Don't Turn Around

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Don't Turn Around"
Song by Tina Turner
A-side"Typical Male"

"Don't Turn Around" is a popular song written by Albert Hammond and Diane Warren. It was originally recorded by Tina Turner as the B-side to the single "Typical Male" in 1986. It has since been included on the rarities disc of the 1994 compilation The Collected Recordings – Sixties to Nineties, as well as featuring in the Tina musical in 2018.

It has been covered by numerous artists, most notably by Luther Ingram in 1987, Aswad in 1988, Bonnie Tyler in 1988, and Ace of Base in 1993.

Aswad version[edit]

"Don't Turn Around"
Aswad don't turn.jpg
Single by Aswad
from the album Distant Thunder
ReleasedFebruary 10, 1988 (1988-02-10)
GenreReggae fusion
Producer(s)Chris Porter
Aswad singles chronology
"Hooked On You"
"Don't Turn Around"
"Give a Little Love"

British reggae group Aswad heard Luther Ingram's version and released a cover version on February 10, 1988. The song went to number one on the UK Singles Chart in March 1988.[1] It also reached number 45 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in the US that same year.



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[17] Silver 250,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Ace of Base version[edit]

"Don't Turn Around"
Ace of Base - Don't Turn Around.jpg
Scandinavian CD single; the artwork is used in other European releases with different title layouts
Single by Ace of Base
from the album Happy Nation (U.S. version) and The Sign
B-side"Young and Proud"
ReleasedMarch 14, 1994
StudioTuffs, Gothenburg, Sweden
GenreReggae fusion
  • Tommy Ekman
  • Per Adebratt
Ace of Base singles chronology
"The Sign"
"Don't Turn Around"
"Living in Danger"
Music video
"Don't Turn Around" on YouTube

In 1993, Swedish pop group Ace of Base recorded a minor-key version of "Don't Turn Around" for their US debut album, The Sign. It was the follow-up to their very successful single, "The Sign" and was also included on the re-release of Happy Nation the same year. Their version reached number 1 in Canada, number 4 in the US and number 5 in the UK. It was the third most popular song in the United States in the summer of 1994.[18]

Background and recording[edit]

I thought it was too much in major. We thought, 'If [Arista] really wants us to do it, why not?' The lyrics were good. We thought if we can transform it a bit into minor, in the chorus and so on, it could be OK.

Jonas Berggren talking to Billboard about the song.[19]

After the huge success of the band's European debut album, Happy Nation, American label Arista wanted to release it with some new tracks for the US market. They suggested that Ace of Base should make a cover on British reggae group Aswad's 1988 version of "Don't Turn Around". It was recorded and produced at Tuff Studios in Gothenburg, Sweden.

This version by the band would also contain a rap segment made by band member Ulf Ekberg.

Critical reception[edit]

AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine stated that with singles like "All That She Wants", "The Sign", and "Don't Turn Around", "it's easy to see why they were hits – the beat is relentless and the hooks are incessantly catchy."[20] Annie Zaleski from The A.V. Club said that Ace of Base gave the song "a brisk, breezy vibe that verges on tropical".[21] Larry Flick from Billboard wrote that the Swedish pop phenomenon "will, once again, blaze up the Hot 100 with its slick, lightweight reading of a tune popularized by Aswad." He added that "thin but inoffensive vocals are laid over the kind of synth-smart pop/reggae arrangement that top 40 programmers regularly subscribe to."[22] Troy J. Augusto from Cash Box commented, "Can these Swedish hitmakers make it three-for-three? You can bet on it, with the release of the next single from the quartet's smash The Sign, a song made popular in reggae circles by Aswad. Will follow the likes of Big Mountain, etc., up the charts with its easy-listening, synth-flavored mix of reggae and lightweight dance." He also deemed it a "potential summertime smash", adding, "One has to wonder. "What's in the water over at Arista?!"".[23] David Browne from Entertainment Weekly stated that "the jauntily forlorn" song is "preeminent Europop, all brassy hooks, rushing beats, and exuberant singing that brings to mind Swedish cheerleaders in an ABBA cabaret."[24]

Dave Sholin from the Gavin Report noted that "for their third time at the plate this sensational pop foursome is about take a trip around the bases with what is another surefire home run!"[25] Music writer James Masterton wrote in his weekly UK chart commentary, "Ace Of Base's version borrows from the Aswad arrangement but transform it still further from being the simple pop song it was originally into a mournful ballad, dark and mysterious. Whether it is as big as past hits is open to question but it gets my vote for simply daring to reinterpret the track so drastically. Are you listening Big Mountain?"[26] Mario Tarradell from Miami Herald described it as "innocuous".[27] Alan Jones from Music Week rated the song four out of five, noting that "the Aswad chart-topper is stripped of much of its melody, and given a heavily percussive workover in order to fit the Ace Of Base mould. Fans of their sound will heartily approve, and another Top 10 hit seems inevitable."[28] A reviewer from The Network Forty said that the song is "another bonafide smash", complimenting it as "pure pop".[29] Bob Waliszewski of Plugged In wrote that "Don't Turn Around" and "The Sign" "demonstrate strength in the wake of romantic rejection."[30] The Rolling Stone Album Guide described it as "a funky Diane Warren song".[31] Chuck Campbell from Scripps Howard News Service called it a "reggae-paced" number.[32]

Chart performance[edit]

"Don't Turn Around" was a huge hit around the world and remains one of Ace of Base's most successful songs to date. It reached number one on the RPM Singles Chart in Canada, and both the US Billboard Adult Contemporary and the Cash Box Singles Chart. In Europe, it managed to climb into the top-ten in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Scotland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as on the Eurochart Hot 100, where it peaked at number seven. In the United Kingdom, "Don't Turn Around" reached number five in its third week at the UK Singles Chart, on June 19, 1994.[33] Additionally, it was a Top 20 hit in Belgium, France and Switzerland. Outside Europe, the single also peaked at number two on the RPM Dance/Urban Chart, number three in Israel, number four on the US Billboard Hot 100, number eight in New Zealand and number 19 in Australia. It earned a Gold certification in Germany, New Zealand and the United States with a sales of 250,000, 5,000 and 500,000 singles, respectively.


"Don't Turn Around" entered the European airplay chart Border Breakers at number 20 on April 2, 1994, due to crossover airplay in Central Europe and peaked at number one twice, first on June 4, followed by July 23. Both times it held on to the top spot for two weeks. Together with "The Sign", "Don't Turn Around" monopolised either the number one or two spot on Border Breakers for 36 weeks.[34]

Impact and legacy[edit]

Rolling Stone listed "Don't Turn Around" at number 16 in their "20 Biggest Songs of the Summer: The 1990s" list in July 2014.[35]

Several reviewers has noted that "Don't Turn Around" might have inspired Lady Gaga for her 2010 hit single "Alejandro". Lindsey Fortier from Billboard compared "Alejandro" to "Don't Turn Around" in her review of Gaga's single.[36] And in 2014, when "Don't Turn Around" was ranked number 16 by Idolator in their ranking of "The 50 Best Pop Singles of 1994", they wrote: "From its spoken-word intro to its insanely catchy pan flute hook, the song encapsulates everything perfect about pop of that era. I can't be the only one who thinks Lady Gaga was inspired by this immortal classic for her own single, "Alejandro," can I?"[37]

In 2021, BuzzFeed ranked the song number 22 in their list of "The 50 Best '90s Songs of Summer".[38]

Music video[edit]

Ace of Base filmed a music video for the song directed by Swedish director Matt Broadley, showing scenes of a couple leaving each other intertwined with scenes of the band on the beach and in a beach house. It was shot in Coconut Grove in Miami, Florida, in December 1993.[39] The lighthouse in the video is located in Bill Bags Cape Florida State Park on Key Biscayne, one of Miami’s barrier islands. Some parts of the video are in black-and-white, but the scenes with Ace of Base members are in color. The video begins with the group performing inside the beach house. Toward the end, all four members walk along the shore. Broadley had previously directed the music videos for "All That She Wants" and "Happy Nation". "Don't Turn Around" was published on Ace of Base's official YouTube channel in January 2015. It has amassed more than 28 million views as of September 2021.[40]

Track listing[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Vocals by Linn Berggren, Jenny Berggren, and Ulf Ekberg
  • Backing Vocals by Linn Berggren and Jenny Berggren
  • Written by Albert Hammond and Diane Warren
  • Produced by Tommy Ekman and Per Adebratt
  • Recorded and produced at Tuff Studios, Gothenburg
  • Mixed at Park Studios, Stockholm

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label
Europe March 14, 1994 Mega / PolyGram
United States April 19, 1994 Arista
United Kingdom May 30, 1994 London Records 90

Charts and certifications[edit]

Other notable cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 486. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ " – Aswad – Don't Turn Around". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  3. ^ " – Aswad – Don't Turn Around" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  4. ^ Danish Singles Chart April 29, 1988
  5. ^ " – Aswad – Don't Turn Around" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  6. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Don't Turn Around". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  7. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 17, 1988" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  8. ^ " – Aswad – Don't Turn Around" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  9. ^ " – Aswad – Don't Turn Around". Top 40 Singles.
  10. ^ " – Aswad – Don't Turn Around". VG-lista.
  11. ^ " – Aswad – Don't Turn Around". Swiss Singles Chart.
  12. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  13. ^ "Artist Search for "aswad"". AllMusic.
  14. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1988" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  15. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1988". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  16. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1988" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  17. ^ "British single certifications – Aswad – Don't Turn Around". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  18. ^ "Summer Songs 1958-2015: The Top 10 Tunes of Each Summer". Billboard. May 8, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  19. ^ "Ace of Base Founder Discusses 'New' Album, Shares the Stories Behind the Band's 5 Biggest Hits". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  20. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Ace of Base - The Sign". AllMusic. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  21. ^ Zaleski, Annie (February 19, 2018). "Good timing turned Ace Of Base's The Sign into the luckiest hit of the '90s". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  22. ^ Flick, Larry (May 7, 1994). "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  23. ^ Augusto, Troy J. (May 14, 1994). "Pop Singles: Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. p. 7. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  24. ^ Browne, David (June 16, 2000). "Several 90's bands release new compilations". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  25. ^ Sholin, Dave (April 29, 1994). "Gavin Picks > Singles" (PDF). Gavin Report. No. 2002. p. 70. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  26. ^ Masterton, James (June 5, 1994). "Week Ending June 11th 1994". Chart Watch UK. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  27. ^ Tarradell, Mario (January 5, 1994). "Album Reviews: Ace of Base, The Sign". p. 40. Miami Herald.
  28. ^ Jones, Alan (June 11, 1994). "Market Preview: Mainstream - Singles" (PDF). Music Week. p. 16. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  29. ^ "Mainstream: Music Meeting" (PDF). The Network Forty. May 6, 1994. p. 22. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  30. ^ Waliszewski, Bob. "The Sign – Plugged In Online Album Reviews". Plugged In. Focus on the Family. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ Campbell, Chuck (February 22, 1994). "NEW RELEASES: ACE OF BASE, CRASH TEST DUMMIES, SHONEN KNIFE". Scripps Howard News Service. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  33. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100 19 June 1994 - 25 June 1994". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  34. ^ "Border Breakers: Monitoring The Impact Of Euro Talent" (PDF). Music & Media. November 19, 1994. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  35. ^ "20 Biggest Songs of the Summer: The 1990s". Rolling Stone. July 23, 2014. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  36. ^ Fortier, Lindsay (May 1, 2010). "New Releases: Lady Gaga "Alejandro"". Billboard. Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  37. ^ "The 50 Best Pop Singles Of 1994 (Featuring New Interviews With Ace Of Base, TLC, Lisa Loeb, Real McCoy & Haddaway)". Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  38. ^ Stopera, Matt; Galindo, Brian (June 29, 2021). "The 50 Best '90s Songs Of Summer". BuzzFeed. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  39. ^ "ace of base".
  40. ^ "Ace of Base - Don't Turn Around (Official Music Video)". YouTube. January 15, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  41. ^ " – Ace of Base – Don't Turn Around". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  42. ^ " – Ace of Base – Don't Turn Around" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  43. ^ " – Ace of Base – Don't Turn Around" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  44. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2529." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  45. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2572." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  46. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 2527." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  47. ^ "Top 10 Denmark" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 11 no. 15. April 9, 1994. p. 23. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  48. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 11 no. 27. April 9, 1994. p. 17. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  49. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  50. ^ " – Ace of Base – Don't Turn Around" (in French). Les classement single.
  51. ^ " – Ace of Base – Don't Turn Around" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts.
  52. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (28.04.1994 – 04.05.1994)" (PDF). Dagblaðið Vísir – Tónlist. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  53. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Don't Turn Around". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  54. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Ace of Base" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  55. ^ " – Ace of Base – Don't Turn Around" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  56. ^ " – Ace of Base – Don't Turn Around". Top 40 Singles.
  57. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  58. ^ " – Ace of Base – Don't Turn Around". Singles Top 100.
  59. ^ " – Ace of Base – Don't Turn Around". Swiss Singles Chart.
  60. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  61. ^
  62. ^ "Ace of Base Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  63. ^ "Ace of Base Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  64. ^ "Ace of Base Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  65. ^ "Ace of Base Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  66. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Pop Singles" (PDF). Cash Box. July 9, 1994. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  67. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  68. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles 1994". Australian Record Industry Association Ltd. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  69. ^ "jaaroverzichten 1994" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved December 7, 2019.
  70. ^ "RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1994". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  71. ^ "RPM Top 100 AC tracks of 1994". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  72. ^ "Top 50 Dance Tracks of 1994". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  73. ^ "1994 Year-End Sales Charts: Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  74. ^ "Top 100 Singles – Jahrescharts 1994" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  75. ^ "Árslistinn 1994". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). January 2, 1995. p. 25. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  76. ^ "Jaarlijsten 1994" (in Dutch). Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  77. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1994" (in Dutch). Retrieved December 7, 2019.
  78. ^ "Årslista Singlar, 1994" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved November 23, 2019.
  79. ^ "Top 100 Singles 1994". Music Week. January 14, 1995. p. 9.
  80. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1994". Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  81. ^ "1994 The Year in Music". Billboard. Vol. 106 no. 52. December 24, 1994. p. YE-68. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  82. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Ace of Base; 'Don't Turn Around')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  83. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Ace of Base – Don't Turn Around". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  84. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1994". Billboard. Vol. 107 no. 3. BPI Communications. January 21, 1995. p. 57. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  85. ^ "American single certifications – Ace Of Base – Don't Turn Around". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  86. ^
  87. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". March 7, 1992. Retrieved January 24, 2021.

External links[edit]