Ace Of Base’s ‘Hidden Gems’ Is The Best Collection Of Unreleased ’90s & Early ’00s Jams You Didn’t Know About
It would be easy to dismiss Ace Of Base as a relic of the 1990s, were it not for the multi-Platinum-selling quartet’s lasting influence in modern pop (see: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Robyn, Kiesza, Allie X etc.) and the durability of their reggae-infused dance tracks over the past two decades. Hell, we here at Idolator even placed “The Sign” at the top of our 50 Best Pop Singles Of 1994 list last fall, because, let’s face it — it was the best one from that year!
And so cut to last week, when the band (whose last album, The Golden Ratio, was released in 2010) offered up the compilation of rare and unreleased material called Hidden Gems. The iTunes version of the LP boasts a tracklist that’s 18 songs long, covering material from the era of the first Ace Of Base Album (1993’s Happy Nation, or The Sign as it was titled in North America) up to 2002’s Da Capo.
The term “gems” used in the title really doesn’t do the collection justice, as the whole thing plays like a cohesive, lost Ace Of Base studio album made during the band’s prime — one we were denied access to until now. For pop fans in general, not to mention longtime Acers, it’s perfect, upbeat music to soundtrack the spring thaw.
Unreleased songs, Japanese bonus tracks, B-sides and slightly new versions of cuts like Da Capo’s “Hey Darling” and the Happy Nation era demo “Giving It Up” are all included here, with the latter being a particular highlight.
In November, Ace Of Base’s Jonas “Joker” Bergrren told Idolator the following about Hidden Gems:
It was first planned to be released this year to highlight [the anniversary of The Sign reaching #1] in the USA, but then the record company wanted to release it on vinyl as well, and since the lead time is eight weeks, it would have been too close to Christmas. The album is a mix of unreleased and rare and songs only known to diehard fans. It feels good to compile them on an album finally. The tracks on the album are prior to 2006 by the original lineup and are original recordings, just mastered.
Hidden Gems is available now in digital form from iTunes and on CD and vinyl from Amazon.
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