Title - 'The Singles 1984-2004' (Rhino)
Artist - a-ha
It's easy to see why so many Americans wrongfully dismiss a-ha as a one-hit wonder band. Since their platinum debut, "Hunting High and Low," which spawned the Number One hit Take On Me," the pop trio from Norway saw their next four albums flop in the US before they disappeared out of consciousness.
But while their success in America was short-lived, a-ha has built and maintained a healthy following in Europe, where they landed 13 Top Ten hits in England. And so, celebrating their 20th anniversary, a-ha release this new singles collection, "The Singles 1984|2004." Indeed, it is the band's second compilation (the first was 1994's "Headlines and Deadlines," which, like this album, was released outside the US), covering twenty years of hits and singles.
Looking beyond Take On Me, we have other notable gems like the 007 theme The Living Daylights, I've Been Losing You, the energetic The Sun Always Shines on TV, and a personal favorite of mine: Lifelines. Even better, these songs have been digitally remastered, and you can definitely hear and feel the improvement over the original recording.
All in all, I think a-ha is a band that never really got a fair shot in America, where they were all-too-quickly written off as pretty boys whose music took a backseat to their chisled looks. But this hits collection features some well-crafted pop tunes and international hits that will please fans and may even win over a few converts.
For the record, throughout their career, a-ha has officially released 32 singles. 13 of them became top ten singles in the UK, and 14 singles have been number one on the radio lists over the world. Not bad, especially for so-called 'one hit wonders'!!