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      a-ha are a band from Norway. They initially rose to fame during the 1980s and have had continued success in the 1990s and 2000s. a-ha achieved their biggest success with their debut album and single in 1985. Hunting High and Low peaked at number fifteen on the Billboard charts and yielded an i... read more

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      a-ha are a band from Norway. They initially rose to fame during the 1980s and have had continued success in the 1990s and 2000s.

      a-ha achieved their biggest success with their debut album and single in 1985. Hunting High and Low peaked at number fifteen on the Billboard charts and yielded an international number-one single, "Take on Me", earning the band a Grammy Award nomination as Best New Artist. Hunting High and Low was one of the best-selling albums of 1986.[1] In 1994, the band went on a hiatus, the same year a-ha reached a sales number of 26 million albums sold worldwide.[2] After a performance at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 1998, the band returned to the studio and recorded 2000's Minor Earth Major Sky, which resulted in a new tour. By 2000, they had reached 36 million albums sold wordwide plus a double figure million singles.[3] In 2002 the band released their seventh studio album Lifelines. 2005's Analogue has been certified silver and is their most successful album in the UK since 1990's East of the Sun, West of the Moon.[4] Their 9th album, Foot of the Mountain, was released on June 19, 2009 (release date different in some countries).

      The trio, composed of lead vocalist Morten Harket, guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy (Pål Waaktaar until his marriage in 1994), and keyboardist Magne Furuholmen, formed in 1982 and left Norway for London in order to make a career in the music business. They chose the studio of musician, producer and soon-to-be-manager John Ratcliff because it had a Space Invaders machine. John Ratcliff introduced the boys to his manager, Terry Slater, and after a few meetings a-ha had two managers. Terry Slater and John Ratcliff together formed T.J. Management. To deal with all the technical and musical aspects they have Ratcliff, and Slater's position is the international business manager and liaison to Warner Brothers' head office in Los Angeles. The origin of the name a-ha comes from a title Paul contemplated giving to a song. The song used the words "a-ha" and "ahem". Morten was looking through Paul's notebook and came across the name "a-ha". He liked it, and said, "That's a great name. That's what we should call ourselves." After checking dictionaries in several languages, they found out that a-ha was an international way of expressing recognition, with positive connotations. It was short, easy to say and unusual.

      a-ha's second album, Scoundrel Days, was released in the midst of the 1986 world tour and represented a move towards alternative rock as synthpop began to fall out of style. Although the album received favorable reviews and sent three singles to become international radio hits, the album's sales did not match those of its predecessor (except for Switzerland, where it is a-ha's best-selling album).[15] "Cry Wolf" would be the last a-ha single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. After the release of the album, a-ha went to tour in the U.S. where they were not to be seen again for twenty years. The album has sold 6.4 million copies worldwide, and has been certified platinum in the UK and Switzerland and Gold in Germany and Brazil.[4][10][11][12][16] Ned Raggett of AllMusic Guide would later write of the album, "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...The '80s may be long gone, but Scoundrel Days makes clear that not everything was bad back then."

      In May 1988 a-ha released their third studio album, titled Stay on These Roads, which matched the number two chart peak of its two predecessors on the British album charts, but it would be their last top ten there to date. Stay on These Roads became a big hit and is now the best-selling a-ha album in Brazil, where it is certified Platinum. The album has been certified Gold in Switzerland, Germany, UK, and the Netherlands.[4][10][11][12][15] The album includes the title track theme song to the James Bond film The Living Daylights. The version that appears on their album is a re-recording of the film version and single. The band has said that they are particularly proud of the title track, and all three members contributed to its writing. To this day, "Stay On These Roads" and "The Living Daylights" are a part of their live set. After the release of the album the band went on a 74-city world tour. The album has sold over 4.2 million copies worldwide.

      East of the Sun, West of the Moon featured a cover version of The Everly Brothers 1963 single, "Crying in the Rain". In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a-ha were very popular in South America, especially in Brazil, where the band sold out some of the largest stadiums in the world. At the Rock in Rio II festival in January 1991, a-ha shocked the international entertainment press by gathering a paying audience of 198,000 people at Maracanã Stadium for their top-billed evening — a Guinness World Record for paying audiences. George Michael, Prince and Guns N' Roses managed to gather only sixty thousand each. East of the Sun, West of the Moon was certified Gold in Switzerland, Brazil and Germany and silver in the UK.[4][10][11][12][15] Steven McDonald of AllMusic said of their fourth album "This is a nicely crafted collection of songs, performed and sung beautifully, with lots of echoes and suggestions tucked into the music. While not an album one can discuss at length, it's an album that's a pleasure to listen to..." The album sold 3.2 million copies worldwide.[16]

      The compilation album Headlines and Deadlines sold over two million copies worldwide.

      Their last album before their hiatus was Memorial Beach in 1993. The album was a commercial failure and has not been certified in any country. The only single to officially chart outside Norway was "Dark Is the Night", which went top 20 in the United Kingdom. Ironically, given the lack of attention to their later work in the U.S., "Dark Is the Night" very nearly charted on the U.S. Hot 100, peaking at #11 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, a position often construed with being #111 in reference to the Hot 100.[6] Memorial Beach is the last official American release by a-ha to date, though their material would continue to have (limited) availability there as imports. In February 1994, a-ha performed two concerts during the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, followed by tours of South Africa and Norway. a-ha were also chosen to compose the official song for the Winter Paralympics in Lillehammer, which they entitled "Shapes That Go Together". Because of apparent internal conflicts between the band members and conflicts with the record label at the time, a-ha took a break in 1994 and the members started focusing on solo projects.

      On May 20, 21 and 22, 2008, Morten Harket, Magne Furuholmen and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy performed concerts in Oslo, Norway, to promote their respective solo material before coming together as a-ha to play "Train of Thought", "Take on Me", and two new songs, "Riding the Crest" and "Shadowside", which previewed the new a-ha album, Foot of the Mountain. These events led up to their performance at London's Royal Albert Hall on 24 May.

      On April 24, 2009, a-ha surprised their fan base by releasing their new single, "Foot of the Mountain", premiering that day on Norwegian radio. The single had been completed only the night before. The song is based upon the track "The Longest Night" by Magne Furuholmen, which was released on his album A Dot of Black In The Blue Of Your Bliss. The single was released on May 22 in Germany. The band promoted the song by playing it during the Final of Germany's Next Topmodel on May 21 in the Lanxess Arena, Cologne.

      Foot of the Mountain, a-ha's ninth studio album, was released in Europe on June 19, 2009. The album's material marked a return to synth pop, similar to the band's earliest work, although the first single (and title track) was not wholly indicative of this[17]. The band collaborated with successful producer Steve Osborne, who has produced albums for such artists as New Order, Starsailor, Doves, Elbow, and U2. "What There Is", an earlier solo track by Mags, was re-recorded for the album. Foot of the Mountain entered the German album chart at #1 and debuted on the Billboard European Album Sales Chart at #8.

      On the 28th July the band also revealed their support of Stoke City football club in a recent interview with Sky News.



      (From Wikipedia)
      http://www.myspace.com/aha

      Categories: Music | Rock | Pop

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