One Hit Wonders - A-ha - Take On Me

One Hit Wonders - A-ha - Take On Me
Often considered one of the top one hit wonders of the 1980’s (or any era), A-ha scored their first and only hit record in the U.S. with their song “Take On Me” from their debut album “Hunting High and Low”. The single also marked the first time a Norwegian band, made up of Morten Harket on vocals, Pal Waaktaar on guitars and backing vocals, and Magne Furuholmen on synthesizers and backing vocals, had topped the U.S. Billboard charts.

The song, a mix of keyboards and synthesizers, and marked with Harket’s high vocal range, was originally released in 1984 with no chart impact. The band would go back into the studio and re-record the song. It was then released again in 1985. This time, “Take On Me’ would become an international hit and reach number one on Billboard’s singles charts in October 1985. The song would stay on the charts for a total of twenty-seven weeks, eventually being named the number ten song of the year for 1985.

The video for “Take On Me” received heavy rotation on MTV due, in part, to its unique rotoscoping (ie live action traced into animation) technique. A-ha would go on to win awards for “Best New Artist”, “Best Concept Video”, “Most Experimental Video”, “Best Direction”, “Best Editing” and “Best Special Effects” at MTV’s 1986 Video Music Awards. The song would also garner the band a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.

Unfortunately, A-ha’s next single, wouldn’t be the massive follow-up hit. “The Sun Always Shines On T.V.” would only reach number 20 on the Billboard’s singles charts. While A-ha only had one hit single in America, their career in Europe has been enduring, selling over 55,000,000 records worldwide. Having released new music throughout the 1980s, ‘90’s and into the new millennia, the band’s tenth studio album, “Cast in Steel”, was released in September 2015, in time for their 30th anniversary. They have toured extensively throughout the world, especially Europe, and have performed at Rock In Rio in Rio de Janeiro.




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