Friday, February 25, 2011

Retro Friday: Take On Me

Today's edition of Retro Friday features the band A-Ha and the song "Take on Me".

I love this song for so many reasons!

The first of which is, and yes this will totally date me, it was the very first cassette tape that I bought! And it's so funny, not only can I remember actually buying it, and I can even remember who I was with when I bought it!

The second of which is, I just love, love, LOVED the lyrics, and the video for this song. The lyrics to this song are a plea for love ... the perfect song for a teenager in the 80's ... love and teenage angst! What more could you want?!

The video features the band in a pencil-sketch animation called rotoscoping, combined with live-action. The video won six awards, and was nominated for two others at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards.

The video's main theme is a story of romantic fantasy. It begins with a young woman (Bunty Bailey) drinking coffee and reading a comic book in a coffee shop. The comic is about motorcycle racing in which the hero (played by Morten Harket) is pursued by two opponents. As the girl reads the comic, the waitress brings her the bill. The hero, after winning the race, seemingly winks at the girl from the page. His pencil-drawn hand reaches out of the comic book, inviting the girl into it. Once inside, she too appears in the pencil-drawn form, as he sings to her and introduces her to his black and white world.

Meanwhile in the restaurant the waitress returns and believes the girl skipped the bill. Angrily, she crumples and throws the girl's comic-book into a trash-bin. This makes the hero's two opposing drivers reappear, filled with aggression and armed with a large wrench. Harket punches one of the thugs and retreats with the girl into a maze of paper. Arriving at a dead end, Harket tears a hole in the paper wall so that the girl can escape as he faces the two thugs, one of which brings the wrench down on him. The girl, now found lying beside the trash-bin to the surprise of restaurant guests and staff, grabs the comic-book from the bin and runs home, where she attempts to smooth out the creases to learn what happens next.

The next panel shows Harket lying seemingly lifeless, and she begins to cry. But he wakes up and attempts to break out of his comic-book frames. At the same time, his image appears in the girl's hallway, seemingly torn between real and comic form as he maintains the effort to break his barriers. He escapes from the comic book by becoming human and embraces the girl. This final scene is based on the 1980 movie Altered States.

Just love that video!! And now, for your listening pleasure, "Take On Me!"



  1. This brings back memories. I still have the LP (that I purchased at ND). I thought you would not be able to top "I Ran" by Flock of Seagulls.

    I am waiting for ABC's "The Look of Love" and Yaz/Yazoo's "Upsatairs at Eric's" before some New Order & FYC ...

  2. A-ha? Definitely girlie... :-)
    If you wanted to be part of our clique at that time and you listened to A-ha? Dealbreaker. No matter what.

    Yazoo is nice, 1982 me & my bff went to London during the summer vacation and explored the club scene there. The big hit was at the time: "Don't Go"
    We got a grip on the 12" vinyl and brought it back to Germany. Even our club (at the time one of the top5 clubs in europe) didnt had the 12", because it was fresh off the press. For a short moment in time, we were the coolest boys.
    Speaking of hard to get music:

    Our club always opened up with a particular song:
    LUO - Bayou.
    This song impossible to get anywhere in Europe. And the Club owners were very reluctant to give us the LP. I think in 2000 i finally got a hold on a CD.

    Another impossible get, was a song, which basically kicked off the whole electronic/new wave/synthpop scene in Europe.
    It is The Human League : Being Boiled from 1979/1980

    in 1980 this song swept through the clubs in MONO(!!) and the song was essentially a no get.
    I still have the '82 release of the '78 version.
    What an awesome song.

  3. hahaha ... I liked ABC too! LOL

    And, I am a girl afterall, so it's normal that I did like some girlie music! ;)