Beautiful Life (Ace of Base song)

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"Beautiful Life"
Beautiful Life by Ace of Base single.jpg
Artwork for US release; international release uses different typeface for the song title and includes the band's name
Single by Ace of Base
from the album The Bridge
Released20 October 1995[1]
GenrePop
Length3:38
LabelMega
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Ace of Base singles chronology
"Lucky Love"
(1995)
"Beautiful Life"
(1995)
"Never Gonna Say I'm Sorry"
(1996)
Music video
"Beautiful Life" on YouTube
Audio sample

"Beautiful Life" is a song by Swedish band Ace of Base, released on 20 October 1995.[1] In North America, it was the first single released from The Bridge; in Europe, it followed "Lucky Love".

Background and release[edit]

"I was at the Canary Islands in Spain, and the last evening I just heard the song ‘Beautiful Life’ in my head. I have the ability to hear three different melodies in my head at the same time — it’s very helpful while composing songs. Melody, bass and a flute on a chourus for example, it was melancholic to leave the islands and it was a wonderful evening, with the mood and sunset. It was a beautiful life!"

—Jonas Berggren talking to Idolator about how the song was made.[2]

The song was written on 1 January 1994 by band member Jonas Berggren while he was in the Canary Islands. At the time, "The Sign" had just hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 list, which inspired him to write the song. On a late flight home he heard some chords, and started humming, and there the song was made, he had to record it swiftly so he wouldn't forget it. Berggren incorporated gospel elements into the song and the roof-raising gospel singing toward the end was made by a four-piece female group that Denniz Pop had, they tracked those vocals many times over for maximum soulful impact.[3]

The single proved quite successful worldwide, reaching number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart in December 1995,[4] it also hit #1 on the U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. "Beautiful Life" peaked within top 10 in Canada, Denmark, Finland, France and Hungary.

Critical reception[edit]

Music & Media called the song "A hyper-kinetic rhythm topped off by a killer hook that's part of your system before you realise it."[5]

The Gavin Report wrote "Those asking the musical question—can Ace Of Base repeat? The answer is Yes! Yes! Yes! One listen is all that's required to figure this one out, and like the audience, we'll all be turning up our radios whenever it's being played."[6]

J.D. Considine of Spin magazine said in a writeup about The Bridge that "the real genius of Ace of Base lies not with perky singing... but with the ability to make melancholy sound so damned appealing." The evaluation continues to narrow in scope as he continues to say "even the cheerfully titled 'Beautiful life' dampens its club-savvy stomp with a heartbreaking minor key chorus."[7]

Cash Box wrote that "The lead single from the '90's Abba's second album, The Bridge, is already poised to jump into the top 10. continuing the flabbergasting success of "The Sign" and all songs that followed it. For this track, the quartet has jumped into this decade with a rocking dance beat that embodies the group's European heritage; the bottom line: it's another hit for the Swedish sensations."[8]

Neil Strauss from The New York Times commented on the song: ""Beautiful Life" is pure treacly pleasure, with bubbling keyboards and a fast, chirpy rhythm that will inspire most listeners to forget that the 70's ever ended and accept the chorus -- "It's a beautiful life" -- for one night of disco-era hedonism."[9]

Music video[edit]

The video for the song was directed by Richard Heslop, who would go on to direct the band's later video for "Never Gonna Say I'm Sorry"; the video was shot on YFO Studios in Gothenburg in October 1995.[10] The music video included computer-generated bubbles which whisked the band from place to place. According to music channel VH1 in the United States, the band's record label, Arista Records, insisted the bubbles be removed from the video, leading to a somewhat strange-looking U.S. video, with the band members looking at (and reacting to) bubbles that were no longer there. In Europe, both versions of the video were released. In addition to the two alternate videos, remix videos were also created, and VH1 released a Pop-Up Video version of the video in 1998.

Track listings[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

Indie band Jukebox The Ghost recorded a cover of the song for Engine Room Recordings' compilation album Guilt by Association Vol. 2, which was released in November 2008.[39]

In 2015, the American dance-pop trio Punch !nc recorded a reimagined version of the song, titled "Heaven (Beautiful Life)." This version has reached number six on Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart.[40]

Appearances in other media[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ace of Base's success fuels Swedish confidence". Billboard. 28 October 1995. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  2. ^ "The 50 Best Pop Singles Of 1994 (Featuring New Interviews With Ace Of Base, TLC, Lisa Loeb, Real McCoy & Haddaway)". idolator.com. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Ace of Base Founder Discusses 'New' Album, Shares the Stories Behind the Band's 5 Biggest Hits". billboard.com. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  4. ^ Billboard – Google Boeken. Books.google.com. 16 December 1995. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  5. ^ "New Releases: Albums" (PDF). Music & Media (4 November 1995, page 12). Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  6. ^ Sholin, Dave (13 October 1995). "Gavin Picks > Singles" (PDF). Gavin Report. No. 2075. p. 78. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  7. ^ J.D. Considine (February 1996), Ace of Base – The Bridge, Spin magazine Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  8. ^ "Pop Singles: Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box (9 December 1995, page 7). Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  9. ^ Strauss, Neil (1996). "POP MUSIC;New Releases". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  10. ^ Ace of Base gallery
  11. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Ace of Base – Beautiful Life". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  12. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Ace of Base – Beautiful Life" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  13. ^ "Ultratop.be – Ace of Base – Beautiful Life" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Ace of Base – Beautiful Life" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  15. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2872." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2846." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 2866." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  18. ^ "Top 10 Denmark" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Ace of Base: Beautiful Life" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  20. ^ "Lescharts.com – Ace of Base – Beautiful Life" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  21. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Ace of Base – Beautiful Life". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  22. ^ "Top 10 Hungary" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  23. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (13.01.1996 - 19.01.1996)" (PDF). Dagblaðið Vísir – Tónlist. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  24. ^ Search for Irish peaks Archived 2 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ http://www.charts-surfer.de/musiksuche.php
  26. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Ace of Base" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  27. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Ace of Base – Beautiful Life" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  28. ^ "Charts.nz – Ace of Base – Beautiful Life". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  29. ^ "Scottish Singles Chart (04 February 1996 – 10 February 1996)". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  30. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Ace of Base – Beautiful Life". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  31. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Ace of Base – Beautiful Life". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  32. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  33. ^ "Ace Of Base Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  34. ^ a b c Allmusic. Ace of Base | Billboard Singles.
  35. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Pop Singles" (PDF). Cash Box (16 December 1995). Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  36. ^ a b "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles 1996". The Australian Record Industry Association Ltd. Archived from the original on 2 November 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  37. ^ "RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1996". RPM. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  38. ^ Canada Top 50 Dance Tracks of 1996
  39. ^ Matthew Solarski (19 November 2008). "My Brightest Diamond, Frightened Rabbit Do Covers". Pitchfork. Retrieved 11 June 2009.
  40. ^ Chart history for Punch !nc from Billboard
  41. ^ Nintendo Land: The Eye of the Kong – PART 7 – Game Grumps. Game Grumps. 2012. Event occurs at 12:13. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)

External links[edit]