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Roxette Album - Roxbox 1986-2006

Roxette Album - Roxbox 1986-2006 (Front side)
Album Information :
Title: Roxbox 1986-2006
Approx. Price:$106.98 (USD)
Release Date:
Type:Audio CD
Label:Emd Int'l
Customers Rating :
Average (4.7) :(17 votes)
14 votes
1 votes
2 votes
0 votes
0 votes
Track Listing :
1 - 1
1 - 2
1 - 3
1 - 4
1 - 5
1 - 6
1 - 7 Sleeping Single
1 - 8
1 - 9
1 - 10
1 - 11 The Voice
1 - 12
1 - 13
1 - 14
1 - 15 Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave)
1 - 16
1 - 17
1 - 18 Church Of Your Heart
1 - 19
2 - 1
2 - 2
2 - 3
2 - 4 The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye
2 - 5 Love Spins
2 - 6 Seduce Me
2 - 7
2 - 8 The Heart Shaped Sea
2 - 9 The Rain
2 - 10 Never Is A Long Time
2 - 11
2 - 12 Come Back (Before You Leave)
2 - 13
2 - 14
2 - 15
2 - 16 Crash! Boom! Bang!
2 - 17
2 - 18 The First Girl On The Moon
2 - 19 I'm Sorry
3 - 1
3 - 2 See Me
3 - 3
3 - 4 You Don't Understand Me
3 - 5 She Doesn't Live Here Anymore
3 - 6 I Don't Want To Get Hurt
3 - 7 Always Breaking My Heart
3 - 8 Help!
3 - 9
3 - 10 You Can't Put Your Arms Around What's Already Gone
3 - 11
3 - 12 Anyone
3 - 13
3 - 14
3 - 15
3 - 16 Beautiful Things
3 - 17 It Hurts
3 - 18 Little Miss Sorrow
3 - 19 Happy Together
3 - 20 Staring At The Ground
4 - 1 7Twenty7
4 - 2 It Will Take A Long Long Time
4 - 3 Anyone/I Love How You Love Me
4 - 4 Myth
4 - 5 New World
4 - 6 Better Off On Her Own +Video
4 - 7
4 - 8
4 - 9 Milk And Toast And Honey
4 - 10
4 - 11 Little Girl
4 - 12 The Weight Of The World
4 - 13 Every Day
4 - 14 Bla Bla Bla Bla Bla (You Broke My Heart)
4 - 15 A Thing About You
4 - 16 Breathe
4 - 17 Opportunity Nox
4 - 18 All I Ever Wanted
4 - 19
4 - 20 Reveal
Review - Product Description :
Per Gessle and Marie Fredrikkson First Came Together in 1986 to Record their First Single, "Neverending Love" Launching One of the Most Successful Pop Careers in Rock History, Having Sold Over 46 Million Albums and 25 Million Singles to Date. The Swedish Duo Celebrate the 20th Anniversary with the Release of this Spectacular Box Set, a Treasure Trove for all Fans who Thought "They Had Everything". In Addition to the Plethora of Hits, B-sides, Demos and Rarities Over 4CD'S, the Box Comes with a Dvd (Pal Format) that features the Duo's Performance for "Mtv Unplugged" as Well as a Collection of all their Promotional Videos! the Set Includes Two New Tracks Recorded Expressly for this Set, the Single "One Wish" and "Reveal" as Well as Ten Other Audio Tracks that Are Previously Unreleased and Make their Debut in this Set. This is Without Doubt, the Ultimate Collection for all Roxette Fans around the Globe!
(Byron Center, Michigan, USA)
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful:
- Opportunity Nox But The RoxBox Falls Flat!

The `RoxBox' was, according to the liner notes, compiled by Per Gessle, Marie Fredriksson, and Kjell Andersson. After the tracklisting leaked in September 2006 most Roxette fans were outraged and angered. Per Gessle then issued a statement more or less defending the project, stating that he, as an artist, has the final say in what is and what is not included. Unfortunately, although I respect Per's statement, this is one major point in which the box falls flat.

'Pearls Of Passion' era [1986 - 1987]:

Included from this era are the singles "Neverending Love" (their first single!), "Goodbye To You", and "Soul Deep". The latter track, however, appears in it's 1991 'Joyride' album mix. It does not fit here, considering it's a remix that came nearly 5 years later and should have a spot with the 'Joyride' section of the box. The extremely rare 7" version, which was used in the music video, would have worked perfectly instead. Also included from this era is the album highlight, "Secrets That She Keeps", which I was happy to see included. The single "I Call Your Name" is nowhere to be found, and the album is underrepresented here with only 4 era highlights, not nearly enough in comparison to the other albums. In addition to the missing single I would have included the favorites "Surrender" and "So Far Away".

On a more positive note, these tracks sounds AMAZING! -- much better than the 1997 'Pearls Of Passion' remaster. Of course this is to be expected with the advancements in audio mastering since then.

'Look Sharp!' era [1988 - 1990]:

Now we get to an era that is better represented with singles such as "The Look", "Dressed For Success [Chris Lord-Alge Mix]", "Listen To Your Heart [Swedish Single Version]", and "Dangerous". Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, "Dangerous" yet again appears in it's album version form. Too bad since I think the 7" version is better with it's a cappella intro. How many times can we get "Listen To Your Heart" in it's "Swedish Single Version"? Perhaps altering the tracklisting a tad would have worked better, such as digging out an old master of the lovely, extremely rare "Orchestral Version" or "U.S. Remix" (which was used in the music video). We already have the "Swedish Single Version" in so many other places, including the 20-track accompanying 'Hits!' collection!

What about an alternate mix of "Dressed For Success"? We already have that wonderful "Chris Lord-Alge Mix" on a number of releases. How about taking things a step further and actually including the full "U.S. Look Sharp! Mix"?

Fortunately, "Sleeping Single" makes an appearance here! This has always been one of my favorite Roxette tracks, and I think that it would have made a good single. I was really looking forward to hearing this track, considering it sounds flat and dull on the CD issue of 'Look Sharp!' The mastering differences here are striking with it's full range, depth, and clarity. The single "Chances" does not even make an appearance here but is instead replaced by fan-favorite "Paint". Personally, I prefer "Chances" but the remastering punch of "Paint" sounds wonderful. The era is nicely rounded out with a demo of album highlight "Cry" and b-side "The Voice". The excellent, catchy "Let's Party" - a demo from 1988 that was first released on Per's solo 'I Want You To Know' single in 1997 - is notably missing.

'Pretty Woman' era [1990]:

"It Must Have Been Love" sneaks in here with the standard "Humberto Gatica Mix", which is the standard 1990 mix found on nearly every Roxette compilation and heard all over radio 24/7. Considering the overkill of this mix I would have opted for the appearance of the 1987 "Christmas For The Broken-Hearted" version. Or, better yet, I would have moved the song down further and included the melancholy, country-flavored 'Tourism' version in it's original L.A. studio version WITHOUT the audience intro. Again, try mixing things up a bit!

'Joyride' era [1990 - 1992]:

'Joyride', the duo's most successful recording period, yeilded a string of hits and album highlights, so much that EMI should have just packaged the damn 'Joyride' album with the box because the album is way overrepresented here!

First of all, we seem to be jumping between single and album versions throughout this box. It probably breaks down to laziness. How about twisting things around a bit and for once NOT include the "Single Version" of "Joyride" on a compilation? The album version or even the "U.S. Remix" would have been a nice twist instead of the same old version! "Fading Like A Flower", for example, could have been presented in a nice live version or the "Humberto Gatica Mix". "Spending My Time" could have been presented in it's "AC Mix", for example. Instead, these tracks seem to be an unnecessary repeat for versions that fans have on numerous other compilations from Roxette, namely the recent remastered 'Pop' and 'Ballad' hits releases. Must we get them again?

Including the remix of "Soul Deep" (as mentioned above) represents no less than 10 of the album's international 15 tracks! That's 2/3 of the album! That isn't to say that the tracks aren't worthy of inclusion, but if people wanted the 'Joyride' album they can just pick it up just about anywhere. Save all this material for a 'Joyride' remaster instead. I would have included all 5 singles from the album here, including the video-only release and planned single, "(Do You Get) Excited?", with maybe 2 album cuts at most - preferably "Watercolours In The Rain" and "Perfect Day" - for a maximum total of 8 tracks. Of course, all of this would have been fine if we had alternate versions of the single releases, including "The Big L. [U.S. Mix]". Additionally, I would have included "Perfect Day" in it's original unmixed album version. Why must we get the circus noises as featured at the end of the 'Joyride' album mixed in here? It does not fit and sounds like sloppy EMI work.

Fortunately, non-album tracks such as the haunting "The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye" fit in nicely. "The Sweet Hello" is a gem that was good enough for the album but somehow ended up on the b-side of "Spending My Time". Too much good material I guess! "Love Spins," a demo from the era that I've never cared much for, makes a rare appearance here. "Seduce Me", a 1990 demo that appeared on the 1996 'June Afternoon' single is a favorite and a nice addition. The remastering throughout this whole section is wonderful!

'Tourism' era [1990 - 1993]:

First of all, where the hell is "Fingertips '93"? Leaving this awesome '93 single out is enough to knock this release down a star alone, especially since it's difficult to find commercially. I guess Per never really liked this one? I think it's one of their finest recordings! It was left off 'Pop Hits' too!

Nonetheless, the 'Tourism' era is where things start getting even more shaky. The inclusion of singles "How Do You Do!" and "Queen Of Rain" (originally planned for the ending of the 'Joyride' album) are essential, but the album tracks chosen are questionable. "Come Back (Before You Leave)"? Are you kidding me? Originally, the demo was the b-side of the 'Joyride' single and somehow found it's way on 'Tourism' as a studio take. While I don't think it's a bad track it's just not worthy of inclusion here.

"The Heart Shaped Sea" and "The Rain" are back-to-back favorites on the 'Tourism' album and easily deserve their spot here. However, going the easy way again EMI did not include the full intro of "The Heart Shaped Sea" and instead opted to fade the track in after the audience fades from the previous track on the album. Again, sloppy work! Go back to the original masters and lift the full track for this release! I might have included the Per demo of "The Rain" in order to mix things up a bit, but the Marie studio version is beautiful as is.

"Silver Blue" is a standout track, but I'm torn on whether I would have included it here over the emotional, single-worthy "So Far Away" (recorded live in a hotel room in Buenos Aires). Similarly, the sad "Never Is A Long Time" pulled from a Sao Paulo nightclub is included here, but if the band wanted to include a beautiful acoustic cut I would have opted for "So Far Away". The track originally appeared in it's studio version on 'Pearls Of Passion' but it's breathtaking acoustic version from the 'Tourism' era is sorely missed here! The track, without a doubt, should have at least replaced "Come Back (Before You Leave)"!

'Super Mario Bros.' era [1993]:

Ah yes, "Almost Unreal" makes yet another appearance on a Roxette compilation, including the '06 hits release as well! How about throwing that Per Gessle demo on here instead? Why do I want the album version YET AGAIN? Additionally, stemming back to the 'Tourism' era with this one I would have included the excellent "2 Cinnamon Street' cut here. It appears on the 'Super Mario Bros.' soundtrack and UK 1993 reissue CD single of 'It Must Have Been Love'. It would have worked perfectly here since it's not readily available on any Roxette album. Only the Per vocal version "Cinnamon Street" is easily available on 'Tourism'.

'Crash! Boom! Bang!' era [1993 - 1995]:

Try to hang on! The rocker "Sleeping In My Car" is perhaps one of the finest Roxette recordings, in my opinion. Instead of including the "Single Edit" again, how about throwing the "Album Version" back in here? Nope. Not here. Actually, as much as I love the album version I would have probably placed the "Stockholm Demo" version here for variety purposes again. Once again we get the "Single Edit" of "Crash! Boom! Bang!". I would have put either the "Album Version" or the live Johannesburg version from the 'Crash! Boom! Live!' VHS release, remastered of course. Now we come to Per and his personal favourite, "Vulnerable." I love this Per, but I would have included your demo instead, since the track is already overused in it's edited version on a number of your compilations. Then of course we get the stunning "Run To You", which appeared on the previous 'Pop Hits' release. I'm fine with the album version here, since it's not exactly overused, but I probably would have even included Per's harder-rocking demo since we already get "Run" on the hits compilations.

So where is "Fireworks", Per? That's right! You don't like it. It's quite obvious seeing that it's been missing from all previous Roxette compilations. It amazes me because it was after all the 3rd single release from 'Crash! Boom! Bang!' and had a video. While I personally would have released "Run To You" as the 3rd single instead, "Fireworks" was still a decent-sized hit and deserves it's place here, preferably in it's full version over the "Single Edit". But as Per has said, it's up to him and Marie in deciding what they choose to release, not the fans.

Now we get to the album tracks: "The First Girl On The Moon" and "I'm Sorry". The latter cut is one of their finest tracks, in my opinion, and would have made an excellent single. From my understanding, "I'm Sorry" was a big radio hit in South America during this era. Personally, I would have switched "The First Girl On The Moon" with the catchy, acoustic "Place Your Love" and tagged on the live highlight "Love Is All (Shine Your Light On Me)" from Johannesburg, in which Marie is in fine vocal form.

The Marie-penned "See Me", a 1993 'Crash!' outtake which first made it's commercial appearance on the 1999 single 'Salvation', makes an essential appearance here with it's haunting keyboards and soft vocals -- a box highlight! But where's "Crazy About You"? It's another rarity that was originally featured on the 'The Look '95' UK single release and later on the 1999 'Salvation' single as an alternate 'C.B.B. version'.

'Don't Bore Us - Get To The Chorus [Greatest Hits]' era [1995 - 1996]:

The 1995 hits package included, at the time, 14 greatest hits in addition to 4 new tracks: "June Afternoon", "You Don't Understand Me", "She Doesn't Live Here Anymore", and "I Don't Want To Get Hurt". All of these 4 tracks are included here and for good reason. "You Don't Understand Me" was the first single from the release and became a European hit. Strangely, the ballad is missing from the latest hits release. Nonetheless, it is available on 'Ballad Hits'. I would have actually placed the beautiful, improved, at least in my opinion, "Abbey Road Acoustic Version" from the sessions recorded in November 1995. Again, the album version is readily available, so let's include something alternate! "June Afternoon" already got a spot on 'Pop Hits' and I, therefore, would have included the excellent 1994 July demo. "She Doesn't Live Here Anymore", which was absent from 'Pop Hits', finally gets a spot here! "I Don't Want To Get Hurt" became an airplay hit in Brazil but not an official single release.

We're up to a few rare non-album cuts now. First, we have "Always Breaking My Heart", which, from my understanding, is actually a Per Gessle 1995 solo demo since it appeared on his solo 'Do You Wanna Be My Baby?' CD single. Belinda Carlisle had a UK Top Ten hit with "Always" in 1996. "Help!", pulled from the November 15, 1995 Abbey Road Acoustic Sessions, is worthy enough to add this box to your collection. It is, without a doubt, one of my favorite Roxette covers and tunes in general. Roxette take the original Beatles' mid-tempo ballad and turn it into a melancholy, guitar-laced gem. Marie's voice is angelic and fragile, yet flawless. A low-quality BBC radio rip had been swirling the Web for years, but here, for the very first time, is the full quality release! FINALLY!

Back to Per's solo demos. If Per wanted to include demos released for his 1997 'The World According To' project we could have had a field day with this box set. Per recorded a number of high quality demos in the mid-nineties, including not only "Always Breaking My Heart" but also gems such as "I Wanna Be With You ('94 demo)", "Blue Umbrella ('93 demo)", "Jupiter Calling ('95 demo)", and "Stay (At Home, At Work, At Play) ('95 demo)" -- all of which are missing. The latter track is one of my favorite Gessle recordings ever. It appeared on a limited release CD EP packaged with the 2002 'The Look For Roxette' book.

Per's beautiful "Love Doesn't Live Here" can be heard being rehearsed on piano in the 1995 Roxette documentary and a studio cut was eventually placed on the b-side of his 1997 'Kix' single. However, this favorite is unfortunately missing here. I suppose he had to draw the line somewhere in terms of Roxette vs. Per Gessle solo material. Still, these are all strong demo and studio recordings that are, in my opinion, often better than the overused material that is presented here.

"The Look '95", a UK-only single release featuring various 1995 remixes of the 1989 smash, is missing from this set as well. Understandably, since it is a remix, leaving it off the release can be understood. However, I'm sure many fans would have loved to have had this version released on this box since the single is out of print and rare.

'Have A Nice Day' era [1997 - 1999]:

In 1997 Roxette teamed up to record a unique version of Sheryl Crow's 1996 self-titled album cut, "Oh Marie," for their manager Marie Dimberg. It was included on a limited Swedish release (101 copies!) of the album, 'Absolut Marie Dimberg.' Now how rare is this? Where is it on the box? Nowhere! This is similar to the 1991 unique 2:21 recording of "The Look" for Swedish boss Ralph Nygren that is nowhere to be found either.

"Wish I Could Fly" starts off the era. We have this recording on the 2000 U.S. 'Don't Bore Us' issue, 2002 release of 'The Ballad Hits', and the 2006 collection 'A Collection Of Roxette Hits - Their 20 Greatest Songs'. Who knows what remains in the vaults for this recording in terms of alternate takes. Maybe not much except for the '97 demo and the remixes that were issued on CD single formats. I've always imagined this song sounding amazing with just the string section, hence an orchestral version like the ending of "Listen To Your Heart (Orchestral Version)". This is just a personal wish, so including the album version (or perhaps a live cut?) works fine here since I'm not that fond of the demo.

Personal favorite "Anyone" makes an appearance here in both it's album version and unreleased "Anyone/I Love How You Love Me" demo. I know that Roxette have performed "Anyone" both playback and live, so including such a version would have been nice, especially the playback version which included a cold ending and not just a fade out. Perhaps I'm digging too much here, but the demo featuring a medley with the Paris Sisters' 1961 smash is wonderful even if you don't like Per's raspy voice.

Like the 'Joyride' era, 'Have A Nice Day' is represented a bit too much here. While the album is my favorite, even I have limits when it comes to making a solid 'RoxBox'! The singles "Wish I Could Fly", "Anyone", "Stars", and "Salvation" all fit here. However, I would have included "Pay The Price", which was actually a double A-side single with "Anyone" in Japan.

Notably missing from this 4-CD collection is the absolute fan-favorite, "Crush On You". Many fans will claim that this album opener is one of the best things that Roxette have done. "Crush" was originally planned as a single from the project, eventually getting pushed to 5th single status, following "Salvation". Unfortunately, it never happened, although remixes were officially commissioned by Almighty for EMI. These remixes remain in the EMI vaults, so now was the chance to include them in one form or another! We don't even get this killer track in it's original album version!!! Refusing to include this track, or any of it's remixes, prompted outrage from the fans. Per said that he didn't want to include any 7-minute remixes on this release. Who said they had to be 7 minutes? I'm sure that a shorter "Almighty Radio Mix" was commissioned for radio airplay. Actually, placing the mixes on the "One Wish" single would have worked if Per didn't want remixes on the box. In the vaults they shall remain!

I think many fans will agree with me that "Stars" should have been present in it's unreleased rock demo version - or perhaps in it's rare live ballad version. Again, this prompted anger from the fans. I get the feeling that Per loves "You Can't Put Your Hands Around What's Already Gone" and that's why it's even here. Personally, it's my least favorite from the album and I would have left it off. As much as I adore "Waiting For The Rain", it would have been axed as well in favor of other versions or tracks, since the whole album is presented too much here already.

Now here's what I would have included: The initial tracklisting of the 2001 'Real Sugar' maxi-single listed "I Was So Lucky [The Golden Blow]" as a b-side. Where is this? I was really looking forward to it! That track was later replaced with the personal favorite, "It Will Take A Long Long Time [Modern Rock Version]", which is present here - yes, in that excellent alternative version!

Thankfully, too, we get the demos of '7Twenty7' and "Staring At The Ground", for which the demo was previously unreleased. "Salvation" is among my top ten favorite Roxette recordings. "Cooper" is present in it's original album version. Why not include the more haunting "Cooper (Closer To God)" version featured on the international single of 'Anyone'? Again, this would have only made the box better. Who wants album versions when we already have them readily available? These singles, for the most part, are out of print and hard to find.

Then there's "Beautiful Things", arguably Roxette's finest recording. While the bootleg Marie demo would have been a treat for those fans who haven't heard it, the album version probably works best here. It is absolutely flawless. "It Hurts", which follows this stunning piece of work, is quite a masterpiece itself. "Happy Together", b-side of "Wish I Could Fly," gets a well-deserved addition as well. "Myth", a track that has been talked about by fans for years, finally makes an appearance here in the form of a demo. I'm not sure why it's here in this section of the box since it was actually recorded in 1995. "Myth" is actually one of the few rarities present here, believe it or not, unless you haven't heard any bootlegs in the past few years. Which brings us to "New World," a Marie-penned recording. I love this. It's one of those feel-good songs that make this box worthy of owning.

"Better Off On Her Own" originally appeared as a b-side of the 'Stars' single. Wow. What a track! I adore this. It was recorded in March 1999, shortly after the release of the 'Have A Nice Day' album. Per gave us a little something extra here, fortunately, and included the unreleased demo version! The only difference between the original version featured on the 'Stars' single (and later on 'The Pop Hits' bonus EP) is that Marie's vocals are missing on the demo. While I prefer hearing Marie back up Per, this demo is a treat!

'Room Service' era [2000 - 2001]:

"I get bye-bye-baby-baby-bye-baby-baby-bye-bye" - Can it get any catchier than this? "Real Sugar" opens the 'Room Service' era on this box. The track was my favorite song of 2001. I have since cooled on the track, but hearing it now brings back many memories, and now I love it all over again. I might have included the "Shooting Star Treatment" for a little variety, but the album version here is just fine. As for "The Centre Of The Heart", where is that demo that Per has often mentioned? Ah yes, it made a quick appearance on the official site for streaming back in late November 2006. "Heart", which was originally recorded during the 'Have A Nice Day' sessions, was eventually sped-up and remixed for the first single release from 'Room Service', becaming the duo's first Swedish #1 since "Sleeping In My Car"!

"Milk And Toast And Honey" is present here in it's original album version. As much as I love this mix, the single-only release "Shooting Star Treatment" is stunning with it's thumping beats and string arrangement. It features some alternate vocals from Marie, namely the shining outro. Shooting Star produced a number of tracks with Roxette for the 'Room Service' album, so including his own remixes over the album versions would have worked, in my opinion.

Only three singles were lifted from the 'Room Service' album, so a few album tracks were thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, not the right ones! As much as I love "Little Girl" and "Jefferson", "Looking For Jane" and "My World, My Love, My Life" are two of the best cuts from that album! I've always thought they were potential singles with "Life" being a classic Roxette ballad and "Jane" being one of Per's finest lyrics.

Fortunately, era highlights "The Weight Of The World" and "Every Day", formerly released on 'The Ballad Hits' bonus EP, make another appearance here. In my opinion, they were strong enough to make the album, and even better than a few of the tracks that did, but Roxette decided in the end that they didn't fit the style of the album. "Every Day", like "See Me", is another track with the music penned by Marie. This is again one of the highlights of the box and reason enough to purchase.

"Bla Bla Bla Bla Bla (You Broke My Heart)" makes an unreleased appearance here in the form of a demo version. The song is solid but not one of my favorites.

'The Ballad Hits' era [2002]:

"A Thing About You" was one of two new recordings for this 2002 release - the other being the album closer, "Breathe". "Thing" was the only single pulled from this release, despite my personal opinion that "Breathe", a personal favourite, should have been a single. No arguments here for including both of these beautiful tracks.

'The Pop Hits' [2003]:

Pure pop-rock at it's best opens with the first and only single from the project -- that pop rocker being "Opportunity Nox". This song rocks! I could pick apart the silly lyrics, but it really stands the test of time for me, more so than "Thing About You". "Little Miss Sorrow", a solid recording with perhaps Per's best bridge section, is pulled from the 'Have A Nice Day' vaults and is already present above in the 'HAND' era.

'RoxBox' and 'A Collection Of Roxette Hits: Their 20 Greatest Songs!' era [2006 - 2007]:

"All I Ever Wanted" was a Marie demo recorded back in the late nineties. Strings were added to the song in 2004, probably for possible use for her solo English 'The Change' project? It's a solid track but not one of my favorites. I would have prefered a few of her other demos, such as "Remember" or "Do You Wanna Go With Me" to this.

"One Wish" and "Reveal" are both exclusive 2006 new recordings for both the 'RoxBox' and 'Hits!' packages. Both tracks were growers for me, but "One Wish", the first new single in over 3 years, is already a favorite. It's a mix of both old and new Roxette. "Reveal" is a softer, gentle ballad with dominating vocals by Marie.

The problem with this 'RoxBox' is not the music. If I were rating the release on music alone the box would easily earn a 5-star rating. It all comes down to the mediocre tracklisting. It had the opportunity to be so much better, and I think many fans will agree with me. As a whole, it's not a bad package. In fact, it's fun listening to these discs from start to finish, chronologically for the most part, and hear how Roxette have progressed musically over the years. That's where the joy comes from this release.

Yet, is it wrong for me to expect more for their 20th anniversary? Let's face it. The main people who will be buying this release will be the hardcore fans. The casual listener will only be interested in their various hits compilations. So why wasn't this release made for the hardcore fan? It's supposed to have been made for the fan "who thought they had everything." Well, come to find out, we realized that we pretty much did have everything! The few rarities and exclusives presented here are worth the price of admission for this box alone. But leaving out singles -- "Chances", "Fingertips '93" and "Fireworks" -- in addition to rare b-sides -- "Entering Your Heart [Extended Version]", as only one example -- result in this box set losing some points. The front cover of the box states that it "includes all the hit singles", which is simply not the case.

Sound quality-wise, the CDs are all wonderfully remastered by Thomas Eberger @ Cutting Room. The DVD, on the other hand, is a different story. Why does EMI think it has to compress the hell out of Roxette with this format? It all started back in 2001 with Roxette's first DVD release, `All Videos Ever Made & More'. Too much material was squeezed on one DVD. The videos suffered with poor sound quality for the earlier videos and grainy, pixilated picture. While age is a factor in video quality it's obvious that no care was given to properly restore these earlier promos. Does the original master of "Listen To Your Heart", for example, really look that blurred? I doubt it. Does "Soul Deep" really look that grainy? Maybe. But how about re-syncing the video with a digitally remastered audio track? Instead, EMI went the cheap way again and decided to not only use poor transfers (VHS perhaps?) but also compressed them to make them look worse yet.

2003 rolled around and fans thought maybe EMI would get it right this time with the `Ballad & Pop Hits' DVD release. Again, it was the same thing. Same compression. Same quality. Third time's a charm, right? Well, not when it comes to Roxette. Once again, EMI/Roxette decided to give the fans ANOTHER dose of the so-called complete Roxette video collection. Is this supposed to be funny? I'm wondering if the folks there at EMI/Capitol Sweden are getting a laugh out of this. First of all, it is completely unnecessary to issue the complete video collection a 3rd time when it's the same old compressed, poor transferred quality as before! Can it get any worse? The "Anyone" video is heavily pixilated! And this was filmed in 1999! There should be no excuse for the recent videos looking this way!

EMI also decided, for reasons unknown, to make the DVD double-sided with the videos on one side and the 'MTV Unplugged' concert on the other side. Why not just make it a dual-layer DVD with both present on one side? Better yet, the complete Roxette video collection should not be present here unless by itself on a 2-DVD set in remastered sound and video. The same goes for the 'MTV Unplugged'. Instead of throwing it on a limited 4.7 GB layer disc it should be presented on a dual-layer single-sided DVD disc. Compression hurts! And while the 'Unplugged' isn't something necessarily to cringe over, it could have been much better, both visually and sonically. A number of clicks and pops interrupt the audio throughout the whole show! Perhaps this is from the source masters. I doubt it. Even if it is, how about a little "pop/click" removal software? Again, remastering does not seem to be in EMI's vocabulary when it comes to Roxette DVD releases. It's amazing how so much care was given to the CD audio, yet the DVD is a disgrace. Don't get me wrong. The 'Unplugged' is a joy to see -- and for the first time, the full concert! But I expected high quality, not a half-*** effort on EMI's part.

In terms of packaging, the release is presented with beautiful photos (some rare!), informative liner notes, and a nice layout. Well, that is with the exception of the DVD. Not only was the DVD poorly designed, but it was crammed in a pocket of one of the back pages. Fans have to squeeze this out of the pocket with their fingers, subjecting it to prints and dirt. Sloppy work, EMI!

Rating-wise, the release gets 5 stars for the music and CD mastering. However, it only gets 1 star for the tracklisting and DVD. Overall, I'm giving it a generous 3-star rating because it's still a very enjoyable package for any music fan.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

This is what a retrospective boxset should be like: all about the artist's artistry.

Unlike Bon Jovi good but sometimes unsatisfactory boxed set of a few years back, Sweden's Roxette hit the mark by manufacturing a pleasant and pleasure-guilty expanded collection for the hardcore fans and the casual Christmas buyers.

The Roxette set includes 4 cd's made of 99% of their commercially available singles, b-sides, outtakes from all of their discography albums and demos from the vaults, not leaving behind also some favourite album-cuts that never reached the status of official singles.

Plus, a very very rare MTV unplugged concert (in full, with an interview with Per and Marie in between the various concert sets)and all of their 37 videos!

I personally feel like crowining as this year's most important release.

Well worth the bucks you're spending on it...

(concord nh)
- I am in Love.

I love Rosette and have forever I have wanted this for a very long time and now my collection is complete. :)

- Excellent! A truthly gem!

A collection for Roxette lovers! The book has a beautiful design. The pic are fab. Don't hesitate to buy it

- Love it!!!

I think this is a great box set , lots of songs that I haven't heard plus all the "hits". There are a few songs that I wish would have been included , but overall a very good collection.

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