Earlier this year, weekly newspaper Morgenbladet asked 100 Norwegian musicians, including Magne, to each set up a list of their ten favorite Norwegian albums.
The goal was to name the 100 best Norwegian albums of all time. Starting back in August, a new album has been revealed almost daily at mbtopp100.no.
Last week the top ten albums were announced, with a-ha at number two and three:
1. Radka Toneff/Steve Dobrogosz: Fairytales (1982)
2. a-ha: Scoundrel Days (1986)
3. a-ha: Hunting High and Low (1985)
4. Kjøtt: Kjøtt (1979)
5. Knutsen & Ludvigsen: Juba Juba (1983)
6. The Aller Værste: Materialtretthet (1980)
7. deLillos: Suser avgårde (1986)
8. Röyksopp: Melody A.M. (2001)
9. Garbarek/Jarrett/Danielsson/Christensen: Belonging (1974)
10. De Press: Block To Block (1981)
Number one on the list, Radka Toneff, was a talented jazz singer who died in 1982, only 30 years old. Magne had her album Fairytales at number two on his personal list.
In connection with Morgenbladet’s list, ten small books have been published – one book about each of the top ten albums.
German a-ha fan Larissa Bendel has written the book about Hunting High and Low, in which she provides a basic overview of the songs and the recording process. The interesting part of the book can be found in the last chapter, which includes new e-mail interviews with Magne and Paul. They talk about how they feel about Hunting High and Low 25 years later and how it was to perform the full album in Oslo and London last year.
Norwegian author Frode Grytten was asked to write the book about Scoundrel Days. He has approached the book project in a very different way and has chosen to write a collection of surreal short stories, loosely connected to a-ha, instead.
Each story is named after a song on the album (translated into Norwegian). In one of the more amusing stories, “The Weight Of The Wind”, 48-year old Paul Waaktaar-Savoy meets 24-year old Pål Waaktaar on the New York subway. In “Soft Rains of April” a couple who first met at an a-ha concert in Paris in 1991 meet up again in Oslo in December 2010 after ten years to attend the final a-ha concert together.
“It’s all fiction. I was given complete artistic freedom to write whatever I wanted in connection with Scoundrel Days. (…) The book turned into different short stories, or moments in time, about how I’ve experienced the band and their songs”, Grytten said in a VG interview earlier this month.
Both books can be ordered from online store bokkilden.no – but be aware that they are written in Norwegian and don’t contain any pictures.
BTW, if you’re interested in seeing which albums Magne voted for, here is his own top 10 list:
1. Susanne Sundfør: The Brothel (2010)
2. Radka Toneff/Steve Dobrogosz: Fairytales (1982)
3. Magnet: On Your Side (2003)
4. Jan Garbarek: Dis (1976)
5. Kjøtt: Op. (1981)
6. De Press: Block to Block (1981)
7. Motorpsycho: Demon Box (1993)
8. deLillos: Hjernen er alene (1989)
9. Jan Eggum: Nesten ikke tilstede (1993)
10. Röyksopp: Melody A.M. (2001)