Monday, September 6, 2010

Today In Oldies 9/7/2010

Golden Hits Radio and GHR-2.....with a nose for Oldies news

Where In The World Is.......a-ha? 

With Golden Hits Radio and GHR-2 reaching listeners in 117 countries around the world, that question might seem rather ridiculous and easy to answer for our European listeners and readers, because aside from a brief hiatus in the mid-90's, a-ha has been one of the most consistent global hit makers in international chart history.  In 1991, they headlined the world renowned Rock In Rio festival in Brazil, where the crowd of 198,000 who turned out to see the band perform more than tripled the audience who turned out for the other headliners (which included George Michael, Prince, and Guns N' Roses).  In 2005, their performance at Live 8 in Berlin drew more than 200,000 fans!  According to their official website, they have sold more than 35 million albums worldwide, comparable to the likes of Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, and Phil Collins in America.  In the U.S., however, success came and went quickly. 

a-ha formed in 1982 in Norway with vocalist Morton Harket, keyboardist Magne Furuholmen, and guitarist Pal Waaktaar.  Shortly after the band formed, they wrote a song they originally titled "The Juicy Fruit Song".  As they began recording their debut album, "Hunting High And Low", the name became "Lesson One".  Yet another name change occurred by the time they decided to release it as their first single.  Although they were unhappy with the sound of the song, it was released as a single in the UK and flopped.  A second try with a different producer and complete remix also failed to dent the charts.  The third time, however, was definitely the charm. 

The title of the song changed for a third time as well, and this time it connected across the globe.  The new title was "Take On Me", and by 1985, if a song couldn't stand on its own as a hit, a memorable music video and heavy rotation on MTV was about as close as you could come to guaranteeing a smash.  A combination pencil sketch animation/live action production technique called rotoscoping gave the video an unforgettable look, and as a result, the song was both a radio sensation, hitting #1 in 1985, and one of the most honored music videos in the history of MTV, winning six Video Music Awards in 1986.  "Take On Me" also hit the top spot in nine other countries and #2 in the UK.  The video was #14 on MTV's list of the Top 100 Videos of All Time in 1999. 

a-ha only hit the U.S. charts once more with their follow up to "Take On Me", "The Sun Always Shines On TV", but they remained one of the biggest selling acts worldwide throughout the 80's and 90's.  In 1994, they took a brief hiatus from recording and touring, but they returned in 1998 and continued selling records and filling concert venues throughout Europe as though they'd never left. 

Though they released their ninth studio album, "Foot Of The Mountain", last year and are in the midst of a worldwide tour, all good things must come to an end.  After more than 25 years together, a-ha announced their current tour would be their swan song.  Their final three shows are scheduled for December 2-4, 2010, at the Oslo Spektrum arena in their homeland of Norway. 

For more on what a-ha is up to during their farewell tour and beyond, visit their official website, their YouTube channel. and follow them on Twitter.  The short answer to "Where In The World Is......a-ha" is.......all over the world!! 

And now, the song that created this monster........and a very clever spoof from an episode of Family Guy


Golden Hits Radio and GHR-2's Burning Question of the Day

Motown put together the "dream team" of Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye for a duets album, Diana & Marvin, in 1973.  The project was far from a labor of love for anyone involved, however, as most of the album was recorded with the artists in separate studios.  What was the reason for that? 

Check back @ Everything Oldies tomorrow for the answer, and leave a Comment here with your best guess!

Thursday's Burning Question (and Answer) of the Day

He had 99 songs hit the Billboard Hot 100 over the course of his career (second only to Elvis Presley), but NONE ever reached #1, making him the most successful artist in chart history to have never had a song reach the top.  Who is he?

Answer: James Brown, with his closest flirtation to the top spot coming with "I Got You (I Feel Good" hitting #3 in 1965. 


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