Archive for the ‘a-ha’ Category

‘MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice’ enters album chart at #3 in Germany and #6 in the UK

MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice

a-ha’s new live album MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice has entered the German album chart at #3 in its first week. This is a-ha’s 13th top-10 album in Germany.

In the UK the album has entered the album chart at #6, making it their seventh UK top-10 album. A total of 6,982 copies were sold in the first week, this number includes physical sales, digital sales and streaming (1500 streams equals 1 album sale).

But if the UK album chart had been based on physical sales only, MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice would actually have been at #2, only beaten by Liam Gallagher’s new album, as can be seen on the physical albums chart.

In Norway the album enters VG-lista at #14 in its first week.

Elsewhere, the album enters at #35 in Belgium (Wallonia), #50 in Ireland, #93 in Belgium (Flanders), and #98 in The Netherlands, according to the UKMIX forum.

Additionally, the DVD/Blu-ray has entered the German Top-30 Music DVD chart at #4, the Belgian (Wallonia) Top-10 Music DVD chart at #4 and the Dutch Top-10 Music DVD chart at #8.

As for the UK, below is a list of all first-week entries and first-week sales on the UK album chart in the last twelve years, including solo albums:
2006 – Analogue: #24 (9,911 copies)
2009 – Foot of the Mountain: #5 (18,744 copies)
2010 – 25: #10 (10,835 copies)
2011 – Ending on a High Note: #43 (2,966 copies)
2012 – Out of My Hands: #37 (3,455 copies)
2014 – Brother: #56 (1,461 copies)
2015 – Cast in Steel: #8 (7,828 copies)
2016 – Time and Again: #75 (???? copies)
2017 – Summer Solstice: #6 (6,982 copies)

‘MTV Unplugged: Summer Solstice’ and ‘Tårer fra en stein’ now available

The new book and Blu-ray

A big release day on Friday, as a-ha’s new live album/video MTV Unplugged: Summer Solstice was released in eight different versions and the Norwegian edition of Ørjan Nilsson’s book about Paul Waaktaar-Savoy was published.

If you haven’t yet ordered MTV Unplugged: Summer Solstice, here are the links:
Fanbox (amazon.de), Blu-ray (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk), DVD (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk), 2CD (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk), 2CD+Blu-ray (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk), 2CD+DVD (amazon.de), 3LP (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk) and 1CD (amazon.co.uk). Plus download and streaming.

BBC Breakfast, October 5th

For those of you wondering about the Blu-ray and DVD, they have now both been officially confirmed to be region-free.

To promote the live album, Magne and Morten were guests on BBC Breakfast on Thursday, while Morten visited ITV’s Loose Women on Friday.

Morten also did radio interviews with BBC Radio Oxford (starts at 30:30), BBC Hereford & Worcester (starts at 1:17:00) and BBC Radio Devon (to be broadcast on October 14th).

Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and Ørjan Nilsson

In Norway there has been extensive media coverage of Tårer fra en stein and the first printing of the book is actually already sold out, with a second printing set to follow soon, according to BA (paywall).

I won’t reveal too much of the 300-page book here (stay tuned for possible translations into other languages), but it goes in-depth about Paul’s songwriting, inspirations and career in a way that has never been done before.

“We’re unlikely to ever get a more detailed portrait of Waaktaar Savoy”, VG says in its review of the book.

There was a book launch at Tronsmo bookstore in Oslo on Friday, where author Ørjan Nilsson was interviewed by Audun Vinger in front of an audience which included Paul’s mother Gerd. A video of the full conversation has been posted on Facebook.

The Norwegian edition of the book can be ordered from haugenbok.no, tanum.no, platekompaniet.no or bigdipper.no.

For more information about the book in English, read a new interview with Ørjan Nilsson at The Electricity Club.

Summer Solstice reviews:
VG (CD: 4/6, DVD: 5/6)    Aftenposten (4/6)    Dagsavisen (4/6) (paywall)
The Irish News (6/10)    Scandishop online

Articles/reviews on Tårer fra en stein:
VG: Paul Waaktaar-Savoy i a-ha med ny bok: Lammes av sosial angst
NRK: Vurderte å starte duo med Morten Harket
Gaffa: Nå vil han prøve å rette opp i navneforvirringen
Gaffa: Mener katastrofe-konserten på Øya ødela mye
Dagbladet: Pål Waaktaar Savoy røper konfliktene som har ødelagt for a-ha (paywall)
Dagsavisen: Et stille mysterium (paywall)
Morgenbladet: Sjenert Mussolini (paywall)

a-ha to headline BBC charity concert

a-ha will be headlining the charity concert “BBC Children in Need Rocks the 80s” at Wembley Arena (aka The SSE Arena) in London on October 19th.

Some of the other acts taking part include Bananarama, Boy George, Europe, Erasure and Jason Donovan.

The decision to perform seems somewhat puzzling, as a-ha have always been careful to avoid 80s-themed nostalgia events. Obviously, they are in a totally different league when it comes to continued success and credibility than any of these acts. But the promotional opportunities in the UK must have been limited at the moment.

According to independent.ie “the concert will be broadcast on BBC1 in the run-up to the annual BBC Children In Need appeal”.

More info and ticket links on bbc.co.uk.

Surprise a-ha performance in London

Morten and Paul on stage in London, 17 September

a-ha did a surprise live performance at the Tobacco Dock in London last night, to entertain guests at an Emporio Armani afterparty as part of London Fashion Week. But not unplugged this time.

Backed by Karl Oluf, Even and Erik, they played “The Sun Always Shines On TV” and “Take On Me”. Possibly more, but only video clips of those two songs have appeared online so far.

Update: According to an article on wwd.com, a-ha did a four-song set, including “Crying in the Rain”. Also performing at the party was Ellie Goulding.

Several video clips of a-ha’s performance have been posted on Instagram:

The Sun Always Shines On TV: Clip 1

Take On Me: Clip 1   Clip 2   Clip 3   Clip 4   Clip 5

Some pictures of a-ha with Giorgio Armani and Morten on stage have been posted by Emporio Armani on Facebook.

Pre-order ‘MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice’

Limited Edition Fanbox with 2CD, Blu-ray, DVD, hardcover book, poster, wristband, badge, button

The new a-ha live album/concert film MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice will apparently be released in eight different versions on October 6th, and can now be pre-ordered from various online stores.

Thankfully, all the 21 tracks performed at the Giske concerts in June will be included in all versions (except the 1CD Acoustic Hits edition). This is the first time an entire a-ha concert is released without songs missing. But if you want to buy the 3LP vinyl version, be aware that 11 of the 21 tracks have been edited for time.

Blu-ray and DVD bonus features are called “Friendship”, “Songs” and “Project”.

The version that many fans will be interested in getting is the Limited Edition Fanbox, which not only includes the 2CD, Blu-ray and DVD, but also a hardcover book about the recording process, a poster, wristband, badge and button. Currently only available from Germany, but at a good price. The book seems to be in English, based on the fanbox image on Amazon. Update: the book is confirmed by a-ha.com on Twitter to be in English.

Note: When ordering from amazon.de – if you don’t understand German, you can change the language to English at the bottom of the page.

Here are pre-order links through Amazon Germany and Amazon UK:

Limited Edition Fanbox: amazon.de

Blu-ray: amazon.de   amazon.co.uk

DVD: amazon.de   amazon.co.uk

2CD: amazon.de   amazon.co.uk

2CD+Blu-ray: amazon.de   amazon.co.uk

2CD+DVD: amazon.de

3LP vinyl: amazon.de

1CD (Acoustic Hits): amazon.co.uk

Press conference in Berlin

a-ha interviewed by NRK after the press conference in Berlin, 12 September

a-ha presented their new live release MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice at a press conference at the Nordic Embassies in Berlin on Tuesday, September 12th. A video of the whole event, hosted by Norwegian musician and author Jo Nesbø, is available on a-ha.com’s Facebook page.

After the press conference, the band did a number of interviews with German and Norwegian media, including TV2 and NRK. Another video report appeared on ARD’s Brisant.

On Wednesday, September 13th, a-ha did further promotion in Berlin. Twelve pictures from a DPA photocall can be seen at belgaimage.be.

The first single from MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice is called “This is Our Home” and is now available on for purchase/streaming. Watch the video on YouTube.

a-ha to present ‘Summer Solstice’ in Berlin

a-ha at the Cast in Steel press launch in Berlin, 2015

a-ha will present their new MTV Unplugged live album and concert film Summer Solstice at the Nordic Embassies in Berlin on Tuesday, September 12th [date corrected] according to Berliner Morgenpost.

The press launch will include an interview with the band members, moderated by the Norwegian musician and author Jo Nesbø.

a-ha have previously used the Nordic Embassies in Berlin to launch three albums; Lifelines in 2002, Foot of the Mountain in 2009 and Cast in Steel in 2015.

It’s safe to assume the band will do lots of other promotion as well, while in Germany.

Still no confirmed tracklist for the Summer Solstice album/video coming on October 6th, but four different formats are up for pre-order on CDON.eu; Blu-ray // Deluxe 2CD+Blu-ray // Deluxe 2CD+DVD // Triple vinyl.

Trondheim concert announced for 2018

a-ha at Lerkendal Stadium in Trondheim, 2010
(Picture by Jakob)

A fourth Norwegian outdoor concert has been announced for next year’s a-ha world tour, following dates in Kongsberg, Ålesund and Bodø:

15 August 2018: Sverresborg Museum, Trondheim, Norway

The Sverresborg Museum is one of Norway’s largest open air museums, and has a capacity of 10,000 people for concert events.

“We are really looking forward to returning to Trondheim. It’s been way too long, and Sverresborg is a fantastic concert venue”, the band said in a statement.

This will be the seventh concert a-ha have played in Trondheim. Their last concert in the city was held at Lerkendal Stadium during the Farewell Tour in 2010.

There will be a ticket presale this Thursday, 31 August (10:00 am), for followers of Trondheim Concerts on Facebook. The general sale starts on Friday, 1 September (09:00 am) through Ticketmaster.

According to press articles in connection with the Trondheim announcement, the 2018 tour has now been extended to 60 concerts in total. a-ha manager Harald Wiik has previously said the tour will begin in the UK in June, followed by concerts through Europe, USA and South America.

Adressa.no: Nå kommer A-ha tilbake til byen
NRK.no: Nytt storband kommer til Sverresborg i 2018

MTV Unplugged: Album cover and title

Summer Solstice album cover

The official site has now revealed the cover art of a-ha’s MTV Unplugged album and its title; Summer Solstice.

The album, which features cover photos by Just Loomis and artwork by Matthias Bäuerle, will be released on 6 October.

On that same day, MTV Germany will air the Summer Solstice concert on TV – but only a shortened 50-minute version.

No tracklist has been posted yet, but the regular album will probably only include a selection of the 21 songs performed at Giske.

Whether there will also be a 2CD-version with all the songs is unknown. But hopefully the Blu-ray/DVD will include the whole concert.

a-ha to perform in Ålesund and Bodø next year

Two new festival dates on a-ha’s 2018 summer tour have now been announced, adding to the already known date at Kongsberg Jazzfestival on 6 July:

17 August 2018: Jugendfest, Ålesund, Norway
18 August 2018: Parkenfestivalen, Bodø, Norway

Jugendfest is held at Color Line Stadium, the same football stadium where a-ha played in August 2006, as part of the Analogue tour. Parkenfestivalen is held at the Rensås park, and this will be a-ha’s first ever concert in Bodø (Morten and Paul have both done solo concerts in Bodø).

Tickets for Jugendfest go on sale on Friday, 25 August at tikkio.com, while tickets for Parkenfestivalen won’t be available until 1 November.

Press articles:
A-ha bekreftet til Jugend 2018
Nå kommer tidenes norske band til Parken

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