A-ha are Morten Harket
), Magne Furuholmen
), and Paul Waaktaar
). This Norvegian
trio came out with their first album, Hunting High and Low
, in 1985. The first track on this album, Take On Me
, was an instant smash success, helped tremendously by their airplay on MTV
with a brilliant music video. However, Morten Harket's boyish good looks
combined with the innability of the public to digest the majority of A-ha's music threatened to mark them as one hit wonders
. In fact, many people claim that's all that they are, to this day. I say nay!
Students of music history will remember their other hits Stay On These Roads
and Living Daylights
, the title track to the James Bond
film of the same name.
Disproving the "teen poster fodder" accusations, A-ha has come out with seven albums. However, A-ha's style has always been heavy on melody and light on hooks. Harket's melodic voice and dramatic delivery are a little hard to adjust to, but really provide a great deal of the warmth of A-ha's sound.
Hunting High and Low establishes the sound of the group, very electronic and melodic. Scoundrel Days, arriving in 1986, was also a rich album full of strong songs, but it lacked the pop hit that Take On Me had been. Stay On These Roads, A-ha's third album, came out in 1988 and the title track became another hit for the group, getting decent radio airplay. It was the Living Daylights that made this album well known. This was the last of A-ha's mainstream success for several albums. East of the Sun, West of the Moon was released in 1990. Headlines and Deadlines, a greatest hits collection filled in the year 1991 for the group. Memorial Beach was finished and released to a largely unenthusiastic public in 1993. The group broke up.
After various individual side projects and solo albums, the trio reconvened and began working on Minor Earth Major Sky, released in 2000. Despite the lack of a hit pop single on the album, Minor Earth Major Sky, is critically acclaimed and gaining the group a return to popularity. It also shows the group's ability to mature, shirking the synth-pop sound of their earlier albums while still retaining the flowing melodies they've become known for.