"It took over our whole existence," she tells Billboard of ubiquitous song.
Twenty years ago today, a Swedish alt-pop band called The Cardigans released a single very much unlike anything else they'd recorded, but which would change the course of the band's career.
"Lovefool" -- the uber-earworm from the band's third studio album, First Band on the Moon -- swiftly became a hit in Europe but didn't debut internationally until Oct. 5, 1996. "We put out that song and record and embarked on a long tour, so in one way, nothing changed for us," frontwoman Nina Persson told Billboard recently over the phone from Los Angeles, where she was preparing to play a show with Local Natives. "Then the movie came out" -- that would be Baz Luhrmann's '90s-defining Romeo + Juliet -- "and the U.S. caught on tremendously."
After Romeo + Juliet was released on Nov. 1, 1996, "Lovefool" debuted on the Adult Pop Songs chart dated Nov. 30 at No. 39. It then hit the Radio Songs chart the following week, peaking at No. 2 and staying there for eight nonconsecutive weeks. It spent seven weeks at No. 1 on the Pop Songs airplay chart, beginning with the Feb. 22, 1997-dated tally. (The song did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, because at the time, non-commercially available songs -- like "Lovefool" -- were not eligible to chart on the list.)