5 Underrated Tracks from a-ha’s HUNTING HIGH AND LOW

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When trying to pinpoint the five most underrated tracks on a-ha’s debut album, Hunting High and Low, it’s actually pretty easy to do, since there are only 10 tracks on the album, and five of them were released as singles. It’s not exactly a major mathematical conundrum, you know?

That said, however, it doesn’t mean that the remaining five tracks are any less impressive than the five singles that surround them. Indeed, one of those songs was actually in contention to be the band’s first single...before a certain other song took on that title. (We’ll give you a hint: it’s been played more than a billion times on YouTube.)

 

  1. “Blue Sky” – One of the oldest songs in the a-ha catalog, the demo for this track was recorded not long after the band moved to south London. When the time came to put together the track listing for Hunting High and Low, it made the album through the efforts of Tony Mansfield, who selected it because it was more substantive than a competing track called “Nothing to It.”

 

 

  1. “Living a Boy’s Adventure Tale” – Written by Pal Waaktaar-Savoy and Magne Furuholmen in September 1982 while the duo were recording demos at the holiday cabin owned by Pal’s family in Naersnes, near Oslo, this was one of the songs played during the band’s showcase gigs in order to secure a record deal, predominantly because it provided such a tremendous spotlight for Morten’s falsetto, causing Warner Brothers’ Andrew Wickham to later observe, “Morten Harket had the musical equipment of Roy Orbison, and no one is greater.” In fact, this track was seriously considered for the band’s first single, only to get bumped in favor of “Take on Me.” Hey, you can’t argue with the end resul

 

 

  1. “And You Tell Me" – Released as the B-side of the first “Take on Me” 7” single, this delicate number is by far the shortest track on Hunting High and Low, clocking in at only a minute and 51 seconds, but it’s a sweet song that tugs at the heartstrings with the five words that follow its title in the lyrics: “That I don’t love you.”

 

  1. “I Dream Myself Alive” – It must be said that this is one of those songs that until recently had almost never been played live by a-ha, and it’s also one that’s rarely been mentioned in interviews, but once upon a time it was at least been beloved enough by the band to make its way onto the album, even if it’s the next to last track on the LP. For our part, we agree with the remarks made by Cryptic Rock about the song, where it was called a “stomper, with contemplative lyrics set on a danceable beat and rhythm.”

 

  1. “Here I Stand and Face the Rain”In a 2017 Classic Pop Hits interview with the band, writer Paul Lester referred to this track as “the most exquisitely miserabilist pop song since David Cassidy’s ‘How Can I Be Sure,’ from the anguished choral flourishes to the dread-drenched lyric, ‘I fear for what tomorrow brings.’” The song was written while the trio was on holiday in Tenerife, paid for by the first financial results of their publishing deal. “We got £1,500 each, which was huge for us, so the first thing we did was blow it on a trip to Tenerife,” said Waaktaar-Savoy. “We went there to celebrate, and we ended up writing that song. It’s very…gothic.”

 

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