Hailed together an 80s take it on the wall Of Sound, The Sun constantly Shines top top TV discovered a-ha elevating themselves past the typical synth-pop band.

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Released top top 16 December 1985, The Sun always Shines ~ above TV unfathomably continues to be a-ha’s just UK No.1 hit. Over three years on and also five million duplicates later, however, the circumstances of a-ha’s two-week graph apex space inconsequential. That the heritage of the track itself that commands attention.


“It was choose being drowned in popular music music”

The song practically never happened. Guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy (born Pål Waaktaar Gamst) remembers that, during recording, both Magne Furuholmen (keyboardist) and also Morten Harket (frontman) to be bedridden v fever in the studio. It was producer Andrew Wickham’s secretary who established that The Sun always Shines on TV to be too great to pass up. Plus, the group’s beginnings in brand-new Romantic London were a major influence. Harket told the Daily Mail in 2009: “When we first arrived in 1983, it was choose being drown in popular music music… I obtained arrested because that being drunk and also disorderly. I invested the night in the slammer with some drunks and a pair of transvestites.” This was about the time the team shared a scroungy bedsit infested through damp – however at least it was as cold together the country they dubbed home.

Released earlier in 1985, a second version of take it On Me had currently cemented the group’s ar in popular music history. But though The Sun always Shines ~ above TV would certainly fail come outshine your signature song, it likewise offered miscellaneous of an epilogue. That promo video, which won the 1986 MTV video Music compensation for ideal Editing In A Video, and also was shot in Richmond-upon-Thames, starts with the “end” of take it On Me, together Harket struggles to fend off his rotoscoped self in front of his climate girlfriend, Bunty Bailey. The remainder of the clip look at the group performing emphatically to a swarm of mannequins.

Inspiring and optimistic

The song’s positive message may be lost on some. A-ha guarantee looked to the little screen because that comfort, but though the 80s provided rise come the “MTV Generation”, television more than likely had more of an influence on vault generations. For the many part, gone are the days of families huddled in the living room, eagerly awaiting the next episode of whichever sitcoms they related to best, as room the seemingly endless waves of teenagers hoping to record the next large thing on MTV or Top that The Pops. For plenty of kids, TV was their very first exposure to the human being of art, and also while it has – and also continues to receive – lot of of an unfavorable press, it’s absolutely been one inspiring and also optimistic pressure for many. Despite a-ha uncover themselves locked in a freeze-frame in ~ the end of The Sun always Shines ~ above TV’s video, remain assured: the belting the end of your stratospheric tune to a lifeless crowd embodies the belief that every cloud has actually a silver- lining.

Of course, the song’s appeal has actually rubbed turn off on musicians. It has been spanned multiple times, ranging from Norwegian metal outfit Susperia come Belgian dance team Milk Inc. Bono has additionally said that The Sun constantly Shines top top TV was a straight inspiration because that U2’s own Beautiful Day, and also the tape went top top to execute both monitor live in Oslo in 2005. However perhaps more fittingly, a-ha themselves choose to pat it in ~ the Nobel peace Prize present in 1998, ~ being presented by Meryl Streep and also Liam Neeson.


On the cusp that greatness

As music movie critic Tim DeGravine stated, “If ever a 1980s track qualified as wall Of Sound, The Sun constantly Shines top top TV would be it.” Phil Spector’s commemorated production style of the 60s is simply one of countless features of well-known music the a-ha effortlessly emulated, here with help from Waaktaar-Savoy’s monolithic guitars and also an unyielding bassline courtesy of a Yamaha DX7 synthesiser, the latter of which had currently proved itself critical ingredient because that 80s strength ballads, seeing action on Rush’s Tom Sawyer and also Van Halen’s Jump, to name simply a few.

With The Sun constantly Shines on TV, a-ha to be on the cusp that greatness. They had actually mastered the soaring melodies and also intricate beauty beauty of synth-pop throughout most of 1985’s Hunting High and also Low album, however it’s the immediacy the the rock etc riffs castle employed – as emerged on such songs together Manhattan Skyline, from Hunting High and Low’s follow-up, Scoundrel Days – that caused their come true distinction. The is, however, one factor why their wider catalogue remains overlooked by many: a-ha were far more than your mean synth-pop band. Due to the fact that day one, they’ve to be clever sufficient to understand when to use an inviting and also sometimes urgent item of music; they do not depend on ballads, as some artists do, quite they stumble top top anthems with a masterful combination of synth-pop and also arena rock.

The Sun constantly Shine’s ~ above TV’s longevity could be attributed to not only the band’s music prowess but also the lyrics’ dual meaning: the sun really does constantly shine ~ above TV, since TV isn’t real. That an escape native a terrible job, or a gateway to a fact that isn’t our own. However that exact same sun is additionally a enjoy of hope: things will constantly get better. And therein lies synth-pop at its many magical: an digital genre coming to be something unmistakably human.

Find the end how cult Norwegian team bridges sowed the seeds for a-ha


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