a-ha: Down To The Tracks

Stay on these roads…

The legacy of Norwegian outfit a-ha is weaved into the story of synth-pop, from the phenomenal success of ‘Take On Me’ in 1985 through to the recent successful live showcase of their debut album Hunting High And Low.

Since their formation in 1982, Pål Waaktaar-Savoy, Magne Furuholmen and Morten Harket have carved out a musical career from a-ha that has produced a bewildering series of chart-topping albums and singles.

Now, in the first book of its kind, TEC writer Barry Page looks back on an extraordinary 40-year musical odyssey. Aside from showcasing each a-ha album in track by track detail, Down To The Tracks includes a comprehensive look at both the band’s pre-fame years and each of the three members’ side projects, up to and including the release of Magne Furuholmen’s revered new solo album, White Xmas Lies.

Told from a number of different perspectives, this fresh take on the story mixes archived interviews and reviews, along with exclusive new input from a wide-ranging number of contributors, including a-ha’s Magne Furuholmen and Pål Waaktaar-Savoy, plus Dag and Jørun Bøgeberg, Viggo Bondi, Pål H. Christiansen, Anneli Drecker, Espen Farstad, Zoë Gnecco, Erik Hagelien, Matt Letley, Sven Lindvall, Robert Alan Morley, Tini Flaat Mykland, Martyn Phillips, Mark Saunders, Tonje Waaktaar Gamst, Harald Wiik and more.

The limited hardback edition of Down To The Tracks will be individually numbered 1 – 1000 and signed by the author. All copies of this edition will also include a special 7″ vinyl single which includes the previously unreleased ‘Miss Eerie’. Demoed by Bridges (an Oslo-based progressive rock band featuring two thirds of a-ha) in early 1981, this embryonic version of ‘Take on Me’ was later christened by Morten Harket as ‘The Juicy Fruit Song’.

Described by Pål Waaktaar-Savoy as “Really entertaining!”, Down To The Tracks is published by This Day In Music Books (who also published the recent OMD book Pretending To See The Future). The book is available to pre-order ahead of its March 2020 publication date.

Barry Page is a lifelong fan of a-ha who was commissioned by Pål Waaktaar-Savoy to pen extensive liner notes for the special vinyl edition of Våkenatt, the near-mythical second album by Bridges.

Barry has previously written extensively on a-ha for The Electricity Club, including album reviews, concert reports, long-form articles on Bridges and the side projects of both Morten Harket and Pål Waaktaar-Savoy.


Down To The Tracks (Hardback edition) – 320 pages, colour images.

Price: UK £24.99 US $32.00

Publication date: 26th March 2020

You can pre-order the book via:
https://thisdayinmusicbooks.com/books/a-ha-down-to-the-tracks/

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Paul Browne

After studying electronic music at Goldsmiths College in London, Paul spent his formative years indulging in fanzine culture before branching out to graphic and web design in later years via his Arc23 outlet.

Responsible for the creation of the original Official OMD Website, Paul also spent over 10 years administrating the site. As well as providing sleeve notes for many of the OMD reissues, he also provided design concepts for sleeve art and tour promotions.

He ran the Julian Cope-focused Screaming Secrets for many years and also administers Virginia Astley's official website.

Outlets and publications that have featured his contributions include Electronic Sound, Metro, Japan Update Weekly, J-Pop Go and Wavegirl.
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