Flashback – A stunning video

I’ve had a major flashback sitting here at the PC tonight. To one of my favourite video clips of all time. And to a song that I am still gobsmacked was not #1 in every country in the world.

I’m going back a decade to when this was released – “Stars” by Roxette. The first time I saw this clip it just blew me away. Initially because of the singing ducks, I must admit. I laughed and laughed and laughed. I also loved the gratuitous shots of Stockholm throughout the clip. I get an emotional bump from that every time I watch it.

What really gets me teary though (for some reason!) is the portrayal of the family towards the end of the clip. We see the couple married, then with their first baby, then with their young family and finally older after their kids have moved out. But they’re still in love and still together. Maybe it’s my idea of the perfect Swedish family? I don’t know but I often have a cry when I see that part of the clip.

Back in 1999 I was two years into running the mailing list and fan community for the pop group whose name shall not be mentioned and it was all go, go, go. That year I visited the UK and the Netherlands in the colder months and had a glorious summer holiday in Stockholm – staying with Yoda who was living there at the time.

It was July and the weather in Stockholm was perfect. About 21 hours of sunshine a day. The A*Teens were also in their prime and it was fun to be in Sweden on the day of release of one of their mega-hit singles. Yoda and I were watching the “Weekly Hit Warning” which showed the A*Teens clip on the hour. “Veckans Hitvarning Presenteras av Most Wanted Music” the announcer said every hour before the clip was shown and it stuck in my head. I still say it occasionally today to get a laugh and share a memory with Yoda.

We spent a sizeable chunk of that week with our best Swedish friend Gustav who was still a blonde teenager at the time! Flash forward a decade to July 1999 and both Yoda and I were staying at Gustav’s place in Stockholm and he’s decidedly no longer a teenager and not that blonde anymore 🙂

In April 1999, Yoda and I had been speeding down the highway from a town in the south of The Netherlands to Brussels in Belgium at about 150km/hr. Someone else was driving of course! I had a massive hangover from the night before and the car stereo was playing Roxette’s new “Have A Nice Day” album very loudly. People were asking me “what do you think” and all I could think was “I think you should turn it down before my head explodes.”

“Stars” was the highlight of that album and I expected it to be a mega-hit. Roxette weren’t in favour back then – they’d been “out of fashion” for a long time. But I really believed this song and this video were strong enough that it would just explode them back to the top of the charts. Seems very naïve today.

The fact that mainstream radio and the general public ignored “Stars” like a bad smell to me was testament to their stupidity. It didn’t stop the song and the video from being a special memory for me.

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2 Comments

  1. ooh no I don’t agree, terrible song & video but glad it gave you memories

  2. Ah, such good memories of Sweden and special friendships. And such a great song and clip. Shots of Marie diving into the water in full drag and then being surrounded by the singing ducks.

    “Stars” even got an Almighty remix (although it was boppy enough already). How special is that? 🙂


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