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Success in the USA

The music business says: It's good when you made it in Europe. But to belong to the big ones you have to have success in the USA. Because only then an artist or a band deserves the ranking "worldstar". And also Ace Of Base knew it from the beginning: Only a good position in the American BILLBOARD charts would give them and their music the desirable global attention. "Strictly speaking, it's simply the next logical step" says Jonas. " There are three important countries: Germany because the whole central european scene ist looking at it, then England because the whole mediterranean area looks up at it and finally the USA because it's the same language". So it's inalienable to have boundless success in the land of unlimited possibilities.

But to be that successfull right away, even the optimistic musicians couldn't imagine that. The omens were good though: After they heard the new demo-tapes of the newcomers, the co-workers of the American label were so inspired that they gave everything to make Ace Of Base big in the United States. Only condition: The new songs had to be on the album as well. Therefore, Jonas, Jenny, Malin and Ulf went back to the studio and gave titles like The Sign or Don't Turn Around the finishing touches. An US-Version of the Happy Nation-album was recorded and published in fall 1993. As for the rest, it wasn't a confusion for the American fans because Happy Nation wasn't available in the USA until then.

The success was phenomenal. The US-kids were hooked immediately and were thrilled by the happy hits of the Swedes. Number one for the singles All That She Wants and The Sign as well as for the album, which was published in the USA under the title The Sign. Jenny looks for reasons for the unexpected big success: "The most important thing in the USA is the airplay, and I believe that's were our songs make a hit. The people just like to listen to us through the radio. I don't know why. Our songs are high on the airplay-charts everywhere. Maybe it's because of the good promotion of the US label, no idea. It just happens".

Jonas is happy above all that they started wtih a complete album: "In the beginning we just wanted to publish an EP with a remix of All That She Wants, but then we wanted to include some other songs and that would have been to much for an EP".

For Jonas the American album is actually the record he would have liked to be released in Europe. Because: "When the first single was so successful we had about six weeks to finish the album. We had already chosen the songs but we were extremly short in time. If we had had more time, the songs would have looked different. We had to make a lot of compromises. That was very chaotic, promotion, recording, everything at the same time".

ut where other bands are groaning when they have to go into the studio, Ace Of Base get something positive between regulators, bandmachines and mixing consoles. "After the LP was released in Europe, we were on promotion tour almost the whole time. Therefore it was a pleasant pause for us to go back to the studio, where we actually belong, to file at the music", says Jenny.

The preparations for the US-Version didn't go so free and easy after all. It wasn't the fault of the band but of the record company in the Unites States. "The American label called us and asked us to make a cover-version. They said: 'You have to do that, everybody is doing that at the moment'. I didn't like that because it is really boring to cover songs..." says Jonas. Jenny supports her brother. She wasn't very thrilled of the idea to record some new edition of an old hit either. "We make our own music. Why should we cover song of others then?" says the nestling filled with indignation. And the shooting-stars wouldn't give in. After all, they were so successful in Europe that they could insist on their own demands. Jonas about the quarrel: "We have so many songs up our sleeve. It was a very, very long discussion we had with the firm about it. Almost two and a half month there was this back and forth. Finally we declared our agreement under the condition that we can can cover our own songs. And just like we want them to be. That's how we find the songs perfect". And still he confesses: "This cover-version, that's still a compromise."

* Click on the pix to enlarge them