Norway's a-ha took "Take on Me" to the number one spot on Billboard's Top 40 in 1985, thanks to the award-winning animated video that accompanied it. Still, a-ha contributed rather accordingly to the '80s pop sound, drenching their music with bouncy riffs and employing the keyboard as the foundation to their colorful formula. Headlines and Deadlines: The Hits of a-ha assembles all of their singles together, a definite one-stop for all of their music. Combining ballads and radiant '80s pop, this set includes their most fervent offering in "The Sun Always Shines on T.V.," which hit number 20 in 1986 and originated from Hunting High and Low, the same album that included "Take on Me." After this album, the band's next couple of releases, East of the Sun and Memorial Beach, were total washouts, which makes this compilation all the more worthy. Other notables include remixed versions of "Hunting High and Low" and "You Are the One," as well as the theme song to The Living Daylights. Though comparisons to Duran Duran are difficult to avoid, a-ha did harbor some distinct qualities in their glossy sound, and quite a few of their songs still contain some redeeming factors, but are better appreciated when lined up in compilation form.
Headlines and Deadlines: The Hits of a-ha Review
by Mike DeGagne