Monday, June 14, 1993

Aha released Memorial Beach

First posted 1/18/2009; updated 9/10/2020.

Memorial Beach


Released: June 14, 1993

Peak: -- US, 17 UK, -- CN, 132 AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)

Genre: synth pop


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Dark Is the Night for All (5/24/93, 19 UK)
  2. Move to Memphis (10/14/91, 47 UK)
  3. Cold as Stone
  4. Angel in the Snow (9/6/93, 41 UK)
  5. Locust
  6. Lie Down in Darkness
  7. How Sweet It Was
  8. Lamb to the Slaughter
  9. Between Your Mama and Yourself
  10. Memorial Beach

Total Running Time: 49:33

The Players:

  • Morten Harket (vocals, guitar)
  • Magne Furuholmen (keyboards, guitar, bass)
  • Pål Waaktaar-Savoy (guitars, drums, percussion)


3.200 out of 5.00 (average of 5 ratings)

About the Album:

“For its fifth album, a-ha varies its style somewhat, trying for a U2 approach on lead-off track Dark Is the Night for All. This is a long way from the peppy appeal of ‘Take on Me,’ but just as far from an improvement.” AMG

“An earlier version of Move to Memphis appeared on the compilation, Headlines and Deadlines ,” WK released in 1991.

“Some lyrics from Locust were reused on the Savoy single ‘Whalebone.’” WK Savoy was a side project launched by guitarist Pal Waaktaar and keyboardist Magne “Mags” Furuholmen during aha’s hiatus. Aha wouldn’t release another album until 2000.

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Tuesday, June 1, 1993

Ace of Base’s The Sign released

First posted 11/15/2010; updated 11/24/2020.

Happy Nation/The Sign

Ace of Base

Released: December 1992 HN,
June 1, 1993 TS

Peak: 12 US, 12 UK, 113 CN, 9 AU

Sales (in millions): 9.0 US, 0.6 UK, 23.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: dance pop

HN Happy Nation
TS The Sign

Tracks on Happy Nation: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Voulez-Vous Danser
  2. All That She Wants (5/8/93, 2 US, 1 UK, 22 AC, 17 MR, platinum single)
  3. Just Chaos *
  4. Happy Nation (11/13/93, 40 UK)
  5. Waiting for Magic
  6. Fashion Party *
  7. Wheel of Fortune (8/28/93, 20 UK)
  8. Dancer in a Daydream
  9. My Mind
  10. W.O.F. (original club mix) *
  11. Dimension of Depth *
  12. Young and Proud
  13. All That She Wants (Banghra Version)

* not on The Sign

Tracks on The Sign:

  1. All That She Wants (5/8/93, 2 US, 1 UK, 22 AC, 17 MR, platinum single)
  2. Don’t Turn Around ** (5/7/94, 1a US, 5 UK, 7 AC, gold single)
  3. Young and Proud
  4. The Sign ** (1/1/94, 1 US, 2 UK, 2 AC, platinum single)
  5. Living in Danger ** (10/22/94, 16a US, 18 UK, 35 AC)
  6. Dancer in a Daydream
  7. Wheel of Fortune (8/28/93, 20 UK)
  8. Waiting for Magic
  9. Happy Nation (11/13/93, 40 UK)
  10. Voulez-Vous Danser
  11. My Mind
  12. All That She Wants (Banghra Version)
** not on Happy Nation


3.872 out of 5.00 (average of 15 ratings)


About the Album:

Tracking the development of these two albums (of which each has at least two versions) is confusing. First, this was “released in Europe as Happy Nation in 1992” WK with Wheel of Fortune being the lead single in Scandanavia in the summer of 1992. However, the album didn’t really take off until All That She Wants was a #1 hit in the U.K. in the spring of 1993.

Then the album was “re-issued with a different track listing in the US as The Sign September 25, 1993.” WK Four songs were left off Happy Nation and replaced with three songs that became major hits – The Sign, Don’t Turn Around, and Living in Danger. “It’s easy to see why they were hits – the beat is relentless and the hooks are incessantly catchy.” STE

However, “Ace of Base’s strong point is not versatility – all of their hit singles have exactly the same beat. But that doesn’t matter.” STE Ace of Base “managed to create a piece of melodic Euro-disco that was a huge hit all over the world, appealing to both dance clubs and pop radio.” STE

As far as the albums go, matters were confused even more when the album was released again in Europe as The Sign and the bonus track ‘Hear Me Calling’ was added. As if this didn’t muddle the waters enough, now this new version of The Sign was then released again in the U.S. as Happy Nation: U.S. Version.

In the end, the album that really is responsible for generating multi-million in sales worldwide is the original U.S. album entitled The Sign. It featured three top 5 hits in the U.S., another top 20 hit, and two more songs that were minor hits in the U.K. Only true fans need to seek out the original Happy Nation album.

Notes: To really confuse matters, this album has been released in several variations. However, The Sign featured all the singles noted above, whereas those noted with an asterisk (*) did not appear on the original album Happy Nation.

After The Sign was released in the U.S., it was also “re-issued in Europe with the same track listing as The Sign plus the previously unreleased track ‘Hear Me Calling.’” WK In the U.S., that album was then released “at the end of 1993 as Happy Nation U.S. Version.” WK

Information on this page refers primarily to the U.S. version of The Sign, unless noted otherwise.

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