Archivi categoria: Tabs

All a-ha’s tablatures for piano and guitar

B sides

the demo from tape bonus cd of the biography “the swing of things” 2004

demo 2004

Presenting Lily Mars
Tap dancer, a soon-to-be star
She’ll beat your heart so fast
Spotlight’s on Lily tonight
She’s on Channel One’s late night show
She’s watching people come and go
Producer says, “You’ve got it made, girl”
And when she’s lying sleepless in his arms
The frost paints roses on poor Lily’s window pane
Presenting Lily’s mum
She still lives on in Lily’s mind
Stopped ageing years ago
Now she’s gone but left her dreams in Lily’s eyes
Lily’s wondering if mummy’s watching her tonight
“Good morning,” says father Mars
Presenting a salesman’s cheerful face
His mouth is never shut
As he strides from door to door to door to door
Watch his face as he puts his foot in my door
Presenting Lily Mars
She’s sensing moons and stars
The pills that Doc subscribed
Will keep the sleepless, dreamless nights away
Oh, poor Lily, now you’re sleeping day by day
By day by day by day by day
Bye, bye
Poor Lily, mummy’s watching you tonight

Once a girl
In mommy’s world
Laughing, rhyming, singing songs
In her newly learnt tongue
Now a girl
In this world
Married to a stranger’s name
Writing to him all the same
And, oh, but
Where can she go
If she’s going alone?
Where can she go
If she’s going alone?
Where can she go
To avoid the love goodbye?
All the same
Letters answer letters in a round about way
“Sweet darling” they commence
But she no longer feels that way
Oh, there’s not a soul
In the streets below
She’s sitting by the window
Clinging to the phone
Dialling endless numbers
No reply
Love goodbye
Where can she go
If she’s going alone?
Where can she go
If she’s going?
Where can she go
If she’s going alone?
She’s going alone
She’s going alone

So please
Please let me come to you
And stay this time
Go to sleep
Go to sleep
Go to sleep
There was a time
When I could kiss
Kiss you goodnight
It will come again
In your sleep
Go to sleep
Look for a dream
Soft as your skin
The night is here now
Hide out in your dreams
Sweetest love of mine
You can sleep
Go to sleep

Do you know why winter’s such a cold and lonely place?
If you do
Breathe it in to my bleached faces
Falling far
The sheets of my bed disappear
I hear the clock
Strikes up prettily at the hours
I wear the path deeper following you
Girl i knew comes tired home
From another working day
Cooks a meal
Puts the stove on and sees the snow
Falling far
A white painted sky drifting by
And here i come
In through the door
I say hello and very little more
Did she love me anymore?
Do you know why winter’s such a cold place?
I’m laughing at the weather
It reminded me of something
It took me years and years to forget
Do you love me anymore?

Dot the I
Stretch your lips and smile
Let the world run by
Be the fool
Tomorrow morning’s here
And I’m all nonsense, dear
I see, I know, I hear you say
Come near, come close to me
Love happened to happen to me
Dot the I
Trust your kite to fly
I could lend you mine
Spot the gag
Tick it, tock it, light a fag
Pass it on to me
I see, I know, I hear you say
Come near, come close to me
Love happened to happen, you see
I see, I know, I hear you say
Come near, come close to me
Love happened to happen to me
I see, I know, I hear you say
Come near, come close to me
Love happened to happen, you see
I see, I know, I hear you say
Come near, come close to me
Love happened to happen to me
Dot the I
Count to three and sigh
I need you to dot the I

Monday mourning
Tears are falling
Down like fluid pain
And it’s a long
Lost Monday morning
The telling words
I like to learn
Are dying on your lips
As the morning
Through my fingers slips
I find myself in times like this
Quite amazed
How eager everything is to go wrong
Around me
Monday mourning
Tries to wound me
Eyes look hurt again
For have I asked
And will never ask again
For I have asked
I will never ask again

Come the winter
Falling snow
I could swear I’ll make this promise hold
I won’t give you shadows
Never never
I won’t give you shadows
See me standing on a bridge in white
I watch the water spinning scenes by ice
Now I swear to make these words sound right
I won’t give you shadows
Never never
I won’t give you shadows
And my love is all that matters
And my love is all I see
Hold me
Give all your love
Touch me
Give all your love to me
Hold me
Give all your love
Touch me
Give all your love to me
I won’t give you shadows
Never Never
Won’t give you shadows
Never never
Won’t give you shadows
Never Never
I won’t give you shadows
I swear to you I’ll make this promise hold

En flue bruker sine siste krefter
Sine rester av et liv
På mitt igjenlukkede vindu
Regnet står mot ruta
Dette huset bakker haspen på
Jeg tror jeg slipper det inn
For nå blåser det på jorden
Dagene trekker meg med
Tar i fra meg hva jeg hadde
Og evnen til å bedra meg selv
Trikken trommer mennesker
Inn og ut av byen
Våte paraplyer danser gatelangs forbid
En mor med sine voksne døtre
Smiler, famler gjennom minner
Det eneste de nå kan dele
For nå blåser det på jorden
Tiden presser seg på
Før tok hun dagen som den kom
Nå gripes den i det den er forbid
Så er jeg atter ingens venn
Og ingen syder lenger
Ingen sorg og ingens glede, ingen sving
Hvorfor skal min munn
Ganske uten grunn
Så nå blåser det på jorden
Du ser på meg
Hva tenker jeg på
Ute brenner regnet
Og dit ut er det nå jeg går
Så nå blåser det på jorden

A fly using his last strength
Its remnants of a life
On my left closed window
The rain is the route
This house slopes latch on
I think I let it in.
For now it blows on earth
The days draw me
Taking in me what I had
And the ability to deceive myself
The tram drums People
In and out of town
Wet umbrellas dancing streets forbid
A mother with her ​​adult daughters
Smiles, groping through memories
The only thing they can now share
For now it blows on the ground
Time presses on
Before she took the day as it came
Now grasped it what it is forbid
So I’m staying the basis Friend
And no longer seethes
No sorrow and nobody ‘joy, no swivel
Why should my mouth
Quite without reason
So now it blows on the ground
You look at me
What I think of
Outside burning rain
And there out there now I go
So now it blows on the ground

Take on me see the article about this song
Hunting high and low see the song A-Z page
I’ve been losing you  see the song A-Z page
The swing of things see the song A-Z page


Analogue cd picture disk – uk german and french editions 2006
Here’s a stain on the ottoman
Here’s a slug in the plaster wall
Here’s a glass with a fingerprint
Left out in the entrance hall
Left out in the hallway…
Case closed on silver shore
Can’t prove a thing
Case closed on silver shore
Can’t prove a thing
Here’s a room showing signs of struggle
Here’s a tear in the victim’s shirt
Here’s a plate with a chalky substance
Like a footprint in the dirt
Left out in the driveway…
Case closed on silver shore
Can’t prove a thing
Case closed on silver shore
Can’t prove a thing
I wouldn’t put it past the neighbour
I wouldn’t put it past the maid
I wouldn’t put it past the boyfriend
Yeah, he’d do it in a jealous rage
Case closed on silver shore
Can’t prove a thing
Case closed on silver shore
The boyfriend wont sink
Case closed on silver shore
Can’t make it stick
Case closed on silver shore
He’s getting away
Come back, my darling one
I’m calling on you
The road ahead is long
And I must warn you
Take hold, my little one
My minor key sonata
Show forth your looping grace
No one here can take your place
We’ll find a way
To make it pay
To get around it
Come back, my fallen son
Don’t let them fool you
Cos when the day is done
They never move you
Lay down your sense of pride
Trampled once too often
Put out your mournful tones
No one here can take your place
We’ll find a way
To do OK
To get around it
Come back, my analogue
I hardly knew ya
The high end sloping off
A thing of beauty
Take hold, my little ones
My minor key sonatas
Show forth your looping grace
No one here can take your place
We’ll make it pay
We’ll find a way
To do without it
You’ll find a way
We’ll make it pay
To get around it
Just what you know
Just let it go
To get around it

Stop and make your mind up 1984 from “Take one me” first version 7″
We have no help
You know that
All by ourselves
We have come this far
Now stop and make your mind up about me
Stop and make your mind up about me, baby
Stop and make your mind up about me, yeah
Stop and make your mind up
Beer goes to my head
I want you
Come back to bed
We have come this far
Now stop and make your mind up about me
Stop and make your mind up about me, baby
Stop and make your mind up about me, yeah
Stop and make your mind up
Yeah, I want you near me
So stop ! and make your mind up about me, baby
Stop and make your mind up about me, yeah
Stop and make your mind up about me, baby, Oh baby
Stop and make your mind up about me, baby.

Differences 2002 from “Forever Not Yours” cd
D                   A
Raise your voice
E              G
Give us hope
D              A
Make us whole
E               G A
Save our souls
G                            E
We have failed so many times
G                             A
Our attempts in steep decline
G                            E
Promises we could not keep
G                               A
Differences that run too deep
D         A
We’re afraid
E           G
of ourselves
D        A
For a while
E               G A
Keep us safe
G                     E
Love is such a big idea
G                                A
If you don’t see it, how can we?
G                           E
Promises we could not keep
G                           A
Differences that run too deep
D                 A
Show the way
E              G
Lead us home
D           A
We are lost
E             G
Give us hope

Angel in the snow instrumental1993 from “Angel” cd

–0—0—0—0—0—0- -0—0—0—0—0—0–
———————— ————————
———————— ————————
–0—0—0—9—9—0- ————————
-10–10–10–10–10–10- -8—8—8—8—8—8–
–9—9—9—9—9—9- -7-9h9—7-9h9—9—7–
-11–11–11–11–11–11- -9—9—9—9—9—9–
———————— ————————
———————— ————————
-10–10–10–10—8—7- -7—7—8—7—5—7–
-12–12–12–12–10—8- -8—8—8—8—8—8–
–0—0—0—0—0—0- -0—0—0—0—0—0–
———————— ————————
———————— ————————
———————— ————————
–5—5—5—5—5—5- -s9—9—9–10–10–10-
–5—5—5—5—5—5- s10–10–10–10–10–11-
–6—6—6—6—6—6- -s9—9—9—9—9—9-
———————— ————————
———————— ————————
———————— ————————
-10–10–10–10—8—7- -7—7—8—7—5—7–
-12–12–12–12–10—8- -8—8—8—8—8—8–
–0—0—0—0—0—0- -0—0—0—0—0—0–
———————— ————————
———————— ————————
———————— ————————
–0—0—0—9—9—0- ————————
-10–10–10–10–10–10- -8—8—8—8—8—8–
–9—9—9—9—9—9- -7-9h9—7-9h9—9—7–
-11–11–11–11–11–11- -9—9—9—9—9—9–
———————— ————————
———————— ————————
-10–10–10–10—8—7- -7—7—8—7—5—7–
-12–12–12–12–10—8- -8—8—8—8—8—8–
–0—0—0—0—0—0- -0—0—0—0—0—0–
———————— ————————
———————— ————————
———————— ————————
–5—5—5—5—5—5- -s9—9—9—9—9—9-
–5—5—5—5—5—5- s10–10–10–10–10–10-
–6—6—6—6—6—6- -s9—9—9—9—9—9-
———————— ————————
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Shapes that go together instrumental 1994 from “Shapes that go together” cd

Driftwood 1985 from “The Sun Always Shine son Tv” 7″, picture disk
(intro) D-7/9 | D-7/9 | D-7/9 | D-7/9    D-9 | D-9 | D-9 | D-9
D                 C                                 F                        G7               D
Oh come pity me a poor mad sailor stranded on this love here I lie
C                       F                        G7
like driftwood honey thing is this what I’ve become
D-/A             G6               F6/7+  C7+/9/E  (E-7?)              D-/F G6/E
I’ve got high over down under          at a lady’s will
D 9                 D 7/9 D 9        D 7/9      D 9
under you       at a lady’s will I’m drifting still I’m
D 7/9      D 9
drifting still
D                    C                               F                   G7
So I ask in fading     innocence and all my full rage will your
D                                        C                              F                       G7
hand still touch me when my face has fallen in with age
D /A             G6 F6/7+                      C7+/9/E    D /F      G6/E
and I go high over down under                  at a lady’s will
D 9    D /A                  G6 F6/7+        C7+/9/E    D /F       G6/E
under you     high endless down under    at a lady’s will
D 9         D 7/9 D 9             D 7/9    D 9         D 7/9   D 9
under you at a lady’s will    I’m drifting still I’m drifting still
(solo) A   /  F7+  /   E  /   D   /   A   /   F7+  /   E   /  D
E                 D6                C7+ B                  E       D6                   C7+   B
high over down under             at a lady’s will        (la la la laa..)
E                          D6                C7+ B                          E
high endless down under                at a lady’s will



25 & Butterfly

25 – 2010

1. Take On Me
2. The Blue Sky
3. The Sun Always Shines On TV
4. Train Of Thought (7″ remix)
5. Hunting High And Low (7″ remix)
6. I’ve Been Losing You
7. Scoundrel Days
8. The Swing Of Things
9. Cry Wolf
10. Manhattan Skyline (Edit Version)
11. The Living Daylights
12. Stay On These Roads
13. Touchy! (Uk Dj Edit)
14. There’s Never A Forever Thing
15. You Are The One (7” Remix)
16. The Blood That Moves The Body (Remix)
17. Crying In The Rain
18. Early Morning
19. Slender Frame
20. I Call Your Name
21. Move To Memphis (Single Version)
22. Dark Is The Night For All
23. Cold As Stone (Re-Mix)
24. Angel In The Snow (Edit)
25. Shapes That Go Together
26. Summer Moved On
27. Minor Earth Major Sky (Niven’s Radio Edit)
28. The Sun Never Shone That Day (Radio Edit)
29. Velvet
30. Forever Not Yours
31. Lifelines
32. Did Anyone Approach You?
33. Celice
34. Analogue
35. Cosy Prisons (Radio Mix)
36. Foot Of The Mountain
37. Nothing Is Keeping You Here (Single Remix)
38. Shadowside (Single Edit)
39. Butterfly, Butterfly (The Last Hurrah)


As a-ha’s twenty-five year career draws to a close, a new compilation called ’25′ will be released that includes hits and classics from all of their studio albums. The previous a-ha compilation albums, Headlines and Deadlines: The Hits of a-ha (1991), and The Singles: 1984-2004 (2004), are mainly hit-parades of all the chart-topping singles that made a-ha famous. ’25′, however, includes classic, non-single tracks like “The Blue Sky”, “Scoundrel Days”, “Slender Frame” and “Cold as Stone”, as well as a new single – a-ha’s last – “Butterfly, Butterfly (The Last Hurrah)”.

This 2-CD collection offers selected rare remixes and non-album edit versions of classic songs. It will be available first in Norway on July 19, with releases to follow in other parts of Europe and beyond.


Art Direction & Design: Jeri Heiden for Smog Design
Remastering: Dan Hersch, Dave Schultz & Bill Inglot at DigiPrep

Project Assistance:
Steve Woolard, Andrea Craig, Kris Ahrend, Amanda Smith, David Ponak, David Gorman, Aleeta Mayo, William Barker, Alessandra Quaranta, Steven Chean, Lyn Fey, Julee Stover, Christopher Hopkins, Mat Smyth

Harald Wiik / a-ha network

Butterfly Butterfly the last hurrah lyrics & tabs


Intro :
Em C D
Bm   C
Em C D
Bm   C

Em                            Am/E          H/E
Butterfly, butterfly flying into the wind
You could be sure of it
      ../G Am
That's no place to begin
D              Am            G
Over thinking every little thing
D              Am                    Am/H H
Acknowledge the bell you can't unring

Em     C  G                  D                 Em    C
Tomorrow, you don't have to say what you're thinking
     G             D             Em
You don't have to mean what you say

Em C D    like Intro
Bm   C

Em                                Am/E H/E
Butterfly, butterfly, flutter into the skies
Em           (Am/E H/E)      ../G Am
Butterfly, butterfly, their molecular cries
D                   Am                   G
Chrysalis dreams waiting on the fifth in star
      D               Am                  Am/H     H
These stained glass wings could only take you so far

Em       C G                 D           Em     C
Tomorrow, you don't have to say that it matters
G                  D             Em   C   
You don't have to turn something in
Am           D                Em     G
Stay with it through thick or thin
D             Am
Butterfly begin


Am/H    Am        B
Butterfly, butterfly

Em     C   G                D                Em    C
Tomorrow, you don't have to mean what you say
Am                D       Em   G
Left without a reason to stay
D                    Am    Em   G
Here comes the last hurrah
D                   Am    Em    
Here's out last hurrah
Em C D
Bm   C
Em C D
Bm   C
Butterfly, Butterfly


This song was made in 1987 as soundtrack title of the movie “007 – the living daylights”, a spy movie from the James Bond books of Ian Fleming. There are two video of this song: one for the movie with scenes of women shooting to actor Timothy Dalton as agent 007 James Bond, and another video with a-ha playing in a hangar. The song itself is always the same. The song was included in the album “Stay on these roads” in 1988. The B side of Singles is the living daylights instrumental version.
tldltd7 TLD2

more info here for the song


and here info for the 007 movie
or 007 movie VIDEO

CURIOSITY: The music of the typical 007 James Bond theme is made by John Barry and during the 1988 tourneè concerts Paal played it with a solo guitar ending with a very high jumping performance too.
(John Barry/Pål Waaktaar)

Hey driver, where’re we going
I swear my nerves are showing
Set your hopes up way too high
The living’s in the way we die
Comes the morning and the
headlights fade away
Hundred thousand people…I’m
the one they blame
I’ve been waiting long for one
of us to say
Save the darkness, let it never
fade away
In the living daylights
All right, hold on tight now
It’s down, down to the wire
Set your hopes up way too high
The living’s in the way we die
Comes the morning and the
headlights fade in rain
Hundred thousand
changes…everything’s the same
I’ve been waiting long for one
of us to say
Save the darkness, let it never
fade away
In the living daylights
Comes the morning and the
headlights fade away
Hundred thousand people…I’m
the one they frame
In the living daylights

Tabs for piano:
tld1   tld2   tld3

Chart (1987–88) Peak
Norwegian Singles Chart 1
Australian Singles Chart 29
Austrian Singles Chart 18
Canadian Singles Chart 35
Dutch Top 40 9
French Singles Chart 21
German Singles Chart 8
Irish Singles Chart 2
Italian Singles Chart 3
Japanese Singles Chart 42
Polish Singles Chart 3
South African Singles Chart 5
Spanish Singles Chart 30
Swedish Singles Chart 3
Swiss Singles Chart 8
UK Singles Chart 5

10449636_794853560527627_856881960_n    a-haa-ha-living-daylights-aha     imagesThe_Living_Daylights    index2

Hey autista, dove stiamo andando ?
Giuro che i miei nervi si stanno mostrando
Metti le tue speranze molto in alto
viviamo nel modo in cui moriremo
Arriva il mattino e le luci svaniscono
Centomila persone, sono l’unico che incolpano
Ho aspettato molto, perché uno di noi dicesse
Salva l’oscurità, non lasciarla mai svanire
Nelle luci vive del giorno
ok, aggrappati più forte ora
E’ giù, fino all’ultimo momento
Porta le tue speranze molto in alto
Viviamo nel modo in cui moriremo
Arriva il mattino, e le luci svaniscono in pioggia
Centomila cambiamenti, tutto è uguale
Ho apettato molto, perchè uno di noi dicesse
Salva l’oscurità, non lasciarla mai svanire
Nelle luci vive del giorno
Arriva il mattino e le luci svaniscono
Centomila persone, sono l’unico che incolpano
Nelle luci vive del giorno



1985 – Hunting High and Low (Warner Bros)

  1. Take on Me – 3:47 – (Furuholmen, Harket, Waaktaar)
  2. Train Of Thought – 4:15 – (Waaktaar)
  3. Hunting High And Low – 3:45 – (Waaktaar)
  4. The Blue Sky – 2:32 – (Waaktaar)
  5. Living a Boy’s Adventure Tale – 5:01 – (Harket, Waaktaar)
  6. The Sun Always Shines on T.V. – 5:04 – (Waaktaar)
  7. And You Tell Me – 1:50 – (Waaktaar)
  8. Love is Reason – 3:05 – (Furuholmen, Waaktaar)
  9. I Dream Myself Alive – 3:07 – (Furuholmen, Waaktaar)
  10. Here I Stand and Face the Rain – 4:30 – (Waaktaar)


This is the debut album by Norwegian band A-ha. Released on 1 June 1985 through Warner Bros. Records, the album was a huge commercial success selling more than 10 million units worldwide, peaking at #15 in the United States Billboard 200 and reaching high positions on charts worldwide. The album was recorded at Eel Pie Studios in Twickenham, produced by Tony Mansfield, John Ratcliff and Alan Tarney. In all, five singles from the album were released, though not all were released internationally: “Take On Me“, “Love Is Reason”, “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.“, “Train of Thought” and “Hunting High and Low“. The group was nominated for best new artist at the Grammy Awards in 1986, making A-ha the first Norwegian band to be nominated for a Grammy. As part of a re-release of their first two albums, Hunting High and Low was expanded and remastered in 2010.
Take On Me” was the first single released by the band. An early version was recorded and released in late 1984 with an early music video. The song became a #3 hit in A-ha’s native Norway but failed to chart in the United Kingdom. The band went back into the studio to re-record the song for the Hunting High and Low album, but a second UK release in early 1985 was again ignored. Before releasing their single in the United States, the band undertook the production of a new music video for the song, working with director Steve Barron. Barron had previously created hit videos for Toto, Thomas Dolby, Culture Club and Michael Jackson, but the A-ha video was unlike any of his earlier work. A plot-driven amalgamation of live-action and rotoscope-style animation by husband-and-wife team Michael Patterson and Candace Reckinger, it drew inspiration from Patterson’s animated film Commuter and the film Altered States. The innovative video for “Take On Me” was first broadcast on local Boston music video station V-66, and soon after given heavy rotation on MTV.
The single debuted in Billboard the week of July 13, 1985, and was heading into the U.S. top twenty when it was given an international release, including a second release in Norway and a third shot at the UK market. It hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, spending 27 weeks on the charts and becoming the tenth-biggest single of 1985,and this time going to number two in the United Kingdom and number one in Norway. In all, the song reached number one in 36 countries, becoming one of the world’s best-selling singles of all time with nearly 9 million copies sold. The second single for most of the world was “The Sun Always Shines on TV” (“Love is Reason” had failed to hit the Norwegian Top 40 earlier in the year), and the band followed its massively successful music video with another critically acclaimed clip for the song. Starting off as a sequel of sorts, Harket breaks away from his happy ending to join his band in performance amidst mannequins at a rural church, Saint Albans in Teddington, which has since become an art gallery. “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.” improved upon the first single’s success in the United Kingdom, hitting number one and remaining there for two weeks in January 1986. It was a top-10 hit nearly everywhere it was released except in the United States, where it peaked at #20 and would be the band’s last major hit to date in that country. The single sold 5 million copies around the world. The track was remixed as a dance version, which was a top-5 hit on the U.S. Dance chart, and B-side to the single and remix was the otherwise unreleased “Driftwood.”
Train of Thought” saw limited release as the third single in Europe. It was not released as a 7″ in the United States but received rock radio play and a set of remixes again made the dance charts. Waaktaar based the lyrics for this song on existentialist authors and poets Gunvor Hofmo, Knut Hamsun and Fyodor Dostoevsky, his favourites at the time. It was A-ha’s third consecutive Top 10 single in the United Kingdom and Ireland, reaching #8 and #5 respectively, and charting well in Germany and Sweden. World sales hit 500,000 copies.
The last single from the album was “Hunting High and Low“, released in June 1986. The single saw its highest chartings in France, where it peaked at number four, and the United Kingdom, where it was number five.The single was released in the United States but did not make the Hot 100. An extended version was available on 12″ vinyl, but the midtempo track did not see dance chart success. Coldplay, a band influenced by A-ha, has been known to perform “Hunting High and Low” in concert. The “Take On Me” video was nominated for eight 1986 MTV Video Music Awards, and at the third annual ceremony September 5, 1986, the video won six awards, including Best New Artist and Viewer’s Choice. “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.” was nominated for an additional three awards, winning two, for a total of eight wins. Even as the total number of categories has nearly doubled, only one other artist to date has won as many MTV Awards in a single year. Peter Gabriel won nine the following year for “Sledgehammer” and “Big Time,” two videos which progressed further down the roads A-ha ventured in groundbreaking use of animation in music video. In 2002, “Take On Me” was ranked at number eight on VH1’s 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders, although this status is slightly misleading as it reflects A-ha’s lack of mainstream success in the United States; the group was by no means a one-hit wonder elsewhere or in career terms. In 2006, “Take On Me” was ranked number 24 on VH1‘s Greatest Songs of the 1980s.The cover photograph was taken by Just Loomis and was nominated in 1986 for a Grammy as “Album Cover of the Year.” The band released a live version of “The Sun Always Shines on TV” in 2003. Hunting High and Low was a-ha’s breakout album. Upon its release in May 1985, Hunting High and Low peaked at number 15 on the Billboards Top 200 album chart. The album granted A-ha international recognition. Hunting High and Low got 3x platinum status in the UK and Platinum status in the United States and Germany, and Gold status in Brazil, and the Netherlands. The album peaked at 15 in the U.S., according to Billboard music charts and has sold about 1.8 million copies in the U.S. It peaked at 2 on the UK charts, and hit 1 in Norway. The album has been certified platinum in the United States and 3x platinum in UK. On the Billboard 200, Hunting High and Low held the record for the highest-charting album by a Norwegian artist until Do It Again by Norwegian duo Röyksopp and Swedish singer Robyn (which peaked at number 14).Beginning with the single “Take On Me”, A-ha’s debut album sold more than eight million copies worldwide and spawned two number one hits. In the fall of 1986, “Take On Me” and “The Sun Always Shines on TV” were nominated for 11 MTV Video Awards combined, and A-ha won eight of these. Tim DiGravina of AllMusic Guide said “It’s a cohesive album with smart pace changeups, and it rarely fails to delight or satisfy a listener’s need for a synth pop fix… One can’t escape the feeling that Hunting High and Low is a product of the 1980s, but with highs like ‘Take On Me’ and ‘The Sun Always Shines on TV,’ and no lows in sight, A-ha’s debut is a treat worth relishing.” The album has sold more than ten million copies worldwide. Hunting High and Low Tour In June 1986, A-ha began a world tour which went through August 1987. The band had never played a single concert when “Take On Me” shot to #1 in America; soon it could boast a 16-country, 113-city tour under its belt along with countless interviews and television appearances.



Chart Peak
Australian Album Charts 15
Swiss Album Charts 10
Austrian Album Charts 1
Swedish Albums Chart 1
New Zealand Album Chart 1
Norwegian Album Chart 1
German Album Chart 10
US Billboard 200 15
UK Albums Chart 2
Italian Album Chart 17
Canadian Album Chart 12
French Album Chart 7


Country Certification Sales/shipments
Norway 4x Platinum 230,000
Austria Gold 30,000
Switzerland Gold 30,000
Holland Gold 60,000
Brazil Gold 150,000
Germany 3x Gold 830,000
France Platinum 860,000
UK 3x Platinum 1,090,000
USA Platinum 1,800,000

1986 – Scoundrel Days (Warner Bros)

  1. “Scoundrel Days” – 3:56
  2. “The Swing of Things” – 4:14 (Waaktaar)
  3. “I’ve Been Losing You” – 4:24 (Waaktaar)
  4. “October” – 3:48 (Waaktaar)
  5. “Manhattan Skyline” – 4:52
  6. “Cry Wolf” – 4:05
  7. “We’re Looking for the Whales” – 3:39
  8. “The Weight of the Wind” – 3:57 (Waaktaar)
  9. “Maybe, Maybe” – 2:34 (Furuholmen)
  10. “Soft Rains of April” – 3:12

Produced by Alan Tarney, except tracks 3, 9 and 10 produced by Furuholmen and Waaktaar. All songs written by Furuholmen/Waaktaar unless noted otherwise.


Scoundrel Days is the second full-length album by the new wave pop/rock band A-ha. It was released on 6 October 1986 through Warner Bros. Records. A deluxe/expanded edition with additional tracks was released in 2010. Yamaha DX7 and Roland Juno-60/106 synths used in the recording of this album—Roland Juno used on intro of the song “Manhattan Skyline ” and Yamaha DX7 drum sound used on the intro of song called “October”. “Scoundrel Days” and “Swing of Things” signature sounds are PPG. The drums and several other sounds are from the Fairlight. I’ve Been Losing You” was the first single from the album. It reached #1 in Norway, and #8 in the UK. “I’ve Been Losing You” became the biggest hit from the album in Europe.”Cry Wolf” was the second single from the album. It was the most successful single from the Scoundrel Days album in the U.S., where it peaked at #14 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts and went to #50 on the Hot 100. While it would be their last entry on that chart, the band would continue to have major pop hits from each album release throughout the rest of the world through to the present day. The single went Top 40 nearly everywhere else it was released, including Top 5 chartings in the UK, Poland and Ireland, going #2 in Norway and to the top spot in Japan. The lyrics “Night I left the city I dreamt of a Wolf…” are credited to Lauren Savoy whom Pål later married. “Maybe, Maybe” is the third single released from the album and was only released in Bolivia. “Manhattan Skyline” reached #13 in the UK charts. The song was co-written by keyboardist Magne Furuholmen and guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy. The song starts with a calm verse in F major, before kicking into a hard rock-style chorus with a guitar riff in D minor. In the official A-ha biography, The Swing of Things, Furuholmen said it was “perhaps one of the most inspired cut and paste-projects that Paul and I did. I wrote the quiet part. Paul wrote the rock part.” Scoundrel Days was the band’s second studio album. The album’s peak on the Billboard 200 was 74. The album was another big hit by A-ha and sold over 6 million copies worldwide which gave the band international recognition. Scoundrel Days achieved Platinum status in the UK and Switzerland and Gold in Germany and Brazil. Ned Raggett of AllMusic Guide said, “The opening two songs alone make for one of the best one-two opening punches around: the tense edge of the title track, featuring one of Morten Harket’s soaring vocals during the chorus and a crisp, pristine punch in the music, and “The Swing of Things,” a moody, elegant number with a beautiful synth/guitar arrangement (plus some fine drumming courtesy of studio pro Michael Sturgis) and utterly lovelorn lyrical sentiments that balance on the edge of being overheated without quite going over…The ’80s may be long gone, but Scoundrel Days makes clear that not everything was bad back then.”Scoundrel Days included the singles “I’ve Been Losing You“, “Cry Wolf“, “Maybe, Maybe”, and “Manhattan Skyline“. All the singles with the exception of “Maybe, Maybe” charted on the UK Singles Chart. “I’ve Been Losing You” and “Cry Wolf” were the most successful singles from the album, “Cry Wolf” became a minor hit in America and charted on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #50, while “I’ve Been Losing You” was the most successful single in Europe. As part of a re-release of their first two albums, Scoundrel Days was expanded and remastered in 2010. On July 6, 2010 the albums Hunting High and Low and Scoundrel Days was released as deluxe editions in the USA through Rhino Records and both albums debuted in the top 40 Billboard Top Internet Sales Chart. Hunting High and Low at # 34 and Scoundrel Days at # 36.



Chart Peak
Switzerland Swiss Album Charts 6
Austria Austrian Album Charts 9
Sweden Swedish Albums Chart 11
Norway Norwegian Album Chart 1
United States Billboard 200 74
United Kingdom UK Album Charts 2
Germany German Album Chart 4
Italy Italian Album Chart 11
Canada Canadian Album Chart 33


Country Certification Sales/shipments
Norway 3x Platinum 180,000
Switzerland platinum 50,000
Brazil platinum 300,000
Germany platinum 660,000
France Platinum 570,000
UK Platinum 500,000
USA 340,000

1988 – Stay on These Roads (Warner Bros)

  1. “Stay on These Roads” * — 4:45 (Furuholmen, Harket, Waaktaar)
  2. “The Blood That Moves the Body” * — 4:06 (Waaktaar)
  3. “Touchy!” * — 4:34 (Furuholmen, Harket, Waaktaar)
  4. “This Alone Is Love” — 5:15 (Furuholmen, Waaktaar)
  5. “Hurry Home” — 4:37 (Furuholmen, Waaktaar)
  6. The Living Daylights” — 4:47 (Barry, Waaktaar)
  7. “There’s Never a Forever Thing” — 2:53 (Waaktaar)
  8. “Out of Blue Comes Green” — 6:42 (Waaktaar)
  9. “You Are the One”* — 3:51 (Furuholmen, Waaktaar)
  10. “You’ll End up Crying” — 2:06 (Waaktaar)
  • released as singles from this album. Track 2 was re-released in 1992 in a remixed form.


Stay on These Roads is the third full-length album by the pop band A-ha. It was released on 3 May 1988 by Warner Bros. Records. Six singles were also released from this record. Produced by Alan Tarney. A Synclavier, Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, Yamaha DX-7, Roland D-50, and Roland Juno-60 or Roland Juno-106 synthesizers were used in the recording of this album, as was a Yamaha RX-5 drum machine.Stay on These Roads was the band’s third studio album. The album’s peak on the Billboard 200 was 148. The album was another big hit by A-ha internationally, selling over 4 million copies worldwide. Stay on These Roads achieved Platinum status in Brazil and Gold in the UK, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany and Double Platinum status in France. William Ruhlmann of Allmusic said “in the U.K., the album became the group’s third straight to peak at number two, though it charted for a shorter period than the first two albums, and there were four Top 25 hits—the title track, ‘The Blood That Moves the Body,’ ‘Touchy!,’ and ‘You Are the One’.” Also included was A-ha’s 1987 theme from the James Bond movie The Living Daylights, a U.K. number five that missed the U.S. charts. Lead single “Stay on These Roads“, number one in Norway, was a hit across Europe, including top-five showings in the UK, France, Austria and Ireland and top-ten chartings in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. Stay on These Roads included three more hit singles, “The Blood That Moves The Body“, “Touchy!” and “You Are the One”, though a final single, “There’s Never a Forever Thing”, was released only in Brazil. None of the singles charted on the Billboard Hot 100. ‘Stay on These Roads Tour’ was a 1988-1989 concert tour by a-ha. They made 87 concerts over 8 countries (the one and the only they come to Italy)



Chart Peak
Switzerland Swiss Album Charts 6
Austria Austrian Album Charts 9
Sweden Swedish Albums Chart 10
Norway Norwegian Album Chart 1
United States Billboard 200 148
France SNEP 6
United Kingdom UK Album Charts 2
Germany German Album Chart 4
Italy Italian Album Chart 2
Canada Canadian Album Chart 55


Country Certification Sales/shipments
Norway 2x Platinum 130,000
Italy Multi Platinum 850,000
Switzerland Gold 40,000
Holland Gold 70,000
Brazil 2x Platinum 600,000
Germany Gold 360,000
France 2x Platinum 750,000
UK Gold 220,000
USA 120,000

1990 – East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Warner Bros)

All tracks written by Waaktaar-Savoy/Furuholmen unless noted otherwise:

  1. Crying in the Rain” (Howard Greenfield / Carole King) – 4:25
  2. “Early Morning” – 2:59
  3. “I Call Your Name” – 4:54
  4. “Slender Frame” – 3:42
  5. “East of the Sun” (Paul Waaktaar-Savoy) – 4:47
  6. “Sycamore Leaves” (Paul Waaktaar-Savoy) – 5:22
  7. “Waiting for Her” – 4:49
  8. “Cold River” (Paul Waaktaar-Savoy / Lauren Savoy) – 4:40
  9. “The Way We Talk” (Magne Furuholmen) – 1:30
  10. “Rolling Thunder” – 5:43
  11. “(Seemingly) Nonstop July” (Paul Waaktaar-Savoy) – 2:55

“The Way We Talk” features Magne Furuholmen on lead vocals.


East of the Sun, West of the Moon is the fourth album, released in 1990 by Norwegian band A-ha. It was seen by many as a departure from their old radio friendly sound to a darker, moodier tone, and is named after a Norwegian fairy tale. Producers Christopher Neil, Ian Stanley.



Chart Peak
Swiss Albums Chart 16
Austrian Albums Chart 23
Swedish Albums Chart 35
Norwegian Albums Chart 1
UK Albums Chart 12
German Albums Chart 6
Canadian Albums Chart 37


Country Certification Sales/shipments
Norway 2x Platinum 100,000
Switzerland Gold 30,000
Brazil Gold 150,000
Germany Gold 300,000
France Gold 240,000
UK Silver 80,000
USA 80,000

1993 – Memorial Beach (Warner bros)

All tracks written by Pål Waaktaar unless noted otherwise:

  1. “Dark Is the Night for All” – 3:46
  2. “Move to Memphis” – 4:22 (Pål Waaktaar/Magne Furuholmen)
  3. “Cold as Stone” – 8:19
  4. “Angel in the Snow” – 4:13
  5. “Locust” – 5:09
  6. “Lie Down in Darkness” – 4:32
  7. “How Sweet It Was” – 6:00
  8. “Lamb to the Slaughter” – 4:20 (Magne Furuholmen)
  9. “Between Your Mama and Yourself” – 4:16
  10. “Memorial Beach” – 4:36 (link to Baywatch)


Memorial beach  is the fifth album, released in 1993 by Norwegian band A-ha. The song named “Angel in the snow” is a poem written by Paal for his wife Lauren during the marriage. Producers Paal Waaktaar, a-ha, David Z.



2000 – Minor Earth Major Sky (wea International)

  1. “Minor Earth Major Sky” – 5:25 (Furuholmen/Waaktaar-Savoy)
  2. “Little Black Heart” – 4:35 (Furuholmen/Waaktaar-Savoy)
  3. Velvet” – 4:21 (Waaktaar-Savoy/Lauren Savoy)
  4. “Summer Moved On” – 4:38 (Waaktaar-Savoy)
  5. “The Sun Never Shone That Day” – 4:40 (Waaktaar-Savoy/Lauren Savoy)
  6. “To Let You Win” – 4:24 (Harket/Havard Rem)
  7. “The Company Man” – 3:15 (Furuholmen/Waaktaar-Savoy)
  8. “Thought That It Was You” – 3:50 (Harket/Ole Sverre-Olsen)
  9. I Wish I Cared” – 4:23 (Furuholmen)
  10. “Barely Hanging On” – 3:56 (Waaktaar-Savoy)
  11. “You’ll Never Get Over Me” – 5:40 (Waaktaar-Savoy)
  12. “I Won’t Forget Her” – 4:44 (Waaktaar-Savoy)
  13. “Mary Ellen Makes the Moment Count” – 4:51 (Waaktaar-Savoy)


Minor Earth | Major Sky is the sixth album by Norwegian band a-ha, released in 2000 as a return of the band on the scene. It sold 2 million copies worldwide. Producers a-ha, Kjetil Bjerkestrand, Millenia Nova, Ras, Roland Spremberg, Andre Tanneberger, Păl Waaktaar. Almost the entire album was remixed by producer Niven Garland at the record company’s insistence to make it more radio-friendly for the band’s German market. “Summer Moved On” (edit), “Minor Earth Major Sky” (remix) and “Velvet” (edit) were commercially released as singles. “I Wish I Cared” was an Internet download single, accompanied by an internet-only music video—one of the first of its kind. Arranged By – a-ha
Arranged By [Strings] – Kjetil Bjerkestrand, Magne Furuholmen, Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
Co-producer – Kjetil Bjerkestrand, a-ha
Engineer – Jan-Erik Kongshaug*, Jon Marius Aareskjold, Ulf Holand
Mixed By – Boogieman (tracks: 4, 6), Niven Garland (tracks: 1 to 3, 5, 7 to 13)
Producer – Boogieman (tracks: 1 to 7, 9 to 12), Kjetil Bjerkestrand (tracks: 8), Paul Waaktaar-Savoy (tracks: 13), Roland Spremberg (tracks: 1 to 7, 9 to 11)
Strings – Norwegian Radio Orchestra*, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra*
Technician [Pro Tools Operator] – Jon Marius Aareskjold, Kjetil Bjerkestrand
Written-By – Håvard Rem (tracks: 6), Lauren Savoy (tracks: 3, 5), Magne Furuholmen (tracks: 1, 2, 7, 9), Morten Harket (tracks: 6, 8), Ole Sverre Olsen (tracks: 8), Paul Waaktaar-Savoy (tracks: 1 to 5, 7, 10 to 13)


2002 – Lifelines (Wea Records)

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Lifelines” Furuholmen 4:17
2. “You Wanted More” Furuholmen, Morten Harket (lyrics) / Furuholmen (music) 3:39
3. “Forever Not Yours” Harket, Ole Sverre-Olsen (lyrics) / Furuholmen, Harket (music) 4:06
4. “There’s a Reason for It” Paul Waaktaar-Savoy 4:21
5. “Time & Again” Waaktaar-Savoy 5:03
6. “Did Anyone Approach You?” Waaktaar-Savoy 4:10
7. “Afternoon High” Waaktaar-Savoy 4:30
8. “Oranges on Appletrees” Furuholmen, Harket (lyrics) / Furuholmen (music) 4:16
9. “A Little Bit” Waaktaar-Savoy 4:10
10. “Less Than Pure” Waaktaar-Savoy 4:13
11. “Turn the Lights Down” Furuholmen, Harket 4:14
12. “Cannot Hide” Harket, Sverre-Olsen (lyrics) / Harket, Martin Landquist (music) 3:19
13. “White Canvas” Furuholmen 3:27
14. “Dragonfly” Furuholmen 3:19
15. “Solace” Furuholmen 4:20

The Russian version of the album contains intro spoken by M. Harket in Russian plus 2 bonus remixes:

  1. Minor Earth – Major Sky” (ATB mix) – 5:47
  2. Velvet” (De-PHAZZ mix) – 3:47


Lifelines is the seventh album released in 2002 by the Norwegian band A-ha. This album entered to top 10 album charts in 9 countries and 4 of those in top, selling over 1.5 million copies. The “Forever Not Yours” video was shot in Havana, Cuba. The video was directed by Harald Zwart (who also directed the “Velvet” video) and the storyline is based on the story of Noah’s Arkand today’s celebrities. Look-alikes of Desmond Tutu, Madonna, and Queen Elizabeth are included, among others. The “Lifelines” video features segments from the 1991 short film Året gjennom Børfjord, also known as A Year Along the Abandoned Road. In the short film a camera moves through a small village in Finnmark while the seasons change. Producers Stephen Hague, Clive Langer, Alan Winstanley, Martin Landquist.



Chart Peak
Switzerland Swiss Albums Chart 6
Austria Austrian Albums Chart 2
Sweden Swedish Albums Chart 21
Norway Norwegian Albums Chart 1
France French Albums Chart 30
United Kingdom UK Albums Chart 67
Germany German Albums Chart 1
Spain Spanish Albums Chart 32
Denmark Danish Albums Chart 9
Greece Greek Albums Chart 9
Poland Polish Albums Chart 8
Hungary Hungarian Albums Chart 29
Netherlands Dutch Albums Chart 92
Japan Japanese Albums Chart 99
Estonia Estonian Albums Chart 1
Latvia Latvian Albums Chart 1
Canada Canadian Albums Chart 28

2005 – Analogue (Universal International, Polydor Records)

  1. “Celice” (Magne Furuholmen/Martin Terefe) – 3:41
  2. “Don’t Do Me Any Favours” (Magne Furuholmen) – 3:51
  3. “Cosy Prisons” (Magne Furuholmen) – 4:08
  4. “Analogue (All I Want)” (Magne Furuholmen/Paul Waaktaar-Savoy/Max Martin) – 3:48
  5. “Birthright” (Magne Furuholmen/Martin Terefe) – 3:45
  6. “Holy Ground” (Morten Harket/Nick Whitecross/Ole Sverre Olsen) – 4:00
  7. “Over The Treetops” (Paul Waaktaar-Savoy) – 4:24
  8. “Halfway Through The Tour” (Paul Waaktaar-Savoy) – 7:26
  9. “A Fine Blue Line” (Magne Furuholmen) – 4:09
  10. “Keeper of the Flame” (Paul Waaktaar-Savoy) – 3:58
  11. “Make It Soon” (Morten Harket/Ole Sverre Olsen) – 3:21
  12. “White Dwarf” (Paul Waaktaar-Savoy) – 4:24
  13. “The Summers of Our Youth” (Magne Furuholmen) – 3:56


Analogue is the eighth studio album by the Norwegian band A-ha, released in 2005. Four singles were also released from this record. The song “Analogue (All I Want)” was originally a song called “Minor Key Sonata (Analogue)”, which (like the rest of the album) was produced by Martin Terefe and mixed by Flood. Max Martin was then brought in to turn “Minor Key Sonata (Analogue)” into a more radio-friendly song, with a less surreal lyric and catchier chorus. The song was then re-written as “Analogue (All I Want)” and re-recorded, and is the only track on the album not produced by Terefe. Upon its release as a single, it became the band’s first top 10 hit in the UK since 1988. The B-side “Case Closed on Silver Shore” was also produced during the Analogue sessions, produced by Terefe, and mixed by Flood. It was written by Pal Waaktaar-Savoy. The lead vocal on “The Summers of Our Youth” is by Furuholmen (the second time on an A-ha release), with Harket joining him on the chorus.
In their live version of “Holyground”, Waaktaar-Savoy plays an omnichord.
The songs “Cosy Prisons” and “Over the Treetops” includes backing vocals by Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Producers Martin Terefe, with Kjetil Bjerkestrand, Michael Ilbert, Max Martin


Bonus DVD
DVD-1 Celice

Mixed By – Michael Ilbert

DVD-2 Analogue

Mixed By – Michael Ilbert

DVD-3 Cosy Prisons

Mixed By – Michael Ilbert

DVD-4 Video Celice (Thomas Shumacher Edit)

Remix [Additional Production] – Stephan Bodzin, Thomas Schumacher

DVD-5 Inteview & Making Of “Celice”

2009 – Foot of the Mountain (We love music)

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. “The Bandstand” Paul Waaktaar-Savoy Magne Furuholmen, Waaktaar-Savoy 4:03
2. “Riding the Crest” Waaktaar-Savoy Furuholmen, Waaktaar-Savoy 4:18
3. “What There Is” Waaktaar-Savoy Furuholmen, Waaktaar-Savoy 3:46
4. “Foot of the Mountain” Furuholmen, Waaktaar-Savoy Furuholmen, Waaktaar-Savoy, Martin Terefe 3:59
5. “Real Meaning” Waaktaar-Savoy Furuholmen, Waaktaar-Savoy 3:42
6. “Shadowside” Waaktaar-Savoy Waaktaar-Savoy 4:57
7. “Nothing Is Keeping You Here” Waaktaar-Savoy Waaktaar-Savoy 3:20
8. “Mother Nature Goes To Heaven” Waaktaar-Savoy Waaktaar-Savoy 4:11
9. “Sunny Mystery” Furuholmen Furuholmen 3:32
10. “Start the Simulator” Waaktaar-Savoy Waaktaar-Savoy 5:12

foot of the mountain album

Foot of the Mountain is the ninth and final studio album by the Norwegian pop rock band A-ha. It was released on 19 June 2009 and reached No. 1 on the German Albums Chartand No. 2 on the Norwegian Albums Chart. In its first week in the UK, the album debuted at No. 5, the group’s highest chart placing in that country since Stay on These Roads in 1988.The overall sound of the record marks a return to the synthpop style the band became famous for in the mid-1980s.Keyboardist Magne Furuholmen describes the album thus: “It’s an album that incorporates the key elements that first defined the band: soaring vocals, synth hooks, yearning lyrics and melodic melancholia.”Foot of the Mountain was A-ha’s last full length album before their split in 2010. However, they did release a further compilation album 25 with their last single “Butterfly, Butterfly (The Last Hurrah)“. In a 2007 interview with the Norwegian TV channel TVTromsø, Paul Waaktaar-Savoy expressed frustration over the time it took to produce new material with the band: “The trouble with us is that we’re never in sync. Right now, I’m eager to get going on the new album. I’m telling everybody that the new album is coming out next year and that it’s going to be great. But the other two are of course just starting to get into their solo projects again and want to prioritize those for the time being.” Getting around to recording the follow-up to Analogue took four years due to the individual projects of the band members. Paul’s band Savoy released Savoy Songbook Vol. 1, Magne released his second solo album A Dot of Black in the Blue of Your Bliss and Morten Harket released his second English-language solo album Letter from Egypt. Despite touring quite extensively between 2005–08, the focus of the group was not directed towards recording. The album ended up being recorded in a relatively short period of time (between January – May 2009) with Steve Osborne, Mark Saunders and Roland Spremberg producing. The recording session took place in several studios around the world. In the US sessions were held at Water Music, Beat 360 and The Alabaster Room in New York City. In Norway recordings were made at Yoga Studio, Alabaster Cottage, Malabar Studio and Rainbow Studio. In the UK the band recorded at Real World Studios, whilst in Germany they used Gaga Studios and Boogie Park Studios.The track “Riding the Crest”, named by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy as “an electro-blues”, is heavily inspired by Arcade Fire and their album Neon Bible. Being the principal songwriter on the album, Waaktaar-Savoy also got inspired by his changing surroundings, dividing his time between New York City and Oslo. ““Shadowside“ feels quite Norwegian in the melody, the chords and the mood. “The Bandstand” reminds me of my first trip to New York City in the early ’80s, before A-ha were famous. Songs are like a photo-album – they can really send you back. And this one reminds me of arriving at Port Authority with $35 in my pocket, sporting really high, yellow, almost see-through synthesizer-hair, wearing a tiger-shirt and a brown suit, looking like an alien!”The title track, “Foot of the Mountain” – examines one of the fundamental conflicts of modern life, the pull between nature and big-city civilization: for Paul, the buzz of New York City versus the beauty and isolation of Norway: “It’s the dilemma of loving a city life, yet secretly wondering if we’d be happier being surrounded by open fields and sweeping mountains.” “Real Meaning” is inspired by Waaktaar-Savoy calling home only to be greeted by his answering machine. The idea behind “Start the Simulator” was to make a heartfelt song using technical language: “The basic idea was to make a song using only technical terms and phrases, and still make it very emotional and personal. There is such poetry in the old Apollo manuals: “switch to Omni Bravo” and “the bright ejector blanket.”The latter should probably be “ejecta blanket.” Magne’s solo work has been sampled extensively, with the song “Foot of the Mountain” originally appeared as a solo track, on Magne’s last solo album and two tracks from the A-ha album, have borrowed parts from Magne’s album.The album’s artwork is designed by Martin Kvamme, who has worked with A-ha on previous occasions, both as a band and on solo projects. Stian Andersen, Guy Berryman, Istockphoto and Helge Kvamme supplied photographs for the inner sleeve.Martin Kvamme said the following about the inspiration behind the cover art: “In this case the title helped quite a lot. I know that this is a somehow poetic quote and that they are not necessarily talking about a mountain, but we wanted something majestic and simple. That’s also why we made it quite abstract. It’s a picture of the mountain Kyrkja (the church) in Jotunheimen, Norway. Inside we have more images of Norwegian nature (in a collage style). But in general I guess the inspiration comes from the overall idea (production and songwriting/lyrics), rather than the album title.” The Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang gave the album 4 out of 6 stars, calling the band: “Coldplay‘s half-potent uncles.”Dagbladet also gave it 4 out of 6, stating: “This is one of A-ha’s best records, but it could have been a classic.” Aftenposten was also very positive, giving it 4 out of 6, whilst Dagsavisen had slight reservations giving it 3 out of 6. Nettavisen also gave it 3 out of 6. Swedish newspaper Norra Västerbotten gave the album a glowing review and the mark 4 out of 5 stating that the album contained: “Melodic synthpop in the vein of The Killers.”Göteborgs-Posten gave the album 4 out of 6, calling the album: “A late peak in the bands career, perfectly placed between the soundscapes of Keane, Coldplay and Depeche Mode.” Östgöta Correspondenten gave a favourable review stating: “It is clear to see where Coldplay get their inspiration from.” Kristianstadsbladet were less favorable, stating that the album was a: “Sleeping pill.”The album Foot of the Mountain reached platinum status in Russia and in January 2010, it was certified platinum in Germany. In February it reached silver status in the UK. Producers A-ha, Steve Osborne, Mark Saunders, Roland Spremberg, Erik Ljunggren.


Bonus DVD
DVD-1 Foot Of The Mountain (SWR3 Hautnah Live-Version) 4:15
DVD-2 Riding The Crest (SWR3 Hautnah Live-Version) 4:25
DVD-3 Foot Of The Mountain (Video)

Film Director – Olaf HeineFilm Producer – Ponyfilm

DVD-4 Shadowside (Video)

Film Director – Uwe FladeFilm Producer – Q Film

DVD-5 Nothing Is Keeping You Here (Video)

Film Director – Uwe FladeFilm Producer – Q Film


Chart positions

  • No. 1 – Germany
  • No. 1 – Luxembourg
  • No. 2 – Norway
  • No. 3 – Russia
  • No. 5 – France
  • No. 5 – UK
  • No. 8 – Europe
  • No. 11 – Austria
  • No. 12 – Switzerland
  • No. 17 – Poland
  • No. 31 – World
  • No. 40 – Czech Rep
  • No. 45 – Sweden
  • No. 72 – Ireland
  • No. 83 – Netherlands
  • No. 85 – Italy
  • No. 134 – Japan
Chart (2009) Rank
German Albums Chart 22


Country Certifications
(sales thresholds)
Germany Platinum 200,000
Russia Platinum 20,000
France Platinum 100,000
Norway Platinum 45,000
U.K. Silver 65,000


1984Take on Me (first version) 7″, SIDE B “Stop! And make your mind” or in DEMO 2004 and DELUXE EDITION 2011 under the name “Lesson One” that it was a flop, see the story here

1985Take on Me HUNTINGH HIGH AND LOW, 7″, SIDE B “Love is reason”, see this article for more infos

1985Love Is Reason (only in Norway) HUNTINGH HIGH AND LOW, 7″, SIDE B “I dream myself alive”
aha-love-is-reason-1985      love is reason

1985The Sun Always Shines on TV HUNTINGH HIGH AND LOW, 7″, PICTURE DISK, SIDE B”Driftwood”, video
A-Ha-The-Sun-Always-Sh-12350       TSASOTV1986

Year Chart Peak Certifications
1985 UK Singles Chart 1 UK: Silver
Norwegian Singles Chart 2
Swedish Singles Chart 2
Austrian Singles Chart 8
Swiss Singles Chart 7
US Billboard Hot 100 20
Irish Singles Chart 1
French Singles Chart 10
German Singles Chart 5
Italian Singles Chart 11
Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 5
1986 Canadian RPM Singles Chart[9] 11
2003 Hungarian Singles Chart 9
Country Provider Certification Sales/shipments
France SNEP Silver 200,000+
Italy FIMI Silver 200,000+
Germany IFPI Silver 250,000+
United Kingdom BPI Silver 200,000+

1986Train of Thought HUNTINGH HIGH AND LOW, 7″, PICTURE DISK, SIDE B “And you tell me”, video
TRAINSINGLE  A-Ha+-+Train+Of+Thought+-+SHAPED+PICTURE+DISC-3667 140 HH&L rare

Chart (1986) Peak
UK Singles Chart 8
German Singles Chart 14
Irish Singles Chart 5

1986Hunting High and Low HUNTINGH HIGH AND LOW, 7″, SIDE B “the blue sky”, video

British Singles Chart 5
Irish Singles Chart 4
Norwegian Singles Chart 10
French Singles Chart 4
Austrian Singles Chart 24
German Singles Chart 11
Italian Singles Chart 10

1986I’ve Been Losing You SCOUNDREL DAYS, 7″, SIDE B “This alone is love”, video

Chart (1986) Peak
Austrian Singles Chart 20
French Singles Chart 14
German Singles Chart 15
Irish Singles Chart 3
Italian Singles Chart 11
Norwegian Singles Chart 1
Swedish Singles Chart 11
Swiss Singles Chart 16
UK Singles Chart 8
Country Certification Date Sales certified
France[10] Silver 1986 200,000

1986Cry Wolf  SCOUNDREL DAYS, 7″, PICTURE DISK, SIDE B “Maybe,maybe”, video

US Billboard Hot 100 50
Norwegian Singles Chart 2
Swiss Singles Chart 27
British Singles Chart 5
Irish Singles Chart 4
French Singles Chart 35
German Singles Chart 20

1986Maybe Maybe (only in Bolivia) SCOUNDREL DAYS, 7″, SIDE B ” ”

1987 Manhattan Skyline SCOUNDREL DAYS, 7″, SIDE B “We’re looking for the whales “, PICTURE DISK, video
manhattan       MS

Chart (1987) Peak
Irish Singles Chart 3
German Singles Chart 28
Norwegian Singles Chart 4
UK Singles Chart 13

1987The Living Daylights STAY ON THESE ROADS, 7″, SIDE B “The living daylights (instrumental)”, more info THIS IS THE SONG TITLE OF THE MOVIE 007 THE LIVING DAYLIGHT
TLD   TLD2   tldltd7
1988Stay on These Roads STAY ON THESE ROADS, 7″, PICTURE DISK, SIDE B “Soft rains of april” video
sotrsingolo    A-Ha+-+Stay+On+These+Roads+-+12'+PICTURE+DISC-12061

Norwegian Singles Chart 1
Swiss Singles Chart 10
British Singles Chart 5
Irish Singles Chart 2
French Singles Chart 3
Swedish Singles Chart 17
Austrian Singles Chart 1
German Singles Chart 7
Italian Singles Chart 1
Country Certification Date Sales certified
France Silver 1988 250,000

1988The Blood That Moves the Body STAY ON THESE ROADS, 7″, 12″, PICTURE DISK, CD, SIDE B “There’s never a forever thing “, video
tbpic   TBTMTB

Chart (1988) Peak
Dutch Top 40 24
German Singles Chart 23
Irish Singles Chart 11
Polish Singles Chart 5
Swiss Singles Chart 29
UK Singles Chart 25

1988There’s Never a Forever Thing (only in Brasile) STAY ON THESE ROADS, 7″, SIDE B ” “, video from Headlines & Deadlines DVD

1988Touchy! STAY ON THESE ROADS, 7″, 12″, CD, SIDE B “Hurry Home”, video

Year Chart Peak
1988 UK Singles Chart 11
Irish Singles Chart 6
Swiss Singles Chart 18
French Singles Chart 5
German Singles Chart 13
Country Certification Date Sales certified
France Gold 1988 500,000

1988You Are the One STAY ON THESE ROADS, 7″, SIDE B “Out of blue comes green”, video

British Singles Chart 13
Irish Singles Chart 12
French Singles Chart 21
German Singles Chart 30

1990Crying in the Rain EAST OF THE SUN AND WEST OF THE MOON, 7″, 12″, CD, SIDE B “(seemingly) Non stop july”, video
cover of an Everly Brother song from 1963 with the voice of Carole King

CHARTS (1990)
Noruega VG-lis 1
Polónia Polish Singles Chart 2
Alemanha Media Control Charts 6
República da Irlanda Irish Singles Chart 8
Países Baixos Parada GfK Holandesa 10
Países Baixos Dutch Top 40 11
França Syndicat National de l’Édition Phonographique 11
Reino Unido UK Singles Chart 13
Itália FIMI 14
Austrália Austrian Singles Chart 17
Suíça Schweizer Hitparade 21
Estados Unidos Billboard Adult Contemporary 26
Canadá Canadian RPM Top Singles 34
France Silver 1990 200.000

1990I Call Your Name EAST OF THE SUN AND WEST OF THE MOON, 7″, 12″, CD, SIDE B “The way we talk “, video

Alemanha Media Control Charts 37
Países Baixos Dutch Top 40 38
Reino Unido UK Singles Charts 44
França Syndicat National de l’Édition Phonographique 45

1991Early Morning EAST OF THE SUN AND WEST OF THE MOON, 7″, 12″, SIDE B “East of the sun”, video  live from Rock in Rio II, Maracana Stadio, Rio de Janeiro (Brasile) where a-ha obtained to be on the  GUINNESS BOOK WORLD RECORD for playing in front of 198,000 people as the largest paying audience in the world in 1991

CHARTS (1991)
República da Irlanda Irish Singles Chart 29
Alemanha Media Control Charts 52
Reino Unido UK Singles Charts 78

1991Waiting for Her (only in Japan) EAST OF THE SUN AND WEST OF THE MOON

1991Move to Memphis MEMORIAL BEACH, HEADLINES AND DEADLINES, 7″, 12″, CD, SIDE B “Crying in the rain (live) “, video with the French actress Beatrice Dalle

1992The Blood That Moves the Body (new version) HEADLINES AND DEALINES, 12″, CD 1989
A-ha_The_Blood_That_Moves_the_Body_1992_single_coverSide One “The Blood That Moves the Body (The Gun Mix)” – 4:17 Side Two “The Blood That Moves the Body (Two Time Gun Mix)” – 4:10 AND “The Blood That Moves the Body (The Second Gun Around Mix)” – 5:55 1989 CD Single (Remixes) “The Blood That Moves the Body (The Gun Mix)” – 4:15, “The Blood That Moves the Body (Two Time Gun Mix)” – 4:19 AND “The Blood That Moves the Body (The Second Gun Around Mix)” – 5:56

1993Dark Is the Night for All MEMORIAL BEACH, CD, 7″, video B SIDES: I’ve Been Losing You/Cry Wolf (Live in South America) or Angel In The Snow (Instrumental)
A-Ha+-+Dark+Is+The+Night+Parts+1+&+2+-+DOUBLE+CD+SINGLE+SET-37926 CD 1 “Dark Is the Night for All” – 3:44 , “I’ve Been Losing You“/”Cry Wolf” (Live) – 9:07 AND “Angel in the Snow (Instrumental)” – 4:15 CD 2 “Dark Is the Night for All” – 3:45,  “The Sun Always Shines on TV” – 5:06,  “Hunting High and Low” (Remix) – 3:38 AND “Crying in the Rain” – 4:25

Chart (1993) Peak
German Singles Chart 57
Irish Singles Chart 28
Polish Singles Chart 15
UK Singles Chart 19
US Billboard Hot 100 111

1993Angel in the snow MEMORIAL BEACH, PAPER COVER CD, B SIDE “angel in the snow (instrumental)” video
hqdefault  The song was written as a wedding present for Lauren, the wife of principal songwriter and guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy. It is customary at Norwegian weddings that the husband-to-be profess his love for the bride in a unique way, and “Angel in the Snow” was Paul’s contribution. “Angel in the Snow” appears on Memorial Beach but was recorded during a dark time in A-ha’s history. The band rarely plays any songs from this era in concert. The live version of the music video is not available but was performed at the Valhall concert released on DVD. It is unclear why this was the only song not included in the video. There were actually two versions of this video. The first version was very similar, but included a quick scene featuring two fans, one of whom won the MTV contest to be in the video. It was only shown a few times, and version two replaced it in rotation. CD 1 “Angel in the Snow” (Acoustic Instrumental)* – 4:05 “Stay on These Roads – 4:45 “Manhattan Skyline” – 4:52 “Scoundrel Days” (Live) – 4:46 CD 2 “Angel in the Snow” (Edit) – 3:45 “The Sun Always Shines on TV” (Live) – 4:53 “I Call Your Name” (Live) – 4:42 “Early Morning” (Live) – 3:40 *Different from the version found on the “Dark Is the Night” single.

1993Lie Down in Darkness (only in USA) MEMORIAL BEACH CD, MC
LDITD The 1-track promotional 5″ CD features only the album version. The cassette single has “Lie Down In Darkness” (album version) on one side and the live version of “I Call Your Name” from the “Live in South America” video on the other side. The CD comes in a jewel case without a regular sleeve but with a backing insert similar to the ones for “Crying In The Rain” and “Dark Is The Night” U.S. promotional CD-singles

1994Shapes That Go Together official song VI WINTER PARALIMPICS GAMES Lillehammer, Norway, CD, BSIDE “COLD AS STONE” video The music video to “Shapes That Go Together” is directed by Barry Maguire. It was a simple Black and White Studio film with Sepia tones, it is also one of the few times you see a backing band with drummer and bass player. The video was not commercially available.
stgt  A-Ha+-+Shapes+That+Go+Together+-+DOUBLE+CD+SINGLE+SET-155374 CD1 “Shapes That Go Together” (4:13) “Cold As Stone (Remix)” (4:32) “Shapes That Go Together (Instr. Version)” (4:23) CD2 “Shapes That Go Together” (4:13) “Slender Frame (Live)” (4:05) “Touchy! (Live)” (6:46) “Rolling Thunder (Live)” (6:13) The “Cold As Stone” remix on CD 1 was originally created as a potential follow-up to the “Lie Down In Darkness” single in the US. Unfortunately that single did not chart, so this was the only known release of the remix until the 2010 compilation “25” was released. The live tracks on CD 2 are taken from the video “Live In South America”.

Country Position
UK 27
Germany 57
Poland 28
Japan 15

2000Summer Moved On MINOR EARTH MAJOR SKY CD, MAXI CD BOX BSIDE “Barely Hanging On” –  The German made UK release features three tracks – the “radio version” of “Summer Moved On” (4:06), the Single Version of “Barely Hanging On” (3:54) plus a “Remix” (by C.L.A.S.S. Production) of “Summer Moved On” (6:02) On 25 March 2011, a two-track CD single was released by Universal in Germany, including the live recordings of “Summer Moved On” and “Scoundrel Days” video 
The song was originally hastily written after A-ha agreed to a one-time reunion at the Nobel Peace Prize concert in 1998. There had been a lot of bad feelings between the band members, and each was hesitant to reunite. The thunderous success at the concert in performing only two songs inspired the band to reunite after a four year hiatus to record their sixth album for release in 2000. This song became a #1 radio hit in much of Europe, and the band has continued to record and perform together to significant international success, though that success has not extended to the U.S., where their recent work has gone unreleased. The song sold 2,500,000 copies worldwide. Morten Harket holds the European record for the longest note held in a Top 40 pop song. During the song “Summer Moved On” Harket sustains a chest voice note for 20.2 seconds (8 measures)

2000Minor Earth Major Sky MINOR EARTH MAJOR SKY CD, MAXI CD BOX video

mems single

  • Directed by Philipp Stölzl
  • This video was filmed in an abandoned mine in Prague, Czech Republic.
  • The suits worn by A-ha in this video were reproductions of real lunar suits. They had been originally used in the movie “Apollo 13.”
  • The theme of this video is based in reality; Paul and Magne have always complained that Morten is late to every meeting and concert and interview. In this video they thought it would be fun to leave him behind.
  • For the “Minor Earth | Major Tour” this was the first song on the setlist.

The song reached #1 in 3 European nations. The German made Norwegian release features 7 different versions of “Minor Earth Major Sky”. These include:

  • “niven’s radio edit” – remixed by Niven Garland (4:02)
  • “black dog mix” – additional production and remix by R.A.S. & Island Brothers (4:07)
  • “millennia nova remix” – additional production and remix by Millennia Nova (4:29)
  • “ian pooley’s deep mix” – additional production and remix by Ian Pooley (6:16);
  • “atb club remix” – additional production and remix by André Tanneberger at ATB Studio 4 (5:47)
  • “early version” – produced by A-ha and Kjetil Bjerkestrand (5:10)
  • “album version” – mixed by Niven Garland (5:24).

2000Velvet MINOR EARTH MAJOR SKY CD, MAXI CD BOX A-ha’s music video for “Velvet” portrays the band as murder victims, opening with Morten Harket as a dead man in a bathtub: a girl killed him by electrocution, dropping a plugged hairdryer in the tub. Throughout the video he is taken to the morgue, tagged, etc., all the while singing the lyrics. Paul Waaktaar-Savoy plays his guitar while apparently dead from a gunshot to the head (shot by a girl who looks very similar to the girl who killed Morten), and Magne Furuholmen‘s body is found in a freezer. All three continue singing and playing while being brought to the morgue, and within it. Some scenes in the morgue controversially suggest necrophilia.[1] The director of this video was Harald Zwart, who also directs Hollywood movies. Zwart, a fellow Norwegian, chose this song to be a part of his new film at the time, One Night at McCool’s. The so-called “licking version” of this video appears on the international DVD release of One Night at McCool’s, as well as on the DVD enclosed with the deluxe edition of 25, where it is labeled as “European Cut”. The “licking version” got its name because it features the older nurse seen near the end of the video licking Morten’s lips instead of kissing him.
video there’s also another version of this video  Video director Harald Zwart TRACKLIST:

  1. “Velvet” (Radio Version)
  2. “Velvet” (De-Phazz Mix)
  3. “Velvet” (Millennia Nova Max)
  4. “Velvet” (New York City Mix)
  5. “Velvet” (Alabaster Mix)
  6. “Velvet” (Stockholm Mix)
  7. “Velvet” (Album Version)
  8. “Velvet” Bonus Track: Enhanced Video (director’s cut – licking version)
  • Tracks 1 & 7 mixed by Niven Garland
  • Track 2 mixed by Pit Baumgartner
  • Track 3 mixed by Millennia Nova
  • Track 4 mixed by John Agnello
  • Track 5 mixed by Hakan Wollgaard
  • Track 6 mixed by Palaar Suna

Velvet” is a song by Savoy, a band fronted by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy from their first album, Mary Is Coming. Savoy’s version was released as a single in the US, but got very little airplay. A-ha‘s version of “Velvet” replaced Savoy’s guitars with sitars. Their version, the third single from Minor Earth Major Sky, was released to radio stations in Germany (and in other European countries such as Sweden, Switzerland and Holland) in September 2000 and was released to German record stores on 6 November (one week later in other parts of Europe). Originally, “The Sun Never Shone That Day” was to be released in Norway instead of “Velvet”, but it was later decided that “Velvet” would also be released in Norway. The backing vocals was performed by Simone Larsen of the Norwegian band D’Sound. World Sales:300.000

2001The Sun Never Shone That Day (included in Minor Earth Major Box in Germany 2001 together with Summer Moved On, Minor Earth Major Sky and Velvet) MINOR EARTH MAJOR SKY CD, MAXI CD BOX listen the song with rare promo video
cover18_143366   220px-Cover-majorbox-big
NORWEGIAN CD 1.”The Sun Never Shone That Day” (4:39)
GERMAN CD 1. “The Sun Never Shone That Day (Radio Edit)” (3:30)
OTHER VERSIONS 1. “The Sun Never Shone That Day (Radio Edit)” (3:40)2. “The Sun Never Shone That Day” (3:44)

2001 – I wish I care not on sale as cd single – but as video for the HOMECOMING DVD The music video was the first fully based web flash video to be released ever and was made for web availability first and foremost. The video which won a Diploma at Norway’s designers’ guild Grafill’s Visuelt competition in 2001, was made in autumn 2000 by Henrik Haugan together with Magne Furuholmen, using flash technology.Video footage of singer Morten Harket filmed in Haugan’s Oslo apartment was vectorized at Haugan’s design company Rayon. Each of the 2000 images had to be edited and processed individually. “I Wish I Cared” was featured on the TV series Smallville in the episode entitled “Dichotic“.



  • Director: Harald Zwart
  • The video was filmed on location in Cuba.
  • The theme of the video was based on the Biblical floods and Noah’s Ark.
  • There are many famous faces entering the ‘VIP entrance’ in this video, including look-a-likes for Desmond Tutu, Madonna, Lenny Kravitz, and Elizabeth II.
  • In the final scene, A-ha once again makes fun of themselves: the VIP entrance turns out to be an entrance to a work hall for the crew.
  • Morten: ” ‘Forever Not Yours’ is one of those songs that sums us up. Melancholy, and at the same time uplifting – soaring.”

The cover of the commercial release features a closeup shot of the black front end of a 50’s Cadillac standing on flatland. The A-ha logo in dark red is in the top right hand corner of the sleeve with the title in black letters underneath. The reverse of the sleeve features more flatland which has been fenced off with a small blue and white wooden panel. The sky is blue grey above with the A-ha logo in white letters at the top and track information in black underneath. The disc itself is a picture disc, showing the steering wheel and dash board photographed from inside the car. The A-ha logo is in silver at the bottom of the disc with title in white underneath. The photographs used on this single were taken by Andy Frank. The four track single was released in many European countries around 2 April (8 April in Norway) It features the tracks:

  1. “Forever Not Yours” (4:06)
  2. “Differences” (2:47) (Original Demo)
  3. Hunting High And Low” (7:07) (Live In Oslo)
  4. Manhattan Skyline” (6:14) (Live In Oslo).

Chart positions

  • #1 (Norway)
  • #1 (Poland)
  • #1 (Macedonia)
  • #1 (Lithuania)
  • #1 (Latvia)
  • #1 (Romania)
  • #1 (Russia)
  • #3 (Estonia)
  • #4 (Moldova)
  • #7 (Slovakia)
  • #9 (Slovenia)
  • #12 (Canada)
  • #12 (Albania)
  • #15 (Hungary)
  • #16 (Portugal)
  • #18 (Germany)
  • #24 (Italy)
  • #26 (Switzerland)
  • #31 (Austria)
  • #46 (Sweden)
  • #47 (Spain)
  • #82 (Holland)
  • #175 (UK)

2002 Lifelines LIFELINES, TWO VERSIONS CD  This video is based on the Norwegian short film A Year Along the Abandoned Road, directed by Morten Skallerud in 1991. Time lapse photography was used to make the video, at 50,000 times the normal speed; the original film was 12 minutes long and was filmed over 105 days, and edited to fit the song length and the scenes with the band members. The subject of the short film was Børfjord, a semi-deserted fisherman’s village in northern Norway, near Hammerfest. The opening sequence features a poem written by King Olav V of Norway:

When I look back
I see the landscapes
That I have walked through
But it is differentAll the great trees are gone
It seems there are
Remnants of themBut it is the afterglow
Inside of youOf all those you met
Who meant something in your life

—Olav Rex, August 1977

LIFELINESPROMO   224590b   A-Ha-Lifelines_(Cd_Single)-Frontal

Europe: CD Maxi, WEA / 0927 47037-2
No. Title Length
1. “Lifelines” (Album Version Edit) 3:58
2. “Lifelines” (Boogieman Remix) 4:52
3. “Lifelines” (Console Remix) 4:28
4. “Lifelines” (Palace of Pleasure Remix) 4:44
5. “Lifelines” (Millenia Nova Remix) 5:41
Europe: CD Maxi, WEA / 0927 47038-2
No. Title Length
1. “Lifelines” (Album Version Edit) 4:01
2. “Solace” (Tore Johansson Version) 5:08
3. “Dragonfly” (Magne Furuholmen Solo Version) 3:39
4. “Turn the Light Down” (Langer & Winstanley Version) 4:48
5. “Lifelines” (Demo) 5:18
6. “You Wanted More” (Stephen Hague Version) 3:40
Europe: Enhanced CD, WEA / 0927 48483-2
No. Title Length
1. “Lifelines” (Radio Edit) 3:57
2. Hunting High and Low(recorded live at Vallhall, Oslo, 24 March 2001) 7:07
3. Manhattan Skyline(recorded live at Vallhall, Oslo, 24 March 2001) 6:13
4. “Lifelines” (music video on enhanced section)
Europe: promo, WEA / PR 03215
No. Title Length
1. “Lifelines” (Radio Edit) 3:59
Germany: promo, WEA / PR 03382
No. Title Length
1. “Lifelines” (Apoptygma Berzerk Remix) 6:22
Russia: CD Maxi, WEA, WWW / 5050466225429, НН-138CD/02
No. Title Length
1. “Lifelines” (Palace of Pleasure Rmx) 4:46
2. Summer Moved On(Remix) 6:02
3. Minor Earth – Major Sky(Ian Pooley‘s Deep Mix) 6:14
4. “Solace” (Tore Johansson Version) 5:09
5. Velvet(Millenia Nova Mix) 3:58
6. “Lifelines” (Millenia Nova Rmx) 5:41
7. “Dragonfly” (Magne Furuholmen Solo Version) 3:36
Chart (2002) Peak
Norwegian Singles Chart[1] 18
German Singles Chart 32
Russian Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart[2] 78
Portugal Singles Chart 20
Latvian Singles Chart 4
Hungarian Singles Chart 19

2002Did Anyone Approach You? LIFELINES, CD The video was filmed by Lauren Savoy, which was shot at Ullevaal Stadion on 6 June 2002. The subject was the first concert on the Lifelines tour, dubbed an “Afternoon High.” This was the largest concert attendance in the stadium in Oslo. Germany #67

  1. “Did Anyone Approach You? (Original Album Version)” (4:11)
  2. “Did Anyone Approach You? (Turner Remix)” (3:43)
  3. “Did Anyone Approach You? (Reamped)” (4:51)
  4. “Did Anyone Approach You? (Tore Johansson Remix)” (5:55)
  5. “Afternoon High (Demo Version)” (4:40)
  6. “Did Anyone Approach You? (Video Clip)” (4:11)

2003The Sun Always Shines on TV (live) A-HA LIVE: HOW CAN I SLEEP WITH YOUR VOICE IN MY HEAD, CD
the sun always live A-ha performed this song at the Nobel Peace Prize concert in 1998 alongside the new song “Summer Moved On.”[ A live version of “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.” was the first and only single to be taken from the 2003 A-ha live album How Can I Sleep With Your Voice In My Head. That track’s music video was directed by Lauren Savoy. This Version charted in Hungary at number 9 and in Germany raised to 53. CD TRACKS: “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.” (Live – Single Edit) – “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.” (Live – Album version) – “Scoundrel Days” (Live) – “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.” (Live) (Video Clip)

2005Celice (Germany and Central Europe) ANALOGUE, TWO VERSIONS CD,  Written by Magne Furuholmen and Martin Terefe, it was released as the first single from the album, Analogue, throughout Europe. It was released on 7 October 2005 in Germany and Norway, and 24 October in Sweden. It was not released in the UK. It reached worldwide sales of over 300,000 units. For a while the song was under consideration to be included on the The Da Vinci Code movie soundtrack. The video for the song was directed by Jörn Heitmann, famous for directing the videos of Rammstein, and was filmed in a brothel in Berlin. It was considered controversial by fans and the media due to its strong adult content, featuring topics not as clear in A-ha videos before; sex, drugs, suicide, prostitution, and alcohol had never been so prominently featured in the band’s videos, although sadomasochism had been noted in the previous release, “Move to Memphis“. Heat sensors are used to show some of the more graphic images from the video. One Norwegian newspaper held the headline, “Raw sex in A-ha video” after the video was officially released on September 24, 2005. Magne: “The video is about people who have lost their direction in the hunt for meaning – and loneliness as a result of lost innocence.”
index3    celice_cover

  1. “Celice” (Radio Cut)
  2. “Celice” (Live at Frognerparken)
  3. “Celice” (Paul van Dyk‘s Radio Edit)
  4. “The Summers of Our Youth”
  5. “Celice” (music video)

The Remixes

  1. “Celice” Radio Cut (3:28)
  2. “Celice” Thomas Schumacher Remix (7:53)
  3. “Celice” Boris Dlugosch Remix (6:38)
  4. “Celice” Paul van Dyk‘s Extended Mix (5:42)
  5. “Celice” Paul van Dyk‘s Vocalized Clubmix (8:07)
Country Peak
Austria 41
Belarus 1
Finland 15
Germany 21
Italy 36
Latvia 29
Norway 1
Russia 2
Switzerland 38
Ukraine 8

2005Analogue (All I Want) (2006 in UK) ANALOGUE, MANY VERSIONS CDES, PICTURE DISK, BSIDES: minor key sonata, case closed on silver shore and analogue instrumental depending on which country distribution, video  which was shot in black and white, was directed by Howard Greenhalgh, who has made over 100 music videos.The song was re-written and re-recorded after it was first recorded. The original version of the song was titled “Minor Key Sonata (Analogue)”, and (like the rest of the Analogue album) was produced by Martin Terefe and mixed by Flood. Max Martin was then brought in to turn “Minor Key Sonata (Analogue)” into a more radio-friendly song, with a less surreal lyric and catchier chorus. The song was then retitled “Analogue (All I Want)” and is the only track on the album not produced by Terefe. Upon its release as a single, it became the band’s first Top 10 hit in the UK since 1988.
analoguesingle  A-Ha+-+Analogue+[All+I+Want]+-+7'+PICTURE+DISC-346861    A-Ha+-+Analogue+[All+I+Want]+-+5'+CD+SINGLE-354193
UK CD1: 1. “Analogue (All I Want)” (Album Version) – 2. “Case Closed on Silver Shore” UK CD2: 1. “Analogue (All I Want)” (Album Version) – 2. “Minor Key Sonata (Analogue)” – 3. “Keeper of the Flame” (Live at Frognerparken) – 4. “Analogue (All I Want)” (Video) GERMAN CD: 1. “Analogue (All I Want)” (Album Version) 3:48 – 2. “Minor Key Sonata (Analogue)” 4:34 – 3. “Analogue (All I Want)” (Live at Frognerparken) 5:02 – 4. “Analogue (All I Want)” (Instrumental Version) 3:48 – 5. “Case Closed on Silver Shore” 4:28 – 6. “Analogue (All I Want)” (Video) FRENCH SINGLE CD 2 SONGS: 1. “Analogue (All I Want)” (Album Version) – 2. “Case Closed on Silver Shore”
Chart Country Position
Belgium 16
Germany 33
Ireland 24
Israel 10
Latvia 10
Norway 19
UK 10

2005Birthright ANALOGUE, CD was released as a promo single in Norway at the end of October. It features only the track “Birthright” (3:45) and comes in a card wallet style sleeve. The cover of the sleeve features a shot of the band (Morten, Magne, Paul) against a grey background, taken from the same photo-shoot as the photo used on the album cover. At the bottom of the picture, there’s some red leaves and grey birds, again of similar design to the album cover. “A-ha” is printed in red letters on the right hand side with the title in white printed over the second “a”. The reverse of the sleeve is red with more white and grey patterns. The title is printed in grey with additional text printed in white beneath. The disc is also red with white and grey leaf patterns, the “A-ha”- logo in white and title in dark red.


2006Cosy Prisons ANALOGUE, CD, PICTURE DISK UK single features a new mix of the song which was worked on by Magne Furuholmen and Dave Bascombe. It peaked at number 39 on the UK Singles Chart. The ‘Cosy Prisons’ video shoot took place on the 4 March 2006 in London. It was filmed at the Abbey Mills Pumping Station, Abbey Lane, London, E15, a former sewage pumping station built in the 1860s. The video was directed by Paul Gore.

A-Ha+-+Cosy+Prisons+-+7'+PICTURE+DISC-355728cosy prison   cozyprison
UK “Cosy Prisons” (Radio Mix) “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.” (BBC Radio 2 Ken Bruce Session) UK 7″ Picture Disc“Cosy Prisons” (Radio Mix) “Stay on These Roads” (BBC Radio 2 Ken Bruce session)
Germany The single was due to be released in Germany on 21 April, but the release was cancelled. However, the single was pressed and copies do exist. Three copies of this CD sold for $375.99 USD on eBay on Feb 12, 2012 to the highest of 17 bidders, £555.00 GBP (approx $877.23 USD) on Jan 27, 2013 and €189,88 (approx $253.49) on Feb 17, 2013 . The cover is very similar to the UK release, but the logo on Morten’s T-shirt is missing

  1. ‘Radio Version’ of “Cosy Prisons”
  2. The live version of “Cosy Prisons” from the Ken Bruce session
  3. The “Original Cosy Prisons Demo”
  4. Birthright” live on Radio Clyde.
  5. Also includes a desktop player with “Cosy Prisons” video and picture gallery.

2009Foot of the Mountain FOOT OF THE MOUNTAIN, CD It was used as the official anthem of the 2009 World Championships in Athletics held in Berlin. The single reached #3 in Germany, and is the highest charting single of the band in that country since Take On Me in 1985. “Foot of the Mountain”, was released exclusively as a download single in selected territories of Mainland Europe. In Germany, a physical 2-track CD Single was released. In the UK, a so-called digital bundle was released. May 2009 saw the band performing the song on the show Germany’s Next Top Model hosted by Heidi Klum and on The Dome (dubbed “Europe’s biggest music show”) together with fellow Norwegian Alexander Rybak. On 11 June 2009 at 8:13 CEST the music video premiered simultaneously on four major German networks, namely ProSieben, Sat.1, kabel eins and N24. It was also made available for streaming on the major German website, a page with 228 million monthly hits. A-ha’s “Foot of the Mountain” was the most played song on Norwegian radio in 2009, with 122:32:39 of playing time ( Hours, minutes, seconds ), beating Donkeyboy «Ambitions», 122:02:18, Beyoncé Knowles «Halo», 118:03:28, Taylor Swift «Love Story», 115:23:19, Röyksopp «The Girl And The Robot», 113:26:57, The Killers «Human», 112:45:13, Katy Perry «Hot ‘n’Cold», 111:32:53, Eric Hutchinson «Rock & Roll», 110:12:42, Paperboys «Lonesome Traveller», 109:48:39 and Lady Gaga «Poker Face», 109:27:11. First time a Norwegian artist has been on top of the list.


The music video for the track, co-directed by Olaf Heine and Mik Rahner, was shot in Berlin, Hamburg and along the Baltic coast of Pomerania. The video concentrates on singer Morten Harket with only small cameos being made by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and Magne Furuholmen. In a documentary entitled ‘A-ha – The Success Story‘, songwriter Paul Waaktaar-Savoy stated that although he loved living in New York he “often wondered whether I would be happier out in the open, by the foot of the mountain,” when asked about the song’s chorus. In the same interview, co-writer Magne Furuholmen said his contribution to the song, the verses, were about “urban clutter.” In the video, these angles are made a point of as Harket moves from a claustrophobic Berlin to the open landscapes of Pomerania. The video was made commercially available in Germany on a special edition of the Foot of the Mountain album.

German 2-track physical single

  1. “Foot of the Mountain” (Radio Edit) – 3:44
  2. “Foot of the Mountain” (Album Version) – 3:57 [5]

UK Digital Bundle

  1. “Foot of the Mountain” (Radio Edit)
  2. “Foot of the Mountain” (Album Edit)
  3. “Foot of the Mountain” (Bohème7 Remix)
  4. “Foot of the Mountain” (Erik Ljunggren Remix)
  5. “Foot of the Mountain” (Video)
  • #3 (Germany)
  • #8 (Norway)
  • #16 (Lithuania)
  • #28 (Austria)
  • #33 (Switzerland)
  • #66 (UK)
Country Position
Germany 40

2009Nothing Is Keeping You Here FOOT OF THE MOUNTAIN, CD It was released as the second single from the album in the UK (whereas in mainland Europe “Shadowside” was used as the second single) and as the third single in Europe. In an interview in Norway, Paul Waaktaar-Savoy stated that the track was the first song to be written for the album. The song appeared on the soundtrack for the German feature filmZweiohrkueken” The music video was shot in Germany by director Uwe Flade and was made commercially available on a German special edition of Foot of the Mountain. It is set to the European radio/single version of the song. #65 (GER)


German Physical Release

  1. “Nothing Is Keeping You Here” (Single Edit) – 3:04
  2. “Nothing Is Keeping You Here” (Steve Osborne Remix) – 3:21

UK Download Release

  1. “Nothing Is Keeping You Here” (Radio Edit)* – 3:21
  2. “Nothing Is Keeping You Here” (Album Version) – 3:17

This UK release is a “Radio Edit” (3:21) of “Nothing Is Keeping You Here” remixed by Steve Osbourne, and was available for download from iTunes, but is not available in the shops. The download includes the “Radio Edit” and “Album Version”. The single was released in Germany on 20 November 2009 and features a different “Single Edit” (3:04) remixed by Tom Costey in addition to the radio edit which is listed as “Steve Osborne Remix”. The UK radio edit re-arranges much of the track’s structure, moving the third verse to the beginning and mixing it within parts of the first verse. Also, the final chorus becomes the first chorus. The European radio edit does not re-arrange the song but remixes it heavily.

2009Shadowside FOOT OF THE MOUNTAIN, CD It was released as the third single from the album in the UK and as the second single in Europe (where “Nothing Is Keeping You Here” was the third single). The German physical release of the single includes a demo of the album track “Mother Nature Goes to Heaven”. The music video was shot in Germany by director Uwe Flade and made commercially available on a German special edition of Foot of the Mountain.


German Physical Release

  1. “Shadowside” (New Single Version) – 3:31
  2. “Mother Nature Goes to Heaven” (Demo Version) – 4:34

UK Download Release

  1. “Shadowside” (New Single Version) – 3:31
  2. “Shadowside” (Album Version) – 4:54

2010Butterfly, Butterfly (The Last Hurrah) 25 CD more info here is the song of  a final recording before splitting on 4 December 2010, it is the last single of the group. The song was sold digitally in Norway from July 5. It is included on 25, a compilation album released on July 19. Its world premiere was on June 14, 2010. The single entered the Norwegian single chart at #13 and reached #6 on the airplay chart soon after.  Much like many of A-ha’s early music videos (including that of “Take on Me“), the music video for “Butterfly, Butterfly (The Last Hurrah)” was directed by Steve Barron.

UK/Germany/French CD Single

  1. Butterfly, Butterfly (The Last Hurrah) (Single Edit)
  2. Butterfly, Butterfly (The Last Hurrah) (Steve Osborne Version)

iTunes Digital EP (Germany)

  1. Butterfly, Butterfly (The Last Hurrah) (Album Version)
  2. Butterfly, Butterfly (The Last Hurrah) (Steve Osborne Version)
  3. The Sun Always Shines On TV (Album Version)
  4. Hunting High And Low (Album Version)
  5. Stay On These Roads (Video)

The single was available as a digital download, and also a physical single in Germany, France and the UK. The single was released in the UK on Monday 20 September 2010.

Chart (2010) Peak
German Singles Chart 22
Israeli Singles Chart 9
Norwegian Singles Chart 13
UK Singles Chart 98
French Singles Chart 193

2011Summer Moved On (live) ENDING ON A HIGH NOTE CD recorded live on 4th december 2010 for the last live album – other track on the cd is “scoundrel days live” at same date and place


A-ha singing others
BOWLING GREEN by Everly Brothers – Live at Spektrum Oslo December 2010 Ending on a high note tour, acustic version
CRYING IN THE RAIN by Carole King – included in the album east of the sun and west of the moon 1991 as single and video to view a-ha go to album page, here the link to a version of Everly Brothers.
LAY LADY LAY by Bob Dylan – a-ha & Magnets live on Fisketorget in Bergen 2004 Lifelines tour
SAY HELLO WAVE GOODBYE by Soft Cell 1982 – BBC RADIO 2 Maida Vale Studios London September 2010
# 9 DREAM by John Lennon – live in Fredrikstad Norway August 2007 and also included in the international version of the Instant Karma! record features as a second cover of the song.
LET IT BE by Paul Mc Cartney – Morten together other at Nobel prize concert Oslo
A QUESTION OF LUST by Depeche Mode – BBC RADIO 2 Maida Vale Studios London Juli 2009

a-ha cover themselves :
DRAGONFLY Live song sung by Magne F in concerts tour 2005 same album name
SYCAMORE LEAVES Live song sung by Paal Savoy in concerts tour 2005 album Lackluster me
OCTOBER B-Side for Savoy single Velvet sung by Paal
VELVET Single for Savoy album Mary is Coming sung by Paal
FOOT OF THE MOUNTAIN longest night a song by Mags
HOLYGROUND Morten’s inedit song dedicated to his brother Kjetil
WHAT THERE IS Soundtrack of the movie Ti kniver I hjertet by Mags

Solo works partecipations beetween a-ha members :
NEVER SPEAK AGAIN Sung by Morten album is a Timbersound (Mags) song from Hotel Oslo


The great hit of all time for the special cartoon / comics video and for the beautiful voice of Morten, not just for typical sound of music of the 80’s but also for their special look that was a copied cult in that periods too: the leather bracelets (dresses also by Madonna) and ripped jeans (still fashionable nowadays) or like high gymn shoes and denim dresses.

read here for a very good reviews about all take one me history:


Producers: John Ratcliff, Alan Tarney, December 1985
Directed by: Steven Barron (interviewed also by Sky TV for the programm video killed the radio star together with Mags)
Animation by: Michael Patterson
Supporting Actor: Philip Jackson

To make the cartoon it was necessary to have more than 4000 frames, one week to direct humans and three months to set all together, the video costed 43.000 pounds.

listen & watch the video here:





Page of Paal's diary with Take On Me Lyrics

Page of Paal’s diary with Take on me Lyrics

29 10488363_800245406655109_2115861951_o cartoon10 cartoon12

here link to a better history about it

or here in norwegian the whole serious story when was celebrated the 20° anniversary of top USA charts in 2005:

TAKE ON ME (P. Waaktaar / M. Furuholmen / M. Harket) 1985 single edition on 7″ vinyl

Talking away
I don’t know what I’m to say
I’ll say it anyway
Today is another day to find you
Shying away
I’ll be coming for you, love, ok?

Take on me
Take me on
I’ll be gone
In a day or two

So needless to say
I’m odds and ends, but that’s me
Stumbling away
Slowly learning that life is ok
Say after me
It’s no better to be safe than sorry

Take on me
Take me on
I’ll be gone
In a day or two

Oh, the things that you say
Is it live or just to play
My worries away
You’re all the things i’ve got to remember
You’re shying away
I’ll be coming for you anyway

Take on me
Take me on
I’ll be gone
In a day or two

the cover with cartoon inside

the cover with cartoon inside

Country Provider Certification
France (SNEP) Gold 700,000+
Germany (BVMI) Gold 250,000+
United Kingdom (BPI) Gold 500,000+
United States (RIAA) 1,200,000+
first cover 1984

first cover 1984

advertising of Yomi a drinkable yogurt – Italy 1986

advertising of Webank a WebBank – Italy 2011

advertising for Lips Karaoke XBox 360 game station – Italy 1990 ca
advertising of Hip Hop a multicoloured watch – Italy 1988 ca

or here for a very earl version by Bridges, (band of Paal and Mags before a-ha)


tabs for piano

tabs for piano

tabs for piano

tabs for piano

tabs for piano

tabs for piano

‘Take On Me’ was a huge hit, but its birth was a difficult one, taking three years, three versions and a pioneering video to finally give A-ha their first chart success. If at first you don’t succeed…’ That was the credo for ‘Take On Me’, the synth pop classic by the Norwegian trio A ha that topped the Billboard Hot 100 and reached number two in the UK in the autumn of 1985. You see, this only happened after three different versions had been recorded, two of those versions had been released (the second of them twice in the UK) and two completely different videos had been filmed to promote them. Rewind to September 1982, when guitarist Pål Waaktaar and keyboardist Magne (‘Mags’) Furuholmen, who had previously played together in a four piece band called Bridges, recruited singer Morten Harket from an outfit named Souldier Blue to form A ha. The first number the two played Harket was ‘The Juicy Fruit Song’, which they themselves had composed, and with Harket’s input this then evolved into ‘Lesson One’ after the trio relocated to the UK in early 1983. That April, they began recording demos of other original material at Rendezvous Studios, a facility in Sydenham, South-East London, that belonged to musician and producer John Ratcliff. (Furuholmen initially booked time there because he read it had a Space Invaders machine.) In turn, Ratcliff introduced A ha to music publisher Terry Slater, and the two men subsequently signed the group to their specially formed company, TJ Management, and, in December 1983, secured a record deal with Warner Brothers.
Takes One & Two The following April, techno buff and synth expert Tony Mansfield was hired to produce what would be A ha’s debut album, Hunting High & Low, but after six weeks of sessions at Pete Townshend’s Eel Pie Recording Studios in Twickenham, South London, the Warner Bros execs weren’t happy with the results. To their mind, the magic of the Rendezvous demos had disappeared and, with it, A ha’s prominently featured vocal sound. So producer engineer Neill King was then called in to largely re record the material. “I had worked many times at Eel Pie, and it was after A ha had been recording there with Tony Mansfield for a good few weeks that I received a call from the studio manager, telling me Tony was leaving the project,” King recalls. “I wasn’t told why, but they wanted to know if I would come in. They had done all of the programmed drums and some synths, and since I had engineered there and knew the room, they wanted me to work on the bed tracks, overdubbing guitars, vocals, backing vocals and some extra synths, and then do the mix.” While John Ratcliff supervised the sessions by way of periodic appearances, he basically let the group work with King, who sat behind an SSL E-series console while using a Studer A800 to record the album’s songs to two inch tape. By now, ‘Lesson One’ was titled ‘Take On Me’. “All of the tapes I worked on for ‘Take On Me’ were from Eel Pie,” King continues, “and they kept a lot of the synth bits from Tony Mansfield’s work, but nearly everything else was re cut from scratch. I’d say Pål was the main technology guy, and we worked long hours, cranking out the overdubs. You get a feel for when a band has something special going for it — A ha knew they were really hot, so it was just a matter of getting their music across. The melody, the lyrics, the whole sound of the thing just gelled. “The songs were really interesting and Morten’s voice was so different in terms of his delivery. The way he sang was pretty dynamic. I miked him with a Beyer 201 and a [Neumann] FET 47 placed directly next to each other. Pål, meanwhile, was mainly playing a Gibson 335, but his guitar wasn’t really to the fore, and then there was the Synclavier from which everything was sequenced. This was used as the drum machine; a mixture of synthesized and live samples courtesy of Tony Mansfield. The Synclavier was the first synth that grooved a little more following the first generation of drum machines. In terms of effects, there was a lot of reverb going around and we slammed the hell out of a Lexicon 224X and AMS RMX16. There was also an RMX15 for stereo delay. Classic ’80s stuff…” As recorded by Neill King, ‘Take On Me’ was eventually released as a single in October 1984, and, promoted by a straightforward, relatively unimaginative video of the band performing the number against a blue background, sold just 300 copies worldwide while peaking at number 137 on the UK chart. Still, Warner Brothers’ head office in the US believed in both the band and the song, and so, in early 1985, proven hit maker Alan Tarney was called in to revamp the track.
Take Three “More than a year earlier, I had actually been approached by Warner Brothers and A ha’s manager Terry Slater to do the whole album,” Tarney says. “At that time, the band were still working at John Ratcliff’s studio in Sydenham, so I went to see them there and they did a live performance in front of us all. They were fresh into the country and they were using the down time in that studio, working through the night, as other people were using it during the day. That’s where I heard the original version of ‘Take On Me’. “For some reason, after it had been agreed that I would produce the album, it turned out I couldn’t do it. So I told Terry Slater this and, at that point, he brought in Tony Mansfield. Then, nine months to a year later, Warner Brothers Records contacted me to say they weren’t totally happy with ‘Take On Me’ and asked if I would consider going into the studio to cut that one single with the band. They had reached the limit of their budget, but Warners wanted the song to sound the best it possibly could, and they were willing to go over budget to get it right. I was actually involved with David Cassidy’s Romance album at that time, so I took a day off and the boys came down to RG Jones in Wimbledon, which is where I was working, and we recorded and mixed the entire song there.” “To my mind, the original version of ‘Take On Me’ that the boys themselves had recorded in Sydenham with John Ratcliff was the hit version, and they appeared to have then gone around the houses a bit with Tony Mansfield and Neill King,” Tarney now asserts. “The Tony Mansfield version employed a Fairlight and it just didn’t sound like A ha at all. So all I did was recreate the original demo, the one from Sydenham. That was the one that had all the charm. Its ingredients were good — nothing was really wrong, other than it just didn’t quite sound like a finished record. It wasn’t polished enough and there was no finesse to it.” “I remember thinking the demo sounded really, really good, whereas that and the Tony Mansfield recording were worlds apart,” adds Gerry Kitchingham, who engineered the RG Jones sessions. “I’d actually worked with Tony on another project, so I knew what to expect even before I pressed the ‘play’ button. At that time, he was totally a Fairlight man, and I can imagine why Warners felt his version wasn’t quite right compared to the original demo that had all the charm.” Kitchingham spent his entire career at RG Jones, joining the South London facility shortly after he left school at age 15 in 1965 when it was still a small demo studio, and staying there through its halcyon era of the 1980s until it closed in 2002. By then, as the chief (and, for a long time, only) in house engineer, his recording credits included projects with Pulp, George Michael, the Moody Blues, Alvin Stardust, Iggy Pop and — in conjunction with Alan Tarney — David Cassidy, Cliff Richard and A ha. “For all their teenybopper image, A ha were three fantastic musicians,” Kitchingham says. “Normally, when it came to his productions Alan was a bit of a one man band and he would program his own drums, but Pål was amazing. The fine details of his drum programming were brilliant.” “When they came to RG Jones, my equipment was already there,” adds Tarney. “This included a [Roland] Juno 60 that provided the song’s main theme and which I still use, as well as a UMI computer system that a friend of mine put together, and which Vince Clark also used. That’s what I used to drive the instruments, and there was a LinnDrum that Pål programmed. He was absolutely brilliant at doing that — I’ve never seen anyone as good as him at programming a Linn.” This is somewhat ironic in light of Neill King’s aforementioned statement that, since the Linn was already outdated, he and the band had opted to use the Synclavier. “I was still using the Linn in conjunction with my UMI,” Tarney continues. “It worked for the boys and they loved that idea. It gave Pål the freedom to write these Linn Drum parts and he was brilliant at that. So, all of their musical ideas went through my equipment, and that meant I could then control the sounds that were being used and put them together exactly as I wanted them to be. There’s a fine line between a demo and a record, but it’s a crucial difference. “Both Pål and Mags were very good instrumentalists — Mags was an excellent keyboard player. I remember them in the control room playing their [PPG] Wave keyboards and it was fantastic hearing them play at the same time. They were so energetic. A lot of the stuff that I needed to control came through the Juno and a [Yamaha] DX7, but then they played the Waves together and that’s where the magic seemed to come from. It was a very atmospheric, live recording.” This was in marked contrast to the piecemeal approach taken at Eel Pie. Still, as at that studio, the console at RG Jones was a 48 input E-series SSL, while the tape machine was a 24 track Studer A80. Alan Tarney loved the fact that this equipment was housed within a fairly compact Eastlake room. “As a musician, it was just fabulous to play in that control room,” he says. “Not so much the studio itself. The control room was the main attraction, and so that’s where Pål and Mags recorded their parts direct.” Drums, Synths & Vocals The 3:46 end result was far closer in terms of feel to the 3:19 Mansfield produced version of ‘Take On Me’ than the 3:10 King engineered version. Yet there are still some significant differences between the latter two and the version produced by Alan Tarney: namely, both Mansfield’s and King’s versions feature synth stabs and an assortment of incongruent sounds during the first part of the instrumental break; these two also have a much more abrupt ending than the synthesized fade out on Tarney’s production; King’s version has the most pop oriented synths; Tarney’s has Harket’s most hard edged vocal. “In line with their original demo, Pål and Mags had everything pretty much worked out,” Tarney says. “So it was just a matter of recording it right and putting it together in the best way possible.” “Alan really had it fairly easy producing that record,” adds Gerry Kitchingham. “If anything, Tony Mansfield and Neill King had the harder job because they completely changed it, but all Alan had to do was duplicate the demo, remove the rough edges and tart up the sounds a bit. That’s why it was quite a pleasure to record ‘Take On Me’ and it went like a dream. The boys were still fairly new to the studio, so we didn’t get any prima donna behaviour — we liked them, they liked us, and they got on with the job and worked quite fast. “Being that RG Jones was still 24 track (soon after, we got a digital Mitsubishi 32 track), we normally had to start by getting some sort of drum track down. Provided the tempo and the feel were right, that guide drum track would be fairly simple — not that ‘Take On Me’ required anything particularly complex — and I’d mix it on two tracks. The tape machine was run by SMPTE code, so it was locked to the programming instruments, and when it came to the mix Alan dialled up the drums live to save on tracks. “After laying down the stereo guide drums, other guides were recorded, including Morten’s vocal, and then we started to look at everything a little bit closer. Of course, because a lot of the track was programmed, there were times when Alan was busy creating a bass part or whatever with the boys and I’d be waiting for them to build things up from there. One of the things they did almost right away was to get the main riff sound with the Juno 60. He and the boys would experiment and go through sounds until they liked something, and then it would be a case of programming it, sometimes combining more than one sound by way of the MIDI’d synthesizers. “As the albums went on and A ha’s sound became more heavy, we’d start feeding synths into amplifiers and things like that. But in this case, because ‘Take On Me’ was relatively lightweight, all of the instruments were DI’d, and then we had a few effects of various kinds to go through, whether these were produced by my outboard gear or Alan’s. This included a Lexicon 224 [reverb] for the vocal, as well as an AMS [delay] that enabled us to sample snare sounds and combine them with the Linn Drum sounds for more realism. You could get different quality chips for the Linn, and Alan would sometimes lift the lid, pull out the chips and put in some better ones that he could afford to buy. ‘Take On Me’ had a fairly standard Linn snare sound and I just remember compressing it quite heavily to get a very slappy feel. At the same time, while the quality of the Linn’s snare, toms and kick drum was quite good, its cymbal sounds were a bit crappy — no high end. So Pål overdubbed real cymbals and possibly some hi hat in the studio, to add some clarity and get more of a live feel.  “Anyway, that’s how we built up the track until it was time to do the vocals. We had quite a large studio area at RG Jones, and to cosy it up a bit for Morten we set up three large screens behind him; one directly behind, the other two angled in slightly. If I’d been using my microphone, it would have been a Neumann U87, but Alan had a valve Neumann U47 which we used on ‘Take On Me’, as well as a Neve microphone preamp and Neve equaliser. That valve 47 had a lovely sound, and I remember that when I heard Morten sing through that for the first time, the purity of his voice was amazing. “As you can tell from the record, he had this incredibly strong falsetto and almost choir boyish clarity. In fact, as soon as I put up the mic and started pottering around I knew I wasn’t going to have a problem getting a good sound on his voice. I was really impressed straight away. He’s an excellent singer and, being fairly new to recording in professional studios, he wasn’t too precious about the whole process. He just sang the song and accepted what we considered to be the master. Two or three albums later it would be a different story, with us spending so much longer recording his vocals and keeping everything. In this instance, he just sang through ‘Take On Me’ about four times, Alan and I told all three boys to take a break while we pieced the whole thing together, and we then got Morten back in to drop in a few small parts. He already knew the song and had such a great voice that it really didn’t take long to record. I just added some reverb from the Lexicon 224, as well as repeat echo for the high falsetto bits and that was it.” “Morten had an exceptional voice with a quite amazing range,” Tarney agrees. “He was very expressive in terms of how he sang, and he really did go for it. We didn’t have to compile from many takes, but he was capable of doing so many different things that I did have to decide which was the right vocal to use. For the backing vocals, I sang with all three guys into the same mic, and all in all we spent maybe a day recording the song and then another day mixing it. Thanks to the David Cassidy project, we couldn’t afford to give it any more time.”
Success At Last. Time was also a factor with the sessions for ‘The Sun Always Shines On TV’, A ha’s follow up single to ‘Take On Me’ which would top the UK chart, en route to selling over five million copies worldwide. “That was a lovely bonus,” Gerry Kitchingham says. “It was because everything went so well with ‘Take On Me’ that we then almost immediately worked on ‘The Sun Always Shines On TV’. I’m pretty sure it was within the same week.” This all took place while Tarney and Kitchingham were working on ‘The Last Kiss’, the hit single that Tarney co composed with David Cassidy and which he then mixed with John Hudson at Mayfair Studios in northwest London. “John and I mixed ‘The Last Kiss’ on the Saturday, and on the Sunday we mixed ‘The Sun Always Shines On TV’,” Tarney recalls. “In those days, I’d always record with Gerry Kitchingham at RG Jones and then I would usually go to Mayfair to mix with John Hudson. I just thought Mayfair had better monitoring for mixing. What’s more, if I was at RG Jones I’d still be thinking of musical things to add. So it was nice to go somewhere else and just finish it. John did the mix of ‘The Sun Always Shines’, whereas Gerry did the mix of ‘Take On Me’, and that’s because we were in the middle of recording ‘The Last Kiss’ at RG Jones when A ha came in to record ‘Take On Me’. Since the boys were happy there, we decided to finish it at the same place. More than anything, it was a matter of time.” Indeed, in April 1985 Warner Brothers’ head office in LA rushed to release the new version of ‘Take On Me’. However, a half hearted campaign by the label’s UK office ensured that the single still did nothing. And so it was that, courtesy of WEA exec Jeff Ayeroft, the head office demonstrated its impressive faith by shelling out $100,000 on a ground breaking new promo video that ended up taking four months to complete. Produced by Simon Fields of Limelight Productions, directed by Steve Barron, and animated by Michael Patterson and Candace Reckinger, utilising the combination of pencil sketch animation and live action known as rotoscoping, this romantic fantasy featured Morten Harket as a motorcycle racing hero who draws a girl (portrayed by Bunty Bailey) into his comic book world before finally joining her in real life. Originally, another track from the Hunting High & Low album, ‘Train Of Thought’, had been designated to receive the rotoscope treatment. Reassigned to promote ‘Take On Me’, the video projected the single into the stratosphere following the album’s release in June 1985. (‘Train Of Thought’ would subsequently be paired with Michael Patterson’s art cartoon Commuter.) That September, as ‘Take On Me’ and the accompanying video climbed their respective charts in the US, the song was re released yet again in the UK, where it eventually peaked at number two for three weeks. In America, where the video had cannily been issued to dance clubs and MTV a full month before the single was made available to record stores and radio stations, it went all the way to number one and remained on the Billboard Hot 100 for 23 weeks. It was the same in Europe, where it topped the charts in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland. “We learned the massive difference between a [record] company that was completely together and had a focus and a company where that was not the case,” singer Morten Harket commented in a 2009 TV interview. “We very quickly saw how important it is to have a record company behind you. You can be a great artist, but if you don’t have good people around you, nothing is ever going to happen, really.” “When we were recording ‘Take On Me’, I had no idea it was going to be the hit it turned out to be,” Gerry Kitchingham now admits. “Maybe that’s because I was making records every day, but it didn’t really jump out at me. Only later on did I really get to appreciate it.” “‘Take On Me’ incorporates all the best components of A ha,” concludes Alan Tarney, who still writes songs in his home studio that, once equipped with a Harrison desk and Studer A80, was the site of recordings such as the Norwegian trio’s 1987 ‘Manhattan Skyline’ single. Today it houses an Otari console, RADAR and Logic. “That song really sparkles because of the great vocal by Morten, and it also has those quirky little keyboard and synth parts that were just so lovely to hear when they were being performed in the studio. It really is a wonderful record…” .
Alan Tarney Born in the North-Western English town of Workington in November 1945, Alan Tarney grew up in Adelaide, Australia, where he befriended a Mancunian ex pat named Terry Britten, who would later enjoy success as a songwriter for, among others, Tina Turner, Cliff Richard, Olivia Newton John, Status Quo and Michael Jackson. During their teen years, Tarney and Britten played guitar in separate bands, and after each returned to the UK in the late ’60s, they met up in London and formed a band named Quartet. “Thanks to knowing an Australian producer called Dave Mackay — who worked with Cliff, the New Seekers and Bonnie Tyler — we ended up doing recording sessions as a rhythm unit,” says Tarney, whose own credits as a songwriter and producer include chart successes for Cliff Richard, Leo Sayer and David Cassidy, as well as seven top 10 singles with A ha, for whom he produced the first three albums. “Consequently, we got to meet a lot of artists and, if I wrote songs, I could play these to them.” Doing session work for anyone from Bonnie Tyler and Bow Wow Wow to Squeeze and the Drifters, Tarney played with the Shadows from 1973 to 1977, during which time he also comprised one half of the Spencer Tarney Band alongside another former Quartet colleague, Australian songwriter/producer/drummer Trevor Spencer. This preceded Tarney’s own compositional and production successes. “While I started off as a session musician, I also had a publishing contract with ATV Music,” he explains, “and in those days the publisher would give you £150 to go and record the demo. That budget was supposed to pay for the musicians, but I found a studio that would give me a whole day for £150 and, being self taught, I played all the instruments myself. I did that every day and I eventually became very adept at making records. As a result, on the records that I subsequently produced I played all the instruments. You don’t have to be great, you just have to know the right things to do.” It was after Tarney co produced singer songwriter Charlie Dore’s hit single ‘Pilot Of The Airwaves’, with the Shadows’ Bruce Welch that he began working with Cliff Richard. “I played ‘We Don’t Talk Anymore’ in the studio, Bruce heard it and he said, ‘That would be a good song for Cliff’,” Tarney recalls. “So, we finished our work on Charlie Dore’s album on the Friday and the next day we recorded ‘We Don’t Talk Anymore’ with Cliff.” Recorded at RG Jones in April 1979, that single became Cliff’s first UK chart topper in more than a decade as well as his biggest worldwide hit, reaching number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and enjoying global sales in excess of five million copies. Not surprisingly, Cliff Richard’s management then asked Alan Tarney to write more material, and in the course of producing Cliff’s next few albums Tarney came to the attention of the people investing time and money in A ha, which would eventually land him the job of producer on the Hunting High & Low album.

  • Director: Steve Barron
  • Clip: 3:47
  • DVD: Headlines And Deadlines
  • CD: none
  • Album: Hunting High And Low
  • Single: Take On Me 7″with and without cartoon ink pages inside

Actually the second attempt on this video, the first release of “Take On Me”, which appeared only on 7″ and 12″ LP singles, was featured in the first video version. The most famous version of this song was mixed by Alan Tarney, but it was also the second attempt at making the song a hit. This video was shot at Kim’s Café and on a sound stage in London, England. After this video was put on rotation on MTV, the song quickly soared to number one on the US Billboard charts. This song was a-ha’s only number one hit in the USA, the week of 9 October 1985 after only being released 3 weeks earlier on 16 September 1985. This video was directed by Steve Barron, who collaborated on nearly half of all a-ha videos. The final scene in this video was based on the 1980 movie “Altered States.” Shortly after the video was completed, Morten was dumped by Bunty Bailey who is the love interest in this video – for Billy Idol.


Here comes a critical comment in Italian by a fan :


Continuiamo a chiacchierare
Non so cosa devo dire
Lo dirò comunque
Oggi è un altro giorno per trovarti
Sfuggendo per la timidezza
Arriverò per te, amore, ok?

Me ne sarò andato
Tra uno o due giorni

E’ così inutile dire
Che sono un incasinato, ma sono io!
Che mi ingarbuglio in continuazione
Mentre imparo lentamente che la vita è ok
Dillo dopo di me
Che starsene al sicuro non è altro che ritrovarsi pentiti

Me ne sarò andato
Tra uno o due giorni

Oh, le cose che dici
Sono vere o le dici solo per gettar via
Le mie preoccupazioni?
Tu sei tutte le cose che mi devo ricordare
Stai sfuggendo per la timidezza
Io arriverò per te comunque

Me ne sarò andato
Tra uno o due giorni

ANALISI: Il filo conduttore della canzone è la contrapposizione tra timidezza e coraggio all’interno di un rapporto che sta diventando amoroso (almeno, questa è la speranza di chi parla), o che forse lo è già diventato, ma sicuramente non da molto (indice lo è la stessa timidezza, e in particolare la frase “oggi è un altro giorno per trovarti”).
Sebbene la canzone risulti essere stata scritta da tutti e tre, credo la si possa attribuire essenzialmente a Paal, almeno per quanto riguarda il testo. Nota era la timidezza di Paal ai tempi della sua gioventù, soprattutto per quel che riguardava le ragazze, e la situazione qui descritta si sposa perfettamente con quella del suo incontro e della sua prima frequentazione con Lauren.
La maggior parte delle canzoni di Hunting high and low, del resto, sembra derivare proprio da questo spunto autobiografico (definirlo “spunto”, anzi, è riduttivo!).
L’immagine descritta è quella di un ragazzo e una ragazza che chiacchierano amichevolmente, ma il dialogo si svolge all’insegna della timidezza e dell’imbarazzo reciproci ( “non so cosa devo dire”, “sfuggendo per la timidezza”, “stai sfuggendo per la timidezza”): segni questi, del resto, evidenti del fatto che dietro l’amicizia si nasconde in realtà un più profondo sentimento.
Cosa della quale il ragazzo è ben conscio, e che trova difficoltà ad esprimere (“mi ingarbuglio in continuazione”)
.Eppure lui riesce a trovare il coraggio per farlo. Non l’ha ancora fatto, ma è sicuro che ci riuscirà. Alle frasi precedenti, connotate in senso negativo (Timidezza), si contrappongono quelle connotate in senso positivo (Coraggio), che vanno ad annullare le prime:
(T) “Non so cosa devo dire” / (C) “Lo dirò comunque”
(T) “Sfuggendo per la timidezza” / (C) “Arriverò per te, amore, ok?”
(T) “Stai sfuggendo per la timidezza” / (C) “Io arriverò per te comunque”
Alle difficoltà e agli ostacoli il ragazzo contrappone un forte ottimismo (“imparo lentamente che la vita è ok”), e quindi l’esortazione (rivolta soprattutto a lei, ma anche a se stesso) a mettersi in gioco, a rischiare, perché non farlo nel momento opportuno significa che in futuro ci si ritroverà comunque pentiti, nel rimpianto delle occasioni perse (“considerami /affrontami”, “dillo dopo di me / che starsene al sicuro non è altro che ritrovarsi pentiti” – quasi a volerle insegnare quello che lui stesso sta lentamente imparando; e riguardo a ciò è forse interessante ricordare che la versione primitiva della canzone si chiamava Lesson one).
Il quadretto complessivo è quindi quello di due giovani ragazzi che si sono conosciuti da poco (siano già assieme o meno, non ha importanza – anche se io ritengo di no), ma che ancora davvero non si conoscono, e che giorno per giorno si “trovano”, con tutti i sensi che questo verbo può esprimere, combattuti e lacerati tra la timidezza e l’attrazione.
E’ probabile che questa canzone trovi la sua origine in un incontro tra Paal e Lauren al Camden Town, il locale londinese che gli a-ha frequentavano, e dove difatti i due si conobbero. Potrebbe quindi risalire al 1983 (come Lesson one).
A livello formale la canzone è articolata in tre strofe di 6 versi ciascuna, intercalate tra loro da un ritornello di 4 versi brevi (i primi 2 versi si fanno portatori del messaggio di base della canzone – “considerami / affrontami” – che è anche il suo stesso titolo).
Ogni strofa è formata da tre versi brevi e tre versi lunghi tra loro intercalati.
Tra le forme verbali, i gerundi rivestono un ruolo significativo (se ne trovano ben 7), in quanto assolutamente adatti a descrivere la situazione, che è quella di un processo in via di sviluppo.
Sono inoltre molto frequenti le rime in “-ay”.

COMMENTO: A mio parere, il testo della canzone è più significativo di quanto possa apparire a prima vista. Il senso di ottimismo, il linguaggio colloquiale e ammiccante, la musica molto orecchiabile della canzone, il suo stesso successo commerciale, hanno fatto sì che Take on me venisse bollata e relegata al ruolo di ‘canzonetta’. Non si tratta certo di una delle migliori canzoni degli a-ha, ma almeno il testo sarebbe da rivalutare.
Il quadretto dei due giovani innamorati è sincero, schietto, spontaneo. Si costruisce su un’antitesi di base (timidezza vs attrazione/coraggio) su cui è interessante riflettere, per quel che riguarda le dinamiche dell’approccio amoroso. La timidezza, più che ostacolare il sentimento, lo valorizza e lo rende più delicato e tenero, più umano. Un’esperienza che noi tutti, penso, abbiamo sperimentato ed in cui ci possiamo immedesimare.
Ancora più forte, moralmente, è l’esortazione a lasciarsi andare al sentimento, ad esprimere ciò che si prova dentro, a mettersi in gioco e a rischiare, dando comunque fiducia alla vita (un ottimismo che non si ritrova così facilmente nelle canzoni degli a-ha, e soprattutto di Paal): una sorta di piccolo ‘carpe diem’ per il presente e per il futuro.

By Paola Betetto

Norge Norvegia 1 30
Germany Germania 1 20
Belgium Belgio 1 14
Italia(*) (1985/86) Italia 1 13 (4 al 1°)
Switzerland Svizzera 1 13
Nederland Paesi Bassi 1 13
Osterrich Austria 1 12
Sverige Svezia 1 8
Billboard Hot 100
Hot Adult Contemporary
Hot Dance Club Play/Maxi-Singles
Stati Uniti 1
Canada Canada 2 25 (2 weeks on II°)
United Kingdom Regno Unito 2 19
France Francia 3 28
New Zeland Nuova Zelanda 7 18