This week in 1989, the unknown Swedish duo Roxette had an unlikely Number 1 hit with "The Look".
Although "The Look" was Roxette's third consecutive Top 10 single in their home country, the duo were still unknown internationally.
While studying in Sweden, Dean Cushman, an American exchange student from Minneapolis, heard "The Look", and brought a copy of Look Sharp! home for the 1988 holiday break.
He gave the album to a Minneapolis radio station, KDWB 101.3 FM. The station started playing "The Look" and based on positive caller feedback, the song became very popular, quickly spreading to other radio stations. The song became a radio hit before any Roxette product had been commercially released or promoted in the US market.
The story was covered by radio, newspapers and TV in the US and in Sweden, with Gessle recently telling this as the story which highlighted the beginning of their international success. Fredriksson dismissed rumours that Cushman was paid to take the record to the radio station.
EMI had previously rejected Roxette as unsuitable for the American market and they did not have a recording contract there, but after the popularity of "The Look" in the US, EMI officials made the decision to release and market the single worldwide. "The Look" and pressed copies of Look Sharp! were issued in early 1989 to record stores and radio stations.
"The Look" became their first No. 1 in the US on April 8, 1989, where it remained for one week. The breakthrough for Roxette became international when the song also topped the charts in 25 other countries, and at the end of the year, Billboard named "The Look" one of the 20 biggest Hot 100 singles of the year.
Listen to Roxette on iHeartRadio.
Copy courtesy of Wikpedia.