Hailed as an 80s take it on the wall Of Sound, The Sun constantly Shines on TV found a-ha elevating themselves beyond the median synth-pop band.

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Released ~ above 16 December 1985, The Sun constantly Shines on TV unfathomably continues to be a-ha’s just UK No.1 hit. End three decades on and five million copies later, however, the circumstances of a-ha’s two-week graph apex space inconsequential. That the legacy of the song itself that regulates attention.

“It was like being drowning in popular music music”

The song almost never happened. Guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy (born Pål Waaktaar Gamst) remembers that, throughout recording, both Magne Furuholmen (keyboardist) and Morten Harket (frontman) to be bedridden with fever in the studio. It was producer Andrew Wickham’s secretary who determined that The Sun always Shines on TV was too good to happen up. Plus, the group’s beginnings in brand-new Romantic London to be a major influence. Harket told the Daily Mail in 2009: “When we very first arrived in 1983, that was favor being drown in pop music… I got arrested because that being drunk and disorderly. I invested the night in the slammer v some drunks and also a couple of transvestites.” This was approximately the time the group shared a scroungy bedsit infested with damp – however at the very least it was as cold as the country they dubbed home.

Released previously in 1985, a second version of take it On Me had already cemented the group’s ar in popular music history. However though The Sun always Shines ~ above TV would fail come outshine their signature song, it additionally offered something of one epilogue. The promo video, which won the 1986 MTV video Music award for ideal Editing In A Video, and was shooting in Richmond-upon-Thames, begins with the “end” of take On Me, together Harket battles to fend off his rotoscoped me in front of his then girlfriend, Bunty Bailey. The rest of the clip sees the group performing emphatically to a swarm the mannequins.

Inspiring and also optimistic

The song’s positive message may be lost on some. A-ha guarantee looked come the tiny screen because that comfort, however though the 80s gave rise to the “MTV Generation”, television more than likely had much more of an impact on previous generations. Because that the many part, gone space the days of families huddled in the life room, eagerly awaiting the following episode of whichever sitcoms they pertained to best, as space the seemingly endless waves of teenagers hoping to capture the next huge thing top top MTV or Top that The Pops. For countless kids, TV was their very first exposure come the world of art, and also while it has – and continues to obtain – lot of of an adverse press, it’s absolutely been one inspiring and also optimistic force for many. Despite a-ha uncover themselves locked in a freeze-frame in ~ the end of The Sun always Shines on TV’s video, remain assured: the belting out of your stratospheric tune to a lifeless group embodies the id that every cloud has a silver lining.

Of course, the song’s appeal has rubbed turn off on musicians. It has actually been spanned multiple times, ranging from Norwegian steel outfit Susperia come Belgian dance group Milk Inc. Bono has additionally said that The Sun constantly Shines on TV to be a straight inspiration for U2’s very own Beautiful Day, and the band went top top to do both monitor live in Oslo in 2005. Yet perhaps much more fittingly, a-ha themselves choose to play it at the Nobel peace Prize display in 1998, after ~ being introduced by Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson.

On the cusp of greatness

As music movie critic Tim DeGravine stated, “If ever a 1980s track qualified as wall Of Sound, The Sun always Shines ~ above TV would certainly be it.” Phil Spector’s commemorated production format of the 60s is just one of many features of renowned music that a-ha effortlessly emulated, right here with assist from Waaktaar-Savoy’s monolithic guitars and also an unyielding bassline courtesy of a Yamaha DX7 synthesiser, the latter of which had currently proved itself crucial ingredient because that 80s strength ballads, seeing activity on Rush’s Tom Sawyer and also Van Halen’s Jump, to name just a few.

With The Sun always Shines on TV, a-ha to be on the cusp that greatness. They had actually mastered the soaring melodies and also intricate beauty beauty of synth-pop throughout most of 1985’s Hunting High and also Low album, however it’s the immediacy that the rock etc riffs castle employed – as developed on such songs as Manhattan Skyline, from Hunting High and Low’s follow-up, Scoundrel Days – that brought about their come true distinction. The is, however, one factor why their more comprehensive catalogue stays overlooked by many: a-ha were far much more than your mean synth-pop band. Due to the fact that day one, they’ve been clever sufficient to understand when to use an inviting and also sometimes urgent item of music; they carry out not depend on ballads, as some artists do, fairly they stumble onto anthems v a masterful combination of synth-pop and arena rock.

The Sun always Shine’s top top TV’s longevity might be attributed to not just the band’s music prowess but also the lyrics’ double meaning: the sun really does constantly shine top top TV, since TV isn’t real. It’s an escape from a terrible job, or a gateway to a reality that isn’t our own. But that same sun is additionally a enjoy of hope: points will always get better. And therein lies synth-pop at its most magical: an digital genre coming to be something unmistakably human.

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