When I was a little girl music video was something special. Mum would do her housework on Saturday mornings with all TV’s in the house playing the music video shows really loudly. 1984 had been the year of Michael Jackson’s Thriller album and he was the big thing in music video, spending more money than ever before on creating huge epics which were more like a short movie than a music video.
In 1985, I was 10 years old. I really didn’t pay too much attention to boys at that young age, I was more interested in roller skating, books, and playing with the kids in the neighborhood. But one morning, I sat there and watched the music videos and there was a new one. It was called “Take On Me” and it was by a Norwegian band called a-ha that I had never heard of. For those who would like to take a trip down memory lane – the video is here on you tube. And if you would like to know more of the story behind the video clip, watch this story on you tube – I had no idea the girl in the video went on to be Morten’s first serious girlfriend. Aww, how cute!
Their music video was unique, very different, part animation, part real images. I believe it was one of the best videos ever made and certainly one of the most memorable. And one simple image right at the end of the video was all it took to wake up the “boys are cute” part of my brain. It was this one.
Yes, he is apparently quite sweaty having just broken out of being a cartoon – those of you who know the video know what I mean. But wow, isn’t he cute. I became an instant a-ha fan, and my room became a shrine to these three boys from Norway but in particular Morten. I had Hunting High and Low on cassette tape (remember cassette tapes? I had forgotten how to spell them!) and I listened to it over and over.
Hunting High and Low was one of my favourite songs – and they made a great video clip to go with it, but I think out of all the songs on the album Manhattan Skyline was my favourite. Here’s the original film clip of Manhattan Skyline which was yet another in a line of new and interesting video techniques – this one involved join the dots drawings and newspapers.
So then, they kind of disappeared. Other musicians took over the shrine on my bedroom walls. Life went on. Until one day I was on the internet and I did a search for a-ha, and found out that unknown to me they’d gone on to have a huge career in their home country of Norway and produced some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard. None of this music could be purchased here in Australia, but I ordered everything I possibly could find on the internet and in the long 6-8 week wait for it to get here, I downloaded every thing I could find, every live recording, every track I could get my hands on. I also got a copy of Hunting High and Low (after hunting high and low for it, I found it instore at JB Hifi but checking their website they don’t seem to have it there.)
So what is Morten like these days? Still gorgeous? Tick. Married? He was, and has three children with his (now ex-) wife. Taken? Yes, he has a girlfriend. Still with a-ha? Yes, and they have an official website.
An a-ha tribute video – there’s some gorgeous pics in here and it’s hard to find any on the net sadly – I wish there were, I’d have put a bucketload on here.
If you’re in Australia and you would like to purchase some of a-ha’s more recent work it is really not so easy. Their latest album “Analogue” can be bought by special order via JB Hifi. Headlines and Deadlines, the hits of a-ha is available at Ezydvd.
Other than that, it’s overseas websites which will ship items here for the most part. Believe me, it is worth the wait. My favourite and most treasured a-ha item is a copy of Homecoming – a-ha live at Vallhall. You can find quite a lot of a-ha clips, videos and interviews on you tube. a-ha on Wikipedia has a lot of nice info including quotes from other artists about Morten.
My favourite of their albums would be very hard to pick. Analogue has really grown on me lately. When I first got my copy of it after waiting many weeks for it to arrive, I was actually a little disappointed because it was so different to Minor Earth Major Sky and Lifelines. The more I listen to it, the more I love it. My current favourite is Holy Ground, and here is a beautiful version of it. Oddly enough involving Orlando Bloom and the movie Troy? with clips of a-ha performing this live at the biggest free concert at Frognerparken in Oslo
So, not only is Morten Harket gorgeous to look at, but he can sing like an angel and is an extremely talented man. I hope if you were not aware of him before, that this post has introduced you to his beautiful music. Later this year A-ha will tour Norway, Germany and Russia. I hope one day I might get to see them live, it is a dream of mine.
I’m sure I haven’t said everything I wanted to say and I know I haven’t put all the clips I wanted to put here or else this post would go on almost as long as my sidebar, but that is a little taste of why I adore Morten. :) So I will now hit publish and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.
If you enjoyed this post, you might like some of the other Men I love to watch posts. Rob Lowe – Christian Slater – And the first ever Women we love to watch post here on the blog – Beyonce – more to come over the next few weeks.