It Must Have Been Love (1987, 1990) - Roxette: All about the song

In general, the ballad “about a lonely winter day” sounded on American radio more than 4 million times! This record earned Gessle the BMI award. Subsequently, Marie Fredriksson joked: "Not bad at all for a song that was gathering dust on a shelf!"

“It Must Have Been Love”: A chic ballad from Roxette that became a classic of the 80s and 90s…

To many viewers, this composition is well known from the film "Pretty Woman" with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in the lead roles. Curiously, at first Roxette didn't see potential in "It Must Have Been Love"... And as it turned out - in vain. Written as an "intelligent Christmas single", it became a strong competitor for the duo's other hits, including "Listen to Your Heart"!


Subsequently, "It Must Have Been Love" was named "Best Ballad of the 80s and 90s".

History of creation

Per Gessle wrote this song back in 1987! True... it wasn't a huge hit back then (It Must Have Been Love took three whole years to make!) The fact is that EMI's German subsidiary wanted the duo to produce an "intellectual Christmas single". Yes Yes! The initial version of the song, by the way, was called: “Christmas for the broken hearted” (“Christmas for broken hearts”). And it sounded much more dynamic, until producer Clarence Everman suggested turning it into a ballad. And this is one of those few cases where the advice really turned out to be valuable ...

The composition was released in Sweden, where it settled on the fourth line of the top chart. But in the homeland of Roxette they decided not to release a Christmas ballad (for unknown reasons).

Reincarnation in "It Must Have Been Love" ...

For a while, the musicians forgot about the song. They remembered only when they were approached by the producers of the film "Pretty Woman" with a request to write some kind of soundtrack. It is worth noting that no one believed in the success of the film, and Roxette themselves were not enthusiastic - at that time they were on tour. Therefore, Gessle only brushed off the proposal, saying that he had no time to write new songs. The only thing he could offer was a Christmas ballad gathering dust on a shelf. And if the producers of the film did not like it, director Garry Marshall was simply delighted! He even changed some scenes so that the composition would fit harmoniously into the film ...

Gessle, in turn, changed the lyrics of the song, completely removing the Christmas theme. Now the track was about a lonely winter day after a breakup and was called "It Must Have Been Love" ("It Must Be Love")

Track cover
Track cover

As a result, the picture “Pretty Woman”, underestimated by everyone at first, made a splash in the world of cinema! And the track "It Must Have Been Love" became the third number one for Roxette in America! The long-awaited song surpassed Roy Orbison himself with his "Oh, Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison! Soon a video was filmed for it:

Marie Fredriksson:

“The director wanted everything to be in slow motion ... I had to lip-synch the movements of the soundtrack, which played several times faster. It was my first Mickey Mouse experience!”

Marie Fredriksson
Marie Fredriksson

At first, the song was not included in any of the duo's numbered albums. And only then it was added to the reissue of Pearls of Passion (the first Roxette record). This version hit the UK Top 10 in September 1993. It happened right after Pretty Woman first aired on free TV.

In general, the ballad “about a lonely winter day” sounded on American radio more than 4 million times! This record earned Gessle the BMI award.

Subsequently, Marie Fredriksson joked:

“Not bad at all for a song that was gathering dust on a shelf!”


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