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A-Ha - Hunting High and Low (30th Anniversary Edition)

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Hunting High and Low (30th Anniversary Edition)

a-ha

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Anyone who dismissed a-ha as a one-hit wonder must have missed out on the band's fine debut, Hunting High and Low. Though the band spawned many further hits across the rest of the world, "Take on Me" exploded in the States and the group never cracked the top of the charts again. It's a shame, because the album contains a handful of songs that nearly match the manic energy and emotional crack of its big hit. Further, it's a cohesive album with smart pace changeups, and it rarely fails to delight or satisfy a listener's need for a synth pop fix. The opening kick is a huge one: "Take on Me" is a new wave classic laced with rushing keyboards, made emotionally resonant thanks to Morten Harket's touching vocal delicacy. It didn't hurt in the era of MTV that the song's video was a hyperkinetic blend of mind-warping animation and filmed footage with a romantic thriller's heart. Harket's hunky physique and cheekbones also didn't hurt the video's chances at heavy rotation. Getting past that video, "The Sun Always Shines on T.V." is just as thrilling. Starting as a sad ballad, it explodes into something much more, as chugging guitars and operatic synths keep pace with Harket's evocative vocal stylings. If ever a 1980s song qualified as Wall of Sound, "The Sun Always Shines on T.V." would be it. The remainder of the album sees a-ha switching deftly back and forth between dramatic overtures and classic new wave keyboard motifs. "Train of Thought" and "Love Is Reason" are reminiscent of early Depeche Mode or Camouflage, but Harket's rich voice and flair make them purely a-ha. The band explores decidedly European terrain in the theatrical "Hunting High and Low" and dances a pop waltz with the sweet "Living a Boy's Adventure Tale," coming across like a marriage between the Blue Nile and Alphaville. Delightful song snippets "The Blue Sky" and "And You Tell Me" act as frosting on the cake or as glue between the theater and the dancefloor. One can't escape the feeling that Hunting High and Low is a product of the 1980s, but with highs like "Take on Me" and "The Sun Always Shines on T.V.," and no lows in sight, a-ha's debut is a treat worth relishing.
© Tim DiGravina /TiVo

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Hunting High and Low (30th Anniversary Edition)

A-Ha

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1
Take on Me 2015 Remaster
00:03:48

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

2
Train of Thought 2015 Remaster
00:04:14

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

3
Hunting High and Low 2015 Remaster
00:03:44

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

4
The Blue Sky 2015 Remaster
00:02:36

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

5
Living a Boy's Adventure Tale 2015 Remaster
00:05:03

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - paul waaktaar, Writer - Morten Harket, Vocals, Writer - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer - Claire Jarvis, Oboe

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

6
The Sun Always Shines on T.V. 2015 Remaster
00:05:06

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar, Writer - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

7
And You Tell Me 2015 Remaster
00:01:52

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

8
Love Is Reason 2015 Remaster
00:03:06

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards, Writer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - paul waaktaar, Writer - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

9
I Dream Myself Alive 2015 Remaster
00:03:06

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards, Writer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - paul waaktaar, Writer - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

10
Here I Stand and Face the Rain 2015 Remaster
00:04:33

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

DISC 2

1
Lesson One "Take on Me" Demo, Autumn, 1982; 2015 Remaster
00:02:41

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2015 Warner Records Inc.

2
Presenting Lily Mars Naersnes Demo; 2015 Remaster
00:02:57

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2004 Warner Records Inc.

3
Sa Blaser Det Pa Jorden Naersnes Demo; 2015 Remaster
00:02:34

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2004 Warner Records Inc.

4
The Sphinx Naersnes Demo
00:03:27

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2015 Warner Records Inc.

5
Living a Boy's Adventure Tale Naersnes Demo
00:03:46

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - paul waaktaar, Writer - Morten Harket, Vocals, Writer - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer - Claire Jarvis, Oboe

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2015 Warner Records Inc.

6
Dot the I 2015 Remaster
00:03:20

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2015 Warner Records Inc.

7
The Love Goodbye 2015 Remaster
00:03:25

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2004 Warner Records Inc.

8
Nothing to It 2015 Remaster
00:03:42

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2015 Warner Records Inc.

9
Go to Sleep 2015 Remaster
00:02:12

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2004 Warner Records Inc.

10
Train of Thought Demo; 2015 Remaster
00:04:20

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2015 Warner Records Inc.

11
Monday Mourning 2015 Remaster
00:03:06

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2004 Warner Records Inc.

12
All the Planes That Come in on the Quiet 2015 Remaster
00:03:03

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2015 Warner Records Inc.

13
The Blue Sky Demo; 2015 Remaster
00:03:27

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2015 Warner Records Inc.

14
You Have Grown Thoughtful Again 2015 Remaster
00:02:28

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2015 Warner Records Inc.

15
What's That You're Doing to Yourself in the Pouring Rain 2015 Remaster
00:02:38

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2015 Warner Records Inc.

16
Take on Me Demo; 2015 Remaster
00:03:11

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2004 Warner Records Inc.

17
Hunting High and Low Demo; 2015 Remaster
00:03:08

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2004 Warner Records Inc.

18
I Dream Myself Alive Demo; 2015 Remaster
00:03:04

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, Remix, MainArtist - BOBBY HATA, Masterer - John Ratcliff, Remix - Magne Furuholmen, Writer - paul waaktaar, Writer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2015 Warner Records Inc.

19
And You Tell Me Demo; 2015 Remaster
00:01:53

A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2015 Warner Records Inc.

20
Here I Stand and Face the Rain Demo; 2015 Remaster
00:03:53

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

21
Love Is Reason Demo; 2015 Remaster
00:02:22

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards, Writer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - paul waaktaar, Writer - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2015 Warner Records Inc.

22
The Blue Sky 2nd Demo
00:03:16

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2015 Warner Records Inc.

23
Never Never 2015 Remaster
00:03:16

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2004 Warner Records Inc.

24
The Sun Always Shines on T.V. Demo; 2015 Remaster
00:04:08

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar, Writer - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2015 Warner Records Inc.

25
Presenting Lily Mars Rendezvous Demo
00:03:28

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2015 Warner Records Inc.

DISC 3

1
Take on Me Single Version; 2015 Remaster
00:03:17

A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards, Writer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals, Writer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1984 Warner Records Inc.

2
Take on Me (1984 Single Mix) 1984Single Mix; 2015 Remaster
00:03:46

A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards, Writer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals, Writer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1984 Warner Records Inc.

3
Stop! and Make Your Mind Up 2015 Remaster
00:03:01

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1984 Warner Records Inc.

4
Take on Me 1985 Single Mix; 2015 Remaster
00:04:48

A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards, Writer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals, Writer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

5
Take on Me Instrumental; 2015 Remaster
00:03:49

A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards, Writer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals, Writer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2015 Warner Records Inc.

6
The Sun Always Shines on T.V. Single Mix; 2015 Remaster
00:04:44

Alan Tarney, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - John Ratcliff, Mixing Engineer - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards, Mixing Engineer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar, Writer, Mixing Engineer - Morten Harket, Vocals, Mixing Engineer - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

7
The Sun Always Shines on T.V. Extended Version #1; 2015 Remaster
00:07:09

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar, Writer - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

8
Driftwood 2015 Remaster
00:03:05

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

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

9
The Sun Always Shines on T.V. Extended Version #2; 2015 Remaster
00:08:24

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar, Writer - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

10
The Sun Always Shines on T.V. Instrumental; 2015 Remaster
00:06:36

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar, Writer - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

11
Train of Thought Remix; 2015 Remaster
00:04:15

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards, Vocals, Bass Programmer - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar, Vocals, Drum Programmer - Morten Harket, Vocals - Neill King, Engineer - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

12
Train of Thought Radio Mix; 2015 Remaster
00:07:04

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

13
Train of Thought Dub Mix; 2015 Remaster
00:08:34

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

14
Hunting High and Low Remix; 2015 Remaster
00:03:46

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

15
Hunting High and Low Extended Remix; 2015 Remaster
00:06:02

Tony Mansfield, Producer - A-Ha, MainArtist - Pal Waaktaar, Writer - Dan Hersch, Remastering Engineer - Bill Inglot, Remastering Engineer - Magne Furuholmen, Keyboards - Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Guitar - Morten Harket, Vocals - Dave Schultz, Remastering Engineer

© 2015 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1985 Warner Records Inc.

Album Description

Anyone who dismissed a-ha as a one-hit wonder must have missed out on the band's fine debut, Hunting High and Low. Though the band spawned many further hits across the rest of the world, "Take on Me" exploded in the States and the group never cracked the top of the charts again. It's a shame, because the album contains a handful of songs that nearly match the manic energy and emotional crack of its big hit. Further, it's a cohesive album with smart pace changeups, and it rarely fails to delight or satisfy a listener's need for a synth pop fix. The opening kick is a huge one: "Take on Me" is a new wave classic laced with rushing keyboards, made emotionally resonant thanks to Morten Harket's touching vocal delicacy. It didn't hurt in the era of MTV that the song's video was a hyperkinetic blend of mind-warping animation and filmed footage with a romantic thriller's heart. Harket's hunky physique and cheekbones also didn't hurt the video's chances at heavy rotation. Getting past that video, "The Sun Always Shines on T.V." is just as thrilling. Starting as a sad ballad, it explodes into something much more, as chugging guitars and operatic synths keep pace with Harket's evocative vocal stylings. If ever a 1980s song qualified as Wall of Sound, "The Sun Always Shines on T.V." would be it. The remainder of the album sees a-ha switching deftly back and forth between dramatic overtures and classic new wave keyboard motifs. "Train of Thought" and "Love Is Reason" are reminiscent of early Depeche Mode or Camouflage, but Harket's rich voice and flair make them purely a-ha. The band explores decidedly European terrain in the theatrical "Hunting High and Low" and dances a pop waltz with the sweet "Living a Boy's Adventure Tale," coming across like a marriage between the Blue Nile and Alphaville. Delightful song snippets "The Blue Sky" and "And You Tell Me" act as frosting on the cake or as glue between the theater and the dancefloor. One can't escape the feeling that Hunting High and Low is a product of the 1980s, but with highs like "Take on Me" and "The Sun Always Shines on T.V.," and no lows in sight, a-ha's debut is a treat worth relishing.
© Tim DiGravina /TiVo

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