a-ha was a band from Norway, consisting of Morten Harket (vocals), Paul Waaktaar-Savoy (guitars) and Magne "Mags" Furuholmen (keyboards). They initially rose to fame during the 1980s, but have had continued success in the 1990s and 2000s.
a-ha achieved its biggest success with their debut album and single in 1985. Hunting High and Low peaked at number fifteen on the Billboard charts and yielded an international number-one single, "Take on Me", earning the band a Grammy Award nomination as Best New Artist. Hunting High and Low was one of the best-selling albums of 1986.
In 1994, the band went on a hiatus, the same year a-ha reached a sales number of 20 million albums sold worldwide. After a performance at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 1998, the band returned to the studio and recorded 2000's Minor Earth Major Sky, which resulted in a new tour. By 2000, they had reached 36 million albums sold wordwide plus several million singles. In 2002 the band released their seventh studio album Lifelines. Analogue is their eighth studio album and is their most successful studio album in the UK since East of the Sun, West of the Moon and has been certified silver. Their last album is Foot of the Mountain, which was released in June of 2009.
They retired on December 5th, 2010, but reunited in 2015, releasing a new album, going on tour through 2016, then recording an MTV Unplugged special which was followed by an acoustic tour in 2018 to promote yet another album. Their acoustic version of "Take On Me" from the MTV show featured in a key dramatic scene from Deadpool 2 and introduced them to a new generation of listeners.
In November 2012, all three members of the band were appointed Knights of the First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav for their contribution to Norwegian music.
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: They chose "a-ha" because it was a name that everyone would be able to say easily.
- Animated Music Video: "Take on Me" and "Train of Thought", at least large parts of them. The Internet exclusive video for "I Wish I Cared" was actually one of the very first wholly Flash-animated music videos.
- Continuity Nod: The first 30 seconds of the video for "The Sun Always Shines on TV" are spent ending the storyline in the "Take On Me" video. Snifff.
- Creator Backlash: "We've done better songs. It's great to be recognized, shame it's "Take On Me"."
- Downer Ending: As stated above, the beginning of the video for "The Sun Always Shines on TV" ends the story from "Take on Me" with the man turning back into an illustration and running away.
- Todd was particularly upset with the scene.
- Executive Meddling: Most tracks on Minor Earth Major Sky were remixed by the album's producer to make it more radio-friendly for the German market. Whether it made them worse, or better, is entirely up to the listener.
- Fourth Wall Shut-in Story: The music video for "Take on Me" illustrates this, with a much more carefree attitude than usual. Given it's mid-1980s pop music, carefree is to be expected.
- Grandpa What Massive Hotness You Have: The guys are bordering their late 40's/early 50's and still look DAAAAMN fine.
- Intercourse with You: "I Call Your Name" is actually a honeymoon song, complete with metaphors.
- Long Runner Lineup: 18 years with the same three guys before disbanding (with one reunion benefit concert).
- Lyrical Dissonance:
- Many, many of their songs have this going for them... "The Blood That Moves The Body" comes to mind.
- That one pales in comparison to "Scoundrel Days". The beat is rock-ish and spirited, the lyrics are pure Mind Screw.
- "I've Been Losing You" is the musings of a male Yandere who has just shot dead his own wife.
- "Maybe Maybe" is cute and poppy. But describes rather lightly how a guy and his ex-girlfriend bitch each other, until said girlfriend runs him over with her car.
- Mood Dissonance: "Velvet" is a song about a man praising a woman's beauty. In the music video on the other hand, the band members' love interests murder all 3 of them. Morten dies in an Electrified Bathtub, Pal is killed by a bullet on the head, while Magne's corpse is locked in a freezer. Morten's singing as he is transported out of the tub and into a body bag is part of the video's Narm Charm.
- New Wave
- Notable Music Videos: "Take on Me"
- Obligatory Bondage Song: "Celice", a love song... dedicated to a chastity belt. The group that gave us "Take On Me", people!
- Rock Trio
- Rotoscoping: The music video of "Take on Me".
- What Beautiful Eyes!: Paul Waaktaar-Savoy's Green Eyes.
- Yandere: The narrator of "I've Been Losing You" and the girl from "Maybe Maybe".