+the scene


Written by Katie Marzullo. Published: September 09 2018
The 1990s were a golden time for music. But sometime between the grunge movement in the early-'90s and the 'tween takeover in the late-'90s, we were segued lovingly in the hands of electro-pop-dance group, Ace of Base.
The '90s were a Renaissance of sorts for Swedish musical acts finding success in the States, jumpstarted by the likes of Roxette, Robyn, and The Cardigans, after the drought left by ABBA in the '70s. Then Ace of Base burst onto the scene, and indeed they were almost like a reincarnated ABBA -- made up of 2 guys and 2 girls, one blonde and one brunette. And like their disco-era counterparts, the tunes churned out by Ulf Ekberg and the Berggren siblings, Jonas, Malin, and Jenny, were dance floor favorites.
Many assumed they might be a one-hit wonder after the release of their debut single, "All That She Wants", in 1993. But for the next two years, they would release a string of hits that would flood the airwaves and infest our brains like so many blonde/blue-eyed Swedish earworms! Yes, all the songs sounded basically the same -- opening with a catchy and rhythmic synth beat -- but they each had enough unique touches to make them memorable.
Thus, here now for your viewing and listening pleasure are my favorite Ace of Base singles (AKA: All of them!)...
"All That She Wants" (1993) - Much like Roxette, Ace of Base's breakout hit seemed to be about a female sexual predator. This one enjoyed dangly earrings and eyeliner...
"The Sign" (1994) - The song that the group is probably best-known for, they slapped a techno beat onto spiritual enlightenment and got themselves a #1 hit in 4 countries (oddly, one of them was NOT Sweden!). This video was the first time we saw the foursome in color, and we couldn't have been happier about it...
"Don't Turn Around" (1994) - The gals and guys give the big kiss-off and go back to their "All That She Wants" roots by using a monochrome palette and don't let the sisters move very much. For a dance-pop group, they sure do a lot of sitting around in their videos! Good thing they're nice to look at...
"Living in Danger" (1994) - This video features a Gameboy, the scariest manicure ever, and a turnstile wipe-out that would make The Three Stooges proud. Enjoy!
"Beautiful Life" (1995) - The second single off their second album (The Bridge), and also their last single to chart in the U.S., the Nordic four went out with a bang! Lots of colors, flying, and bubbles!!!
The group continues to make music in Sweden, minus the talents of the Berggren sisters (blasphemy!), but their influence can still be heard and felt Stateside in the music of Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, both of whom have cited the '90s group as inspirations. Yay Sweden!
(Screenshot via Mick Hutson/Redferns/Getty Images)
- Katie Marzullo, YH Staff Editor