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Happy Nation (1992) - Ace of Base - All about the song

"This is an anti-fascist song! You could say that 'Happy Nation' is an anthem of life..."

A hit from the '90s that everyone remembers. The Happy Nation Story

"Happy Nation" is a world famous hit of Ace of Base, first released in Scandinavia in 1992. Today this song is well known to every listener - both to true "old-school" and modern generation of music lovers: it is often used in TV, various entertaining commercials, and simply does not disappear from the radio for several decades already! And no wonder: the hit-track has a bright positive sound! Simply said - it's hard not to dance to this tune... It's a dance pop hit with a medium tempo. It also has a strong influence of such genres as reggae-fusion and Euro-house.

Upon release, the song quickly conquered the world! The track Ace of Base topped several countries, including Denmark and France. It also greatly influenced the promotion of the album of the same name, the world circulation of which has long exceeded the mark of 20 million copies... And today, thanks to its lively and attractive sound, this song continues to find its listener! Let's talk about how the timeless bestseller was created...

Background, recording...

Ace Of Base
Ace Of Base

The future dance hit of all time was written by the founders of Ace of Base - Junas Berggren and Ulf Ekberg. It is noteworthy that the lyrics include several languages at once: the usual English and... Latin! So, the first verse in Latin is sung by Junas himself, and the rest of the song is sung by his sister Lynn Berggren, the lead singer of the band.

"Laudate omnes gentes laudate
Magnificat en secula
Et anima mea laudate
Magnificat en secuala.../

 

Praise the people, praise the people.
Great at all times.
And praise my soul -
Great at all times..."

As for the supposedly "mysterious message" embedded in the song, Ulf Ekberg himself stated that "Happy Nation" is addressed to "all those people who always say how bad things are..." The band also added that the song was written as a response to rumors about Eckberg's past ties to neo-Nazi skinheads:

"This is an anti-fascist song! You could say 'Happy Nation' is an anthem of life..."

A little bit about the album...

Happy Nation (Ace Of Base album)
Happy Nation (Ace Of Base album)

Before moving on to the worldwide success of "Happy Nation" and the music video, it's worth mentioning a bit about the album, which is widely known by the same name...

Happy Nation (which, by the way, means "Happy Nation") was the band's debut album! It was released towards the end of 1992, and... it was a great success for the Swedish band! In the first year alone, 8 million copies were sold in the United States! All in all, Happy Nation's worldwide circulation is more than 20 million copies...

A year later, the album was re-released in the USA: this time it was called The Sign, and it included 4 bonus tracks. The re-release was also a resounding success in the West: The Sign became the best selling album in America in 1994! And three hit tracks from it (including the one of the same name) topped not only the national Billboard, but also most European countries... However it was the instantly catchy track "Happy Nation" that became the trademark of Ace of Base...

World success!

Ace Of Base
Ace Of Base

After its release, the single "Happy Nation" quickly found its listener. The track was warmly received by the critics, who unanimously recognized it as the "pearl" of the whole album! Many noted the fact that this composition "gives a positive way of thinking about how we should treat each other and live in the world of people...". And indeed: "Happy Nation" has both a sense of soul and dance... And at the same time - the track will be just right for any dancefloor! The rare musical aesthetic that made Ace of Base famous far beyond their homeland... Many listeners (as well as critics) said that this tune proves the fact that Ace of Base is something more substantial than just an ABBA clone. It was a real success...

Pretty fast "Happy Nation" got into the European hit parades... As a result the track became the leader of several countries, getting into the top ten of Eurochart Hot 100... After this tremendous success the song got the gold status in Germany with the sales of more than 250 thousand copies... In France "Happy Nation" became silver.

Music clip…

The band Ace Of Base...
The band Ace Of Base...

The music video for the song was filmed in Gothenburg, in the early winter of 1993. In the early shots we see a burning candle, the flame of which rushes aside... In the clip there are many different ancient symbols (peace sign, yin-yang and others...), pictures, inscriptions and hieroglyphs... There are also scary shots, like the atomic bomb explosion, people walking... When everything calms down, the candle shown in the very beginning of the clip goes out. Actually, let's see:

So far, the music video has garnered over 60 million views! The director was Matt Broadley. He also shot the music video for another hit of the band, which is known as "All That She Wants".

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