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Released Oct 06, 1986

Scoundrel Days (1986)

Album Cover}

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."

Liner Notes:

PRODUCED BY ALAN TARNEY EXCEPT "I'VE BEEN LOSING YOU," "MAYBE MAYBE" AND "SOFT RAINS OF APRIL," PRODUCED BY MAGNE FURUHOLMEN AND PAUL WAAKTAAR.

Track List

Disc 1 Scoundrel Days (1986)

  • 1: Scoundrel Days
  • 2: The Swing Of Things
  • 3: I've Been Losing You
  • 4: October
  • 5: Manhattan Skyline
  • 6: Cry Wolf
  • 7: We're Looking For The Whales
  • 8: The Weight Of The Wind
  • 9: Maybe, Maybe
  • 10: Soft Rains Of April

Lyrics Scoundrel Days

Was that somebody screaming?
It wasn't me for sure
I lift my head up from uneasy pillows
Put my feet on the floor
Cut my wrist on a bad thought
And head for the door

Outside on the pavement
The dark makes no noise
I can feel the sweat on my lips
Leaking into my mouth
I'm heading out for the steep hills
They're leaving me no choice

And see as our lives are in the making
We believe through the lies and the hating
That love goes free

For want of an option
I run the wind 'round
I dream pictures of houses burning
Never knowing nothing else to do
With death comes the morning
Unannounced and new

Was it too much to ask for
To pull a little weight?
They forgive anything but greatness
These are scoundrel days
And I'm close to calling out their names
As pride hits my face

See as our lives are in the making
We believe through their lies and the hating
That love goes free
Through scoundrel days

I reach the edge of town
I've got blood in my hair
Their hands touch my body
From everywhere
But I know that I've made it
As I run into the air

And see as our lives are in the making
We believe through the lies and the hating
That love goes free
Through scoundrel days

Magne Furuholmen / Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
© 1986 Warner Chappell Music Ltd.

Lyrics The Swing Of Things

You say the world's an eventful place
You give me news I don't want to know
You say that I should care
That I should speak my mind

Oh, but how can I speak of the world rushing by
With a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes
Oh, have we come to the point of no turning back
Or is it still time to get into the swing of things

Let us walk through this windless city
I'll go on till the winter gets me
Oh, "sleep" you wrote "sleep, my dear"
In a letter somewhere

Oh, but how can I sleep with your voice in my head
With an ocean between us and room in my bed
Oh, have I come to the point where I'm losing the grip
Or is it still time to get into the swing of things

Oh, when she glows in the dark and I'm weak by the sight
Of this breathtaking beauty in which I can hide

Oh, there's a worldful out there
Of people I fear
But given time I'll get into
The swing of things

Yes, when she glows in the dark and I'm struck by the sight
I know that I'll need this for the rest of my life
What have I done, what lies I have told
I've played games with the ones that rescued my soul

Oh, have I come to the point where I'm losing the grip
Or is it still time to get into the swing of things 

Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
© 1986 Warner Chappell Music Ltd.

Lyrics I've Been Losing You

It wasn't the rain that washed away
Rinsed out the colours of your eyes
Putting the gun down on the bedside table
I must have realised

It wasn't the rain that made no difference
And I could have sworn it wasn't me
Yet I did it all so coldly, almost slowly
Plain for all to see

Oh c'mon please now
Talk to me
Tell me; things I could find helpful
How can I stop now
Is there nothing I can do
I have lost my way
I've been losing you

I can still hear our screams competing
You're hissing your s's like a snake
Now in the mirror stands
Half a man I thought no one could break

It wasn't the rain
That made no difference
Nervously drumming on: run away
But I want the guilt to get me
Thoughts to wreck me
Preying on my mind

So, please now
Talk to me
Tell me things I could find helpful
For how can I stop now?
Is there nothing I can do
I have lost my way
I've been losing you 

Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
© 1986 Warner Chappell Music Ltd.

Lyrics October

Dawn awaits a sleepless, English town
Of coloured gray
Here I roam the streets without you
As summer fades away

Down in the city at nights
The cold wind blows

Wherever you may be right now
It must be getting late
You're probably asleep already
I am wide awake

Down in the city at nights

"Don't be lonely"
So you've told me
But don't you worry now
Loneliness can be ignored
And time has shown me how

Down in the city at nights
I'm missing you so much
Down in the city
Down in the city

Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
© 1986 Warner Chappell Music Ltd.

Lyrics Manhattan Skyline

We sit and watch umbrellas fly
I'm trying to keep my newspaper dry
I hear myself say, "My boat's leaving now"
So we shake hands and cry
Now I must wave goodbye
Wave goodbye

You know
I don't want to cry again
Don't want to cry again
I don't want to say goodbye
Don't wanna cry again
I don't wanna run away
I don't want to race this pain
I'll never see your face again

Oh but how
How can you say
That I didn't try
You see things in the depths of my eyes
That my love's run dry
No

We leave to their goodbyes
I've come to depend on the look in their eyes
My blood's sweet for pain
The wind and the rain bring back words of a song
And they say wave goodbye
Wave goodbye

You know
I don't want to fall again
I don't wanna know this pain
I don't want another friend
I don't wanna try again
Don't want to see you hurt
Don't let me see you hurt
I don't wanna cry again
I'll never see your face again

How can you say that I didn't try?
You know I did
You see things in the depths of my eyes
That my love's run dry
(I don't wanna cry again)

So I read to myself
A chance of a lifetime to see new horizons
On the front page
A black and white picture of
Manhattan Skyline 

Paul Waaktaar-Savoy / Magne Furuholmen
© 1986 Warner Chappell Music Ltd.

Lyrics Cry Wolf

"Night I left the city
I dreamt of a wolf"

He came from where the winds are cold
And truth is seen through keyholes
Strange longings never sleep
Now he's come where no hearts beat

Cry wolf
Time to worry
Cry wolf
Time to worry now

You can start, but you cannot stop
You give in, but you can't give up
You can tell all your desperate jokes
To a world that puts your
Love on hold

Cry wolf
Time to worry
Cry wolf
Time to worry now

The sunken-in eyes
And the pain in his cries
A shape in the dark

Cry wolf
Time to worry
Cry wolf
Time to worry now 

Paul Waaktaar-Savoy / Magne Furuholmen
© 1986 Warner Chappell Music Ltd.

Lyrics We're Looking For The Whales

One left low left two who left high
They seem so hard to find
Three came twice took once the time
To search
We're looking for a little bewildered girl
We're looking for a little bewildered girl
We're looking for the whales

Restlessness is in our genes
Time won't wear it off
Born into this world with our eyes wide open

Girl
We're looking for a little bewildered girl
We're looking for a little bewildered girl
We're looking for the whales

I found angels beached outside your doors
Don't you set those lonely eyes on me
We're looking for the whales
We're looking for the whales

Magne Furuholmen / Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
© 1986 Warner Chappell Music Ltd.

Lyrics The Weight Of The Wind

Your face looked new against the town
You've come to lose some memories
Like you came to touch new grounds

But you want to lose
The weight of the wind
Rests hard on your shoulders
It's bringing you down
The one that you love
Will never be found

You speak into the falling rain
Words you'd lost, but found again
I see their snakey arms entwined
So clear and cruel
In your jealous mind

But you've got to lose
The weight of the wind
Hard on your shoulders
Getting you down
The one that you love
Will never be found 

Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
© 1986 Warner Chappell Music Ltd.

Lyrics Maybe Maybe

Maybe you were joking
When you said that you were walking out on me
Maybe, maybe
Maybe I was joking
When I said that I was running out on you
Maybe, maybe

I could be wrong, so wrong
I could be wrong, so wrong
I could be wrong

I don't know, but it's been said
Decisions travel far from heart to head
Maybe, maybe
Maybe it was over
When you chucked me out the
Rover at full speed
Maybe, maybe oh baby

I could be wrong, so wrong
I could be wrong, so wrong
I could be wrong, so wrong 

Magne Furuholmen
© 1986 Warner Chappell Music Ltd.

Lyrics The Soft Rains Of April

The soft rains of April are over
The soft rains of April are over, over

Anybody home now
I am on the phone now, please
The soft rains of April are over
The ferry across the water to Dover, over

Anybody home now
I am on the phone, oh I'd like to go back
Is it raining back home
I'm so alone

Just got up today
And my thoughts are miles away
With you

Well, they gave me four years
Three more to go
Keep writing letters
Time's passing so slow

So soft rains of April are over
The soft rains of April are over
Over

Magne Furuholmen / Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
© 1986 Warner Chappell Music Ltd.

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