The Return of a-ha…Again
Formed in Oslo, Norway, in 1982, the band a-ha—led by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Morten Harket, and Magne Furuholmen—had disbanded five years ago. That was a sad news especially for those who have loved a-ha’s music for years.
Many New Wave enthusiasts certainly have in their collection a-ha’s debut album, Hunting High and Low (1985), where the band’s most popular songs may be found—such as “Take on Me,” “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.,” and “Love Is Reason.”
However, to those who have a longer attention span and who are able to follow the development of a-ha and New Wave music in general, a-ha is greater than this first album; a-ha’s studio discography is actually comprised by nine albums:
Hunting High and Low (1985)
Scoundrel Days (1986)
Stay on These Roads (1988)
East of the Sun, West of the Moon (1990)
Memorial Beach (1993)
Minor Earth, Major Sky (2000)
Foot of the Mountain (2009)
And while many fans thought that the last album was indeed the final one, here comes a recent news item that said the trio have decided to reunite once again not only for a tour this year but also with a new album in the works (entitled Cast of Steel), slated for release in September 2015.
I’m excited. This should not be surprising. After all, what fan of a-ha, or New Wave music for that matter, will not be stoked about this?
To those who wanted to catch up before the release of the 10th album, I recommend the following playlist, which I have titled The Ultimate a-ha Discography Experience. This is comprised by two of my most favorite songs off each album.
“Living a Boy’s Adventure Tale”
“The Sun Always Shines on T.V.”
“We’re Looking for the Whales”
“You Are the One”
“Waiting for Her”
“Dark Is the Night for All”
“Angel in the Snow”
“The Sun Never Shone That Day”
“Don’t Do Me Any Favours”
“Analogue (All I Want)”
“Riding the Crest”
The music of a-ha has been classified as New Wave, Synthpop, and Pop Rock. With the band’s nine-album discography, the suggested genres are indeed befitting. However, what gives a-ha’s music its best distinctive characteristics are Harket’s wide-ranging silky voice, Furuholmen’s melodic keyboards and synthesizers, Waaktaar’s subtle guitar parts, and the band’s overall flare for writing songs with meticulous arrangement and instrumentation infused with strong pop sensibilities and penchant for soaring and catchy choruses.
This year is the 30th anniversary of Hunting High and Low, a-ha’s first album, which certainly continues to enjoy a ‘no-skip, repeat-mode’ treatment from any New Wave music enthusiast. Let’s celebrate the Norwegian band’s music by listening to their music annd by purchasing a copy of the new album when it finally comes out in September 2015.