An extremely catchy pop riff and an iconic music video helped make a-ha’s first #1 single ‘Take On Me’ a classic and much-loved song for millions around the world. The video has been viewed over 180 million times on YouTube and the song remains on daily airplay on radio stations in many markets, nearly 30 years after its release.
Over the years, we’ve seen many great cover versions and tributes to ‘Take On Me’ and have been collecting links, media and facts about the song and now this page is a place on a-ha.com where all this information will be presented as a celebration of the legacy of the song.
Help us build our ‘Take On Me’ archive! We have collected a lot of information about the song over the years, but we need your help to make this the best archive of information about the song available online!
Please share links to your favourite ‘Take On Me’ covers and tributes in the comments below. Links to articles and other media are very welcome too!
“I think matt hales is a very talented writer and performer, and have personally been much inspired by his aqualung project.
of the many covers done of take on me over the years, this one is perhaps the furthest from the original, and in my view therefore the most interesting.” – Magne Furuholmen, about the Aqualung cover of ‘Take On Me’
“This recognizes something that has been going on now for almost 30 years. It’s a funny thing. It’s a resiliant bugger. It’s wonderful.” – Morten Harket, about the BMI 3 Million Award
“I am continuously surprised how well something you wrote at 15 could continue to be relevant at 50. Thanks to BMI for reminding me of that.” – Magne Furuholmen, about the BMI 3 Million Award
“It lives it’s own life, we can’t really touch it.” – Morten Harket, about the ‘Take On Me’ riff as part of the ‘Feel This Moment’ song by Pitbull and Christina Aguilera
“When we were recording ‘Take On Me’, I had no idea it was going to be the hit it turned out to be”, Gerry Kitchingham admits. “Maybe that’s because I was making records every day, but it didn’t really jump out at me. Only later on did I really get to appreciate it.”
Source: Sound On Sound
“I have no doubt that the video made the song a hit,” Furuholmen says. “The song has a super catchy riff, but it is a song that you have to hear a few times. And I don’t think it would’ve been given the time of day without the enormous impact of the video.”
Source: Rolling Stone
“Notable for using the combination of pencil-sketch animation and live action called rotoscoping (whereby real footage is traced over), ‘Take On Me’ wasn’t just groundbreaking but genuinely nerve-racking […] More than 25 years on, it remains as thrilling as ever to watch.”
“It was unbelievable,” Paul says. “It was as if my whole life flashed through my mind at once when I heard it.” Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, about hearing that ‘Take On Me’ went to #1 on the US Billboard chart in October 1985.
“I knew that it was going to look good but I had no idea it was going to be in heavy rotation on MTV for a year,” says Mike Patterson, who, with wife Candace Reckinger over 16 weeks, sketched some 3,000 drawings over individual frames.
“I can go anywhere on the earth, I’ve been in so many different continents, and wherever I go, everybody goes, ‘I love that video’.” – Mike Patterson.
Billboard Hot 100
Below is a selection of links covering “Take On Me”, but it is by no means exhaustive. Please share the links you find in the comments below and we will add to this list. Thanks!