Cruel Summer (Ace of Base album)
||It has been suggested that this article be merged with Flowers (Ace of Base album). (Discuss) Proposed since June 2012.|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2010)|
|Studio album by Ace of Base|
|Released||August 25, 1998 (Japan); September 1, 1998 (US)|
|Recorded||September 1997 - Early 1998|
|Producer||Clive Davis, Ulf Ekberg, Jonas Berggren, Hani|
|Ace of Base chronology|
|Entertainment Weekly||B+ |
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Cruel Summer is the third American album by Swedish pop music group, Ace of Base. When Flowers saw the sale of four million copies after its release in Europe, Asia and Africa on June 15, 1998, Arista Records decided to release their own version of the album in the US and Japan, re-titled Cruel Summer. It was the first album to see Jenny as the lead vocalist instead of Linn (who appeared as lead in their previous albums).
Cruel Summer was released on August 25, 1998 in Japan with two bonus tracks, and on September 1, 1998, in America. Sales were not as positive as with the earlier release Flowers. Cruel Summer sold a mere 122,000 copies. The American version contained only remixes of several of the original songs, and one new track, "Everytime It Rains". Subsequent Ace of Base albums have not been physically released in the United States.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2013)|
In 1996, the band completed its promotion of The Bridge album, which had sold seven million albums worldwide. Ace of Base did not immediately return to the studio as they had with their second album. Band member Linn Berggren tired of the spotlight, and had returned home early from the group's tour of Asia. The quartet took a break from both recording and promotion; Ulf Ekberg moved to Marbella, Spain.
In mid-1997, the band's record companies asked Ace of Base for new material. Representatives at Arista Records specifically asked for "summery", sunny songs. By Autumn of 1997, "Doctor Sun" had been recorded; it was the first song completed for the new album. The band members test-played the song in several clubs in Gothenburg. Originally, the song featured vocals from all four members, but Ulf's vocals were eventually cut on the final version, which was not released in the United States.
The band members had resisted recording another cover, but at the record company's insistence, Jonas Berggren chose Bananarama's "Cruel Summer". The original version, however, was considered unsuitable, and a new version, produced by Arista president Clive Davis was commissioned instead.
Jenny had written just one song for the new album: "He Decides". However, this song, too, was considered unsuitable in its original form, and was remixed by Charles Fisher. The resulting mix was darker in tone than the original. Ulf composed "more than twenty songs", but only one was used on the released album. Linn wrote and produced one demo entitled "Lapponia," but the track was rejected.
Instead, Arista chose songs written by Jonas for the American version, although few of these songs were considered album-worthy in their original versions. Jenny was asked to record new vocals for "Donnie", and Linn's vocals were cut altogether. The resulting remix was later described as a "Phil Spector-inspired Wall of Sound".
"Life Is a Flower" was considered unsuitable for American audiences, despite high chart positions worldwide. Clive Davis ordered a new version, which became "Whenever You're Near Me", an adult contemporary love song.
The record company head also was instrumental in the recording (and re-recording) of "Everytime it Rains". The original vocals by Jenny were found unsuitable, and a version featuring Linn's voice was used instead. "Travel to Romantis" and "Always Have, Always Will" were also edited for the U.S. release.
While the band members began their promotion for the worldwide release of the Flowers album, Arista executives wavered on whether there would be a U.S. album at all. As late as spring of 1998, Arista representatives had commented that the album was "too bubblegum" and would not be released at all in the States. When it became clear the album was selling well in Europe, representatives at Arista relented, and the album was released, three months after the European version. The name of the album, however, was rejected. Arista settled on the name Everytime it Rains, but switched gears into the promotion, retitling the album Cruel Summer after printing 500,000 copies of the single.
The resulting album, despite spawning a top 10 single, did not sell well. It peaked at #101 on Billboard's Hot 200 Album chart, and failed to make a dent in sales. It dropped out of the charts soon after release, despite good reviews by Fred Bronson, who praised the album for its retro sound. A second single, "Whenever You're Near Me", received little attention, and was not even correctly promoted on the Arista website (it was listed as "Whenever You Need Me"; despite fan efforts to get the mistake corrected). The record company soon ceased any further promotion. People Magazine reported in December 1998 that only 122,000 copies of the album had sold, while the Flowers album was certified multi-platinum.
Even though the album was not a success in the US, many of the album's singles were readily available via import in US stores.
|1.||"Cruel Summer (Cutfather & Joe Mix)"||Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey, Keren Woodward, Anthony Swain, Steve Jolley||Cutfather & Joe||3:35|
|2.||"Donnie"||Jonas Berggren||Ole Evenrude||3:47|
|3.||"Whenever You're Near Me"||Jonas Berggren, Mike Chapman||Ole Evenrude||3:32|
|4.||"Everytime It Rains"||Billy Steinberg, Rick Nowels, Maria Vidal||Cutfather & Joe||4:52|
|5.||"Adventures In Paradise"||Jonas Berggren (Co-Written by Joe Belmaati, Mich Hedin Hansen)||Cutfather & Joe||3:32|
|6.||"Don't Go Away"||Ulf "Buddha" Ekberg, John Ballard||Charles Fisher, Ulf Ekberg||3:41|
|7.||"Cecilia"||Jonas Berggren||Ole Evenrude||3:55|
|8.||"He Decides"||Jenny Berggren||Charles Fisher, Jonas Berggren||3:49|
|9.||"Always Have, Always Will"||Jonas Berggren, Mike Chapman||Ole Evenrude||3:46|
|10.||"Tokyo Girl"||Jonas Berggren, B. Steinberg, Ralph McCarthy||Johnny Jam & Delgado||3:36|
|11.||"Travel To Romantis (Love To Infinity Radio Remix)"||Jonas Berggren||Jonas Berggren, Johnny Jam & Delgado||3:27|
|12.||"Cruel Summer (Blazin' Rhythm Remix)"||Sarah Dallin, Siobhan Fahey, Keren Woodward, Anthony Swain, Steve Jolley||Cutfather & Joe||3:31|
- "Cruel Summer (Cutfather & Joe Mix)"
- "Donnie (Ole Evenrude Version)"
- "Life Is a Flower"
- "Everytime It Rains"
- "Adventures in Paradise"
- "Don't Go Away"
- "He Decides (Fisher Mix)" (aka US Version)
- "Always Have, Always Will (US Edit)"
- "Tokyo Girl"
- "Travel to Romantis (Love to Infinity Radio Remix)"
- "Cruel Summer (Blazin' Rhythm Remix)"
- "Dr. Sun"
- "Into the Night of Blue"
|Canadian Albums Chart||23|
|Chile Albums Chart||4|
|US Billboard 200||101|
- Borje "Buller Bang" – Percussion
- Delgado – Keyboards, Programming, Producer
- Sasha – Bass
- Per Adebratt – Keyboards, Programming
- John Amatiello – Keyboards, Programming, Engineer
- Andy – Remixing
- John Ballard – Vocals (background), Vocal Arrangement
- Ulf Bandgren – Guitar
- Bas-Berra – Bass
- Joe Belmaati – Arranger, Keyboards, Programming, Producer, Engineer, Mixing
- Jenny Berggren – Vocals, Vocals (background)
- Jonas "Joker" Berggren – Keyboards, Programming, Engineer, Vocoder
- Linn Berggren – Vocals, Vocals (background)
- Marit Bie – Vocals (background)
- Marianne Bundevik – Vocals (background)
- Mark Burdett – Design
- Douglas Carr – Keyboards, Programming, Engineer
- Suzanne Carstensen – Vocals (background)
- Desi "Dezrock" Caruso – Keyboards
- Cutfather – Arranger, Producer, Mixing
- Clive Davis – Executive Producer
- Ulf "Buddha" Ekberg – Producer
- Tommy Ekman – Arranger, Keyboards, Programming, Engineer, Mixing
- Ole Evenrude – Arranger, Producer
- Charlie Falk – String Arrangements
- Charles Fisher – Producer
- Birthe H. – Vocals (background)
- Peo Haggstrom – Keyboards, Programming
- Hani – Producer, Remixing
- Nana Hedin – Vocals (background)
- Henrik – Conductor, Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
- Johnny Jam – Keyboards, Programming, Producer
- Ulf Janson – Conductor, Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
- Bjarne "Spiff" Johansson – Percussion, Drums
- Mads Johansson – Guitar
- Jonas Karg – Guitar
- Dave Lee – Programming
- Peter Lee – Remixing
- David Leonard – Mixing
- Jonas Linell – Photography
- Marian Lisland – Vocals (background)
- Bernard Löhr – Mixing
- Matz Nilsson – Mixing
- Tue Roh – Fender Rhodes, String Arrangements
- Thomas Siqveland – Programming
- Eivind Skovdahl – Percussion, Engineer
- Joakim Stiren – Programming, Mixing
- Stonestream – Drum Programming
- Leon Zervos – Mastering
- Canada: 50,000+ units sold - gold certificate
- Japan: 142,840 units sold
- US: 125,000+ units sold
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Cruel Summer (Ace of Base album) at AllMusic
- Lanham, Tom (1998-08-14). "Music Review: 'Cruel Summer' Review". Entertainment Weekly: 80. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
- "Ace Of Base - Cruel Summer CD Album". CD Universe. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
- Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 4. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.