TITLE: The Singles: 1984-2004
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None in the US or UK
SINGLES: Top 10: Take On Me (#1 US, #2 UK), The Sun Always Shines on TV (#20 US, #1 UK), Train of Thought (#8 UK), Hunting High and Low (#5 UK), I’ve Been Losing You (#8 UK), Cry Wolf (#50 US, #5 UK), The Living Daylights (#113 US, #5 UK), Stay on These Roads (#5 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not unless you were Norwegian or Swedish
LINEUP: Morten Harket, Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Mange Furuholmen
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Scandinavian synthesizer pop band, remembered for one huge US song and video, releases a comprehensive singles collection that illustrates their popularity outside of the US.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Yes, you know the song, and the video, and it will never die. “Take On Me” is played at sporting events, which is kind of funny since most all of their songs are lush, romantic synth ballads or pop songs.
Huge in Scandinavia, big in the UK for most of the 80’s, A-ha’s sound is kind of dated, but they do have some songs of quality and distinction which break through the sound. They also landed the theme of the Bond movie The Living Daylights.
Some of their ballads are a bit too slow and languid for my ears, so I exiled some. The band lasted a long time thanks to their fans, and they’re definitely tuned to the European market.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They’ve released three other albums since this compilation came out.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B-: It’s not really fluff – there’s some good work here. But all of it isn’t in my alley.