The song, “Take On Me”, was originally recorded by a-ha in 1984
“Take On Me” was written by Magne Furuholmen, Morten Harket and Pål Waaktaar of Norwegian band a-ha for their debut album, “Hunting High and Low” and it was released as their debut single in October 1984. With its cutting edge video, which is today lauded as one of the very greatest pop music videos, “Take On Me” would go on to top the singles charts in twelve countries around the world, including Norway and America, and reach the top five in further twenty. To date, the song has sold more than six million copies globally.
“Take On Me” has been recorded by a number of other artists and groups, most notably another Norwegian and British boy band, A1, in 2000. Their ‘popped’ up version of the track was recorded for the quartet’s second album, “The A List” and was released as a single in August, again topping the singles chart in Norway and this time in the UK, where a-ha’s had peaked at No.2. A1’s version also made the top ten across Europe and No.46 ‘down under’, unlike the original, which had reached number one there, fifteen years earlier.
American band Weezer ‘souped’ up the song for their 2019 covers album, “The Teal Album”, and although this was not released commercially, digitally, the song reached No.13 on the US rock chart, while the album has made the top five on the Billboard 200 album chart. The band faithfully paid homage to a-ha buy mixing live action and animated sketches for the video they made, which has a YouTube count of over 26 million views in just two years!
But which version is the best? A-HA’s original, A1’s cover or WEEZER’s rock version?