February’s artist spotlight is shining on Norwegian synth-pop band a-ha after their 3x platinum track ‘Take On Me’ was featured in HBO’s wildly popular series The Last of Us. Founded in 1982, the band has reached great fame in its four decades-long careers. With 11 studio albums and over 700 concerts played worldwide, it’s no surprise their music is synonymous with ‘80s classics.
Ellie uses an escalator for the first time.
a-ha topped Billboard’s February top TV songs chart with ‘Take On Me’ after the song was placed in the 7th episode of The Last of Us. Main character Ellie, has the novel experience of climbing a mall escalator as the song is heard. ‘Take On Me’ is a recognizable song that is also famous for its music video, featuring a woman being pulled into a comic book world. Similarly, in this episode, Ellie has a transformative experience after figuratively taking Riley’s hand and being pulled into a new and unfamiliar world.
This specific episode sync placement isn’t the first time that The Last of Us’ fandom championed the track. Before the series premiered, the showrunners gave a nod to the audience as they emphasized the great effort that went into the video game adaptation when the classic song was featured in the official trailer. Hearing ‘Take on Me’ could bring tears to the eyes of those who have played The Last of Us Part 2, as it was featured during an emotionally pivotal scene in the video game sequel.
‘Take On Me’ earned a place in Tunefind’s fan favorite tracks from season one of The Last of Us and currently boasts over one billion streams on Spotify.
The pop trio a-ha gained global popularity with their 1985 single ‘Take on Me’ and its iconic, animated music video that has been viewed over two billion times. Their debut album, Hunting High and Low, included the song, was also highly successful and charted well worldwide. In Norway, they had eight consecutive No. 1 albums and two more that peaked at No. 2. Two of their albums, 1986’s Scoundrel Days and 1988’s Stay on These Roads, went platinum in Europe, and the latter featured ‘The Living Daylights,’ the theme song for a James Bond film.
After a hiatus following 1993’s Memorial Beach, a-ha returned with successful albums such as 2000’s Minor Earth Major Sky, 2005’s Analogue, and 2009’s Foot of the Mountain, which marked a return to their synth-pop roots. They disbanded again in 2010 but reunited for a tour in Brazil in 2015 and returned to the recording studio, releasing Cast in Steel in 2015. The trio continued working together and released True North in 2022.
〉Check out more of a-ha on Tunefind