A-Ha - Foot of the Mountain

by Matthew C. Miller on May 5, 2009 at 3:07 AM
R&R Engage (4)

a-ha foot of the mountain

A-Ha's ninth (9) disc, Foot of the Mountain lands on or about June 19th, 2009 for much of the world outside of the U.S.A.

As a long-time A-Ha fan, I have been waiting anxiously for this new release. At first listen, the single struck me as very familiar. In two seconds I had it. This is a remake of one of my favorite Magne F. songs. Those keeping up with Magne F. (Furuholmen) will recognize the music and verses of Magne's song "The Longest Night" off of his most recent work A Dot of Black in the Blue of Your Bliss. Several A-Ha songs actually have lived first-lives as solo works of Magne's, Morten's or Paul's, then brought to the table of A-Ha, refined and immortalized.

I have been so used to hearing Magne's version that the new chorus ("We could live by the foot of the mountain...") stuck me very odd at first. The new A-Ha lyrics are as fitting as the original lyrics Magne wrote and add a new chapter to an already timeless story. Morten Harket's vocals are so haunting yet somehow comforting. His skill and the passion for what he does is unmistakable.  A-Ha's version has that trademark loneliness-looking-for-hope sound that I find myself drawn to so strongly as if called to another land.

Musically, A-Ha's "Foot of the Mountain" is nearly identical to Magne's "The Longest Night", but the production is ramped up quite a bit. There is a clear separation of each instrument, acoustic guitar, bass, drums, keys and strings all in perfect place. There is also something of a Gregorian chant-esque backing vocal hovering in the background that adds a depth of darkness to the hopeful lyric. Interestingly, there is an obvious edit skip on "Foot of the Mountain" at around 2:47 perhaps foretelling of an extended version out there somewhere.

Unfortunately, as with their previous three major releases, Minor Earth/Major Sky, Lifelines and Analogue, there are no plans for a U.S. release although there has been some talk about it. Fans will be forced to dig the interwebs for mp3's, suffer the price gouging of an import CD or perhaps if we are lucky enough, get access to part of the CD on iTunes. As the band that many great, well-known groups like ColdPlay and U2 derive their inspiration from, A-Ha certainly deserves some play (and distribution) here in the states.

I am certainly looking forward to the full Foot of the Mountain release as well as the highly anticipated Apparatjik full offering on it's way.

You can hear the new single "Foot of the Mountain" in it's entirety on Universal Music's Norwegian site.
Be sure to look for "Shadowside" and "Riding the Crest" as well as they are brilliant songs.
A-Ha is currently playing select shows.

Hear Magne's original version at his MySpace.

and keep up to date here at ROCK & REVIEW or at the a-ha homepage.

brand new a-ha myspace and brand new a-ha twitter

 

A-Ha - "Foot of the Mountain"

 

A-Ha - "Foot of the Mountain" - Lyrics

Keep your clever lines
Hold your easy rhymes
Silence everything
Silence always wins
It’s a perfect alibi
There’s no need to analyze
It will be all right
Through the longest night
Just silence everything

But we could live by the foot of the mountain
We could clear us a yard in the back
Build a home by the foot of the mountain
We could stay there and never come back

Learn from my mistake
Leave what others take
Speak when spoken to
And do what others do
Silence always wins
So silence everything

It will be all right
In the morning light
Just silence everything

But we could live by the foot of the mountain
We could clear us a yard in the back
Build a home by the foot of the mountain
We could stay there and never come back
We could stay there and never come back

We could live together

But we could live by the foot of the mountain
We could make us a white picket fence
Build a home by the foot of the mountain
We could stay there and see how it ends
We could stay there and see how it ends

 

Magne F. - "The Longest Night" - Lyrics
Hear Magne's original version at his MySpace.

Keep your clever lines.
Hold your easy rhymes.
Silence everything.
Silence always wins.

It's a perfect alibi -
There´s no need to analyze.
It will be alright
Through the longest night,
Just silence everything.

As you know; ( as you know)
That's how it all begins.
And you know; (and you know)
They can't touch what lies within.

So keep those clever lines,
So nice to hide behind,
Away from me
Through the longest night of our lives.

Learn from my mistake;
Leave what others take.
Speak when spoken to.
Do what others do.

Silence always wins,
So silence everything.
It will be alright
In the morning light,
Just silence everything.

As you know; (as you know)
They can't touch what lies within.
And you know; (and you know)
That´s where it all begins.

So keep your clever lines,
Hold your easy rhymes.
You were quick to judge.
Quick to criticize.
But too slow to know
What I've realized;
It's the longest night
The longest night of our lives.

4 R&R Engage comments to “A-Ha - Foot of the Mountain”

  1. jon buscall Says:
    I've been listening to the CD all midsommar weekend here in Stockholm. It's excellent. Riding the Crest is really good apart from the bridge (or slight break) towards the end.

    My overriding impression is that they listened a lot to the sounds of Depeche Mode's A Broken Frame. The synth sounds are quite similar although Morten's voice is on another level.

    Probably the most consistent CD by guttene fra Oslo since Scoundrel Days.
  2. yo Says:
    sounds cool. coldplay rip from these guys a lot. but u2? i think not.
  3. Rajen Pillay Says:
    I live in South Africa and have only heard the single Foot of the Mountain and I think it is just great. I am really an A-HA fan. Unfortunately I cannot get the CD here in South Africa. I would really love to have the CD.
  4. wow g Says:
    They are cool and i think that they can play rip and can do much about the better things.

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