Morten Harket is best known as the lead singer of the Norwegian synthpop/rock band A-ha, which released nine studio albums and topped the charts in several countries after their breakthrough hit "Take on Me" in 1985. Morten Harket is known for his extraordinary vocal range, which some sources have claimed spans five octaves, although Harket himself said in 2009, “I’ve never counted, quite honestly”. His voice is capable of "The greatest falsetto in the history of pop music EVER…" according to NME's Sylvia Patterson, to an "unyielding groan" as described in Entertainment Weekly. Harket has released four solo albums: 1993 - Poetenes Evangelium; 1995 - Wild Seed; 1996 - Vogts Villa; 2008 - Letter From Egypt.
Hunting High and Low is the debut studio album by Norwegian new wave band A-ha. Released on 1 June 1985 by Warner Bros. Records, the album was a huge commercial success selling more than 7.8 million units worldwide, peaking at number 15 on the US Billboard 200 and reaching high positions on charts worldwide. The album was recorded at Eel Pie Studios in Twickenham, produced by Tony Mansfield, John Ratcliff and Alan Tarney. The group was nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards in 1986, making A-ha the first Norwegian band to be nominated for a Grammy.
While not quite as strong as the band's debut, Scoundrel Days is still a-ha succeeding as a marketed "pretty boy" band which can connect musically and lyrically as much as any musical sacred cow. The opening two songs alone make for one of the best one-two opening punches around: the tense edge of the title track, featuring one of Morten Harket's soaring vocals during the chorus and a crisp, pristine punch in the music, and "The Swing of Things," a moody, elegant number with a beautiful synth/guitar arrangement (plus some fine drumming courtesy of studio pro Michael Sturgis) and utterly lovelorn lyrical sentiments that balance on the edge of being overheated without quite going over.
It’s shaping up to be an epic year for a-ha as the Norwegian trio marks its 30th anniversary in 2015 with a series of album reissues as well as a highly anticipated reunion tour and their first new album in six years. As part of the celebration, a-ha will unveil HUNTING HIGH AND LOW: 30th ANNIVERSARY SUPER DELUXE EDITION. The set boasts four CDs and one DVD. Available September 18th, the set includes a remastered version of the original album, which has sold more than 10 million copies since its 1985 debut. The set also features various b-sides and more than two dozen rare and unreleased demos. Also featured is a full version of the album in early and alternate mixes. Unheard and all released for the first time. The DVD in the "Hunting High and Low" set contains an unseen slightly alternate cut of the 1985 “Take On Me” video as well as the 1984 version and of course the "classic" video.
East of the Sun, West of the Moon was a small surprise, too quickly destined for the cut-out bins considering the way a-ha finally went after Hunting High and Low. This is a nicely crafted collection of songs, performed and sung beautifully, with lots of echoes and suggestions tucked into the music. While not an album one can discuss at length, it's an album that's a pleasure to listen to and one that deserves a better reception than the one, unfortunately, that it seems to have gotten.