"Listen to Your Heart" is a song by Swedish pop music duo Roxette, which was originally released in Sweden in September 1988 as the second single from the duo's second studio album, Look Sharp! (1988). It was written by Per Gessle with former Gyllene Tider guitarist Mats "M.P." Persson. The song went on to become one of the most successful singles of 1989, reaching number one in both the United States and Canada. The track was the first song to reach number one in the US without a commercially-released 7" single.
"Listen to Your Heart" originally peaked at number 62 in the UK when it was released there in October 1989. However, following the success of "It Must Have Been Love", the track was reissued as a double A-side with "Dangerous" in August 1990, upon which it reached a chart peak of number six on the UK Singles Chart. In 2005, Belgian trance act DHT released a remixed version of the song, which became a top 10 hit in numerous territories, including France, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.
Composition and style
Per Gessle described "Listen to Your Heart" in the liner notes of Roxette's 1995 greatest hits compilation Don't Bore Us, Get to the Chorus! as "The Big Bad Ballad. This is us trying to recreate that overblown American FM-rock sound to the point where it almost becomes absurd. We really wanted to see how far we could take it." Its lyrics were inspired by a close friend of Gessle's, who was in "emotional turmoil, stuck between an old relationship and a new love. A year later, I call him up in the middle of the night after a few too many glasses of champagne, saying 'Hey, you're number one in the States.'"
According to Ultimate Guitar, the track is an alternative rock ballad, with a moderately slow tempo of 86 beats per minute. The verses are made up of three repeating sequences of Bm–G–A and one additional sequence of Bm–G–Em. The first two choruses are composed of two repetitions of a Bm–G–D–A sequence, followed by an extended sequence of D–A–G–D–Bm–G–A–Bm. The bridge consists of E–C♯m–B–A–B–C♯. The final chorus has been modified up by almost two octaves: it consists of two repetitions of D♯m–B–F♯–C♯, followed by an extended sequence of F♯–C♯–B–F♯–D♯m–B–C♯–D♯m–B, with the final three notes being repeated for the outro.
Doug Freel directed the song's music video, which was filmed at the Borgholm Castle ruin on the Swedish Baltic Sea island of Öland. Freel and the video's production crew believed the ruin to have been created especially for the video. Gessle said: "It took some time to convince them that the place actually was for real."
Three different versions of the song are available: the original album version; a slightly modified version that was included on subsequent greatest hits compilations; and the "US Remix", which is used in the music video. The song has been performed on all of Roxette's concert tours. On the Look Sharp! Live Tour and Join the Joyride! Tour, it was performed in its original, power ballad style, although it has been performed in an acoustic version on all tours since the Crash! Boom! Bang! Tour in 1994.
Formats and track listings
- EU 7" single (Sweden 1363237 · UK EM108)
- EU cassette (UK TCEM108)
- "Listen to Your Heart" – 5:12
- "(I Could Never) Give You Up" – 3:59
- US 7" single (B-50223)
- US cassette (4JM-50223)
- "Listen to Your Heart" – 5:12
- "Half a Woman, Half a Shadow" – 3:33
- CD single (UK CDEM108)
- "Listen to Your Heart" (Single Mix) – 5:14
- "Dressed for Success" (New Radio Mix) – 3:56
- "(I Could Never) Give You Up" – 3:58
- "Neverending Love" (Live) – 3:31
- CD single (1990 UK and Ireland reissue) (UK CDEM149)
- "Listen to Your Heart" (Swedish Single Version) – 5:12
- "Dangerous" – 3:46
- "Listen to Your Heart" (US Mix) – 4:53
- "Dangerous" (U.S. Club Edit) – 3:46
Credits adapted from the liner notes of The Ballad Hits.
- Recorded at EMI Studios in Stockholm, Sweden in August 1988.
- Mixed by Alar Suurna, Per Gessle and Clarence Öfwerman at EMI Studios in Stockholm.
- Marie Fredriksson — lead and background vocals
- Per Gessle — background vocals
- Per "Pelle" Alsing — drums
- Anders Herrlin — programming and engineering
- Jonas Isacsson — electric guitar
- Clarence Öfwerman — keyboards, programming, production
- Alar Suurna — engineering
"Miss You Much" by Janet Jackson
|Billboard Hot 100 number-one single|
4 November 1989
"When I See You Smile" by Bad English
"Sowing the Seeds of Love" by Tears for Fears
|Canadian "RPM" Singles Chart number-one single|
25 November 1989
|Austria (IFPI Austria)||Gold||25,000*|
*sales figures based on certification alone
DHT cover (2005)
In 2005, Belgian dance group DHT's trance cover of "Listen to Your Heart" became a worldwide club hit after being released as single from the album Listen to Your Heart. Originally released in Belgium in 2003, the various mixes of the song reached U.S. clubs in late 2004. The song was released in the U.S. in November 2004. By June 2005, the song reached number one on Billboard Hot Dance Airplay chart and the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number eight in August. The same year, the group also released the "Edmée's unplugged vocal edit", an acoustic ballad version of the song, which also received substantial airplay.
- CD single
- "Listen to Your Heart" — 4:32
- "My Dream" — 3:55
- CD maxi
- "Listen to Your Heart" (Edmée's unplugged vocal edit) — 4:32
- "Listen to Your Heart" (Furious F.EZ radio edit) — 3:50
- "Listen to Your Heart" (Uniting Nations remix) — 7:11
- "Listen to Your Heart" (Furious F.EZ extended mix) — 4:54
- "Listen to Your Heart" (Hixxy remix) — 7:11
- "Listen to Your Heart" (Friday Night Posse remix) — 7:29
- Digital download
- "Listen to Your Heart" — 4:32
"One Word" by Kelly Osbourne
|Billboard Hot Dance Airplay number one single|
July 9, 2005 – July 30, 2005
"Don't Cha" by Pussycat Dolls featuring Busta Rhymes
Other cover versions
- In 1990, Greek singer Sofia Vossou released a cover called Akou tin kardia (Listen to the heart)
- Hong Kong pop singer Shirley Kwan released a Cantonese version of the song called "這是我心裡對白" (English: This is the Monologue of My Heart) in her 1990 album True Love.
- "Habla El Corazón", a Spanish version of the song, was released in March 2007 by Mexican artist Yuridia, who covered the track for her second album of the same name. This version peaked at #44 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart.
- In 2008, Finnish Gothic metal band Reflexion recorded a cover version of the song as a bonus track on their EP Twilight Child, and later released the cover as a bonus track on their 2008 album Dead to the Past, Blind for Tomorrow.
- In 2009, Scottish power metal band Ascension recorded a cover and released it as a single.
- In 2009, Filipino singer Sarah Geronimo recorded a cover version of the song for her album Music and Me.
- In 2010, Lebanese-German singer Fady Maalouf included a cover of the song on his album Into the Light
- In 2011, Tommy Johansson of the band ReinXeed covered the song for the compilation Swedish Hitz Goes Metal.
- In 2013, Former Celtic Woman member, Chloë Agnew performed a live version with Hamden, Connecticut-based Pop/New Age artist, The 465 CT Transit driver during The Arrivals Ceremony at Newark Liberty International Airport.
- This song is also covered by Schnuffel Bunny's counterpart Snuggelina.
- In 2015, Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) and Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff) covered the song for the 11th episode of sixth and final season of Glee.
- Also in 2015, Wakefield, Massachusetts rap star Ben Mader released a cover of the song on his YouTube channel.
- In 2017 Electronic Music artists Dash Berlin and Christina Novelli combined to create both a dance and acoustic version.
- Also in 2017 Swedish dj INÉZ released a tropical house flavored version of the song..
- In 2015, DeAnna Johnson covered this song on The Voice.
- In 2009, rapper Juvenile sampled the song for his album Cocky & Confident and renamed it "Listen".
- In 2014 Danish electro-pop duo Electric Lady Lab sampled the song on "Hurts".
- In 2016 English hip hop artist Lowkey sampled the song on his single "Ahmed".
Appearances in other media
- "Listen to Your Heart" was used by the dissident political party Civic Forum in its television advertisements for the 1989 Czechoslovakian elections, one of the first elections in Eastern Europe that came with collapse of communism.
- "Listen to Your Heart" was likewise used in election broadcasts by the then right-wing liberal party Fidesz led by Viktor Orbán for the 1990 Hungarian elections.
- The song appeared in a 1989 episode of the Brazilian soap opera O Sexo dos Anjos by Globo TV.
- The song was used in the Cold Case first season episode "Maternal Instincts" which aired in 2004.
- In 2005, the song was featured on the TV show Reunion.
- The song can be sung in the 2008 Xbox 360 video game, Lips.
- The song was featured in the second episode of the fourth season of The Goldbergs.