Saturday, May 10, 2008

Countdown to Syttende Mai--A-ha

Amongst all of the music that has come out of Norway, none is more popular world-wide then that of the band A-ha. Whether or not an individual is familiar with the band, most everyone is familiar with their first hit "Take On Me." While a-ha's popularity in the United States declined after their first few albums, their world-round renown has remained strong. According to Wikipedia, a-ha set an impressive record for rock history: "At the Rock in Rio II festival in January 1991, a-ha shocked the international entertainment press by gathering a paying audience of 198,000 people at Maracanã Stadium - a world record for paying audiences." But it is a mistake to think of a-ha as a one-hit wonder or a band from the past. In my own opinion they have several strong albums and a few weaker ones. Also, in my opinion, the weaker albums occurred in the late 80s and early 90's. Since that time they have produced stronger and better albums that far out-weigh their debut album which everyone knows them for. Their last three albums are nothing short of amazing: "Analogue" (2005), "Lifelines" (2002), and "Minor Earth Major Sky" (2000). Each of these albums has proven that a-ha continues to get better and better with each release. Following these three albums "Hunting High and Low" (1985) and "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" (1990) are my favorite. While "Scoundrel Days" (1986), "Stay on these Roads" (1988), and "Memorial Beach" (1993) have some good songs on the albums, the overall creativity, talent, and pleasure of listening is lacking in comparison to the other albums.
Ultimately, the band has matured in both content and sound and honestly has become one of my top 5 bands of all time (actually my favorite, depending upon my mood at the time--if one looks at the play count in my itunes, three of the 10 most played songs are from a-ha).
Anyhow, here are a few of the music videos for the band. I will load them in chronological order for you.
First, the hit "Take On Me" from the "Hunting High and Low" album:

Next, "Crying in the Rain" from the "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" album:

Also, "I Wish I Cared" from the "Minor Earth, Major Sky" album"

Here is a live performance of one of my favorite songs, "You'll Never Get Over Me" also from the "Minor Earth, Major Sky" album:

Here is a video from their album "Lifelines." This song is titled, "Did Anyone Approach You." It is another of my a-ha favorites:

And from their most recent album "Analogue" their song "Analogue," which is the number one song on my itunes play count. It is a song that I have also had many of my friends get addicted to!:

Anyhow, I hope that you have enjoyed a little journey through some of the music that a-ha has produced over the years and that you have rediscovered one of the greatest bands of all time. . . and they happen to be from Norway!

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