Ace Of Base – The Sign

Ace of Base – “The Sign” is a song by the Swedish band Ace of Base, which was released on 29 October 1993 in Europe. It was an international hit, reaching number two in the United Kingdom and spending six non-consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. More prominently, it became the top song on Billboard’s 1994 Year End Chart. It appeared on the band’s album Happy Nation (titled The Sign in North America). In Europe, Ace of Base’s debut album was called Happy Nation, and when Arista was prepping the American album release, the label thought it could use a few new tunes. Ace of Base had already written “The Sign” for their second album. The execs decided to not only hasten its release, but also to make the song the title track.

“The Sign” has been described as a “techno-reggae confection with a killer chorus”. It’s seemingly about a couple contemplating the state of their relationship and deciding to split up, a summation Jonas Berggren in interviews has stated is “more or less” correct.

In an 2015 interview with Billboard Jonas Bergren told about the recording of the song: “When we recorded ‘The Sign,’ it was a bit too merry. So we put the [hums] da na-na na-na na-na in between the melody lines. It’s a bit minor in that part. It becomes major and minor, as a total. But the chorus is mostly major.”

The song is performed in the key of G major for the verses and chorus but in G minor for the intro and instrumental breaks. The song follows a tempo of 97 beats per minute in common time. The group’s vocals span from A3 to E5.

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