Ace of Base albums and songs sales

CSPC Ace of Base albums and songs sales totals
Background image: Hulton Archive | Brian Rasic

If many Eurodance songs became major hit singles, Ace of Base moved albums like no one else as part of this movement.

We review their sales figures of this iconic 90s band, especially the blockbuster album Happy Nation / The Sign.

A few words about the artist

A 2-girls 2-boys pop group from Sweden, back in 1993 it was enough to instantly link newly hyped band Ace Of Base to their illustruous predecessors ABBA.

Siblings Jonas, Linn and Jenny Berggren along with Ulf Ekberg quickly became household names by themselves, dominating the Eurodance madness the same way ABBA led the Disco era.

Both rap and techno were booming at the start of the 90s. It’s no surprise that merging them together with huge melodic hooks was going to do wonders. Eurodance was born.

Soon, artists like Snap!, Culture Beat, Dr. Alban or 2 Unlimited stormed into European charts. Over a span of 15 months, from June 1992 to September 1993, the genre claimed a stunning 42 weeks at #1 on European Hot 100 Singles chart from Music & Media.

In 1990-1, Ace of Base was struggling to get a contract in Scandinavia. After breaking over in Denmark with the song Wheel of Fortune, they at last got pushed in their homeland with the release of All That She Wants in late 1992.

Quickly, the song opened the doors of GSA countries, as well as Eastern Europe. By the summer of 1993, the song was smashing in markets like France and the UK.

Parent album Happy Nation followed the path of the single, yet nobody was giving them a distribution deal in North America, where the music industry was sure this music would flop in dramatic fashion.

Amazingly, All That She Wants conquered the US just as easily as the rest of the world, leading Billboard Mainstream charts for the last 9 weeks of 1993.

A month later, the song The Sign, added to the reissue of the album and to the first version released in North America, claimed the #1 spot as well. At 14 weeks, it remains the longest #1 on US Pop airplay charts since they were first introduced in 1992.

The rest is history. The album on its different forms started selling in the millions, and expectedly sales went down album after album for the band as the genre was quickly out of fashion.

Even if they are still technically active, their last relevant release was 1998’s Flowers, issued under the name Cruel Summer in the US.

The Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC)

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge his results. This concept will not only bring you sales information for all West‘s albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming. In fact, it will also determine their true popularity.

If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, below is a nice and short video of explanations. I fully recommend watching it before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and get into the numbers directly.

There are two ways to understand this revolutionary concept. In the first place, there is this Scribe video posted below. If you are unaware of the CSPC method, you will get the full idea within just a pair of minutes.

If you are a mathematical person, and want to know the full method as well as formulas, you can read the full introduction article.

Now let’s get into the artist’s sales figures in detail in order to apply this concept and define the act’s true popularity!

Ace of Base Album Sales

CSPC Ace of Base album sales breakdowns

Updated Studio Album Sales & Comments

Wait, isn’t Happy Nation supposed to be a super seller? Of course it is, but sales listed here refer to the original album released mainly in Europe, Latin America and some Asian areas. Even in these markets, the US version of the album took over at the end of 1993, so these figures mostly refer to sales during that first year.

Under the compilations section, you’ll see that the remaining two versions of the album sold a combined 18 million units. Together, the 3 versions moved over 9.1m units in the US, 1.1m in Canada, 3.2m in Asia, and 5.9m in Europe.

Sophomore effort The Bridge was both a disappointment and a not so bad seller in the end, cracking 5 million sales in good part thanks to great sales in continental Europe and in Asia.

Flowers stands at 1m sales, but also 740,000 units under the Cruel Summer version which sold across the entire American continent and in Japan.

Both Da Capo and The Golden Ratio continued the collapse, with truly irrelevant numbers for the latter.

Ace of Base songs sales

Below, we list down results from the artist through physical sales, digital sales and streaming.

Please be aware that when the artist is regarded as the lead act, he is rewarded with 100% of these units, while featured acts share among them a 50% piece of the totals.

Physical singles

Physical Singles

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between one album and one physical single.

Both All That She Wants and The Sign were huge physical singles sellers back in the day. Great performers everywhere, they shifted 4.3m and 3.0 million. Don’t Turn Around break the million mark too, making it 3 from their debut album.

All 3 singles also topped Billboard Pop Airplay chart for a combined 29 weeks, and held together a combined 48 consecutive weeks on US Hot 100 top 10.

Just like that, the act expected to never break into the US market recorded the longest run ever inside this top 10 since the beginning of the Rock era in 1958. The record held until Katy Perry broke this run with singles from Teenage Dream, ironically, an album she recorded “to sound like Ace of Base’s The Sign”.

Both Cruel Summer and Beautiful Life are also close to a million sales.

Far from being a 1 or 2 hits-wonder, various more songs moved past half a million, including Wheel of Fortune, Happy Nation and Life Is A Flower.

All in all, Ace of Base sold 14.5 million physical singles, including more than 10m from their debut album.

Download music iTunes Amazon Google Melon

Digital Songs

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1.5 ratio between one album and one digital single.

90s pop acts are not hot favorites among digital sellers, and Ace of Base are no exception. Their good years were over when iTunes kicked, and pop artists usually retain low catalog sales.

This being said, The Sign and All The She Wants are both around a million.

Beautiful Life is a solid third with half a million sales. This song has the specificity to be the first Hot 100 top 50 hit by Swede producer Max Martin, the mastermind responsible for “a few” memorable pop songs like Baby One More Time, I Want it That Way, That’s the Way It Is, (You Drive Me) Crazy, Oops! …I Did It Again, Since U Been Gone, Who Knew, I Kissed A Girl, Hot n Cold, So What, California Gurls, E.T., We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, Roar, Dark Horse, Problem, Break Free, Bang Bang, Blank Space, Shake It Off, Bad Blood, Can’t Feel My Face, Love Me Like You Do, Can’t Stop the Feeling!, I Don’t Care, Blinding Lights, Save Your Tears, My Universe, etc. Oh well.

Numbers go quickly down after the first hits, with a discography total of 4 million.

Streaming platforms numbers

Streaming

Streaming is made up of audio and video streams. Our CSPC methodology includes both to better reflect the real popularity of each track.

The main source of data for each avenue is respectively Spotify and YouTube. To factor in the growing impact of multiple Asian countries where these platforms aren’t always the go-to site for music streaming, more sources have been added.

In order to account for their real popularity in each relevant country, the below sources have been used along with the mentioned ratios that reflect the market share of each area.

Audio Streams
– South Korea: Genie streams * 2.20 (consistent with Gaon streaming numbers)
– Japan: AWA streams * 100 / 4 (AWA has 4% of the Japanese streaming market)
– Arabic world: Anghami streams
– Sub-Saharan Africa: Boomplay + Audiomack streams
– Elsewhere: Spotify streams * Spotify market shares based on artists’ market distribution

Video Streams
– China* : QQ video streams * 50 if the song is available for audio stream, QQ video streams * 5 elseway (scale built based on known figures for several major artists)
– Elsewhere : Youtube views increased by 10% to account for various local platforms

*since Chinese streaming platforms are mostly video streaming platforms, their streams are weighted on par with YouTube streams.

Audio Stream value – 1,500 plays equal 1 album unit
Video Stream value – 6,750 views equal 1 album unit

Equivalent Albums Sales (EAS) = ( Spotify * ArtistRatio + Genie * 2.20 + AWA * 100 / 4 + Anghami + Boomplay + Audiomack ) / 1500 + ( QQ views* 50(or 5) + YouTube * 1.1 ) / 6750

Top Hits

CSPC Ace of Base top streaming hits

Just like with physical and digital sales, All That She Wants and The Sign also lead on streaming platforms. The former is the strongest song on Spotify and YouTube, although things aren’t as clear in Asian sites.

In South Korea, The Sign leads in front of Beautiful Life, while All for You and Beautiful Life dominate the big 2 in Chinese’s QQ.

About 75% of the group’s million equivalent album sales from streams come from Happy Nation.

Full catalog breakdown

If you are familiar with the artist’s catalog and want to check details of each and every song, you can access to all of them right here.

Keep yourself up to date

Our website provides you a fantastic tool which fetches updated Spotify streams as you request them, use it to watch these results grow day after day!

Ace of Base compilations sales

It sounds fairly logical to add together weighted sales of one era – studio album, physical singles, downloads, streams – to get the full picture of an album’s popularity. For older releases though, they also generate sales of various live, music videos and compilation albums.

All those packaging-only records do not create value, they exploit the value originating from the parent studio album of each of its tracks instead. Inevitably, when such compilations are issued, this downgrades catalog sales of the original LP.

Thus, to perfectly gauge the worth of these releases, we need to re-assign sales proportionally to its contribution of all the compilations which feature its songs. The following table explains this method.

The distribution process

CSPC Ace of Base Singles of the 90s sales distribution

How to understand this table? In the example of Singles of the 90s, these figures mean it sold 1,095,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for 953,564 equivalent album sales from streams of all types.

The second part on the right of the table shows how many equivalent streams are coming from each original album, plus the share it represents on the overall package.

Thus, streaming figures tell us songs from the Happy Nation album are responsible for 79% of Singles of the 90s track list attractiveness. This means it generated 862,000 of its 1,095,000 album sales and so forth for the other records. We then apply this process to all compilations present on the table.

Compilations sales figures listing

Full Length related records Sales – Summary

CSPC Ace of Base compilation sales distribution

Here is the most underestimated indicator of an album’s success – the amount of compilation sales of all kinds it generated. Due to the dependency of sales of the original studio albums on these releases, they are a key piece of the jigsaw. 

These numbers are obtained by applying the method from the section The distribution process to all packages listed under Compilation sales figures listing category.

Here we can see the incredible sales of The Sign and Happy Nation – US Version. Below are the breakdowns.

CSPC Ace of Base top compilations breakdowns

Total Album (all types) Sales per Country

CSPC Ace of Base album sales by market

Please note country-specific numbers may miss sales of a few minor releases, although totals are complete.

Ace of Base Career CSPC Results

So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each album by Ace of Base achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!

Albums CSPC results

In the following results table, all categories display figures in equivalent album sales. If different, pure sales are listed between parentheses.

'Av.' stands for Average, 'LD' for Last Day.

As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album
  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500 for Audio stream and 1/6750 for Video stream)

Artist career totals

See where the artist ranks among remaining singers


The iconic Happy Nation album emerges at 27m equivalent album sales through all avenues, with solid numbers all around. If its tracks haven’t done miracle as downloads, their streams are good, which means the record will keep going up.

Obviously, numbers went down fast, but at the end of the day 6m for The Bridge and 2.6m for Flowers are still great numbers in absolute terms. Sales of the last albums are anecdotal.

The career total of Ace of Base climbs to 36 million equivalent album sales. 

Singles CSPC results

The list is compiled in album equivalent sales generated by each song. Therefore, these figures are not merged units of singles formats. Instead, it includes weighted sales of the song’s physical single, download, ringtone and streaming as well as its share among sales of all albums on which it is featured.

Discography results

Thanks to our new ASR (Artist Success Rating) concept, we know that sales represent 23.58 million times the purchase of entire discography. Coupled with total sales, it translates into an ASR score of 157.

The ranking of all artists studied so far is available too at this link.

Records & Achievements

  • At 26,960,000 EAS, Happy Nation is the 2nd most successful album from 1992.
  • At 14 weeks, The Sign holds the longest run at #1 of all-time on US Pop Airplay charts.
  • Ace of Base remained 48 weeks with at least a song inside the US Hot 100 top 10, which stood as the all-time record until 2010.

NB: EAS means Equivalent Album Sales.



Dynamic Spotify Key Performance Indicators

Please note that numbers below are retrieved automatically, so they will evolve day by day unlike previously listed data which is valid as of the publication date of the article.

Ace of Base

Ace

Current followers count: 792,059
700,000 followers have been reached on 04/13/23
600,000 followers have been reached on 05/18/22
500,000 followers have been reached on 05/19/21
400,000 followers have been reached on 08/16/20
>> Daily breakdown

Ace of Base is #3873 among the most followed artists of all-time
>> Visit our Top 5,000 most followed artists ranking

Current streams count: 1,096,924,660
1,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 01/27/24
>> Daily breakdown

Ace of Base is #1785 among the most streamed artists of all-time
Popularity Rating: /100

>> Visit our Top 1,000 most streamed artists ranking
>> Visit our Top 20 highest rated artists ranking

Current monthly listeners: 9,476,331 (Trend: -386,795)
Global chart position: N/A
The artist top 50 cities come from 29 distinct countries
>> Global impact breakdown

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPISpotifyYouTubeDiscogs.

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