a-ha: The Singles: 1984-2004 / Hunting High and Low / Scoundrel Days (Rhino) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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a-ha

The Singles: 1984-2004 / Hunting High and Low / Scoundrel Days

Rhino

Aug 25, 2010 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


For the casual music lover, a-ha equates the groundbreaking animated video for "Take On Me" and is quickly filed under VH1's dreaded "one hit wonder" slot. The release of The Singles 1984-2004 proves a-ha is nowhere near that slot. Besides the obvious "Take On Me," which opens this collection, familiar song after familiar song follow each other on The Singlesat least in the beginning. "The Sun Always Shines On TV," "Hunting High and Low," the James Bond theme "The Living Daylights" are among the instantly recognizable numbers which frontload this collection. Not every single was a hit, but there were almost 20 released, out of which perhaps less than half made the required ripple stateside. Still, identifiable or not, The Singlesalbeit quintessentially '80s sounding with its tinkling synthesizers and lightweight drum patternsprovides a cross-section of above average, and at times, on-the-mark songwriting.

Also being rereleased is a-ha's first two albums, Hunting High and Low and Scoundrel Days. This should indicate that two albums was as far as the Norwegian trio's career extended in reality and they really should have put the brakes on there. Nonetheless, both albums are released as double discs. The second disc provides collector material in the form of demos, alternate versions, live versions, and unreleased tracks. Unless you are a diehard a-ha supporter, The Singles will more than suffice the handful of tracks, which, if you were going to be honest with yourself, are the only ones you actually remember. (www.a-ha.us)

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