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A-ha – Hunting High and Low (1985)

August 31, 2012

[Album 87/1001]

Every few years, a pop culture reference brings Take On Me back into the spotlight:
– In 1999, Reel Big Fish covered the song in the film BASEketball
– Then there was the memorable Family Guy clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyjz4LAnx9g

Until now, I’ve often wondered (but never researched) what lead singer Morten Harket is singing in the fourth line of the chorus.

Two lyric sites seem to agree on, “Take on me, take me on, I’ll be gone, in a day or two.”  Incidentally, according to similarly questionable internet evidence, the chorus lyrics to Corey Hart’s Sunglasses at Night appear to be: “Don’t switch the blade on the guy in shades (oh no), Don’t masquerade with the guy in shades (oh no) (I can’t believe it)…”

Back to Take On Me: impossibly high falsetto, great synth (especially the breakdown), a tune that should bring a smile to most.

The rest of the album is hardly filler with The Sun Always Shines on TV being one of the better supporting numbers.  Though it’s not terribly difficult to guess which decade it belongs to, for what it is, this record works quite nicely.

A strong enough effort for A-ha to further entrench their status as my favourite Norwegian trio.

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From → 1980s

6 Comments
  1. I remember being a little kid and just entranced by the music and the music video for Take On Me. I still think it is a magical song and video. That voice and the harmonies move me!

  2. Phillip Helbig permalink

    I’m not a big fan, but have always found them a cut above typical 80s fare (I mean typical 80s fare here, not Iron Maiden and so on). They have also aged amazingly well, in contrast to, say, Vanilla Ice (not that he was any good to start with—I’ve never understood why anyone can listen to music which is based on samples).

    • The pop is well crafted here – Take On Me’s one of those songs I don’t think I’d seek out but I always enjoy it when I hear it.
      I think many people enjoy sample based music because it sounds ‘familiar’ – I’ve argued if something sounds too new, it will scare many people away (or they will just scan past it on the radio). Basing something off an existing riff might hook more casual listeners.

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