a-ha to call it a day

Many on the North American side of the Atlantic may be forgiven for thinking Norway’s a-ha disappeared decades ago. After the synthpop confection of “Take on Me” and to a lesser extent, the ballsier “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.”, which saw them reach the pinnacle of the music business (nominated for a Grammy award for best new artist, nearly going double platinum with their debut and scoring a number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 ) in 1985/86 they never again cracked the mainstream in the North American market. However, the band continues pumping out albums, some awesome, some more forgettable but they never went away. Like many, Softsynth enjoyed their first album, Hunting High and Low (with “Living a Boy’s Adventure Tale” ranking as one of our all-time favourite electronic songs) even if we found “Take on Me” a bit cloying (which was more than made up for by their breakthrough rotoscoped video, recently made into a masterpiece as the best “literal interpretation” of the Funny or Die series) and also its follow up Scoundrel Days, but after that forgot about the Norwegian trio for some time.

What they were doing was releasing nine albums, scoring numerous hits across Europe and South America, selling 36 million albums around the world, and touring their asses off. After about 18 years of forgetting a-ha ever existed Softsynth rediscovered them, and realized the idea of how uncool they had supposedly become was bullshit. These guys were still able to write some of the most compelling synth-based pop music out there.

Sadly, after releasing their damn fine ninth album, Foot of the Mountain, a real return to their electronic roots, the boys are calling it quits when their tour ends next year. Leaving on a high note, they call it. Best of luck to them and thanks for the great tunes over the last 25 years…

Watch: Foot of the Mountain

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One Response to “a-ha to call it a day”

  1. Great article, great band. Their catalog is definitely worth checking out. They will be missed.

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