Tuesday, October 9, 2018

"The Sun Always Shines on T.V." by a-ha

Song#:  2552
Date:  11/30/1985
Debut:  79
Peak:  20
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Synthpop, New Wave

Pop Bits:  In the US, this Norwegian band is basically remember as a one-hit wonder due to their iconic #1 hit "Take on Me." However, they did manage to get into the Top 20 with this follow-up, which most folks quickly forgot. A remix of the song would do well in clubs and it would reach #6 on the Dance chart. The tune would help their debut album Hunting High and Low sell a few more copies. It would eventually be certified platinum. The story for this single would be different elsewhere. In the UK, this song would be the band's first (and only) #1. It would also reach the Top 10 in several other countries including their homeland of Norway where the single made it to #2.

ReduxReview:  I thought this urgent and dark track was a worthy follow-up to "Take on Me." I was hoping it would get inside the Top 10, but it stopped ten paces back. Still, that was not a bad result for a second single. Unfortunately, "Take on Me" was such a sensation that it totally overshadowed anything else the band did. This song would be their last to reach the US Top 50. It's too bad because they had a lot more to offer than that song. The haunting title track from the album, which reached #5 in the UK, should have been a charting single as well. Their first three albums had some excellent songs, but for some reason they got ignored in the US while they scored Top 10's in many other countries. It's a shame they got overlooked here.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  The band's video for "Take on Me" ended up being just as memorable as the song and is a classic from the era. The video for "The Sun Always Shines on T.V." was also popular, but like the song it has been forgotten. Yet back in the day it did well enough to be nominated for three MTV Music Video Awards. It would end up winning two for Best Editing and Best Cinematography. That same year, "Take on Me" would win six awards. That gave a-ha eight wins that year, which was a record. They would be aced out of that record the following year when Peter Gabriel won nine (he actually ended up with ten as he was given the Video Vanguard award, however that is a non-competitive award). To-date, Gabriel still holds the record for most wins in a single year and a-ha remains in second with eight. However, the band later had to share that spot with Lady Gaga, who won eight in 2010, and BeyoncĂ©, who got eight in 2016.


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