Mark Barkan (1934 – 2020) was an American songwriter and record producer.
In 1966, Barkan produced the album Psychedelic Moods by The Deep, credited as the first psychedelic album.
While researching his death, I came across the song “A Great Day For The Clown” (1967) which is a song not hard to fall in love with. It is also supposedly an Northern soul classic. Love the horns. Who does the horns?
I have nothing with that band. Perhaps it’s a generation thing, I was 24 when their song “The Look” came out, so too old to make any sort of impression.
To me it’s more pap than pop because, let us be honest, this was 1989 and instead of listening to “The Look”, you could have been listening to “French Kiss” by Lil’ Louis, “I’ll House You” by Jungle Brothers, “Work That Mutherfucker” by Steve Poindexter, “Sueño Latino” by Sueño Latino, “Pacific State” by 808 State, “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy, “Funky Cold Medina” by Tone Lōc or “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak.
Furthermore, in 1989 there was also “Love Shack” by The B52’s which brought pap-ish joy without the bombast of Roxette. Both bands share their use of the guitar but Roxette sounds like American middle of the road arena rock.
And if you were into guilty pleasures, you could have been listening to “Me So Horny” by 2 Live Crew or “Pump Up the Jam” by Technotronic.
“The Look” was featured on Grand Theft Auto IV, on the Vice City FM† channel, at least half of the songs on that channel are better than Roxette’s.
A long time ago, I decided to do only appreciative criticism, but since this blog has evolved into a necrology, it seems fitting that I strive for completeness and thus ‘bash‘ Roxette.
On the other hand, as the video above shows, Roxette had lots of fun.
Life is a stage and each must play his part… so Roxette, enjoy your symptom.
Somehow his death did not appear on my radar back in 2013. These however: Junior Murvin, Lou Reed, JJ Cale, Bobby Bland, Ray Manzarek, Vincent Montana, Jr., Kevin Ayers, Donald Byrd and Cecil Womack, did.
In the clip above that song is heard in a wonderfully strange scene “shot in the pre-dawn “magic hour,” as the wealthy, decadent upper-class fire explosive rounds at a line of towering trees, setting fire to them one after another, reveling in destruction” .