About the song

Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love” (1987). A song that transcends its origins and holds a curious place in music history. Released initially as a Christmas single with the full title “It Must Have Been Love (Christmas for the Broken Hearted)”, this Swedish pop ballad has undergone several transformations, ultimately becoming an international sensation thanks in no small part to a certain Hollywood rom-com.

But before it charmed audiences nestled on living room couches with visions of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, “It Must Have Been Love” was a product of its time. The late 80s were a period of transition in popular music.

Synths and drum machines were ubiquitous, and pop music was embracing a more polished, layered sound. Roxette, the brainchild of Swedish musicians Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson, embodied this shift. Their sound was undeniably catchy, with Fredriksson’s powerful vocals soaring over Gessle’s effervescent melodies.

“It Must Have Been Love” itself is a masterclass in pop songwriting. The verses simmer with a quiet longing, the melody punctuated by a melancholic piano line. The chorus explodes with a potent mix of synthesizers and drums, perfectly complementing Fredriksson’s impassioned delivery.

The lyrics themselves are open to interpretation, capturing that bittersweet feeling of reflecting on a past love. The line “It must have been love but it’s over now” is a simple yet potent statement that resonates with anyone who has experienced heartbreak.

However, the song’s destiny was forever altered in 1990. Featured prominently in the smash-hit movie “Pretty Woman”, “It Must Have Been Love” was re-released with a slightly altered title, stripping away the Christmas reference.

The film’s iconic scene, with Roberts’ character Vivian Ward belting out the song in a red dress, propelled the song to international fame. Suddenly, a song born out of a Christmas request became an anthem for romantic yearning, perfectly capturing the film’s central theme of transformation and love.

“It Must Have Been Love” transcended its origins as a Christmas song and its association with a specific film. It became a timeless pop ballad, a testament to the enduring power of melody, strong vocals, and relatable lyrics. Even today, the song continues to resonate with listeners across generations, a reminder of the enduring power of a well-crafted pop song.

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