Those of you around for Morten mania over two decades ago may well have a-ha marked down as being the worst type of eighties pop fluff, attractive merely to dripping schoolgirl’s and Secret Pleasure nerds. And yet, like millions of others you would be wrong because as soon as the toy town tune of ‘Take On Me’ and it’s accompanying vid hit the charts, a-ha immediately transcended such obvious stereotyping and limitations. Infact not since Haircut 100 had such popster’s worn the acceptance of their teen hordes with such endearing confusion.
Armed with nothing more than leather laces round their wrists, heart throb good looks and 'proper' self written pop songs, much like Duran Duran a few years before, it was obvious a-ha had their own thoughts on artistic ambition and seriousness. The difference was that they weren’t just messing around. No Polaroid art pinched from David Sylvian or ridiculous side projects for them. Their first two albums at least were remarkable examples of new pop strategies and schemes and remain genuinely enduring.
OK so it all got a little bit too serious near the end but even Memorial Beach sounds pervasively melancholic and moving, more reminiscent of the Bunnymen than Bros. Infact, there’s hardly a teen group from any era that could have written an album of such emotional scope at the height of their powers, let alone eight years after their faces were first pinned to a bedroom wall. No wonder Chris Martin decided to jump on the bandwagon and proclaim their magnificence. For once he was absolutely spot on.
01 Living A Boys Adventure Tale / Hunting High And Low LP November 1985
02 Driftwood / Single B Side December 1985
03 I’ve Been Losing You (Extended Version) / 12” Single A Side September 1986
04 The Swing Of Things / Scoundrel Days LP October 1986
05 We’re Looking For The Whales / Scoundrel Days LP October 1986
06 This Alone Is Love / Stay On These Roads LP April 1988
07 Out Of Blue Comes Green / Stay On These Roads LP April 1988
08 You Are The One (Album Version) / Stay On These Roads LP April 1988
09 Early Morning / East Of The Sun LP October 1990
10 East Of The Sun / East Of The Sun LP October 1990
11 Sycamore Leaves / East Of The Sun LP October 1990
12 Move To Memphis / Single A Side October 1991
13 The Blood That Moves The Body (Two Time Gun Remix) / Single A Side March 1992
14 Dark Is The Night For All / Single A Side May 1993
15 Angel In The Snow / Single B Side May 1993
16 Locust / Memorial Beach LP June 1993
17 Lie Down In Darkness / Memorial Beach LP June 1993
18 Memorial Beach / Memorial Beach LP June 1993