Musician and composer from Sweden Per Gessle is best known as a member of the pop-rock duo Roxette, which was incredibly popular in the nineties. It was Gessle who composed such great hits as “It must have been love”, “How Do You Do!”, “Listen To Your Heart”, etc.
Per Gessle was born in 1959 in Halmstad, a city located in the west of Sweden. Pera's family was not poor, his father (his name was Kurt Gessle) had his own small business.
In 1977, Per, who had been a music lover since childhood and collected records of his favorite performers, met Mats Persson. Together they founded the musical group Grape Rock. However, they quickly realized that it was rather difficult to sing songs together. Therefore, they invited three more guys - Mikael Andersson, Jan Karlsson and Göran Fritzon. This is how the rock band Gyllene Tider was born. The guys released their first album in 1978, the second in 1979, and the third in 1982. And they all had some recognition in Sweden, the group became quite recognizable in their country.
In the same 1982, Per met the vocalist Marie Fredriksson. Musical tastes of Marie and Per turned out to be similar, and the musician began to invite the girl to his projects in the genre of "melodic pop-rock".
In 1983, Per released his debut solo album, Per Gessle. Marie took part in his recording. Gessle was subsequently very surprised that the solo album sold quite well, although the tracks included in it were not similar to the work of Gyllene Tider.
Gessle with Roxette
In 1986, Marie and Per created the duo Roxette, recorded the English-language album "Pearls Of Passion" (the choice of the English language directly testified that the guys were immediately aimed at international success) and released it in several countries - Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Canada.
However, it was only two years later that Per and Marie gained worldwide fame when the single "The Look" suddenly became a hit in the United States. The subsequent release of the album "Look Sharp!" cemented success. On this disc, by the way, there was another legendary Roxette song - "Listen To Your Heart".
In 1990, the famous film Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere was released. And in it, among other things, the touching composition "It Must Have Been Love" sounded, the music and lyrics to which were written by Per Gessle. The melodrama "Pretty Woman" became a box office hit. And this, of course, added popularity to Roxette.
The third album of the Swedish duo Roxette "Joyride" was released in 1991. After its release, the musicians went on a long tour. For a year and a half, they traveled with their concerts to a large number of countries - they visited South America, Australia, the Republic of South Africa, the United States and, of course, Europe.
In 1992, Roxette's fourth album, Tourism, was released, and in 1994, his fifth, Crash! Boom! Bang! " As part of the tour in support of this album, Per and Marie gave concerts for the first time in China and in the Russian Federation.
In 1999, the duo Roxette presented the album "Have a Nice Day" to the public, and in 2001 - the album "Room Service".
However, then something happened that put an end to many further plans of the group. In September 2002, doctors diagnosed Marie Fredriksson with a tumor in the tissues of the brain. The operation to remove it was successful, but after that Marie had to recover for a very long time. In public, Marie and Per reappeared together only at the end of January 2003, when the Swedish king Carl XVI Gustav awarded them with the Royal Medals of the 8th degree.
Until 2006, the Roxette duo did not release a single new song. Although Per himself did not sit idle at that time - he was engaged in recording and releasing his solo albums. So, for example, in 2003, Per's album "Mazarin" was released, and in 2005, the disc "Son of a Plumber".
Strictly speaking, it was only in 2009 that Marie and Per began performing live together again. Moreover, one of the first performances after an almost eight-year break took place at the New Wave festival in Jurmala, Latvia. And on February 11, 2011, the long-awaited eighth Roxette audio album - "Charm School", appeared on sale.In addition, in the next five years, the group, to the delight of fans, released two more records - "Traveling" (2012) and "Good Karma" (2016).
Creativity of Per Gessle after 2016
Lately Per Gessle is still very active as a musician and vocalist. In April 2017 his next solo album En vacker natt was released in Swedish. In the summer of the same year, Per toured Sweden. The total number of visitors to this tour was, according to some sources, about 120,000 people.
On February 27, 2018, Per Gessle, together with singer Helena Yousefsson, recorded the song "Name You Beautiful". It was composed by Per for the World Table Tennis Championships, and ultimately became the anthem of this sporting event.
In the same 2018, a musical based on Gessle's compositions was staged at the Halland Theater. The title of this musical is "The Love Stories of Halland" and featured four artists.
In February 2019, the debut disc of the group Mono Mind, another project of Pera Gessle, appeared in music stores. From 2016 to 2019, this group published four singles, while its composition remained a secret until the very release of the album (it was called "Mind Control"). All participants were hiding under fictional characters. Specifically, Per Gessle had the pseudonym Dr. Robot. The record "Mind Control" received a lot of positive reviews. Within a few days after its release, it was on the second position in the hit parade of electronic music from the Amazon service.
Some facts about personal life
- In 1993, the musician married Osu Nordin, his longtime fan and girlfriend. The wedding was attended by almost only relatives and friends of the newlyweds - just over a hundred guests. It is known that Marie Fredriksson was also invited to the wedding ceremony. And she even sang a couple of songs here.
- On August 5, 1997, the Wasp gave birth to a son from Per - he was named Gabriel.
- In just a few years, from 2013 to 2017, Per Gessle lost three relatives. First, his brother, Bengt Gessle, died of cancer. A year later, in 2014, her sister, Gunilla Gessle, died of cancer. And then, at the age of 87, Pera's mother Elizabeth passed away. And these sad events, of course, found a certain reflection in the work of Per.
- Gessle today is not only writing pop songs. He is one of the owners of the four-star Tylösand Spa Hotel and produces wines under the Per Gessle Selection brand. He also enjoys collecting sports cars. On top of that, since 2008, Per Gessle has been hosting his radio program.