All That She Wants

Album: The Sign (1993)
Charted: 1 2

Songfacts®:

  • The song is supposedly about young women in Denmark using men as "Stud Bulls" in order to get pregnant (to get welfare payments for being single mothers). Only not really. "Baby" is often used as slang for "boyfriend" (think "Baby, baby, where did our love go?"). Being a Swedish act, Ace of Base didn't quite get the hang of using English colloquialisms in their songs. Another lyrical oddity: "catching tan." But they didn't care, anyway.

    "I think it was to our advantage that English was not our mother language," Ulf Ekberg, keyboardist and vocalist for the band, explained in John Seabrook's book The Song Machine, "because we are able to treat English very respectless, and just look for the word that sounded good with the melody."
  • This was the first hit for Ace Of Base. A few months later, "The Sign" stayed at #1 in the US for six weeks.
  • Ace of Base sent their demo tape to Swedish producer Denniz Pop, who hated the song (then called "Mr. Ace") and refused to produce it. But there was a problem: The tape was stuck in his car's tape deck. Every morning, he had to listen to the track on the way to work, and every morning he heard something new in it. Ekberg explained in The Sound Machine: "Jonas and I are good at melodies, but there were too many things happening on the track. Denniz was very good at erasing things, and making the sound picture cleaner, and simplified. I think he took away maybe fifty percent of our instrumentation."

    The whistling melody was originally heard at the end, but Denniz moved it to the introduction, making the song instantly recognizable.

Comments: 13

  • Johnnywb from UsaI never really liked this song very much. I didn't hate it but it was just so sugar poppish and I thought the lead singer was a boy. Reminded me of Donny Osmand or David Cassidy. Now that I know the truth I like it better. It makes more sense as an American. I mean a baby is a baby. A newborn infant. You can call your gf or bf baby or my baby but not A BABY. There's a difference. It is still a sugar pop song though.
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, Mn This was the song that put Ace of Base on the map before they hit it big with The Sign. It's one my favorite Ace of Base songs since it has a reggae like beat.
  • George from Vancouver, Canada"My baby" usually means "my child"; you use "baby" or "my babe" to refer to a romantic partner/interest.
  • Bsharp from Columbus, OhI'm here to comment about the ambiguous lyrics. I've done a poll and most Europeans think "another baby" means another boyfriend. Most Americans think it means another child. In native vernacular English "my baby" can mean a romantic interest but not "a baby". But in ESL, second language English speakers often accept that "a baby" can mean romantic interest also.

    Since Ace of Base is Swedish and singing in ESL I guess they just meant "another baby" to mean another boyfriend. But it is a more interesting song the other way.
  • Eugene from Minneapolis, MnNo I think this record, as Rick Deeshas mentioned on his countdown that it is about simply wanting another man. A one night love affair for crying out loud! Believe there a hand full of people live their lives in this matter, which is unfortunate and dangerous both spiritually and physically.
  • Louise from Newcastle, United KingdomI used to love this song, but it drives me mad now- and also, it's more or less decided that this song IS about women using men to get pregnant.
  • Darryl from Queensland"Another baby" could mean another guy - not necessarily a child at all. My daughter and I are in dispute on this one !
  • Rob from Detroit, MiNote to Tara: The lipstick case belonged to Pat Benatar.
  • Sara from Traverse City, MiNow that I know what this song is about, it makes sense now that is. I use to sing this song all the time as a kid, and never had a clue what it was actually about.
  • Tara from Philadelphia, PaIt is possible that instead of 'stud balls' and welfare, it is about a woman how just wants one night hooks ups. 'another baby' may not literally mean child, but asa joan jett would say 'another notch in my lipstick case'
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesJake - that they were compared to ABBA may have had something to do with Ace of Base not only being comprised of a 2 male 2 female line-up but also the fact that they came from Sweden
  • Jacquie from Sparks, NvI always had a theory that this song was about that, and no one believed me! Now everyone will have to bow down before me and accept me as their great ruler!...okay, maybe not, but still, I was right!
  • Jake from San Mateo, CaAce of Base were often compared to ABBA & A*Teens....
    Figure 2 Females & 2 Males..... hmmmmmmmm
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