Ace of Base Biography

Cruel Summer
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This Swedish pop band achieved their breakthrough in 1993 with the Denniz Pop -produced worldwide number 1, ‘All That She Wants’. The comparisons to a fellow Swedish band seemed obvious - two female vocalists, one blonde, one brunette, and two male musicians, playing catchy dance-inflected pop music. The band, who originally recorded as Tech Noir, was formed by two sisters, Malin Berggren (31 October 1970, Gothenburg, Sweden; vocals) and Jenny Berggren (b. 19 May 1972, Gothenburg, Sweden; vocals), and their brother Jonas Berggren (b. 21 March 1967, Gothenburg, Sweden; programming), with fourth member Ulf Ekberg (b. 6 December 1970, Gothenburg, Sweden; programming). Before their breakthrough the sisters sang in church choirs in their native Gothenburg, while brother Jonas and close friend Ekberg perfected their expertise in new technology. Their chart-friendly combination of pop and reggae was further revealed on ‘Wheel Of Fortune’, ‘Happy Nation’, ‘Waiting For Magic’ and the hugely popular ‘The Sign’ (US number 1/UK number 2), while their debut album went to number 1 in six countries, selling over 21 million copies.

They enjoyed further worldwide success with ‘Don’t Turn Around’, a cover version of Aswad’s pop-reggae standard. Their second album, The Bridge, was released at the end of 1995 and saw the band move away from reggae basslines to encompass more mature, considered songwriting. While ‘Ravine’ expressed their Christianity, ‘Experience Pearls’ saw them move in the direction of sophisticated Euro pop. It was far from the unholy music experience some critics imagined, despite the band’s continued inability to negotiate English-language lyrics with anything approaching subtlety. They debuted at UK number 5 in August 1998 with the catchy ‘Life Is A Flower’, and enjoyed transatlantic chart success with a cover version of Bananarama’s ‘Cruel Summer’ (US number 10/UK number 8). The attendant album was a disappointingly bland affair. The following year’s singles compilation (and its US counterpart) provides the perfect way to enjoy Ace Of Base’s innocuous Europop.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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