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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where it all started!
None of a-ha's album's are perfect - but it's impossible not to give them 5 stars, because each of them is so enjoyable in its own way.
I love this band - it started when I heard 'Take on Me' when I was 13, and this was the first album I bought with my own money.
Admittedly, it's sooo 80s, and not all of the songs age as well as their subsequent material. But...
Published on 8 Feb 2002

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic album but don't pay for the extra tracks
As a devoted teenage fan of A-ha this was a highly nostalgic album and I'm glad I bought it ... but the bonus tracks were of mixed quality and some of them sounded quite tinny with amateurish musical merit. Some things are better left as a good memory I think! I will definitely play the original album again but I'm not so sure the bonus tracks and B sides will get...
Published 3 months ago by Roger


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where it all started!, 8 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Hunting High And Low (Audio CD)
None of a-ha's album's are perfect - but it's impossible not to give them 5 stars, because each of them is so enjoyable in its own way.
I love this band - it started when I heard 'Take on Me' when I was 13, and this was the first album I bought with my own money.
Admittedly, it's sooo 80s, and not all of the songs age as well as their subsequent material. But it's immense fun, and reflects the energy and enthusiasm that the band obviously felt on the verge of success and stardom. They were so fresh-faced back then (with full hair and tight denim trousers!)
The band's better-known singles are here - Take on Me, The Sun Always Shines on TV, Hunting High and Low, and Train of Thought, but there are also some other unknown gems - particularly Living a Boys Adventure Tale.
As I said, some of the tunes are just too 80s to appeal to anyone other than die-hard fans - like And You Tell Me and Love is Reason.
But overall it's a great album of perfect syth pop, and a good starting point for a band that went on to have a great career!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great deluxe package for a-ha fans, 8 Dec 2010
By 
LXIX (scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
"Hunting High and Low" with its distinctive soaring vocals and massively successful pop melodies was one of the seminal albums of the 1980's. Songs like "Take On Me", "The Sun Always Shines on TV" and "Hunting High and Low" remain popular to this day throughout the world. This double album is a wonderful 25th anniversary package. The first CD contains a remastered version of the original album as well as 4 bonus tracks (mainly extended remixes) and is a total of 60.52 mins in duration.

The 2nd CD has no less than 23 tracks (providing an eclectic mixture of demo versions, unreleased material, B-sides and other rarities) and is 73.43 mins long. This extra CD is a real scoop for the purist fans. Yes, some of it is very raw, but it provides the listener with unique glimpses into the band's development and how the renowned a-ha sound was not an overnight success, but was instead built on years of hard work, sonic experimentation and creative drive.

I would have bought this album on its own just for Track 5 on Disc 2 - the early version of "Living A Boy's Adventure Tale" so I was very happy to get such a great and comprehensive collection of a-ha's material all in the one bundle.

All credit to Warner Music for putting this top notch double album package together for the fans. As if the 2 hours and 14 minutes of music wasn't enough, there's also a 20 page inlay booklet packed with insight and anecdotes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Way more than just "Take On Me" and some other songs, 20 Jun 2009
By 
This review is from: Hunting High And Low (Audio CD)
I've had "Hunting High and Low" for over 20 years, but it was only listening to it again recently that I consciously realised just how good it really is.

What's great is that it manages to fit way more depth, intelligence and atmosphere into the 80s synthpop mould than you'd expect, yet still remains a fantastic pop album.

"Take On Me" may be the best-known song here (in part because it was their only major American hit). It's a good song, but possibly overplayed at the expense of the real masterpiece at the heart of the album, "The Sun Always Shines on TV"- a UK number one, and deservedly so.

The most generic 80s track here is "Love is Reason"- actually quite decent in its own right, but this simply highlights the fact that most of the other non-single songs are way better than the filler you'd expect from a debut album. I mean, "Living a Boy's Adventure Tale" is brilliant.

Morten Harket's singing is one very obvious reason for this album being a cut above the typical 80s synthpop offerings, but not the only one; aside from the songs, there are also some nice touches with the arrangements, like the clarinet in "Living a Boy's Aventure Tale" or the voices and strings in the middle of "I Dream Myself Alive".

Better than you'd have any right to expect from a debut, Hunting High and Low may be pop, but it's certainly not disposable, and it still sounds great over 20 years later.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aaah, memories.........., 9 Sep 2008
By 
Y. Jones "devonshire lass" (Barnstaple, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hunting High And Low (Audio CD)
Ok, I'll admit it, I love A-Ha, even now. This album was released when I was about 5 and my sister, 5 years older than me, had this on cassette and I can remember we both played it to death, with the result that listening to it now conjures up some really lovely memories of my childhood. But anyway.....yes, there are some undoubtedly cheesy 80s songs on here such as (which I think has been mentioned before) 'The Blue Sky' and 'Love is Reason' but even now, the classics such as 'Take on Me' and 'The Sun Always Shines on TV' still bring a tingle to the spine because they have been really well produced and there is a great use of synthesisers in there (do I detect a Fairlight in there somewhere - ultra ultra expensive early sampling synth with a really unusual sound, used by Art of Noise a lot). When compared to some of the other 80s albums by other artists, this does stand out - or I could just be biased!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Pop with a little bit more, 28 Nov 2002
This review is from: Hunting High And Low (Audio CD)
This was the first albulm I ever owned from about 1986 I think. It is as good as I remember. The pure pop excellence of Take on Me and The Sun Always Shines on TV really stand the test of time, sounding fresh to this day. The textured keyboards and the beauty, yes sheer beauty (!), of Morten Harket's voice shines in the title track and Living A Boy's Adventure Tale. Maybe its my age but this remains, in my opinion, a classic pop albulm and I would recommend it to all those who remember A-ha. ...
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 80's debut album, 22 Sep 2005
This review is from: Hunting High And Low (Audio CD)
From the amazing sleeve (how many people can you spot in the picture?!) to the amazing songs - this album is a classic.
'Take on me' There is'nt much to say about this song as everyone knows it, and most people love it (and the video)
'Train of thought' This is a simpler version than the one released as a single (the remix version available on a Greatest hits album)This song doesnt sound like anything else - dance pop with pan pipes and lyrics about a bored business man.
'Hunting high and low' A great ballad, and again a simpler version than the remixed single. This version is less orchestral, but also sweeter and fragile.
'The blue sky' Back to full-blown pop, with some great lyrics.
'Living a boys adventure tale' A somewhat epic ballad that really transports the listener to another place, Morten's vocals are soaring and heart wrenching.
'The sun always shines on T.V' The number 1 single is A-ha at their best, mixing pop sensibility with darker meaning.
'And you tell me' A song in the vein of the Beatles, simple short and catchy ballad.
'Love is reason' A pop stomper with a high energy feel, could have easily been a single.
'Dream myself alive' A deceptively good song, this must be one of the first songs to use samples - news clips and t.v show soundbites- mixed in with a catchy pop song.
'Here i stand and face the rain' This again, could have been a single, along the lines of 'Sun always shines' but even better!
It starts with an opera singer and acoustic guitar and ends with Morten singing his heart out over driving drums and synths.
This album is incredibly ambitious for a debut and although it sold in bucket loads, it's still underrated - if you don't have this album then give it a try, it should be in everyone's music collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars remastered classic album with extra tracks, 4 Dec 2010
By 
J. Lee "jayleebenjamin" (europe) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
this is one of my favourite albums of the 80s - it is clear that the production brought a lot of the demos to life. it is great to hear all the demos here and a lot of the bonus remixes too. there are a lot of extra tracks here but not all of them are great and some of them seem that they would not fit in with the album. I would have like to have seen new remixes of other tracks.
diftwood is the best extra tracks and b side to the sun always shines on tv. the first CD with extra bonus tracks is wonderful and the 2nd CD an interesting addition. nice packaging etc and a great deluxe edition due to this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent deluxe edition, 16 Aug 2010
By 
D. Moses (London, London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The original album was enough to give this five stars. 'Take on me' is one of the best songs i have ever heard, period. And that is with repeated listens. The vocal range of Morten is staggering and the synths lines are extremely melodic, atmospheric and memorable. 'Hunting High and low' is an acoustic tune, very melodic. I also love 'Here I stand and face the rain', nice backing vocals and mix of atmospheric synths and acoustic guitars. All the tracks are good, except for 'love is reason' which is still playable, but more filler shallow pop.

But the bonus tracks? Loads of demo versions of every track on the album. The original, rare 1984 version of 'take on me', also a very nice track, but nowhere near as good as the genius final track. Plus very very rare B-sides 'Stop and make your mind u' (B side of 'Take on me') and 'Driftwood' (B side of the 'sun always shines on TV). PLUS another 11 tracks of unreleased songs.

This is an excellent double album and a must have for all A-ha fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is where it all began..., 20 Sep 2010
By 
J. P. Boyle "Gungans&Ewoks" (Malaysia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
One could see through the synthesisers and computers,particularly the FAIRLIGHT in the making of this groundbreaking 1st album by Morten ,Pal and Magne.The songs,are what they are all about ultimately,and in TAKE ON ME,HUNTING HIGH AND LOW,LIVING THE BOY's ADVENTURE DREAM and THE SUN ALWAYS SHINES ON TV,they have an entire masterclass on PERFECT POP SONGWRITING all on its own ther.Not only have the songs on HHAL stood the test of time,it surpasses almost anything which is churn out by the radio these days.This is where it all began..the journey of pop's archetypal songwriting geniuses in the guise of (rather unfairly labeled)teen idols.Absolutely recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC CD REMASTERED TO PERFECTION, 12 Aug 2010
By 
Xavier Limtuaco (Manila, Philippines) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When I first heard that this classic cd was getting the royal treatment on its 25th anniversary, I was ecstatic since this is indeed what this masterpiece truly deserves. Sound quality has been
improved tremendously to be at par with recordings nowadays and is louder compared to the original cd which came out in the 80s. Hearing these beautiful songs once again made me relive the 80s when my late brother who loved a-Ha was still with us and we would listen to a-Ha songs together.

The extras are really worth it because after hearing the demos, you get to appreciate even more the final versions which made it to the classic cd. For example, "Take on Me" didn't exactly sound awesome in it's original or demo versions. The melody was there and the vocals but the brilliant arrangement was missing then. Which is why when they finally came out with THE version which made it all the way to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Pop chart, we know why it did.

Hearing the other songs in the cd, I now wonder why they were not released in America because they could have become big hits. Like "Hunting High and Low" with its beautiful melody and arrangement could have been a-Ha's answer to "Save a Prayer". I also like "Love is Reason" and wonder too why this did not become a hit in the US.

This is a must own for any a-Ha fan. So lovingly put together in time for its 25th anniversary!
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