All That She Wants
|"All That She Wants"|
Standard European cover (Scandinavian CD single pictured)
|Single by Ace of Base|
|from the album Happy Nation and The Sign|
|Ace of Base singles chronology|
|1993 single cover|
1993 U.S. edition cover
"All That She Wants" is a song by Swedish group Ace of Base. It was released in 1992 as the second single from their first studio album, Happy Nation and in the following year, it was released as the first single from the 1993 album The Sign in North America. Produced by Denniz Pop, Jonas Berggren, and Ulf Ekberg, the song was inspired by the Kayo song "Another Mother".
"All That She Wants" is a reggae-pop song that describes a sexually promiscuous woman, with the word "baby" being synonymous with "boyfriend". The song was first recorded in 1991, but went through many renditions before it was officially released.
The song was a commercial success, reaching the top of the charts in many countries, including Denmark, Germany, the UK and Australia. The single was certified platinum in the United States, where it peaked at number two, behind Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)". The single sold over 1 million copies in 1993 in the United States alone, and became one of the best-selling singles of that year. On 7 July 2014, the single was re-released with new remixes as a digital EP.
While the group's predecessor single, "Wheel of Fortune", was a modest success, "All That She Wants", led Ace of Base to take off internationally. After hearing Swedish top 20 hit "Another Mother" by Kayo, the band decided that this was exactly the sound they wanted to create. In 1991, the group produced a demo version of "All That She Wants", titled "Mr. Ace", which featured different lyrics, Linn on lead vocals, and rap vocals performed by both Jonas and Ulf. The song was initially in major key, but was changed to minor upon Linn Berggren's insistence. Jenny explained that changing the key to minor allowed the song to portray a greater level of sadness and increased its relatability. Some of the other material on the Happy Nation album stemmed from "All That She Wants", leading the album to have a darker sound.
Jonas and Ulf contacted the producer of "Another Mother", Denniz PoP, and sent him a demo tape featuring the song. Though Denniz was initially unimpressed with the song, the tape got stuck in the cassette tape player in his car. Because of this, he was forced to listen to it over and over again, which helped him decide to help produce the track. Denniz introduced many changes to the song. Denniz was not fond of the rap vocals on the original demo, and these were subsequently replaced with short spoken word sections. A new second verse was also added. Though vocals were recorded by all four members for this version, Jenny's vocals were eventually cut on the final release.
The final version of the song evolved into a dark fusion of dub-reggae with pop which became the band's trademark sound. The song is performed in the key of C♯ minor with a tempo of 94 beats per minute in common time. The vocals span from G♯3 to C♯5. Ekberg described the song as being about "a typical girl in Sweden or Norway or Germany" who "meets a lot of guys". Jenny noted that it was about "a woman who is always leaving and that is because the woman is not whole in herself."
Denniz would go on to co-produce all officially released versions of the song that were available at the time, notably a more uptempo version of the song, dubbed the "Madness Version". This version features entirely different vocals and more spoken-word sections. Ace of Base would later collaborate with Denniz Pop on "The Sign" and multiple tracks on the band's sophomore release, The Bridge.
Following its release in October 1992, the song quickly climbed to number one on the Danish chart while "Wheel of Fortune" was still sitting at number two. Keen to rush out an album for the Christmas market, Mega Records pressed the band for an album and it was hastily recorded, mixed, and released within a few weeks.
In 2007, the song was re-recorded by the band as a three-piece with new lyrics in a first-person perspective, but was never officially released. This re-recording was leaked online in June 2016 in a collaboration version of the song that features new Ace of Base vocals alongside Britney Spears's vocals from her own 2007 demo version.
Dave Sholin from the Gavin Report commented on the song: "The last time a new act from Sweden came on this strong it was Roxette with "The Look." Since we got hold of the import several months ago, the word about this release has spread. Not every song that reaches #1 in the U.K. like this one did succeeds in America, but they all would if they were this hot. Can't imagine it would take more than one listen to be convinced."
"All That She Wants" reached the number-one position in thirteen countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom. The song peaked at top three positions in most other places where it was released. It was released as the band's first single from The Sign in the United States, where it peaked at number two and was certified platinum. The song was a very successful radio hit in the United States, sustaining the number one position on the US Billboard Top 40 Mainstream chart for nine consecutive weeks.
A music video directed by Matt Broadley was produced in November 1992 to promote the single. The video had a very low budget, and was filmed in Copenhagen in one day with only two takes. The music video was meant to serve as an explanation for the song. It depicts the band members performing in a cramped apartment, interlaced with shots of a woman getting ready to go out. She goes to a bar where she meets a man. They talk and then she takes him home to her. The woman who appears in the music video is the Danish actress and singer-songwriter Christiane Bjørg Nielsen. The video is recorded in her apartment and has a sepia tone. Though Jenny has no vocals in the song, she lip syncs the vocals during the chorus.
- Vocals by Linn Berggren, Jonas Berggren and Ulf Ekberg
- Written by Jonas Berggren and Ulf Ekberg
- Produced by Denniz Pop, Jonas Berggren and Ulf Ekberg
- Recorded at Swemix Studios, Stockholm
Charts and sales
Certifications and sales
|Sweden||1 November 1992||Mega|
|United Kingdom||6 March 1993||London|
|United States||18 September 1993||Arista|
- Swedish band Grass Show covered the song on their 1997 debut album Something Smells Good In Stinkville.
- American popstar Britney Spears recorded a song titled "Remembrance of Who I Am" which lifted the chorus from "All That She Wants" for her 2007 album Blackout but it failed to make the final cut for the album. The demo leaked onto the internet in January 2008.
- The 2008, Holly Ray and Sean Kingston track Off The Meter sampled the signature whistling rhythm from the song.
- Wizo, a German punk band, have covered this song (in English).
- Breakcore producer Shitmat sampled part of this song on his Killababylonkutz album, on the track Ace of Base Babylon.
- The Italian girlband Lucky Star covered the song for their first album LS3 released in 2006.
- British rock band The Kooks covered this song as part of the Radio 1 Established 1967 compilation CD, a CD to celebrate the 40th anniversary of BBC Radio 1. 40 modern day music artists covered a single from the past 40 years of Radio 1's charts, and The Kooks ended up with this song.
- ReinXeed, a Swedish symphonic metal/power metal band, released a version of this song as a part of their 2011 compilation album titled Swedish Hitz Goes Metal.
- In 2014, the song was released as a single by the German electropop duo Eleven's 2.
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- Larkin, Colin (2010). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Volume 1. Guinness Publishing. p. 51. ISBN 978-1-5615-9176-3.
When Ace of Base scored a massive worldwide number 1 in 1993 with 'All That She Wants', the comparisons to fellow Swedish group, Abba, seemed obvious: Two female vocalists, one blonde, one brunette, and two male musicians, playing catchy dance pop.
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