a-ha: ranking highs and lows
a-ha: ranking highs and lows
About a-ha: ranking highs and lows
Welcome to 'a-ha - ranking highs and lows', the project where two life-long a-ha fans have taken on the ambitious task of ranking all the band's songs from worst to best!
In this episode of "a-ha: Ranking Highs and Lows" we're doing a slightly different ranking of a-ha-related songs, more specifically a top 10 of the best (or worst, depending on how you look at it) lyrical backstabs between the guys in the band. In other words: which lyrics are verbal knives in another band member's back, and how deep does the knife go? The Ranking Highs and Lows podcast team has never been afraid of doing some major speculations about songs and lyrics, but we take it to the next level with this episode. Among other things we speculate if fax is a commonly used means of communication in the a-ha camp, we discuss milestones, go overboard in the use of disclaimers, discuss if Zoë knew that she held the knife in one of the presumed backstabs and confuse ourselves as we get deep into interpretations of a song in a classic 'whodunnit' style. Peter also chips in with a very alternative interpretation of one of the stabs, we repeat the unwritten rules for where to put your backstabs, we of course discuss old wounds, and we discuss the differences between a stab, a poke and a scratch. And should Jesper allocate more of his budget for art purchases? We take a guess at how much empty space there is in JP's head, Jesper tries to re-open the rankings from past episodes, and Peter shuts him down in a flash. JP and Peter also invent a new form of chess, while Jesper (again) can't keep a secret. Furthermore we look for hidden stabs in an old a-ha song and ponder the big question: Can stunt doubles increase record sales in Italy? So nothing has changed, yet at the same time nothing stays the same in this special episode of "a-ha: Ranking Highs and Lows". If you're curious and have a small hour to spend on hearsay and loose rumours while getting your daily dose of a-ha then you've come to the right place! As always you can find us at www.facebook.com/rankingaha where you can share your thoughts, comments and reactions on the list. And as always: If you like what you hear - or if you don't like it and want others to share the pain - then please recommend the podcast to other fans of a-ha. Thanks!
In this episode we rank the 25 best songs by Pål Waaktaar-Savoy from his projects outside of a-ha, which thereby is the 2nd part of our top 50 countdown. In this episode you'll be treated to more accents than anyone needs to hear, Jesper re-visits some of his favourite references, Peter the Producer is looking for a way out and JP continues to struggle with even the simplest Norwegian. We also still mess up the pronounciation af Frode's name ("Fruity", "Frough" and "Frood" are among the feeble attempts) and we second-guess one of our previous rankings. And should Pål buy more pianos at the flea market? Jesper is unsure of how many mp3 files he has sent to Pål over the years, JP questions certain stories about the origin of Take On Me, and both JP and Jesper show a so far unknown inability to estimate audience sizes. We hear about the Milli Vanilli test, we learn about JP's access to the old internet, and we hear what Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys has to say about the duration of pop songs. And should you always do what your woman tells you to? You'll also hear Jesper denying a claim about a song that JP brings up, we learn how JP prefers to dance, we do some questionable segways from one song to the next, Jesper sneaks in an Alice Cooper reference, and we hear about Peter's love for the world's cheapest instrument. And are you allowed to play the tambourine whilst driving? We of course also argue over who likes a song more, JP doubts Jesper's involvement in the writing of Savoy songs, we meet a dangerous guy, Peter defends a-ha, Jesper admits to listening to our old episodes, and we learn what Pål and Lauren used to listen to in their kitchen. And how long time did it take to download a Savoy song snippet back in 1996? And last but certainly not least you'll of course hear what we think are the 25 greatest songs from Pål in the various constellations outside of a-ha. Maybe you'll agree, maybe you won't but hopefully you'll enjoy the ride! And feel free to drop by our Facebook page to share your thoughts, comments and reactions to the ranking. And as always: If you like what you hear - or if you don't like it and want others to share the pain - then please recommend the podcast to other fans of Pål/Savoy or a-ha. We know there are a lot of keen fans of Pål and Savoy out there but they may not all have found our Facebook page or podcast yet. So if you’re a member of a Facebook or Instagram group that shares our love for Pål/Savoy then please share the info about this episode as well if you feel that’s appropriate. Thanks!
This episode of Ranking Highs and Lows is part 1 of our ranking of the 50 best songs by a-ha guitarist and songwriter Pål Waaktaar-Savoy from his projects outside of a-ha. We're very pleased to announce that we've had the opportunity to ask Pål about some of the songs on our ranking. He was very kind to answer some questions we e-mailed to him, and it's probably safe to say that his answers were better than our questions. However, because of this we'll finally learn where Morten's tour sound technicians are recruited from. So thanks a lot to Pål for contributing to our little hobby project! In this episode we also once again realize that timing the podcast releases is not our greatest strength, Jesper gets a very early (or late) Christmas present from JP, and we learn that Peter the Producer prefers both Sade and Darth Vader over techno. And does Jesper have a secret mission of ruining songs for JP by presenting misheard lyrics? We also discuss Pål's housekeeping skills and stumble across a business idea, JP tries his luck with a joke, and Jesper tries to beat his own record of mentioning The Beatles while also being crowned our self-proclaimed indie music king. JP also tries to argue that self-pity and laziness is an undervalued combination, and an expected big disagreement about a song doesn't amount to much. And is it even possible to play a whole TV documentary on guitar? We touch upon salt in burgers, JP shares his dislike of Sundays, Jesper revisits his favourite chords, and we question our own ranking of a song. Tennis becomes a recurring topic, Peter impresses with his knowledge of the a-ha timeline, while Jesper ponders if Pål has any office work experience. And how deep a hole did JP dig for himself when he was a kid? And among all of this you'll hear 25 great songs from Pål in various constellations outside of a-ha. Maybe you know all of them, maybe you don't know any of them, or maybe you're somewhere inbetween. Whatever your starting point we hope that you’ll enjoy this part one of our top 50! And please swing by our Facebook page and share your thoughts, comments and reactions. And as always: If you like what you hear - or if you don't like it and want others to share the pain - then please recommend the podcast to other fans of Pål/Savoy or a-ha. We know there are a lot of keen fans of Pål and Savoy out there but they may not all have found our Facebook page or podcast yet. So if you’re a member of a Facebook or Instagram group that shares our love for Pål/Savoy then please share the info about this episode as well if you feel that’s appropriate. Thanks for listening!
In this episode we direct our attention to a-ha keyboardist Magne Furuholmen as we hunt for the 30 highs from his solo endeavours and side projects outside a-ha. In this episode you'll hear how Peter has given up on JP and now gives a trusted task to Jesper, we await a concept album about skimmed milk, and Peter and JP are left speechless (if only for a short while) by Jesper’s anecdotes from an Apparatjik concert. We get another one of Jesper’s “I was at work when I first heard this song”-stories, and we also learn which song might get Jesper on the dancefloor after a few drinks. Meanwhile JP confuses Jesper with a lyrics interpretation that JP himself thinks makes plenty of sense, and Peter regrets asking follow-up questions. And does Magne really love the word “hindsight” so much that it calls for fireworks? You’ll also hear some quotes from some rather harsh reviews of Magne’s first album, and can it really be that Apparatjik makes a mental note to always include 40 seconds of weirdness in their songs? And which song by Magne according to Jesper sounds like a better version of John Lennon’s “Imagine”? We also discuss ghosts - including the giving up of them - and we probably read too much conflict material into all the lyrics. And has Magne written a song about his lawyer? On top of that we talk riff-recycling and lyrical rabbit holes while Jesper for once quotes more lyrics than JP. And which song by Magne makes JP fear that Jesper may be on the same wavelength as Pål? JP suggests that Jesper should commission Magne to make him a pedestal, and we think that Morten can carry a horse. We of course also discuss Magne’s voice, we celebrate the diversity of his output, and Jesper looks for Easter eggs at Xmas time. And how does our timing of podcast release dates compare to a-ha? All of this is blended together with 30 awesome tracks from Magne in the various constellations he uses for his creative output. Maybe you know (and love) them all, maybe you’re quite new to Magne’s work outside of a-ha or maybe you’re just ready to dig a bit deeper. Whatever your starting point is, we hope that you’ll enjoy this episode! You are of course also more than welcome to visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rankingaha where you can follow us and comment on the episodes and the rankings.
In this episode we rank songs from the solo career of Morten Harket, the legendary vocalist of equally legendary band a-ha. And whether you are new to Morten's solo efforts or have listened to all or most of it already this is definitely a podcast for you! In this episode we’ll be discussing the different stages of Morten’s solo career, JP once again tries to give a short summary of something (will he ever succeed?), and we find out if people in Copenhagen actually use stairs at all. And is there really a video called ‘Dance lessons by Morten Harket’? We also learn about when Peter the Producer prefers to listen to Christmas songs, Jesper announces songs in up to three different languages all at once, and JP just gives up on speaking Norwegian altogether. Apart from that we struggle with the word ‘hymn’ and Jesper discovers some exotic instruments. We also disagree on the ranking for a song about an animal, we discuss which song can be compared to an accountant dad, and how many songs about basket weavers does JP actually know? And why didn’t Jesper play an album by Morten for his friends on the ferry home from Oslo? Furthermore we discuss a very literal 360 degrees turn by Morten, we hear about an interview from 1993 that made Jesper really worried, and we wonder if it’s OK to call your girlfriend a turtle. And mixed with all of this there are 30 songs by Morten for you to enjoy. Maybe you know them all, maybe you know some of them or maybe you don’t really know any of them. So we hope that this podcast can act both as a reminder and an ear-opener to some of the great songs that Morten has released outside of a-ha. Also take the opportunity to join the discussion about our ranking on Facebook where we’d love for you to talk to us and tell us things we could find helpful. https://www.facebook.com/rankingaha
In this episode we rank the 12 songs from "True North" - the latest addition to a-ha's amazing career and song catalogue - from the worst to the best, and we can reveal that the battle for the top spot is close! In this episode we possibly fail at giving a short summary of anything, we praise some drummers, we talk about second cousins and sisters, and it would be surprising if there wasn’t something that sounds more Beatles than The Beatles… We also introduce the concept of a ‘reverse Jesus’, we discuss a-ha’s insect trilogy, we try to find out if there’s a Nordic elephant in the room, and which song on the new album could have benefitted from a Hammond organ to make it more Doorsy? We also talk about goosebumps and teary eyes after an evening with True North in headphones, we laugh at our own jokes and discuss the new lyrics. We even make the bold claim that some of the new songs could eventually prove to end up in an all time top 25 of a-ha songs! Now, if THAT isn’t something to get excited about then we don’t know what is?! Also take the opportunity to join the discussion about our ranking on Facebook where we’d love for you to talk to us and tell us things we could find helpful. https://www.facebook.com/rankingaha
In the sixth - and so far final - episode of Ranking Highs and Lows we finally reveal which of a-ha’s 147 songs is the ultimate number one! The superlatives are flying all around us as we count down from 25 to 1, but there’s still room for heavy compromises and disagreements - just like when a-ha makes an album. In this episode we hear about trips to the public swimming pool in the 1980’s, how a trained fan ear may be able to tell different types of rain apart, and how great it is when a D-chord shifts from major to minor. Before we reach the top spot we also encounter songs from eight different albums, discuss how many songs you can cram into a Top 3, and try to explain how two hits on a drum before a chorus makes all the difference. So please join us as we uncover the highest of the highs of a-ha’s magnificent career! In case you prefer to read rather than listen or just want to check out the whole list again in written form then check out our blog. There you can find previous parts of the ranking as well - one chance to go back to the point where everything starts… https://www.rankingaha.dk/ Also take the opportunity to join the discussion about our ranking on Facebook where we’d love for you to talk to us and tell us things we could find helpful. https://www.facebook.com/rankingaha And of course check out all the songs from our ranking on our Spotify playlist as as well as we move from the foot of the mountain to the very top. https://sptfy.com/rankingaha
In the fifth episode of Ranking Highs and Lows we crack the top 50 as we continue our ranking of the 147 a-ha songs from worst to best by counting down from 50 to 26. Here we encounter a song that both of us like but for quite different reasons, we run into some serious compromises and discuss which version of a song is the right one to rank. We also come across some big hits, discuss the importance of the production of a song, find out if there is such a thing as “The Waaktaar-Savoy School for the Brokenhearted” and uncover which colour palette seems to dominate a-ha song titles. This episode also features the tale of when we met Morten and reminded him of songs he possibly had forgotten about, we discuss how far down the word “funky” is on the list of adjectives that describe a-ha, and we bask in the pride you can feel as a fan when an a-ha song does well on the charts. All this and much more awaits you as we get close to the top 25. In case you prefer to read rather than listen or just want to check out the list again in written form then check out our blog where we go through the ranking in writing. There you can find previous parts of the ranking as well. https://www.rankingaha.dk/ Also take the opportunity to join the discussion about our ranking on Facebook where we’d love to hear your thoughts. https://www.facebook.com/rankingaha And of course you can lie down in darkness and check out all the songs from the ranking on our Spotify playlist as well. https://sptfy.com/rankingaha
In the fourth episode of Ranking Highs and Lows we continue our ranking of the 147 a-ha songs from worst to best by counting down from 75 to 51. In this episode we will discuss how many cousins Driftwood actually has, get to know which song made one of us realize at a young age that we were maturing, and which song one of us considers more Beatles than The Beatles. We also discuss whether a certain long-awaited demo lives up to the hype, we hear more about a heartbreak from the early 2000’s, and we ponder the reasons why a-ha’s singles in the later years often seem to be alternative mixes of songs that sounded better in the album version. In this episode we also run into a UK Top 10 hit, disagree with some of the band members’ own view of their 1990’s sound, and get to hear which song just about missed a spot in our top 50. Curious? Listen and find out more! In case you prefer to read rather than listen or just want to check out the list again in written form, then check out our blog. There you can find previous parts of the ranking as well. https://www.rankingaha.dk/ Also take the opportunity to join the discussion about our ranking on Facebook where we’d love to hear your thoughts. https://www.facebook.com/rankingaha And of course check out all the songs from our ranking on our Spotify playlist as well. https://sptfy.com/rankingaha
In the third episode of Ranking Highs and Lows we crack the top 100 as we continue our ranking of the 147 a-ha songs from worst to best by counting down from 100 to 76. In this episode we see the song quality increase significantly, discover lyrics that may not be considered appropriate in 2021, and find out which song meant a lot to one of your podcast hosts when he was love sick. We also discuss a-ha vs. Savoy vs. Beatles vs. Madonna, we encounter a couple of commercially successful singles, come across a number of animals and debate if we’re being too harsh on certain songs. We probably are. So which non-album track just missed the top 75, which songs cause some disagreement among us, and are there limits to what a manager can ask band members to do? Listen and find out. In case you prefer to read rather than listen or just want to revisit the list again then check out our blog where we go through the ranking in writing. There you can find both this part of the ranking as well as previous posts. https://www.rankingaha.dk/ Also don’t hesitate to join the discussion on Facebook. We’d love for you to leave a comment so “keep writing letters…”. https://www.facebook.com/rankingaha And of course check out all the songs from our ranking on our Spotify playlist as well if you want to remind yourself of how sweet it was. https://sptfy.com/rankingaha
In the second episode of Ranking Highs and Lows we continue our ranking of a-ha’s 147 songs from worst to best by counting down from 125 to 101. In this episode we will encounter a couple of singles and possibly a few fan favorites as well, and although we are still in the bottom third of the list we already here start seeing some rather good songs! In this episode we run into the first song on the list from one of a-ha’s 1990’s albums, discuss a poor attempt at recreating the feeling from Stay On These Roads, debate whether or not a-ha sounds like ABBA and continue the investigation of where Pål and Magne take more or less hidden stabs at each other in songs. We also discuss Morten’s recent pronunciation of ‘shine’ and which song lyric sounds like a travel blogger’s Instagram post. And of course which song just missed out on a spot in the top 100. In case you prefer to read rather than listen to the way we talk, then check out our blog where we go through the ranking in writing. https://www.rankingaha.dk/ And don’t hesitate to join the discussion on Facebook where the sun always shines. https://www.facebook.com/rankingaha And of course check out the ranking on our Spotify playlist as well in case you want to remind yourself of the songs that move our bodies. https://sptfy.com/rankingaha
In the first episode of Ranking Highs and Lows you will meet the two fans behind the project, get to understand why we think ranking 147 a-ha songs from worst to best is even a good idea in the first place and of course find out what we think are the 22 most shameful lowlands of a-ha’s otherwise magnificent catalogue as we count down from 147 to 126 on the list. In this episode you will also witness how we break our own song inclusion criteria already from the start and hopefully see how barely produced demos and over-produced schmaltz can go together on the walk of shame. You will also get to hear which demo sounds like a distant second cousin to a much beloved single B-side. It’s not all bad though as you will also get to know which demo features rather nice backing vocals by Magne and which song arguably could have been a big hit if it had featured Nelly Furtado. If you prefer to read rather than listen to us talking away you can also read our take on the songs on our blog. https://www.rankingaha.dk/ You can also join the discussion on Facebook where we’d love to hear your train of thought. https://www.facebook.com/rankingaha We have also created a Spotify playlist with the songs ranked according to our list. So if you want to listen to a-ha’s minor lows and major highs. https://sptfy.com/rankingaha
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