a-ha: Their 20 best


Apr 10 2012, 20:24

It's either a-ha or Kent that can rightfully claim to be the best band (not fronted by the Godlike genius Joakim Thåström)to ever come out of Scandinavia. But while Kent is generally considered to be a great band, a-ha has always been forced to fight against being misunderstood as some one-hit-wonder from the plastic 1980's. Nothing could ever be more wrong.
They made fantastically crafted pop songs, heartwrenching ballads and atmospheric, melancholy crossings inbetween. And more often than not; the lyrics were profound and clever. And that voice... Morten Harket's too-good-for-words voice, hitting every note spot on, both live and in the studio.

Here are their 20 best. 20 pop songs that deserve a better fate than they will ever get.

1. Stay On These Roads (1988)
- The best melancholy and atmospheric pop ballad not written by Robert Smith. Ever. A song that tears me apart. Every time I hear it.

2. The Sun Always Shines On T.V. (1985)
- The SECOND best melancholy and atmospheric pop ballad not written by Robert Smith. Ever.

3. Living a Boy's Adventure Tale (1985)
- It's getting a bit foolish now, but... The THIRD best melancholy and atmospheric pop ballad not written by Robert Smith. Ever.

4. Manhattan Skyline (1986)
- This one, in headphones, out walking in a slight drizzle, with a heart too romantic to bear...

5. Hunting High and Low (1985)
- Staring up at a slate grey sky, seeing a couple of birds soar by...

6. The Blue Sky (1985)
- The title says it all. A song for blue skies, for light hearts. Light, yet melancholy, of course.

7. Love is Reason (1985)
- I die at the thought of the loss of your heart...

8. Summer Moved On (2000)
- Those high notes... Nobody should be able to reach them.

9. Waiting for Her (1990)
- Memories

10. The Swing of Things (1986)
- How can I sleep with your voice in my head?

11. Cosy Prisons (2005)
- Fantastic lyrics and a vocal melody (delivered by that voice) from above.
Every perfect moment is a hidden warning...

12. The Weight of the Wind (1986)
- Power; in the voice, the vocal melody and the lyrics. Real power.

13. Butterfly, Butterfly (the last hurrah) (2009)
- The swansong. Naturally nobody listened, naturally it's a fantastic pop song. Classic a-ha.

14. Crying in the Rain (1990)
- It's always a bit boring to include covers in lists like these, but this one refuses to be shunned. It's simply too good.

15. What There Is (2009)
- From their last album Foot Of The Mountain. The album where they went back to their roots and did so without sounding the least bit reactionary or stale. It's the sound of a band reclaiming what once was theirs.

16. Shadowside (2009)
- The melancholy centrepiece of Foot Of The Mountain.

17. I Dream Myself Alive (1985)
- At first glance, a fun pop song. But lyrics like
"We'll be chasing our tails madly
See days pass like wildfire
Right from the start
I knew this world would break my heart
", quickly puts an end to that thought.

18. Scoundrel Days (1986)
- Opening track (and title track) from their second album. This must've scared the living daylights out of all the teenage girls that bought the album, hoping for a similar opener to Take on Me, from their first album. This must be their darkest song. Cut my wrist on a bad thought...

19. You'll Never Get Over Me (2000)
- Whenever our voices speak
It's never our minds that meet

20. Take on Me (1985)
- Naturally their most important song, although not their best. It turned them into superstars and allowed them to make more records. Thank heavens. And it's a fucking brilliant pop song, with an immortal riff.

With a band as brilliant as a-ha you are bound to exclude a number of fantastic songs whilst making lists like this. But at least I'm aware of this...


  • fernbom

    Kul med fler som inser att a-ha inte är ett one-hit-wonder! Jag håller med om många av dina låtval... :)

    Apr 22 2012, 16:26
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