Reservoir Media Management - a-ha
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Based in Oslo, Norway
Members Morten Harket
Magne Furuholmen
Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
Few bands can boast the legacy or longevity of Norwegian group a-ha. Since their debut single "Take On Me" hit number one in the US and around the world in autumn 1985, the band have gone on to sell over 80 million records. Thirty years on from their breakthrough success, a-ha have been gracing the charts again with their critically acclaimed top ten album Cast In Steel and delighting fans on the first leg of their latest world tour.

The beginning of a-ha can be traced back to Oslo in the early 1980s. In September 1982, guitarist Pål Waaktaar-Savoy and keyboardist Magne Furuholmen, survivors of local bands Bridges and Poem, invited singer Morten Harket to join the group. As autumn turned to winter, the trio retreated to a log cabin on the side of the Oslo Fjord to hone their sound – writing many of the songs that would end up on their debut album and coming up with the band’s name: a-ha.

From the Norwegian countryside, a-ha travelled to the bright lights of London to secure a record deal. The city was at the heart of a vibrant British music scene and the group were signed and fast-tracked to stardom. With a little help from an iconic animated music video, the band’s debut single Take on Me reached number one in the US and was one of the biggest songs of the decade. The group’s first album Hunting High and Low showcased the band’s songwriting prowess with further hits such as The Sun Always Shines on TV, Train of Thought and the title track itself.

The band followed up this success with a sell-out world tour and a second album, Scoundrel Days, that remains a fan’s favorite to this day. Such was the group’s appeal that they were invited to record the theme tune to the latest James Bond film, The Living Daylights, with their third album Stay on These Roads being released in 1988. All the while the hits kept coming – timeless classics such as I’ve Been Losing You, Manhattan Skyline, The Blood That Moves The Body and You Are The One.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a-ha’s popularity in South America hit extraordinary levels. In 1991, the band headlined the second Rock In Rio festival in Brazil. With 198,000 fans packed into the Maracanã Stadium, the band broke world records for the size of the audience. That concert coincided with the release of the band’s fourth album, East of the Sun, West of the Moon and was succeeded by 1993’s Memorial Beach.

After a mid-nineties hiatus, a-ha returned in 1998 after being invited to perform at that year’s Nobel Peace Prize Concert. They performed a new song, Summer Moved On, and were soon back in the studio to record their sixth album, Minor Earth, Major Sky (2000). The band were then invited to return for the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize Concert – an event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the award – and enjoyed further success throughout the noughties with the albums Lifelines (2002), Analogue (2005) and Foot of the Mountain (2009). In late 2009, the band announced they were splitting up, and played a huge farewell world tour, Leaving On A High Note, which concluded with a string of dates in Oslo in December 2010.

Then in early 2015, to the delight of their fans, the band announced their return with a new album, Cast in Steel, and a world tour that would visit South America in autumn 2015 and Europe in spring 2016. With stand-out tracks such as Under the Makeup, The Wake and Forest Fire, the band’s tenth album proved that the band were very much a musical force still to be reckoned with – their songwriting magic still packing as much power as it first did thirty years earlier.

A-ha’s remarkable musical journey has been littered with awards and honors: in 2012, Morten, Magne and Pål were appointed Kings of the First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav for their contribution to Norwegian music. But just as important has been the band’s musical legacy: artists such as Coldplay namechecking the band as a huge influence on their career; acts such as Pitbull and Christina Aguilera sampling "Take On Me" to create their own modern dancefloor hit.
view all 88 tracks 88 tracks found
a-ha "Shapes That Go Together"
Album: 25: The Very Best of a-ha
Genre: Pop
Mood: Driving
a-ha "Analogue"
Album: Analogue
Genre: Pop
Moods: Driving, Easy Listening
a-ha "Birthright"
Album: Analogue
Genre: Pop
Moods: Laid Back, Relaxed
a-ha "Celice"
Album: Analogue
Genre: Pop
Moods: Driving, Uptempo
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