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10 Classic Ace of Base Singles

Ace of Base. There’s so many things that come to mind when we hear those three coveted words. For one, it remind us of that great pop culture moment in time on Full House when Stephanie Tanner performed with her group, Girl Talk, taking on Ace of Base‘s signature sonnet, “The Sign,” to quite comedic results. (Oh, Gia.) Second, those words remind us of a much, much simpler time in music when radio offered up fluff as delightful as the songs provided by these Swedish hit makers. They’re all pure pop perfection at their very best. 

Comprised of lead vocal divas Jenny and Linn Berggren, and keyboardists Jonas “Joker” Berggren and Ulf “Buddah” Ekberg, Ace of Base became an international music phenomenon when their 1993 debut album, The Sign, danced its way into our Sony Walkman headphones. Their simple, melodic Euro-disco flow owned us with songs, “All That She Wants,” “Don’t Turn Around,” “Beautiful Life,” “Lucky Love” and of course, their dazzling debut’s epic title track. 

Before they formed in 1990, Jenny and Linn sang in local church choirs in Gothenburg, Sweden. Their brother, Jonas, played synthesizers and wrote songs with his music pal, Ulf. Eventually, Jonas and Ulf recruited the gals to sing with them, and the newly formed quartet began playing dance music at local clubs and within a year, the group signed with Mega Records and released their debut single, “Wheel of Fortune,” and accompanying album, Happy Nation, in 1992.

When “Fortune” was released, it became a hit across Scandinavia, and soon German-based record label Metronome signed a European distribution deal with the group. The release of “All That She Wants” soon followed and became their first big international hit, and thanks to heavy exposure on MTV (who played videos at the time), the song became a number one hit in ten different countries, and soon, they released their debut set, The Sign — a rewerked version of Happy Nation, which featured four new songs — and it quickly sold nearly two million copies in the U.S..

Throughout 1994, Ace of Base dominated the music globe as “All That She Wants,” “Don’t Turn Around,” (a Diane Warren penned number originally recorded by Ms. Tina Turner in 1984) and “The Sign” received heavy airplay on radio and in the clubs. The group even popped up on some modern radio rock radio formats as well. (Hey, it was the ’90s.) By the end of the year, The Sign had sold over eight million copies in the U.S. alone and Ace of Base was nominated for three Grammys that year, including Best New Artist.

When they released their second album, The Bridge, in the fall of 1995, it faired moderately well on he charts;eventually going platinum and spawning the Jock Jams anthem,”Beautiful Life.” but, due to the ever so changing ’90s music market, Ace of Base’s pop novelty eventually wore off soon after the release of their sophomore set. However, the sugary quartet did keep it up a bit in later years, releasing a handful of records overseas, as well as a greatest hits set. And just a few months ago, they put out a compilation set called, Hidden Gems, which is everything you think it is.

Is of Ace of Base’s music collection full of big ol’ pop fluff? Absolutely. But, did they create timeless music that your kids and their kids will certainly know and love? Absolutely.

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Summer Groove of the Day/Cyndi Lauper/”Into the Nightlife”

Besides Ms. Janet, there’s another diva who’s having quite a fabulous week–Ms. Cyndi Lauper. On top of celebrating her 62nd (!)birthday yesterday, earlier this morning it was announced that the quirky chanteuse will receive a shining star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year! While this feat should’ve been solidified years ago, it’s still quite an accomplishment for the lovely Ms. Lauper. 

To celebrate such a glittery occasion, Philly Mixtape is dishing out her ’08 club smash, “Into the Nightlife,” for everyone to get down to today. The feisty Max Martin/Kleerup produced number was served up as the offering from her dazzling Bring Ya To the Brink album and is nothing short of a disco dream come true. With its thunderous beat, groovy flow and accompanying video that was shot at now defunct NYC hot spot, Splash (and directed by the singer herself), the delectable ditty is guaranteed to turn up the heat even more on this steamy Tuesday.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lauper stated that the song title was inspired by Henry Miller‘s book Into the Night Life that inspired Lawrence Ferlinghetti‘s A Coney Island of the Mind, which led her to describe the images of nightlife in New York City in the blaring number. While many of you are familiar with her older werk, “Into the Nightlife” is another brilliant Cyndi creation that further proves that she so rightfully deserves that coveted star. Ready…set….dance

Get your summer groove on right here….

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Madonna Albums You Should Listen to If You’re Not Into ‘Rebel Heart’

Okay, so…..the dearly departed Aaliyah once sang to me, “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.” So, last night, I decided to apply those coveted lyrics while taking another chance on Madonna’s latest opus, ‘Rebel Heart.” At this time, I’m sorry to say, I have no more dust to shake off when it comes to this album. Believe me when I tell you guys, I’ve tried to get down her new record on several occasions, and now I realize that I…just…can’t. While some tracks are waaay better than others (“Devil Pray,” “Borrowed Time” and maybe, “Unaplogetic Bitch”), and I’m also pleasantly surprised on how Mike Tyson was brought forth in “Iconic.” However, in a ‘Rebel’ nutshell, there’s not enough Aderall in the world to keep me awake during the twenty-five (eek!) track snoozefest that is Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart.” I will give the pushing-sixty (don’t deny it, you know it’s true) Material, um, girl credit for gaining good buzz for her upcoming Grammy and BRIT awards appearances, I’m actually looking forward to seeing what she comes up with. I only wish she would perform something other than “Living for Love,” just saying. I’ve had more fun on a date with a woman…

With that #Rebelshade out of the way, I just want to take time out to say, that really, I…fucking..love..Madonna. I take great pride in chronologically knowing ALL of her singles, the year they came out and where they placed on the Billboard singles charts. (even the ones from ‘MDNA’ Double eek!) In fact, the first tape I ever bought was all white and came in the name of, ‘Like a Virgin.’ Make no mistake, Madonna was and always will be my bitch. However, I’m just not getting down to the ‘Rebel Heart’ era, I mean, hell, I can barely find a “Love” remix that I’m living for (yet), and judging by what I’ve seen and heard from some of you kids, I’m not all alone in feeling this way about Madge’s latest set. With that being said, I’ve been taking stiletto steps into my Madonna music vault as of late and have been rejoicing in some of her most classic albums. Hey, it’s all good if you don’t like ‘Rebel Heart,’ because that’s why she gave us all of these indestructable music treats in the first place, right? Dive in.

1.’Madonna’/1983/’Like A Virgin’/1984

The ones that started it all. Dance and sing, get up and do your thing to these iconic records all day. #NileRodgers4lyfe

“Everybody”

2.’The Immaculate Collection’/1990

Okay, so it’s incredibly tough to pick my other favorite ’80s Madonna’s albums, because we all know, they’re fucking brilliant (However, ‘Like a Prayer’=yas.) So I figured, let’s just dive into the collection that features pretty much every single one of her big ’80s hits. From “Material Girl” to “Like A Virgin” from “Express Yourself” to “Like a Prayer,” they’re all on this treasured chest of Madonna classics. Only added to the mix is her signature sonnet, “Vogue,” and two vastly underrated gems, the sensual, “Justify My Love” and “Rescue Me,” a track that I’m sure none of you guys have gotten lost in recently. The only thing that would’ve made this collection truly complete if other ’80s Madonna gems, “Spotlight,” “Angel”, “Causin’ a Commotion” and “Who’s That Girl” were added on. However, this will do just fine while I’m drying my tears, err, oops, not listening to ‘Rebel Heart.’

“Rescue Me”

3.’Erotica’/1992

Do I really have to say anything at all? It’s an underrated piece of ’90s deep-house delight that no one really cares about. Pass the sex, please.

“Thief of Hearts”

4.’Bedtime Stories’/1994

Certainly another overlooked Madonna wonder and while it may not be doing the most one-armed push-ups of all the albums on the list, it’s still absolutely worth your time and headphones. ‘Stories’ not only began Madonna’s transition into an adult pop-star, but it also contains her longest running number one single, “Take A Bow,” and a Mixtape full of producers (Bjork, Nelle Hooper, Babyface, Dallas Austin) who created sounds that even twenty years later, make every one of these ‘Bedtime Stories’ worth staying awake for. Also, ask yourself, when’s the last time you got lost in candy-coated grooves, “Survival,” “I’d Rather Be Lover’ and “Don’t Stop” and the albums far-out title track. Leave all of that logic and reason behind and just dive in.

“Bedtime Story”

5.’Ray of Light’/1998

Yas, yas and hell yas. Not only is this late-’90s set packed with blinding beats, spiritual sonnets and incredible vocals, but it also proved to be the mother of all Madonna reinventions after she returned from her ho-atus and morphed into an enlightened Kabblah Kween. From start to finish, there’s not a bad song on ‘Light’ and I’ll admit, I didn’t like it at first listen back then, but over time it truly grows on you like the zen music flower it was meant to be. All I can say is “Shanti/Ashtangi” all day.

“Shanti/Ashtangi”

 

6.’Confessions on a Dancefloor’/2005

First of all, this disco balls lickin’ strobe lit set turns ten(!) this year and before you ask, yes, I’ve already began writing about  it. Not only did I come glitter throwing out-of-the-closet to ‘Confessions,’ but this album is easily Madonna’s best piece of later work. From “Hung Up,” “Sorry,” “Jump”, “How High” and the Stardust sampling, “Get Together,” everyone of these tracks, (except you, “Isaac.”) will take you on that dance floor of life and won’t let go until you’re in desperate need of a towel to dry off.

“Get Together” (Peter Rauhofer Private Vocal Mix)