Thursday, January 31, 2013

: : : A C E O F B A S E : : :

1st Album -
It was around 1993-1994, when the first time I listened to this catchy music – All That She Wants, ...........................  which mixed of reggae, pop and dance in a public transportation on the way to school (angkot Cijerah–Ciwastra hahaha), then accidentally in love with the band. I’ve been their huge fan ever since the release of their first album – titled Happy Nation. Those of you who passed your teenage life during 90's must be familiar with Ace of Base – a wellknown music band, formed in Gothenburg-Sweden consists of four members – three Berggren siblings – Jonas, Linn and Jenny, and Ulf Ekberg - their close friend. Firstly formed, the band wasn’t instantly famous, they had to struggle to gain any recognition, even their initial producer – John Ballard was unsure about the band’s potential. An early demo of Wheel of Fortune single finally reached the charts after having two failures, followed by All That She Wants and The Sign that continued to be hits all around the world and topped the charts for weeks, amazing aren’t they? They themselves could hardly believe that the album made the successful debut in the world. Many fake versions of their singles were released as well (here in Indonesia, I don’t know about others), usually in the form of mix-albums - mix of many singers and songs. The same song titles but unfamiliar singers. Who were the singers, only God and the copycatters know! Why do I say fake instead of remake? Because on the album cover, it was written the original singer name. 

In 1994, Delta – an Indonesian local music program which played some worldwide hit-songs was regularly aired on RCTI once a week every 10 PM (CMIIW). I’ve never missed it of course, since The Sign music video always played there (well I admit, I regularly watched it so that I could see Ulf Ekberg - one of the band members whose perfomance attracts my attention then the music secondly. Unfortunately, he’s not as gorgeous as he used to be right now, the age factor maybe?). FYI in 1990s, many local TV stations often played abroad music videos among commercial breaks (sweet memories which rarely we have today, since nowadays local TVs are more fulfilled with either “poor quality” reality shows or “moral destructing” FTVs). We hadn’t had youtube channel,,, etc yet at that time, even internet was still sort of unfamiliar name on our ears, so we only could watch & listen them from television/radio/cassettes. 
2nd Album -

Their second album titled The Bridge was released around 1996-1997 in Indonesia (I forgot the exact year), consiting of 17 new songs (quite a lot) and all the four members of the band contributed to the songs writing - an equal role. I think this album changes direction in sound and is more ballad than previous. Both on the first and second album, Linn was still as a lead singer and Jenny as the backing vocal. My favorite songs from The Bridge album are Beautiful Life, Ravine, Angel Eyes and Wave Wet Sand. Ravine song was written by Jenny, told about her personal experience attacked by crazy fan broke into the Berggren’s house with a knife.

3rd Album -
The third album titled Flowers was released around 1998-1999 in Indonesia, sounds more cheerful and so 60's. My favorite songs are Adventures in Paradise, Captain Nemo, He Decides, Life is a Flower, Travel to Romantis and Cecillia. Frankly speaking, this album really energized and accompanied me during those lack of sleeping nights for preparing the high school final exam and university entrance test, not forgot to mention the inspiration given during passedthrough my awesome teenage years. Anyway not all the songs were included in Indonesia’s Flowers album, such as: Love For Sale, Into The Night of Blue, Mercy-Mercy and No Good Lover. Not all the Ace Of Base albums and songs were launched here - only any of them, since the album launchings/names  and songs choice were different in every country. Take it easy guys, you could still find them on Youtube etc :) (oya I’ll only post the Ace Of Base news that happens in Indonesia as far as I know, sorry if this posting isn’t related to international update). 

4th Album -
In 2000, a compilation album - Ace of Base Singles of the 90's was released. Mix of some old singles remake and some brand new singles. In this album, obviously Linn’s role as a lead vocal was replaced by Jenny. Many Linn’s photos on promotion stuffs were blurred and she always stands at the back of the show. Some rumors said that Linn was having phobia to height, becoming famous etc, since she had to do a lot of promotions worldwide by plane. It definitely broke my heart, since I really love Linn’s voice and performance. Her eyes and smile have mysterious secret behind. Her performance is always stunning and indeed! My favorite new tracks on this album are C'est La Vie (Always 21), Life is a Flower and Love in December.

5th Album -
Many years Ace of Base disappeared, I thought I’ve never heard them again. Until one time in 2003, well the surprise was just around the corner! I found their fourth album titled Da Capo accidentally, standing on the hidden shelf at Aquarius Dago - Bandung. Quite surprising! The album contained of twelve original tracks. The promotion of this album was not as big as previous and the singles had poor chart performance :(. From the news that I read, the album didn’t release in America and Australia due to their sound was no longer relevant to both markets (but they did the release in Indonesia!). Sorry to say, although I love them so much ( forever and ever) but I thought the same. Ace Of Base music still sounds so '90s instead of pop and R&B (which became music trend at that time). My favorite tracks are Unspeakable, Beautiful Morning, Ordinary Day, Wonderful Life and Show Me Love (a remake song from Yaki Da music band). One of the track – The Juvenile was initially supposed to be soundtrack for James Bond movie – Golden Eye, but substituted by Tina Turner’s song with the same title – Golden Eye. In this album Linn was still standing at the back of the band and showing sad expression. Most of the songs were sung by Jenny (It’s okey, Linn’s voice character still exists in Jenny’s).

That’s all folks....since then I’ve trully absolutely never heard them again for sure...

6th Album -
Until one time on late June 2010 I’ve got the surprise (again), I found Ace Of Base accounts on Facebook and Twitter but featuring two new female vocalist :(. So where were those misteriously stunning gorgeous Linn and Jenny? I missed them badly. I found out from the internet that these new girls who replaced them were Clara Hagman - a Swedish Idol 2009 and Julia Williamson - whose voice and hair were Linn-alike. “Oww okeyy” a quite flat comment  from me. Quite a big disparity between the old and new Ace of Base formation actually. Jenny and Linn always perform simply, elegant and mature, far from what would you call it - naughty girls. Their voices, accents, eyes and expressions really indicate strong and cool characters. They’re great in songwriting as well. How about the new ones? Well I think their voice characters aren’t as strong as the former (you guys have really great voices but just not too ‘strong’ characters). Their appearances are too “bitchy” (sorry) since I frequently saw them exposing their boo*s and a*s (sorry again) in many videos on Youtube, otherwise the music in the 6th album titled Golden Ratio sounds much fresher to our ears  and more bringing up 2010’s style. Right now the band has (another) break whatsoever from recording, touring and promotion. 

Anyway.....Linn and Jenny, rock you girls! Both of you always be in my heart.

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