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A-Ha - Scoundrel Days (Deluxe Edition)

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Scoundrel Days (Deluxe Edition)

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While not quite as strong as the band's debut, Scoundrel Days is still a-ha succeeding as a marketed "pretty boy" band which can connect musically and lyrically as much as any musical sacred cow. The opening two songs alone make for one of the best one-two opening punches around: the tense edge of the title track, featuring one of Morten Harket's soaring vocals during the chorus and a crisp, pristine punch in the music, and "The Swing of Things," a moody, elegant number with a beautiful synth/guitar arrangement (plus some fine drumming courtesy of studio pro Michael Sturgis) and utterly lovelorn lyrical sentiments that balance on the edge of being overheated without quite going over. Although the rest of the disc never quite hits as high as the opening, it comes close more often than not. A definite downturn is the band's occasional attempts to try and prove themselves as a "real" band by rocking out, as on "I've Been Losing You" -- there's really no need for it, and as a result they sound much more "fake," ironically enough. Other songs can perhaps only be explained by the need to translate lyrics -- "We're Looking for the Whales" isn't an environmental anthem, and neither is "Cry Wolf," but both also don't really succeed in using nature as romantic metaphor. When a-ha are on, though, they're on -- "October" snakes along on a cool bass/keyboard arrangement and a whispery vocal from Harket; "Maybe Maybe" is a quirky little pop number that's engagingly goofy; while "Soft Rains of April" captures the band at its most dramatic, with the string synths giving Harket a perfect bed to launch into a lovely vocal, concluding with a sudden, hushed whisper. The '80s may be long gone, but Scoundrel Days makes clear that not everything was bad back then.
© Ned Raggett /TiVo

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Scoundrel Days (Deluxe Edition)

A-Ha

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1
Scoundrel Days
00:04:00

Alan Tarney, Producer, Mixing Engineer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Drum Programmer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Morten Harket, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals - John Hudson, Mixing Engineer - Gerry Kitchingham, Engineer - Graham Prescott, Strings

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1986 Warner Records Inc.

2
The Swing of Things
00:04:13

Alan Tarney, Producer, Mixing Engineer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Drum Programmer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Morten Harket, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals - John Hudson, Mixing Engineer - Gerry Kitchingham, Engineer - Michael Sturgis, Drums

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1986 Warner Records Inc.

3
I've Been Losing You
00:04:25

Alan Tarney, Mixing Engineer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Drum Programmer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Producer, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Mags, Producer - Morten Harket, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals - John Hudson, Mixing Engineer - Gerry Kitchingham, Engineer - Leif Karsten Johansen, Bass Guitar - Michael Sturgis, Drums

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1986 Warner Records Inc.

4
October
00:03:51

Alan Tarney, Producer, Mixing Engineer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Drum Programmer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Morten Harket, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals - John Hudson, Mixing Engineer - Gerry Kitchingham, Engineer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1986 Warner Records Inc.

5
Manhattan Skyline
00:04:51

Alan Tarney, Producer, Mixing Engineer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Drum Programmer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Morten Harket, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals - John Hudson, Mixing Engineer - Gerry Kitchingham, Engineer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1986 Warner Records Inc.

6
Cry Wolf
00:04:06

Alan Tarney, Producer, Mixing Engineer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Morten Harket, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals - John Hudson, Mixing Engineer - Gerry Kitchingham, Engineer - Øystein Jevanord, Drums

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1986 Warner Records Inc.

7
We're Looking for the Whales
00:03:43

Alan Tarney, Producer, Mixing Engineer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Morten Harket, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals - John Hudson, Mixing Engineer - Gerry Kitchingham, Engineer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1986 Warner Records Inc.

8
The Weight of the Wind
00:04:00

Alan Tarney, Producer, Mixing Engineer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Drum Programmer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Morten Harket, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals - John Hudson, Mixing Engineer - Gerry Kitchingham, Engineer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1986 Warner Records Inc.

9
Maybe, Maybe
00:02:36

Alan Tarney, Mixing Engineer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Producer, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Drum Programmer - Mags, Producer - Morten Harket, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals - John Hudson, Mixing Engineer - Gerry Kitchingham, Engineer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1986 Warner Records Inc.

10
Soft Rains of April
00:03:17

Alan Tarney, Mixing Engineer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Producer, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Mags, Producer - Morten Harket, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals - John Hudson, Mixing Engineer - Gerry Kitchingham, Engineer - Michael Sturgis, Drums

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1986 Warner Records Inc.

11
I've Been Losing You Extended Version
00:07:02

Alan Tarney, Mixing Engineer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Drum Programmer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Producer, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Mags, Producer - Morten Harket, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals - John Hudson, Mixing Engineer - Gerry Kitchingham, Engineer - Leif Karsten Johansen, Bass Guitar - Michael Sturgis, Drums

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1986 Warner Records Inc.

12
Cry Wolf Extended Version
00:08:10

Alan Tarney, Producer, Mixing Engineer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Morten Harket, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals - John Hudson, Mixing Engineer - Gerry Kitchingham, Engineer - Øystein Jevanord, Drums

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1986 Warner Records Inc.

13
Manhattan Skyline Extended Remix
00:06:49

Alan Tarney, Producer, Mixing Engineer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Drum Programmer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Morten Harket, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals - John Hudson, Mixing Engineer - Gerry Kitchingham, Engineer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1986 Warner Records Inc.

DISC 2

1
Scoundrel Days Demo
00:04:55

A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

2
The Swing Of Things Demo #3
00:04:40

A-Ha, MainArtist - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

3
I've Been Losing You Octocon Studios Demo
00:03:14

A-Ha, MainArtist - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

4
October Demo
00:02:56

A-Ha, MainArtist - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

5
Manhattan Skyline Demo
00:04:50

A-Ha, MainArtist - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

6
Cry Wolf Demo
00:03:31

A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Writer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

7
We're Looking For The Whales Demo
00:03:16

A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Writer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

8
The Weight Of The Wind Demo
00:04:14

A-Ha, MainArtist - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

9
Maybe, Maybe Demo
00:02:26

A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

10
Soft Rains Of April Guitar Version
00:02:08

Alan Tarney, Mixing Engineer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Producer, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Mags, Producer - Morten Harket, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals - John Hudson, Mixing Engineer - Gerry Kitchingham, Engineer - Michael Sturgis, Drums

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

11
Scoundrel Days Octocon Studios Demo
00:03:58

A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

12
This Alone Is Love Original Version
00:04:32

Alan Tarney, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer, Bass Programmer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Writer, Strings - Morten Harket, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals - John Hudson, Mixing Engineer - Gerry Kitchingham, Audio Recording Engineer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

13
Days on End
00:03:06

A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Writer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Writer - Morten Harket, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

14
Train Of Thought Live
00:06:38

A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

15
I've Been Losing You Live
00:05:07

A-Ha, MainArtist - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

16
The Blue Sky Live
00:05:12

A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

17
We're Looking For The Whales Live
00:06:44

A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Writer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

18
Cry Wolf Live
00:05:54

A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Writer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

19
I've Been Losing You Dub
00:04:22

A-Ha, MainArtist - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

20
Soft Rains of April Piano Version
00:02:22

Alan Tarney, Mixing Engineer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Magne Furuholmen, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Producer, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Writer, Drum Programmer - Mags, Producer - Morten Harket, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals - John Hudson, Mixing Engineer - Gerry Kitchingham, Engineer - Michael Sturgis, Drums

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

21
The Swing of Things Demo #1
00:04:06

A-Ha, MainArtist - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1987 Warner Records Inc.

22
I've Been Losing You Early Demo
00:04:11

A-Ha, MainArtist - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Writer

© 2010 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 1986 Warner Records Inc.

Albumbeschreibung

While not quite as strong as the band's debut, Scoundrel Days is still a-ha succeeding as a marketed "pretty boy" band which can connect musically and lyrically as much as any musical sacred cow. The opening two songs alone make for one of the best one-two opening punches around: the tense edge of the title track, featuring one of Morten Harket's soaring vocals during the chorus and a crisp, pristine punch in the music, and "The Swing of Things," a moody, elegant number with a beautiful synth/guitar arrangement (plus some fine drumming courtesy of studio pro Michael Sturgis) and utterly lovelorn lyrical sentiments that balance on the edge of being overheated without quite going over. Although the rest of the disc never quite hits as high as the opening, it comes close more often than not. A definite downturn is the band's occasional attempts to try and prove themselves as a "real" band by rocking out, as on "I've Been Losing You" -- there's really no need for it, and as a result they sound much more "fake," ironically enough. Other songs can perhaps only be explained by the need to translate lyrics -- "We're Looking for the Whales" isn't an environmental anthem, and neither is "Cry Wolf," but both also don't really succeed in using nature as romantic metaphor. When a-ha are on, though, they're on -- "October" snakes along on a cool bass/keyboard arrangement and a whispery vocal from Harket; "Maybe Maybe" is a quirky little pop number that's engagingly goofy; while "Soft Rains of April" captures the band at its most dramatic, with the string synths giving Harket a perfect bed to launch into a lovely vocal, concluding with a sudden, hushed whisper. The '80s may be long gone, but Scoundrel Days makes clear that not everything was bad back then.
© Ned Raggett /TiVo

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