Take On Me: The Iconic Synth-Pop Hit That Transcends Time [2024] 🎵

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

Quick Answer: Take On Me is a synth-pop song released in 1984 by the Norwegian band A-ha. It became a global sensation, reaching the top of the charts in multiple countries. The song’s catchy melody, memorable music video, and emotional lyrics have made it an enduring classic in the world of music. Check out the latest synth-pop hits on Synth Pop™!

Have you ever heard a song that instantly transports you back in time? A song that makes you want to dance, sing along, and relive the memories of a bygone era? Well, “Take On Me” by A-ha is one such song. Released in 1984, this synth-pop masterpiece has captivated audiences around the world with its infectious melody, stunning music video, and heartfelt lyrics. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the history, production, and impact of “Take On Me,” and explore why it continues to resonate with listeners to this day. So, get ready to embark on a nostalgic journey as we unravel the story behind this iconic synth-pop hit!

Table of Contents

Quick Tips and Facts

  • Release Date: 1984
  • Genre: Synth-pop, new wave
  • Length:
    • 3:44 (1985 7″ single version)
    • 3:48 (album version)
    • 4:48 (1985 12″ version)
    • 3:18 (1984 7″ single version)
    • 3:46 (1984 12″ version)
    • 3:49 (instrumental version)
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • Songwriters: Magne Furuholmen, Morten Harket, Pål Waaktaar
  • Producers: John Ratcliff, Alan Tarney
  • Singles Chronology: “Take On Me” (1984), “Love Is Reason” (1985)
  • Music Videos: Original version and second version available on YouTube

Now, let’s dive into the fascinating background of “Take On Me” and discover how it became a timeless synth-pop anthem.

Background: The Birth of a Synth-Pop Anthem

boy singing on microphone with pop filter

“Take On Me” didn’t emerge out of thin air. It was born from the creative minds of Pål Waaktaar and Magne Furuholmen, members of the Norwegian band Bridges. Inspired by the Doors’ Ray Manzarek, they set out to create a song that would combine catchy melodies with emotional depth. Little did they know that they were about to create a masterpiece that would define an entire genre.

Recording and Production: Crafting a Timeless Sound

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To bring their vision to life, A-ha enlisted the help of producers John Ratcliff and Alan Tarney. They utilized a range of synthesizers, including the Yamaha DX7, PPG Wave, and Roland Juno-60, to create the signature synth-pop sound that would become synonymous with “Take On Me.” The vocals were recorded using a Neumann U 47 microphone, capturing the raw emotion and power of Morten Harket’s voice.

Composition: Melody, Lyrics, and Emotion


At the heart of “Take On Me” lies a captivating melody that hooks listeners from the very first note. The song’s infectious chorus and memorable synth riffs make it impossible to resist tapping your feet and singing along. But it’s not just the melody that captivates; the lyrics also strike a chord with listeners. The song explores the themes of love, longing, and the desire to escape from the mundane. It’s a universal message that resonates with people of all ages and backgrounds.

Music Videos: A Visual Masterpiece

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

One cannot talk about “Take On Me” without mentioning its groundbreaking music videos. The original version, directed by Steve Barron, combined live-action footage with rotoscoped animation, creating a visually stunning experience that was ahead of its time. The second version, directed by Barron and Michael Patterson, featured a comic book-inspired storyline that further enhanced the song’s narrative. Both videos have become iconic and have been viewed millions of times on YouTube.

Chart Performance: Conquering the Airwaves

Video: ONE HIT WONDERLAND: "Take On Me" by A-Ha.

Upon its release, “Take On Me” quickly climbed the charts, reaching the top spot in multiple countries. In the United States, it topped the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1985, cementing A-ha’s status as international superstars. The song also reached number two on the UK Singles Chart, solidifying its place in music history.

Track Listings: Different Versions, Same Magic

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“Take On Me” has been released in various versions, each showcasing the song’s magic in a slightly different way. From the 1985 7″ single version to the instrumental version, each rendition offers a unique perspective on the synth-pop anthem that has stood the test of time.

Credits and Personnel: The Talented Minds Behind the Song

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

Behind every great song are the talented individuals who bring it to life. “Take On Me” was written by Magne Furuholmen, Morten Harket, and Pål Waaktaar. The song’s production was helmed by John Ratcliff and Alan Tarney. Additional credits go to Barry Grint for mastering the song.

Charts: A Global Phenomenon

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“Take On Me” didn’t just conquer the charts in one or two countries—it became a global phenomenon. The song reached the top of the charts in the United States, the United Kingdom, Norway, and many other countries, solidifying A-ha’s status as one of the most successful bands of the 1980s.

Certifications: Recognizing the Song’s Success

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The success of “Take On Me” was not only measured by its chart performance but also by the numerous certifications it received. The song achieved gold and platinum certifications in various regions, further cementing its status as a timeless classic.

MTV Unplugged Appearance: Stripping Down the Synth-Pop

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

In 2017, A-ha had the opportunity to perform an acoustic version of “Take On Me” on MTV Unplugged. Stripping away the synthesizers and electronic elements, the band showcased the song’s versatility and enduring appeal. The performance was met with critical acclaim and served as a reminder of the song’s timeless quality.

Cover Versions, Samples, and Remixes: The Song’s Enduring Influence

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“Take On Me” has been covered by numerous artists and has been sampled and remixed in various genres. Its infectious melody and iconic status have made it a favorite for musicians looking to pay homage to the synth-pop era. From Family Guy to a Volkswagen ad, the song’s influence can be felt in various forms of media.


brown and black violin

What does Take On Me mean in English?

“Take On Me” is a phrase that can be interpreted in different ways. In the context of the song, it can be seen as an invitation to embark on a romantic adventure, to take a chance on love, and to embrace the unknown.

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Who sang Take On Me in the 80s?

“Take On Me” was sung by the Norwegian band A-ha. The band members, Morten Harket, Magne Furuholmen, and Pål Waaktaar, delivered a captivating performance that propelled the song to international success.

Read more about “Who Did a Cover of Take On Me? …”

Is Take On Me hard to sing?

“Take On Me” is known for its challenging vocal range, particularly in the iconic high notes of the chorus. Singing the song requires a good vocal range and control, making it a challenging but rewarding experience for those who attempt it.

Who covered the song Take On Me?

“Take On Me” has been covered by various artists over the years. Some notable covers include versions by Weezer, Reel Big Fish, and Pentatonix. Each cover brings a unique interpretation to the song while paying homage to its enduring popularity.

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person playing guitar

In conclusion, “Take On Me” is more than just a song—it’s a cultural phenomenon that has transcended time. Its catchy melody, heartfelt lyrics, and groundbreaking music videos have made it an enduring classic in the world of music. From its humble beginnings in the 1980s to its continued popularity today, “Take On Me” continues to captivate audiences around the world. So, the next time you hear those iconic synth-pop beats, don’t be afraid to take on the nostalgia and let the music transport you to a different era.

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