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“Take On Me” by a-ha is a celebrated synth-pop classic and an iconic 1980s track

“Take On Me” stands out as a seminal synth-pop masterpiece by the Norwegian trio a-ha, unveiled to the world in 1984. This track not only cemented its place as a definitive piece in the band’s discography but also as an enduring emblem of 1980s music culture. Crafted by the collective genius of Magne Furuholmen (keyboards), Morten Harket (vocals), and Pål Waaktaar-Savoy (guitar), the song showcases the band’s innovative approach to music and their knack for memorable melodies.

The genesis of “Take On Me” is a tale of persistence and evolution, with the track undergoing several revisions before arriving at its hit version. Initially released in 1984, the song received lukewarm reception, prompting the band to re-record it with producer Alan Tarney. This revamped version, with its polished production and infectious synth riff, catapulted “Take On Me” to international acclaim, securing its place atop charts worldwide.

Central to the song’s success was its groundbreaking music video, directed by Steve Barron. The video’s innovative blend of pencil-sketch animation and live-action footage captured the imaginations of audiences globally. Its narrative, featuring a young woman who transitions from the real world into a comic book adventure with lead singer Morten Harket, was both romantic and fantastical, earning it a permanent spot in the annals of music video history.

Morten Harket’s distinctive vocal range, particularly the high note in the song’s chorus, became a defining feature of “Take On Me.” His voice, coupled with the catchy melody and the synthesizer’s prominence, encapsulated the 1980s’ sound, making the track a timeless classic.

Beyond “Take On Me,” a-ha continued to produce music that resonated with audiences, though none of their subsequent works matched this single’s monumental impact. Nevertheless, the band’s contribution to the synth-pop genre and their innovative use of music video storytelling left an indelible mark on the music industry.

Delving into Morten Harket’s career, his journey with a-ha has been complemented by his ventures as a solo artist. Born on September 14, 1959, in Kongsberg, Norway, Harket’s musical inclinations were evident from a young age. His foray into the music world saw him exploring various genres before synth-pop ultimately defined his career with a-ha. As the band’s frontman, his unique vocal talent and charismatic presence played a pivotal role in their success.

Throughout the years, Harket has not only been recognized for his musical talents but also for his contributions to environmental and humanitarian causes. His commitment to these issues has endeared him to fans beyond the realm of music.

In summary, “Take On Me” by a-ha is more than just a synth-pop hit from the 1980s; it is a cultural phenomenon that transcended its era. Through its innovative sound, iconic video, and the enduring appeal of its members, particularly Morten Harket, the song continues to resonate with generations of listeners, securing its place in music history.

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