Monday, 22 September 2014

Underrated Treasures Blogfest - Aha!

It's time for another of Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh's thrilling blogfests - the Underrated Treasures Blogfest. Thank you as always, Alex.


How to take part:

Everyone has a favorite movie or band that no one else has ever heard about. For whatever reason, they remain undiscovered and underrated. Now is your chance to tell the world about this obscure treasure!

On Monday, September 22, post about your favorite unknown – MOVIE – BAND/ARTIST – TV SHOW – BOOK

My entry:

I'm going to cheat a little, because I'm sure you've heard of my underrated treasure - Norwegian band, Aha. 



Here's the thing - whenever I mention I'm a massive Aha fan people usually respond with laughter and, 'Oh. Didn't they have that one hit with Take On Me?'. Even more infuriating is that you'll never see a one-hit wonder show without Aha's Take On Me making the list.

I want to scream with frustration. They were NOT a one-hit wonder band. Take On Me wasn't even their number one record, and was probably their worse song. In fact they ended a 25-year run with nine albums, more than 50 million in record sales, having played in over 40 countries, and still holding the Guinness World Record for the highest ever paying audience for one concert - a staggering 198 million for their Maracana stadium concert in Brazil, 1991.

The band was founded by Morten Harket (vocals), Magne Furuholmen (keyboards) and Pål Waaktaar (guitars), all accomplished musicians. They wrote their own songs, and insisted on performing live no matter where they appeared. Nothing can beat the sound of Morten Harket's five-octave vocal range, either.

So, you see why I get frustated by the one-hit wonder label. They have to be one of the most underrated bands ever.

I'm going to leave you with three Youtube clips, all favourites. The middle clip is from the 2010 concert I attended at the Royal Albert Hall. I hope you enjoy them. If you weren't a fan, I hope you become one.


"Slender Frame" 1991 (from Scoundrel Days)


"Here I Stand and Face the Rain" 2010 (from Hunting High and Low)


"Butterfly, Butterfly" 2010 (The final concert)


What's your underrated treasure?

47 comments:

  1. That's a lot for a concert!
    I knew they had other albums and hits, although the one song is the most familiar to me. (And I can get a perfect score with it in Karaoke!) I think I'd be as frustrated as you.
    Thanks for participating in the blogfest, Ellie.

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    1. A perfect score for Take On Me? I bow down before you, Captain.

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  2. Hi Ellie - I'm sure I've heard more of their songs - but it's great to be able to listen here - and how lucky you went to the Royal Albert Hall to see them ... and that five octave range ..

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you, Hilary. It was a memorable concert.

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  3. Wonderful post Ellie, I well remember Aha mainly because my daughter loved their music. Thanks for the memories,

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    1. I'm glad your daughter was a fan! Thanks for dropping by my blog.

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  4. I remember several of their hits - but I must admit I didn't know they'd done nine albums. And respect to Alex - anyone who can get a perfect Karaoke score for Take On Me is doing well!

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  5. oh, yes. yes. yesyesyesyesyes.

    love them and their videos. So unique.

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  6. Too cool for school, Ellie! I love your band pick.

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    1. Thanks, Catherine. Of course, Take On Me is nearly 30 years old, making me feel old!

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  7. I really only know the one song by them, but I went to school with a girl who was - and I think still is - a huge fan of the band. :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

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    1. I think must people are the same, Madeline. Mainly because Take On Me is the only song ever played. So, frustrating.

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  8. Thanks for standing up for Aha! I think Take On Me became so much more famous than their other songs because of the awesome video.

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    1. I think you're right, Dianne. In fact, they released Take On Me two years prior to the video and it didn't even chart.

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  9. I love this! I also picked a so called "one hit wonder." Tsk tsk. Don't these people know better?

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    1. Ooo...on my way to yours to discover who you picked.

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  10. "Living a Boy's Adventure Tale" and "The Sun Always Shines on TV" were faves of mine from that album, which I initially bought in vinyl and nearly wore it out from repeated listenings! Have they done other English-language albums? I'd heard "Hunting High and Low" was just kind of an experiment for them wasn't it--that none of them actually speak English (or is that just a rumor?). Their non-English albums are tough to find in the US though. I'd love to hear them! I adore the lushness of their sound, the way the instrumentation is layered. Great voices too.

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    1. Great to meet another fan, Laurel.

      As a group, they've recorded nine albums in English. Personally, I love the first six. The latter three were mixed in quality. Morten Harket has recorded four solo albums in English. All worth buying. You should be able to get all their CDs on Amazon.com and iTunes.

      The non-English speaking thing is just a rumour. I've seen them interviewed on TV on numerous occasions, and they all speak fluent English.

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    2. Cool! Thanks for setting the record straight. I lived in Smalltown USA as a teen, which likely limited my access to their other albums. I kind of gave up back then and haven't renewed the search since. Now I shall!

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  11. I've only heard one song before, but they sound amazing. I need to check out there other stuff!

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    1. You definitely should. Well worth a listen.

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  12. I have also heard only one of their songs. Will check out their other stuff.

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    1. Please do, Rachna. They really are a brilliant group.

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  13. The Who, The What-ifs and then finally A-HA... still one hit wonder, so such on tapped music from them, thank you for sharing them with this... it was your ah-ha moment.

    Jeremy [HWR:OLM]
    Howlin' Wolf Records: On-Line Magazine

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    1. Thanks, Jeremy. You always have a great way of putting things into words.

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  14. I was 15 when Aha hit it big time in the UK, and they weren't underrated at all. Train of Thought was massive, The Sun Always Shines on TV was everywhere, they did a Bond theme!

    And Morten was screamed at by my best friend and I everything he appeared on the tv!

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    1. I remember watching them on The Royal Variety Performance. We all swooned. I just don't understand why people have forgotten all of that. Shrugging my shoulders.

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  15. Great pick, Ellie! I enjoyed watching the videos and listening to their music. :)

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  16. I confess to being completely unfamiliar with them. Liked the videos so maybe I should have known them.

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    1. They are well worth listening to, Susan. Check more of their music out via Youtube if you have the time.

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  17. That's so crazy that they are thought to be a 1HW when they had such a long career! I'm glad you could set the record straight.

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  18. You got a lot of comments for an 'underrated' group. I used to watch them on MTV in the 80s and 90s, but never got around to buying any albums. Only their two Grammy award songs ever seemed to get air time in the UK.

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    1. Maybe it's just the circle of people I know? They all laugh and make the same comments when I mention Aha. However, the 1HW label seems to pop up all over the place.

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  19. Thanks for sharing the additional songs. I never thought of Aha as a one hit wonder, even though I do love Take On Me and its music video.

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    1. Take On Me's video was definitely groundbreaking at the time. It gave them the coverage they deserved.

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  20. I grew up listening to Aha. My mom had one of their albums. :)

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  21. I liked that first one, but first time I've heard them. Very nice.

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  22. That's so funny how that's all people remember.
    How often does it happen that fame should be related to many factors, and yet only one stands out in the minds of many?

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    1. It probably happens more than we realise.

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