Don't Turn Around

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"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. Warren is said to have been disappointed that Turner's record company treated the song as a B-side and never included it on one of her albums. However 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 a number of artists, most notably Aswad in 1988, Ace of Base in 1994 and Milow in 2017. This song was also recorded by Soul Artist Luther Ingram and released in 1987 as a 45 on the Profile Label in the US.

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 made a cover of it. It was released on February 10, 1988 and 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.


Chart (1988) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[2] 34
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[3] 6
Germany (Official German Charts)[4] 29
Ireland (IRMA)[5] 4
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[6] 5
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[7] 1
Norway (VG-lista)[8] 10
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[9] 13
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[10] 1
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[11] 45


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[12] Silver 250,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming 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 (US version) & The Sign
B-side"Young and Proud"
  • March 15, 1994 (Europe)
  • May 3, 1994 (US)
  • July 1, 1994 (UK)
StudioTuffs, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 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 also included on the re-release of Happy Nation the same year.

Background and release[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.[13]

Arista Records suggested that Ace of Base should make a cover of "Don't Turn Around" for their The Sign album. Band member Jonas Berggren hadn't heard the Aswad version, but he liked what he heard and decided to record a cover with Ace of Base.

The song reached number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number five on the UK Singles Chart. The song was the third most popular song in the United States in the summer of 1994.[14] On the Eurochart Hot 100 "Don't Turn Around" entered at 27 on April 9 and it took almost three months to peak at 7.

"Don't Turn Around" peaked within the top ten in a total of 13 countries: Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. The song also was a top 20 hit in Belgium, France and Switzerland.

"Don't Turn Around" also contains a rap segment made by band member Ulf Ekberg.

Critical reception[edit]

Billboard wrote about the song: "Swedish pop phenomenon will, once again, blaze up the Hot 100 with its slick, lightweight reading of a tune popularized by Aswad. Thin but inoffensive vocals are laid over the kind of synth-smart pop/reggae arrangement that top 40 programmers regularly subscribe to."[15]

Cash Box wrote: "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. A no-brainer for radio programmers and a potential summertime smash. One has to wonder. "What's in the water over at Arista?!"[16]

The Gavin Report wrote: "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!"[17]


"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 1 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 1 or 2 spot on Border Breakers for 36 weeks.[18]

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.[19]

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 Gagas single.[20] 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?"[21]

Music video[edit]

Ace of Base filmed a music video for the song directed by 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.[22] 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".

Track listing[edit]

  • UK CD single
  1. "Don't Turn Around" (The 7" Aswad Mix)
  2. "Don't Turn Around" (Stretch Version)
  3. "Young and Proud"
  • German 4-track CD
  1. "Don't Turn Around" (Radio Groove Mix)
  2. "Don't Turn Around" (The Aswad Mix)
  3. "Don't Turn Around" (Groove Mix Extended)
  4. "Happy Nation" (Moody Gold Mix)
  • European 2-CD set

CD 1:

  1. "Don't Turn Around"
  2. "Don't Turn Around" (Stretch Version)
  3. "Young and Proud"

CD 2:

  1. "Don't Turn Around" (The 7" Aswad Mix)
  2. "Don't Turn Around" (Turned Out Eurodub)
  3. "Don't Turn Around" (Groove Mix Extended)
  4. "Happy Nation" (Moody Gold Mix)
  • Digital download (The Remixes EP, 2009)
  1. "Don't Turn Around"
  2. "Don't Turn Around" (2009)
  3. "Don't Turn Around" (Stretch Version)
  4. "Don't Turn Around" (The 7" Aswad Mix)
  5. "Don't Turn Around" (Turned Out Eurodub)
  6. "Don't Turn Around" (Groove Mix Extended)

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

Charts and certifications[edit]

Other cover versions[edit]

Kim Goody released a single version in 1987. Despite being featured in several episodes of her Saturday morning show No. 73, the song failed to get into the UK Singles Chart.

The younger sister of John Rowles, Tania Rowles, recorded a single version for RCA NZ in 1986.[55][56]

Bonnie Tyler released her version on her 1988 album Hide Your Heart, while soul singer Luther Ingram had a US Billboard R&B chart No. 55 hit with his interpretation.

Loretta Chandler also sung this song on the "Mr. Wacky's World" episode of the 1980s TV show Fame (Ep. 6.8, 1986).

In 1990, a little-known rock band called Eyes, which at one point featured James Christian of House of Lords on lead vocals, covered the song on their self-titled album, which Journey and Talisman frontman Jeff Scott Soto sang on. It was released under the Curb Records label. In 1994, Eyes, this time featuring Jeff Scott Soto on lead vocals, covered the song again on their album "Windows of the Soul."

In 1992, Neil Diamond recorded a version of "Don't Turn Around", which made the Top 20 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Also in 1992, Swedish pop singer Tone Norum recorded a version, which is included on her album, Don't Turn Around.

In 1998, the Argentinean dance-pop group El Simbolo recorded a Spanish language cover titled "No Llores Más" from their album No Pares.

In 2005, the Utah-based rock with horns band Side Dish recorded and released a version of "Don't Turn Around" which was included on their EP Age of Intent.

In 2010, Albert Hammond, co-writer of the song, recorded the song for his album Legend.


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External links[edit]