The Sign (song)

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"The Sign"
Single by Ace of Base
from the album Happy Nation/The Sign
B-side Young and Proud, Happy Nation (12" Version)
Released 29 October 1993 (Europe)
21 December 1993 (US)
17 January 1994 (UK)
Format CD single, CD maxi, 7" single
Recorded 1993
Genre Downtempo,[1] Europop, reggae fusion
Length 3:12
Label Arista Records (US, Japan)
Mega Records (Europe)
Writer(s) Jonas Berggren
Producer(s) Joker, Denniz Pop, Douglas Carr
Certification Platinum (USA), Platinum (NZ), Platinum (Germany), Gold (UK), Gold (Austria)
Ace of Base singles chronology
"Waiting for Magic"
(1993)
"The Sign"
(1993)
"Don't Turn Around"
(1994)
Alternative covers
U.S. cover

"The Sign" is a pop song by the Swedish band Ace of Base, which was released on 29 October 1993 in Europe. The song was an international hit, reaching number two in the United Kingdom and spending six non-consecutive weeks as number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. It appeared on the band's album Happy Nation (titled The Sign in North America).

The song was the No. 1 song of 1994 according to Billboard magazine's year-end charts. The song was ranked at number 60 on The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs for the first 50 years of the Hot 100 chart[2] and received a nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance By a Group or Duo at the 1995 Grammy Awards.[3]

The song has been covered by The Mountain Goats, and was also heavily featured in the fifth season finale of American Dad!, "Great Space Roaster". The song has also been covered in the TV series Full House, in which fictional band "Girl Talk", led by character Stephanie Tanner, mess up the song during the performance. The song is also played in the South Park episode "Prehistoric Ice Man," and is featured in the 2012 comedy Pitch Perfect.

Music video[edit]

The music video of the song features the pop group singing amidst romantic and joyful images; "The Sign" was depicted as a computer generated ankh (also known as key of life) and a djed (ancient Egyptian symbol representing stability). The music video is directed by Mathias Julin.

Amid the images is a little story of a man and woman sitting side by side until the man leaves, seemingly abandoning the woman. However, he comes back with a rose and offers it to the woman. The woman graciously accepts and takes his hand. However, a bright light shines in the woman's face, drawing her away, abandoning the man and dropping the rose on the chair.

The video was released in five different edits throughout various territories. In the US, the original edit of the video was later re-edited, changing some of the shots with Jenny in the foreground from black and white to color. Other versions show more shots of the group singing with their backs in a circle, as well as more shots of Linn singing her parts in her solo black and white take.

Track listings[edit]

CD single – Australia
  1. "The Sign" – 3:11
  2. "The Sign" (Long Version) – 4:43
CD single – Germany
  1. "The Sign" (The Remix) – 5:40
  2. "The Sign" (Ultimix) – 6:49
  3. "The Sign" (Dub Version) – 5:10
CD single – Japan
  1. "The Sign" – 3:11
  2. "Young And Proud" – 3:56
CD single – UK
  1. "The Sign" – 3:11
  2. "The Sign" (Long Version) – 4:43
  3. "The Sign" (Dub Version) – 5:10
CD single – U.S.
  1. "The Sign" (Ultimix) – 6:49
  2. "The Sign" – 3:11
  3. "Young And Proud" – 3:56
  4. "Happy Nation" (12" Version) – 6:40
CD maxi – France
  1. "The Sign" (Radio Edit) – 3:09
  2. "The Sign" (Long Version) – 4:43
  3. "The Sign" (Dub Version) – 5:10
7" single – France
  1. "The Sign" (Radio Edit) – 3:09
  2. "The Sign" (Long Version) – 4:43

Official versions[edit]

  • Album Version
  • Ultimix
  • Dub Version
  • Long Version
  • The Remix
  • Ultimix Remix
  • Freedom Bunch Mix (2009)

On several of the band's compilation albums, an error occurred with "The Sign", cutting one second from the beginning.

Personnel[edit]

  • Vocals by Linn Berggren, Jenny Berggren and Jonas Berggren
  • Backing Vocals by Jenny Berggren, Linn Berggren, Jonas Berggren and Douglas Carr
  • Written by Jonas Berggren
  • Produced by Denniz Pop, Douglas Carr and Jonas Berggren
  • Recorded at Cheiron Studios

Charts and sales[edit]

Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"The Power of Love" by Celine Dion
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
12 March 1994 – 2 April 1994
7 May 1994 – 14 May 1994
Succeeded by
"Bump n' Grind" by R. Kelly (1st time), "I Swear" by All-4-One (second time)
Australia ARIA Singles Chart
number-one single

30 April 1994 – 21 May 1994
Succeeded by
"The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" by Prince
Preceded by
"Mr. Jones" by Counting Crows
Canadian RPM number-one single
21 March 1994 – 18 April 1994 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Love Sneakin' Up On You" by Bonnie Raitt
Preceded by
"Another Night" by M.C. Sar & The Real McCoy
Canadian RPM Dance chart number-one single
11 April 1994 – 18 April 1994 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"What's Up" by Minnesota
Preceded by
"Gangsta Lean" by DRS
"Can't Get Enough" by Supergroove
New Zealand RIANZ number-one single
24 April 1994 – 15 May 1994 (4 weeks)
29 May 1994 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Can't Get Enough" by Supergroove
"The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" by Prince

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ace of Base - The Sign (CD) at Discogs". Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  2. ^ The Billboard Hot 100 Chart 50th Anniversary, The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs (60–51), Billboard.com
  3. ^ The 37th Grammy Nominations, [1], Los Angeles Times
  4. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Ace of Base – The Sign". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  5. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Ace of Base – The Sign" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  6. ^ Belgian peak
  7. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  8. ^ "Lescharts.com – Ace of Base – The Sign" (in French). Les classement single.
  9. ^ "Chartverfulgong > Ace of Base > The Sign – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  10. ^ "Irish Singles Chart, database". Irishcharts. Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  11. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Ace of Base search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  12. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Ace of Base – The Sign". Top 40 Singles.
  13. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Ace of Base – The Sign". VG-lista.
  14. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  15. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Ace of Base – The Sign". Singles Top 60.
  16. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Ace of Base – The Sign". Swiss Singles Chart.
  17. ^ ""The Sign", UK Singles Chart". Chartstats. Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  18. ^ a b c d "Ace of Base, Billboard charts". Allmusic. Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  19. ^ 1994 Australian Singles Chart Aria.com.au (Retrieved 18 July 2009)
  20. ^ Canada Top 50 Dance Tracks of 1994
  21. ^ "Single top 100 over 1994" (pdf) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  22. ^ 1994 French Singles Chart Disqueenfrance.com (Retrieved 30 January 2009)
  23. ^ "1994: Year-End USA Charts (Singles)". Billboard. Retrieved 12 June 2009.  (archived by Top40-Charts.com)
  24. ^ Geoff Mayfield (25 December 1999). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade – The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s. Billboard. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  25. ^ Bronson, Fred (2 August 2012). "Hot 100 55th Anniversary: The All-Time Top 100 Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  26. ^ "Certification for every country in the world" (pdf). IFPI. Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  27. ^ "Austrian certifications, database". Ifpi. Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  28. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('The Sign')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  29. ^ "UK certifications, database". Bpi. Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  30. ^ "U.S. certifications". Riaa. Retrieved 17 April 2010. 

External links[edit]