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A-Ha! There you are.... again

Artist reviewed by:

A good 30 years ago, their video for “Take On Me” put them on the map. A-Ha, from Norway, had done what very few European acts managed to do, break through internationally, including an American break through.

The video, partly animated, caught everybody's eye and was very renewing at the time. The group themselves were actually not all that happy with the song. Like true serious musicians, they felt it was too commercial and had made many versions of it, before the one we know became a hit. The one we know, is the only one Morten got to hear and he actually convinced them to record it.

A-Ha went on to become teen stars. Though they couldn't hang on to fame in the States, they did manage to continue it in Europe, right up to the early 90s. But when their fifth studio album, released in 1994, failed commercially, the band broke up.

The group ran into the same problem all teen stars run into: The teen craze is dominant and overshadows whatever musical talent a band has. This always conflicts the artist within their artistry.

But some years have passed, and since their break up in 1994, they have returned for a comeback twice. One that was started in 1998 and then suddenly, they were touring again this year, 2015.

Both reunions have been brought on by special performance requests. In 1998 they were asked to come back for a performance at the Nobel Peace Awards Concert and this year they were asked to return to Rock In Rio, where they had also performed 30 years earlier. This time around, they were playing on the same night, and on the same stage as stars like Katy Perry.

Musically, their latest album, “Cast In Steel”, continues on the path A-Ha have been on throughout their on and off career. Yes, they have matured, but if you didn't know they've had gaps, then all albums seem to follow a gradual growth.

In interviews, however, they have said they could've gone a very different route. Magne and Pal were on a more psychedelic sound before singer Morten joined them, who then brought a synth pop influence to the mix.

 With their music, they have inspired many artists, including Coldplay, who said that they played A-Ha songs when they didn't have many hits of their own yet. Magne even joined them on stage for the group to cover “Hunting High And Low”. They've also been noted to have performed with the James Bond theme “The Living Daylights”.

Also Keane, U2 and Pitbull have all said to be an A-Ha admirer, with Pitbull even sampling “Take On Me” on his “Feel This Moment” hit, featuring Christina Aguilera.

To celebrate some of their old successes, the record company has re-released some of their old studio albums as anniversary and deluxe editions.