Once Upon a Time in the Top Spot: Roxette, “Joyride”
25 years ago today, Roxette rose to the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for the fourth time in their career, and while there hasn’t been a fifth time thus far, they just released a new single (“It Just Happens”), so we’re not counting them out quite yet.
“Joyride” was, as you may already know, the first single – and title track – from Roxette’s third studio album. Written by Per Gessle, a.k.a. the dude in the duo, the opening lines of the song were reportedly taken directly from a note that his then-girlfriend, now-wife left on his piano which read, “Hello, you fool, I love you.” You’ll also note a bit of a “Magical Mystery Tour” vibe at times, particularly when you hear Dave Edwards, a friend of the band (not to mention their former tour manager), saying, “Come on, join the joyride, get your tickets here, step right this way.” This is not coincidental: Gessle has said that took the title of the song straight from an interview with Paul McCartney in which the former Beatle described writing songs with John Lennon as a “long joyride.”
Over the years, “Joyride” has earned addition honors within the pop culture pantheon, serving as the intro anthem for the Vancouver Canucks during the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs and, perhaps most importantly, it was also selected as one of the tracks covered by Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Chippettes for their album The Chipmunks Rock the House. Ultimately, though, the greatest sign of the song’s success was on the charts: it hit #1 in US, Canada, Australia, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland, not to mention on the European Hot 100 Singles chart. Not only that, but the single earned the band gold and even platinum sales in various countries, cementing their success for the long haul.
Well, everywhere in America, that is. But, hey, let’s just focus on the #1 single, shall we?