Scoundrel Days

1986

Released in the midst of the 1986 world tour, songs from Scoundrel Days infused a-ha’s live setlist with a new, darker sound. A departure from the pure pop of Hunting High and Low, this album contains several mainstays of a-ha’s catalogue, “I’ve Been Losing You,” “Cry Wolf” and “Manhattan Skyline.”

a-ha’s sophomore effort sold over five million copies worldwide and is a prominant favorite of their fans. The album is also a favorite of Morten’s: “Scoundrel Days is the record that most closely resembles our demos. It’s simply an extension of the demos. It didn’t sell anywhere near as much as Hunting High and Low. It demands more from the listener. That’s why it became a darling for many.”

Ned Raggett, AllMusic Guide: “The opening two songs alone make for one of the best one-two opening punches around: the tense edge of the title track, featuring one of Morten Harket’s soaring vocals during the chorus and a crisp, pristine punch in the music, and “The Swing of Things,” a moody, elegant number with a beautiful synth/guitar arrangement (plus some fine drumming courtesy of studio pro Michael Sturgis) and utterly lovelorn lyrical sentiments that balance on the edge of being overheated without quite going over…The ’80s may be long gone, but Scoundrel Days makes clear that not everything was bad back then.”