Bands and musicians BANDS

A-ha

Way back in 1982, a trio of Norwegian musicians formed a band called A-ha and left Norway for the bright lights of London to see if they could make a career for themselves in the music business. The front man was Morten Harket accompanied by Magne Furuholmen, the keyboard player and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy on guitar. The unlikely threesome ended up at the studio of musician and producer John Ratcliff and legend has it that they were enticed by the prospect of his Space Invaders arcade machine. They must have really loved Space Invaders because they ended up hiring Ratcliff and his manager, Terry Slater, to manage their own band.

Two years after arriving in London, A-ha debuted with their first single “Take On Me” which reached number two in the UK charts and number one in the US charts. The accompanying music video, now considered to be one of the best music videos of all time, helped to boost the popularity of the song and featured and featured a young woman drawn into a fantasy comic book adventure along with lead singer Morten Harket.

For some reason, A-ha never really made it big in America and are still considered as something of a one-hit-wonder with “Take On Me” being the only one of their songs to actually make it into the top ten. However, in the UK it was a very different story and the band's very next single “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.” from their debut album “Hunting High and Low” made it straight to number one in the UK charts.

The next four singles from A-ha all made it into the UK top ten and by 1987 the band reached the peak of their career when they wrote the theme tune for the new James Bond film “The Living Daylights”. One more top ten track followed this with “Stay on These Roads” but after that their popularity began to wane and the chart positions began to decline. A-ha continued performing together right up until 2010 when they announced that they would split.

Back in 2009, we had the pleasure of interviewing A-ha ahead of their concert at the iTunes festival in London and since one of our team had a massive crush on Morten Harket, we thought it would be best to send her along or we'd never hear the end of it. Here's an interview with A-ha conducted by our rather nervous and excited reporter!


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Do You Remember A-ha?

Do You Remember A-ha?

  • Anonymous user
    on
    I absolutely love a-ha, I've followed them all my life and agree with Penny that they are so underated. They only seem to be known for a couple of hits from the 80's, Take on me, Hunting High and Low, Sun always shines on TV... but they have so many great songs on all of their albums. Morten/Mags and Pal are such amazing songwriters and who else has the voice of an angel like Morten Harket. I have been lucky enough to meet them a few times and I'm such a huge fan my son has the middle name Morten! When I was pregnant with my second I was lucky enough to meet Morten and was able to tell him I was trying to think of another name with an a-ha connection, I have since called my daughter Lauren, after Lauren Savoy (Pal the guitarists wife!)
  • Anonymous user
    on
    Favourite band in the world, but when I was watching an American interview with a-ha from back in the day, they COMPLETELY mispelt poor Mags' name! Pal is my favourite, but I feel he is the most underated person in the band, even though he is really the backbone. Love Pal for his beautiful songwriting skills, Mags for his hidden intellectual ability and his outstanding creativity and Morten for his beautiful and powerful voice! (plus they were really cute too!). a-ha RULE! Can't wait to get Foot of The Mountain. Visit SChique00 on Youtube for facts, videos, and trivia on the best Norwegian band ever!
  • Anonymous user
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    My sister was a big fan of A-Ha. She had posters all over her wall. I kinda like there music as i grew up listening to it coz of my sister .
  • Anonymous user
    on
    What does it mean by 'Semi Norwegian'? ...a-ha are %100 Norwegian ;-)..... born and raised in Norway and are proud of their country, culture, etc :-)
  • Anonymous user
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    Hey, didn't anyone take notice of what Claudia wrote? It's not Morton! It's MORTEN!! MORTEN...GET IT RIGHT!! Doesn't it annoy you when people miss spell your name incorrectly!! So spell Morten's name correctly PLEASSSSSSSE It's MORTEN HARKET!! OK!! :-( Well I'm an Australian fan...been a fan for 20 years now and will be a fan for the rest of my life. No one has ever blown me away like a-ha have (and its not because of 'Take on me', or their good looks...but then again they are pretty yummy..lol) A-ha were always seen as that '80's band' or a 'flash in the pan'...but sorry folks, they moved on from what you call "cheesy pop" (but I never felt like that) to writing some brilliant songs in the 90's/2000's such as: ' sycamore leaves', 'Cold as Stone', 'locust', 'Minor Earth, Major Sky', 'lifelines', 'Analogue' (and heaps more) that never made it as big as 'Take on me' (which was never one of their best songs. Great video though). I feel a-ha are one of the most under rated bands in music history.... Even 'the Edge' from 'U2' has said this himself!! The boys also made solo albums too, while Pal (or Paul) went and formed a band called 'Savoy' with his wife Lauren Savoy and friend Frode Unneland. Beside writing music Mags (Magne) is also an artist who has had art exhibitions throughout Norway. Go on... 'Google A-ha' and you'll be surprised what you find on the Norwegian trio. There's hundreds of a-ha fan sites out there. So it shows that they are greatly loved!! My favorite a-ha fan sites are: 'Cold as stone' http://www.cdd.ee/ and the official a-ha fans site 'Minor Earth Forum'. (there are heaps of Uk fans on this site!!)
  • Anonymous user
    on
    I love A HA They are really cute boys there was lots of cute boy in the 80s like these ones
  • Anonymous user
    on
    The video for Take on Me is one of the most creative I have ever seen. Back in the day it was "groundbreaking". I wish those 3 had more success and longevity...take care.
  • Anonymous user
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    The Take on me song and video were my frst encounter with a-ha, and I have stuck to them, since. All through the late nineties, when they did solo projects and continueing now, since they came back together in 2000. One thing : what's with that word: "semi"- Norwegian band ? Other thing: the singers name is not MortOn: it's Morten. :-)
  • Anonymous user
    on
    I've just seen 'A-ha's video a few days ago and it was AWESOMEnESS!!! Morton Harket is sooo HOT!! I wish i was born back then...when they were still really famous and had videos and all that playing. Morton morton morton...such a hottie!
  • Anonymous user
    on
    The first time I saw him he took my breath away and that still hasn't changed. He is unique and I look forward to the day he drops on my lap. He is a very beautiful and charismatic man, and I for one treasure him.