A-ha did an acoustic cover of 'Take On Me', and it's breathtakingly beautiful

21 October 2020, 16:04 | Updated: 21 October 2020, 16:13

Listen to A-ha's stunning acoustic rendition of 'Take on Me'
Listen to A-ha's stunning acoustic rendition of 'Take on Me'. Picture: YouTube

By Sian Moore

In 2017, A-ha gave a stunning stripped-back acoustic rendition of their eighties hit 'Take On Me'.

The synth-pop song is widely considered to be the Norwegian band's signature track.

Released originally in 1984, and again in '85, the tune is famous for its catchy melody and award-winning music video.

But in 2017, when the band gave an acoustic performance for their MTV Unplugged concert, it was a completely different take on the popular hit.

Gone were the pacy drums and energetic electronic keyboard, and instead, lead singer Morten Harket's incredible vocals stole the show...

Read more: The Story of... 'Take On Me' by A-ha

The acoustic rendition was recorded live at the Harbour Hall at Ocean Sound Recordings in Giske, Norway, in June 2017.

It was part of a live album by the band titled MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice. Only a couple of hundred people got to witness the stunning performance live.

Read more: A-ha’s ‘Take On Me’ reaches 1 billion YouTube streams 35 years after release

Morten had previously said that the band needed to "strip every song".

"We needed to reset everything in order to rediscover the songs," he explained, "to sort of resurrect them again from nothing."

The famous hit was penned by band members Magne Furuholmen, Morten Harket and Pål Waaktaar.

It originated from Pål Waaktaar and Magne Furuholmen's previous band Bridges.

Elements of what would later become the hit song we know today, including the iconic central synth riff – which Furuholmen created when he was just 15 years old – had existed in Bridges' track 'Miss Eerie' (which was originally called 'Panorama').

But the band felt it sounded too much like a pop song, which is why the first version had more of a punk feel.

Bridges disbanded and after multiple remixes, the song was released twice and subsequently flopped twice in the UK.

But the track went on to became a worldwide hit – thanks to the video and its heavy use on MTV – and managed to reach number one in the USA and number two in the UK.