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Aha Biography

Home > Music > A > Aha > Biography

Birth Place: Oslo, Norway
Years Active: 1982–2010
Genres: New Wave, Alternative Rock, Synthpop

A-ha was a Norwegian pop band that formed in Oslo in 1982 by Morten Harket on lead vocals, Magne Furuholmen on keyboards, and Pål Waaktaar on guitar. The newly formed band left Oslo and headed for London to pursue their musical career. The trio rose to fame in the mid-1980s with the success of their debut album, “Hunting High and Low,” in 1985, and the hit song “Take on Me,” which the album spawned. The album also earned the trio a Grammy Award nomination as 'Best New Artist.' A hit in their native Norway, the trio were also overnight superstars in England and throughout Europe. The band continued on to produce one album after another until 1994 with the release of their fifth studio album, “Memorial Beach,” the band decided to take a break. The album was a commercial failure as the musical climate began to change to the sound of grunge. The band was also exhausted from endless touring and releasing one album after another.

After the success of their debut album, A-Ha were not just famous in England, Norway and Europe, they broke through to American audiences with their ground breaking video that accompanied the song. The song peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chat and #2 on the U.K. Singles Chart. A-Ha also became the first Norwegian band to have a #1 song in the U.S. The band's next single, “The Sun Always Shines on T.V.” was also a success and cemented the band growing popularity all around the world. The trio's second offering “Scoundrel Days,” was released in 1986 and saw a directional change towards alternative rock. The album met with positive reviews and was moderately successful. 1988 saw A-Ha's third studio album emerge, “Stay On These Roads,” followed by “East of the Sun, West of the Moon,” which was a highly successful album, reaching gold status. After the band's fifth album, feeling burnt out and the sting of a dwindling records sales the band steeped out of the musical limelight.

The band resurfaced in 1998 to record their sixth studio album, “Minor Earth Major Sky” (2000) which peaked at #1 on the Norwegian Album Charts. The band followed up the album with a tour. 2002 saw the release of “Lifelines,” followed by “Analogue” in 2005, which became one of their most successful albums. The trio's ninth offering, “Foot of the Mountain,” appeared in 2009 and peaked at #5 on the U.K.'s Album chart; however, despite the success the band announced their split in 2010.