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    Related Artists - Empire Of The Sun, La Roux, Duran Duran
    Related Genres - Pop & Dance

    Hunting High And Low ( 1985 )
    Take on Me / Train of Thought / Hunting High and Low / The Blue Sky / Living a Boy's Adventure Tale / The Sun Always Shines on T.V. / And You Tell Me / Love Is Reason / I Dream Myself Alive / Here I Stand and Face the Rain

    Duran Duran and Wham had run their teeny course and up popped A-Ha to take their place. Impossibly chiselled cheekboned handsome frontman? Check. Wonderfully romantic, lonely lyrics? Check. Synth-pop glory? Checkmate and game to A-Ha. Bands don't write such simple melodies anymore, everybody overloading their tunes with noise. A-Ha make me feel old yet this album, their debut, holds happy memories. My brother bought it on casette, I taped it off him and was suddenly popular with the girls at school. This was back in the eighties remember, before everybody could get any music they wanted without paying and without problems. Man, this album must have been copied to a dozen girls at my school. I only held sway with them for a year or so, however. Well, once the A-Ha glare had worn off, they were after Marti Pellow or whoever the hell came next. At the time of writing, I've listened to this album for the first time in about twenty years and you know what? I remember almost every note.

    'Take On Me' you'll know. The second tune 'Train Of Thought' is hooky enough to have also been a hit and may well have been. The title track is absolutely glorious though, brilliant and the kind of music able to send chills all through me and cause my arm hairs to stand on end. Even now. Well, such a glorious vocal, proper lyrics actually mention wolves, darkness and breathing. I guess I also liked a falsetto vocal, even before I discovered Brian Wilson. No wonder my next elder brother thought I was gay at the time. For the record, 'Blue Sky' has music so eighties it's ridculous, yet the soaring vocals of Morten Harket make this a winner too.

    'Living A Boys Adventure Tale' sounds all the world like Pet Shop Boys, only an even better version. I mean, weird rather than camp lyrics, that voice and dreams of flying through the air escaping the humdrum world we exist in. Oh yes. We've still got 'The Sun Always Shines On TV' to come. How many hits did this album spawn in Europe then? Well, quite a few and a couple in the US as well. The fact that A-Ha almost immediately tried to change their sound rather than rush-release a sound-alike can tell us a few things. One, that they are Northern European and second, that they are either a bunch of silly fellows or alternatively, a long sentence.

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