200 charts archive". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 

External links[edit]