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All I Ever Wanted: The Story Behind Basshunter’s Breakout Song
In Depth

All I Ever Wanted: The Story Behind Basshunter’s Breakout Song

With the 2008 hit All I Ever Wanted, Swedish DJ Basshunter laid claim to his place among the noughties’ EDM giants.

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Swedish EDM DJ Jonas Erik Altberg, aka Basshunter, was already several years into his career in dance music when he shifted up a gear from producing solid, 90s-centric trance pieces such as Syndrome De Abstenencia and dabbling in rave-oriented hardstyle. The self-declared “bassmachine” quit college after releasing his debut album, and eventually went on to collaborate with Dutch old-school raver Mental Theo on 2007’s platinum breakthrough vocal piece Now You’re Gone. That lovelorn single had started life in 2006, in Swedish, as Altberg’s stompy European homeland hit Boten Anna. The DJ then went on to perform the same language-hopping trick with his 2008 smash, the more relentlessly upbeat UK No.2 All I Ever Wanted. This is the story of how that song gave Basshunter everything he desired.

Listen to the best of Basshunter here.

The backstory: Sitting in Ventrilo, playing ‘DotA’

All I Ever Wanted was based upon a section of French electronic act Daddy DJ’s rippling and catchy eponymous nursery banger, which had been a Swedish chart-topper in 2000 and was later given the ultimate stamp of authority when it was covered by Crazy Frog.

However, Basshunter’s first pass at using the sample was on the track Vi Sitter I Ventrilo Och Spelar DotA (whose title translates into English as “We’re sitting in Ventrilo, playing DotA”), the follow-up single to Boten Anna and the second single lifted from his sophomore album, 2006’s hard-dance record LOL. This pumping trance cut, complete with half-time section, addressed the then up-to-the-minute – but perhaps not universally relatable – pastime of playing the real-time strategy video-game Defense Of The Ancients while chatting to friends online. It came complete with appropriate samples and chiptune touches from the Warcraft franchise instalment, plus a nagging mother in the video. Yet, with some work on the lyrics, along with a raft of remixes, further success would come…

The release: Drop the bass!

Released as a single on 29 June 2008, Basshunter’s English-language version, All I Ever Wanted, ironed out all the quirks of his earlier effort. Eschewing the video-game talk for a straightforward song about desiring the love of another, Altberg turned it into a precision-tuned global sensation which was picked up by dance kingpins Ministry Of Sound.

Rising into view with Altberg’s own breathy voice (transmitted through vocoder), strident piano chords and a drumroll, the song pounded into a locked-in rhythm, now augmented with pumping, riddling and delicately glitched rave synths, percussive additions, miniature drops, vocal samples and a stirring string-laden breakdown: basically, the works. The DNA of Daddy DJ and Vi Sitter I Ventrilo Och Spelar DotA was still detectable throughout, but if ever there was an example of how to take everything learned about EDM and distil it into a sure-fire hit in just over three minutes, this was it. Are you ready? Drop the bass!

The remixes: From the hammering to the slightly less hammering

Bolstering the club success of All I Ever Wanted, Ministry provided various extra versions of the track, ranging from the hammering to the slightly less hammering (under no circumstances would this tune be turned into a chill-out piece). Wideboys, the UK’s eminently adaptable happy-hardcore, hard house, garage and bassline veterans, gave Basshunter’s track the sort of bendy, grumbling electro-house spin they also applied to the likes of Miley Cyrus around the same time. The reliable German duo VooDoo & Serano also went back to Now You’re Gone, for a fresh, guitar-heavy overhaul issued as a bonus on the All I Ever Wanted single release. Meanwhile, the promo video for All I Ever Wanted reflected a generally lighter mood, focusing on a beach holiday, with mopeds, videophones, bikinis, water guns fired at bikinis, a swimming pool, clubbing and a bit of a lovers’ tiff.

The legacy: More than your average two-hit dance wunderkind

All I Ever Wanted continues to inspire remixes, but that was never going to be where it ended for Altberg, who turned out to be more than your average two-hit dance wunderkind. Not lacking in ambition, he was always ready to give a solid tune the Basshunter once-over. From his hit third album, 2008’s Now You’re Gone – The Album, onwards, Basshunter releases have included covers of such tried and tested pieces as KC & The Sunshine Band’s Please Don’t Go, Westlife’s I Miss You, Nick Kamen’s I Promised Myself, and even Jingle Bells.

More recently, Altberg issued Life Speaks To Me, his tribute to the late Avicii. With further hit Basshunter albums, he has also become a regular at festivals and a social-media favourite, and has even crossed over into reality television (Celebrity Big Brother) and made appearances on game shows such as Never Mind The Buzzcocks and The Weakest Link. But music doesn’t remain far away: his 2022 collaboration with Alien Cut, End The Lies, recalled his hits of the late 2000s. Among it all, however, his 2008 banger All I Every Wanted remains the gift that keeps giving.

Looking for more? Check out the best 2000s songs.

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