A-ha Take On Me: The Story Behind the Iconic Synth-Pop Hit [2024] 🎵

Video: a-ha – Take On Me (Official Video) .

Quick Answer: A-ha’s “Take On Me” is an internationally acclaimed synth-pop song that topped the charts in the 1980s. The band, formed in Oslo in 1982, consists of Morten Harket, Magne Furuholmen, and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy. With their unique blend of synth-pop, new wave, and pop rock, a-ha gained immense success with their debut album “Hunting High and Low” in 1985. “Take On Me” became their signature song, reaching number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and earning multiple MTV Video Awards. Despite being labeled as a one-hit wonder in the US, a-ha has released numerous albums and continues to captivate audiences with their music.

Do you remember the first time you heard “Take On Me” by a-ha? The catchy synth-pop melody, the soaring vocals, and the unforgettable music video that combined animation and live-action. It’s a song that has stood the test of time and continues to be a beloved classic. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the story behind a-ha’s iconic hit, “Take On Me,” and explore the band’s journey to success. So, grab your headphones and let’s embark on a musical adventure!

Table of Contents

Quick Tips and Facts

Before we dive into the story behind “Take On Me,” here are some quick tips and facts to get you up to speed:

✅ A-ha is a Norwegian synth-pop band formed in Oslo in 1982.
✅ The band consists of Morten Harket (vocals), Magne Furuholmen (keyboards), and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy (guitar).
✅ Their music is a fusion of synth-pop, new wave, pop rock, and alternative rock.
✅ A-ha gained international success with their debut album “Hunting High and Low” in 1985.
✅ “Take On Me” is their most famous song, reaching number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.
✅ The music video for “Take On Me” used a groundbreaking animation/live-action combination technique called rotoscoping.
✅ Despite being labeled as a one-hit wonder in the US, a-ha has released multiple albums and continues to make music.

Now that you have a glimpse of what’s to come, let’s explore the background of a-ha and their journey to stardom.

Background: The Rise of a-ha

brown wooden dock on calm water during daytime

In the early 1980s, the music scene was buzzing with the emergence of new wave and synth-pop bands. It was during this time that a-ha was formed in Oslo, Norway. The trio, consisting of Morten Harket, Magne Furuholmen, and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, had a shared passion for creating music that blended catchy melodies with electronic sounds.

A-ha’s unique sound quickly caught the attention of record labels, and they signed with Polydor in 1984. The following year, they released their debut album, “Hunting High and Low,” which would become a game-changer for the band.

The Making of “Take On Me”

Video: a-ha – The Making of Take On Me (Episode 1).

“Take On Me” was one of the standout tracks on a-ha’s debut album. The song was written by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and originally released in 1984. However, it wasn’t until the re-release of the song in 1985, accompanied by a groundbreaking music video, that it skyrocketed to success.

The infectious synth-pop melody and Morten Harket’s soaring vocals made “Take On Me” an instant hit. But it was the music video that truly captured the world’s attention.

The Music Video That Changed Everything

Video: a-ha – Take On Me (Live From MTV Unplugged).

The music video for “Take On Me” is a masterpiece in its own right. Directed by Steve Barron, the video combined animation and live-action in a way that had never been seen before. The technique used, called rotoscoping, involved tracing over live-action footage frame by frame to create a unique animated look.

The video tells the story of a young woman who is pulled into a comic book world by a mysterious hand-drawn character. Morten Harket’s interactions with the animated world created a visually stunning and captivating experience for viewers.

The music video for “Take On Me” became an instant sensation, winning multiple MTV Video Awards in 1986. It also made a-ha the first Norwegian band to have a number-one hit in the US. Despite the success of the video, a-ha’s subsequent releases didn’t achieve the same level of commercial success in the US, leading to the band being labeled as a one-hit wonder in the country.

The Impact and Legacy of “Take On Me”

Video: a-ha – The Making of Take On Me (Episode 2).

While “Take On Me” may have been a one-hit wonder in the US, a-ha’s impact on the music industry and their global fanbase cannot be denied. The song’s catchy melody and memorable music video have made it a timeless classic that continues to resonate with audiences of all ages.

Beyond “Take On Me,” a-ha has released numerous albums, including “Minor Earth Major Sky” (2000), “Analogue” (2005), and “Foot of the Mountain” (2009). They have also toured extensively, captivating audiences with their energetic live performances.

Album Releases and Tours

Video: The Very Best Of A-ha A-ha Greatest Hits Full Album A-ha Playlist 2022 A-ha New Song.

Throughout their career, a-ha has released a total of eleven studio albums, several compilations, and four live albums. Each album showcases the band’s evolution and their ability to create music that resonates with their fans.

Some notable albums include “Hunting High and Low” (1985), “Scoundrel Days” (1986), and “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” (1990). These albums feature a mix of synth-pop, new wave, and pop rock, showcasing a-ha’s versatility as musicians.

The band has also embarked on numerous tours, including their 2010 worldwide “Ending on a High Note Tour.” This tour marked the end of a-ha’s initial run as a band, but they would later reunite in 2015 for a second comeback.

Post-a-ha Activities

Video: a-ha – Take On Me (Lyrics).

After the band’s breakup in 2010, the members of a-ha pursued solo projects and other musical endeavors. Morten Harket released two solo albums, while Paul Waaktaar and Magne Furuholmen engaged in various music-related projects.

However, a-ha’s story didn’t end there. In 2015, the band announced their reunion and released their most recent album, “True North,” in 2022. This comeback solidified a-ha’s status as one of the most influential synth-pop bands of all time.


group of people attending a performance

What happened to A-ha?

A-ha split after their 2010 worldwide “Ending on a High Note Tour.” However, they reunited in 2015 and have continued to make music since then.

Read more about “A-ha Now: A Comprehensive Guide to the Iconic Synth-Pop Band … 🎵”

Who sang “Take On Me” in the 80s?

“Take On Me” was sung by Morten Harket, the lead vocalist of a-ha.

Read more about “Take On Me: The Iconic Synth-Pop Hit That Transcends Time … 🎵”

What is the highest note in “Take On Me”?

The highest note in “Take On Me” is an A4, which Morten Harket hits during the song’s iconic chorus.

Who is the lead singer of a-ha?

Morten Harket is the lead singer of a-ha and is known for his powerful and distinctive vocals.

Read more about “a-ha Tickets: The Ultimate Guide to the 2024 Concert Tour Dates! … 🎶”


boy singing on microphone with pop filter

In conclusion, a-ha’s “Take On Me” is more than just a catchy synth-pop song. It’s a cultural phenomenon that has left an indelible mark on the music industry. From its infectious melody to its groundbreaking music video, “Take On Me” continues to captivate audiences and inspire new generations of musicians.

While a-ha may be labeled as a one-hit wonder in the US, their extensive discography and dedicated fanbase prove that they are so much more. Their ability to create music that transcends time and borders is a testament to their talent and artistry.

So, the next time you hear “Take On Me” playing on the radio or through your headphones, take a moment to appreciate the magic behind the music and the impact that a-ha has had on the world of synth-pop.

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