Posts Tagged ‘foot of the mountain’

a-ha at the Radio Regenbogen Awards

Receiving the award

Receiving the award

a-ha attended the annual Radio Regenbogen Awards in Rust, Germany last night, to be presented with the “Comeback of the Year”-award. They were joined at their table by Magne’s oldest son Thomas Vincent. Two other Norwegian acts, Madcon and Nico & Vinz, also received awards and performed.

Magne: “Thank you for this award. Everytime we do a comeback we get an award, that’s why we keep going away. [The audience laughs and claps]. I don’t know if you’re clapping because we go away or we come back. But thank you for this. And it’s really nice to see Norwegian colleagues in the room, here in Germany. Thank you for being generous towards the music from Madcon and Nico & Vinz. So a big thank you to Radio Regenbogen und vielen dank für den Norwegischen abend.”

Performing "Cast In Steel"

Performing “Cast In Steel”

They also performed two songs; “Foot Of The Mountain” and “Cast In Steel” (Steve Osborne version). They were joined by the backing band and Anneli on stage, even though it was only playback.

A video clip of a-ha receiving the award and performing can be seen on YouTube.

Pictures: Picture 1    Picture 2    Picture 3

The Cast In Steel Tour continues in Mannheim today and Frankfurt tomorrow.

Interview day in Oslo

Oslo, June 12th

a-ha were back in Oslo today, to meet the Norwegian press at Grand Hotel.

They were interviewed both together and seperately, and the first press reports have started to appear. has an article here, while TV2 had a report in their evening news. A video clip of the TV2 news report, as well as the new music video, can be seen here. reports that Magne and Morten will do a signing and an acoustic performance of the single at HMV Oxford Circus in London on 13 July.
Unfortunately, it seems that Paul won’t be able to join them for this event. also reports that the UK release dates have once again changed. Now they’re back to the original dates, with the single out on 6 July and the album on 13 July.


On Wednesday, Morten answered listeners’ questions on the German radio station FFN.
Twelve short extracts of his answers (which were, by all accounts much, much longer), are now up on the radio station’s website here.
As West Of The Moon forum member Claudia points out, Morten says in the last answer that 2010 will be a much bigger touring year for a-ha, compared to 2009. So that’s good news.
In another of the answers, you can also hear Morten managing to use his favorite word “response” four times in 12 seconds. An impressive feat, even for him.

“We’re taking back what once belonged to us”

Here is a selection of quotes from yesterday’s press conference in Berlin:

The band in Berlin

Magne: “We aren’t sure if this album is the beginning of something new, or the end of something. But it encompasses a-ha’s entire history and sums up all the directions we have tried.”

Magne: “We worked by trial and error, but something happened during the process. This is vital! We’re taking back what once belonged to us.”

Morten: “We are never satisfied, but I think this album is really good. This is an album I can listen to. I usually need a distance to albums I have contributed to, but not this time.”

Morten: “The reception we’ve had here in Germany has been fantastic. It feels great.”

Morten: “But the album we have made now is good enough to be our last one.”
Magne: “The album isn’t just good enough. It is more than good enough.”
(After denying that they have any plans about retiring)

Magne: “It wasn’t synthpop back then. It was just something new. Bands like Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Kraftwerk, Soft Cell – they were all a big inspiration for us back then. Their sound influenced the edge in our own sound. And it worked.”

Morten: “As a vocalist, the most important thing for me is that the songs have the right
a-ha-identity, rather than who has written them.”
(When asked why he hasn’t written any of the songs on the album)

Magne: “In order to make a-ha function as it should, Morten has to function.”
Morten: “But I am completely dysfunctional.”
Magne: “Yes, we are aware of that. But we’re trying to make it function anyway.”


More pictures and video clips from the press conference can be found at
And additional articles has appeared in Dagsavisen, and in VG’s paper edition.

Berlin press conference

At the press conference

a-ha held a press conference at the Norwegian embassy in Berlin today, in connection with tomorrow’s German release of the new album.
Following a 10-minute photo session, the “Foot Of The Mountain” music video was shown. The band then answered questions from the press for about 45 minutes.
The Norwegian news website ABC Nyheter has a report from Berlin here.
More pictures from the press conference are available on and Getty Images.


Promotion in Germany is shifting into high gear tonight, with an unprecedented promotional stunt on the TV-channels that belong to the ProSiebenSat1 broadcasting group.
The “Foot Of The Mountain” video will be shown simultanously on Pro7, Sat.1, n24 and Kabel Eins, in addition to all their websites and the video platform
This happens tonight at 8.13 pm.

Tom Bohne, Senior Vice President of Universal Music Germany says in a statement:
We are delighted that one of the most important bands of the 1980s and 1990s also continue to play a big role in the new century. This position manifests itself with the simultanous premiere of their new music video on all the channels and platforms of our partner ProSiebenSat1. We are certain that a-ha will be dominating the charts in the coming months. The successfull performance of the current single has already proven that this will be a “summer of a-ha”.


While in Berlin yesterday, the a-ha members took the opportunity to attend the Depeche Mode concert at Olympiastadion.
We never go to concerts together. But it was worth it“, they said at today’s press conference.
A few pictures of a-ha at the concert are available on


Morten was recently in Vienna, Austria to do interviews, and some of them are starting to appear.
Life Radio has an interview available for listening here, and OE24 has a 6-minute video interview here.

Album reviews and chart update

a-ha are currently in Berlin to do more promotion. Here is a Twitter picture of Morten at the Regent Hotel earlier today, where he was being interviewed by


The album is getting mixed reviews in Norway and Germany.
Here are links to some of them:

VG (4 out of 6)
“Quite a typical a-ha album. With new reasons to keep loving them. And to keep hoping for an even better album next time.”

Dagbladet (4 out of 6)
“A coherently solid album, with a nice symbiosis between art pop and more commercial music.”

ABC Nyheter (4 out of 6)
“The retrospective sound fits Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and Magne Furuholmen’s song material surprisingly well in 2009.”

Aftenposten (4 out of 6)
“a-ha deliver a solid and well-crafted product, but it’s still a big weakness that the album doesn’t have a single obvious hit-song.”

Dagsavisen (3 out of 6)
“The album brings out the worst in a-ha: the pomposity, flatness and the acute lack of groove.” (3 out of 6)
“Morten Harket’s fabulous vocals raise the overall impression of an otherwise mediocre a-ha album.”

NRK Kultur
“Lacks memorable melodies. The production is tame, outdated and sounds cheap.”
“The album is, except for the very strong first single, a complete disappointment.”
“Foot Of The Mountain” is one of the weakest a-ha albums.”
“I am personally very surprised by how good this album is.”

So that was the first press reviews.
But more importantly – what do you think of the new album?
Head over to the West Of The Moon forum and discuss with other fans.


The single climbs up to number 2 in Norway this week, on the airplay chart. Only beaten by Beyonce’s “Halo”, and in front of U2’s “Magnificent”.
On the singles chart, FOTM drops from #17 to #18.

In Germany, the single drops from #3 to #9 in its second week.
But the album is currently number 1 on’s bestseller chart, two days before release.


And finally, has the details of an exclusive iTunes version of the UK single release, which includes two new remixes.

Album pre-listening

Universal Norway are now streaming the whole album for free on their website.
All you need to do is click on the banner below, fill in your e-mail address where it says “Epost”, and click on the button on the bottom left which says “Gå til forhåndslytting!”:

Video premiere / Arqivas / New song from Morten

The new music video premiered on VIVA in Germany last night.
Here it is:

Another event last night was a-ha’s live performance at the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards in London.

They performed five songs, and updates and pictures can be found on Twitter.

1. The Sun Always Shines On TV
2. Riding The Crest
3. Foot Of The Mountain
4. Take On Me
– – – – – – – – – –
5. Analogue

The movie Yohan, in which Morten has a supporting role, is set to premiere in Norway on 11 December.

Producer Odd Hynnekleiv reveals in an interview with Fædrelandsvennen that Morten will probably also contribute a song especially made for the movie, which will be on the soundtrack CD.

More info about Yohan on the movie’s official website.

“Inside the mind of a-ha”

Picture from Dagbladet

Dagbladet has an interesting interview with Magne and Paul today, where they talk in detail about the new direction they have taken with the new album.

“Foot Of The Mountain is an album which makes its mark in a good way, there is more vitality here than in a long time. The album can almost be heard as a tribute to the original idea of a-ha”, Magne says in the interview.

A full English translation is now available here.

Press conference in Berlin

ABC Nyheter reports that a-ha will be holding a press conference at the Norwegian embassy in Berlin next Thursday, 11 June.

This is not the first time a-ha are doing a press conference at the Norwegian embassy. They did the same back in 2002, to promote the release of the Lifelines album.

I mentioned yesterday that the download version of the new album would be available on in Norway three days before the CD release. But someone has changed their mind, and the album won’t be available for download until 15 June, the same day as the CD.

But not to worry, as it seems that the whole album will be streamed for free on Universal Norway’s website this coming Monday, June 8th.

Some chart updates:
“Foot Of The Mountain” enters the Austrian single chart at number 28, while it enters the Swiss single chart at number 33.

Signing session in Oslo

a-ha will sign copies of their new album Foot Of The Mountain at Oslo City shopping center on Monday, 15 June at 17.00.

This will take place at the same Platekompaniet record store where Morten did his Letter From Egypt signing session last year.

And Platekompaniet’s online store will have the new album available for download in Norway three days before the CD is released. June 12th at 12.00, to be precise.

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