You know what Sweden is good at? Aside from icy crime thrillers, tasty meatballs, and inexpensive build-it-yourself furniture with funny names?
Catchy pop songs, that’s what. From ABBA to Roxette to Ace Of Base, the Land of the Midnight Sun has produced a panoply of pop majesty over the decades.
In the mid-90’s, another band of contenders fought its way up from the mean streets of Jönköping in an attempt to capture the crown. The Cardigans first formed when guitarists Peter and Magnus bonded over a shared love of heavy metal, and were later joined by Bengt on drums, Lars-Olof on keyboards, and Nina on lead vocals. Their demo tape secured them a record deal shortly afterwards.
Although somewhat under the radar in their native land, The Cardigans soon managed to place four of their singles on the lower reaches of the UK chart and went multi-platinum in Japan. They appeared perfectly set up for breakthrough success. But it almost didn’t happen.
In the fall of 1996, The Cardigans released “Lovefool,” the lead single from their upcoming third album, First Band On The Moon. The song finally gave them a hit in Sweden, but still peaked outside of the Top 20 in the UK and valleyed in the US. Their next single, released later that year, did absolutely nothing at all. But everything changed when a little movie called Romeo + Juliet lit up theater screens and the hearts of teens all across the world.
“Lovefool” featured prominently in the film and when reissued as a single in 1997 proceeded to become a massive international hit, cementing The Cardigans as one of Sweden’s finest pop exports.
So climb into your Koenigsegg, secure your meatballs, and be not Fortune’s fool! Be Love’s fool instead … with The Cardigans.