On May 11, 1991, Roxette ascended to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for the fourth time with the title track of their third studio album. (Yes, that’s right: their third. Everybody always forgets about Pearls of Passion, but it still counts.)
Produced by Clarence Ofwerman at EMI Studios in Stockholm and penned by Per Gessle, “Joyride” owes one of its key aspects to The Beatles and another to Gessle’s wife: the title was inspired by an interview with Paul McCartney where he described the experience of writing songs with John Lennon as “a long joyride,” and its opening words (“Hello, you fool, I love you”) were taken straight from the text of a note that Gessle’s wife - then still his girlfriend - left on his piano.
Oh, and if you’ve ever wondered who’s responsible for the narration on the song, we can solve that mystery for you: it was Roxette’s former tour manager, Dave Edwards.
It may surprise some Roxette fans that the band never managed to secure another chart-topping hit after “Joyride,” at least partially because their next single, “Fading Like a Flower (Every Time You Leave),” likely seemed like a No. 1 hit from all the airplay it received, but it, in fact, only went to No. 2. Close, but no cigar. Thanks to the band’s success with those two tracks, they also managed to score minor Top 40 hits with two subsequent singles from the Joyride album, but “Spending My Time” and “Church of Your Heart” would prove to be the last time the duo made their way into the upper reaches of the Hot 100.
Mind you, they did have one further flirtation with the U.S. charts in 2011 with “She’s Got Nothing On (But the Radio),” which hit No. 40 on the adult contemporary chart, but that was the end of Roxette’s radio hits on these shores.
If you’re an old-school Roxette fan, however, and you didn’t even know that they’d continued their career beyond Joyride, then we’d definitely advise you to investigate one of their career-spanning collections. Trust us: whether they were U.S. hits or not, the pop never stops.