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16
4.5 out of 5 stars
Original Album Series
Format: Audio CDChange
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2015
It is easy to forget this band. They are well known for "Take On Me" and "The Sun Always Shines On TV" but are not really regarded by most as must hear musicians. But, listen you should. It is totally deceptive of Norway's most successful music export to make us assume that they are just radio friendly, 1980's electro-pop performers. Sure, their first album is very much in that category. It is their first album, "Hunting High and Low" that gives a home to A-ha's most successful chart hits that I've already mentioned. But, alongside Take On Me and Sun/TV, you had train of Thought and the title track as strong singles too. By 1986 they had matured and "Scoundrel Days" their second album, seemed to confirm this. The electo-sound was still there, but the tone was darker and more classical. This style continued with the third album "Stay on These Roads" and the title track remains, one of my favourite A-Ha songs. So, there we have what many consider to be the ultimate collection of A-ha albums, their pinnacle sound, their good look boy band electro sound. How wrong we all were. The final two albums in this collection portray A-Ha totally differently. With electro-pop banished, guitar and rich instrumentation took over. The strength and tone of East of the Sun, West of the Moon and Memorial Beach are so sumptuous, so melancholy and so damn powerful you instantly forget their earlier sound, no matter how good it was.

A-ha are one of the pop world's most underrated and under appreciated musicians. I absolutely adore this collection, and for little over a tenner, it is a brilliant buy that will bring back some fabulous memories and introduce you to a sound you could never imagine.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2011
This is another in the on-going 5 cd releases from Rhino, boxing old albums in nice but basic packaging with miniature album sleeves. Those who have purchased any of the series will know that they represent great value and are a good way to get an instant libary of an artists work, but they have not been especially re-mastered for these releases so the sound quality can vary. I found the sound on these discs to be good enough.

As for the music, these are A-ha's 5 albums recorded up to 1993 before they took a career gap. The first three albums are loaded with hits, but the album tracks are decent as well and overall are the albums are very consistent. Their fourth album was an attempt to get away from their synth pop and is softer and more guitar based than previously. The first half is very endearing, althouigh some weaker songs in the second half prevent the album from being a total success. Nevertheless, after listening to the bombasitc pop of the earlier albums, its a nice change. The final album here, "Memorial Beach", sees them moving towards U2 territory, again with mixed results. Overall, three solid albums, and two more which have their moments and are still worth having. If you only know A-ha from their singles, these albums are certainly worth checking out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2012
Although I already have all these CD's from first time around could not pass up the opportunity of getting the first 5 albums again so cheaply in case my original CD's get damaged or lost.

Huge A-HA fan from way back in the beginning so very happy with this purchase.
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on 9 June 2014
These "Original Album Series" are quite the efficient way of owning an instant library of music by artists. These are as barebones as they come; no lyrics, no booklet, no frills. The vinyl replica sleeves are a nice touch but otherwise this is simply the music.

I held back on this when it came out originally; hoping that "Stay on these Roads", "East of the Sun" and "Memorial Beach" would get some form of a re-release as their first two albums did shortly after the band called it quits. It doesn't look likely and I've just about worn out my copies of "East of the Sun" and "Memorial Beach" (21 and 24 years old respectively) so I shelved out for the minor uprade.

I love this band and I love all these albums. The first two are classics with many of their hits but I've always felt that "Stay on These Roads" has gotten a bad rep undeservedly. Morten, Paul and Magne have opined that it was a bit of missed opportunity as they wanted to go in other directions but they delivered what they thought people wanted. As is; the album represents well the music they had been doing and also where they were headed. "Touchy" and "You are the One" are unabashed pop songs while the title track and "There's Never a Forever Thing" (beautiful lyrics on that one) show off Morten's incredible range on ballads. Their serious side with "The Blood That Moves The Body", "This Alone is Love" and "Hurry Home" is probably why this album is still in high regard with their loyal fan base as is their offbeat "Out of Blue Comes Green" (a huge fan favorite) a big sign of things to come from the band. But I still think "You'll end up Crying", the album closer, is their worst ever song.

"East of the Sun" is A-ha, as Magne put it, in a state of identity crisis. There are some great things here; "Crying in the Rain", their only cover on an album, is one of their most powerful track and "Early Morning", "I Call Your Name", "Slender Frame", "Waiting For Her" and "Rolling Thunder" are solid to terrific songs. Their new sound, or their serious "more adult sound" includes the decent title track but also their lackluster "Cold River", "The Way We Talk" (very boring) and "Seemingly Nonstop July". It's a sound in progress but they come off best with the atmospheric "Sycamore Leaves". Overall this album is quite good and certainly a must for a fan.

Finally we're on to the big disappointment that is "Memorial Beach". I love it; but in terms of sales it bombed and a lot of fans shunned this new release as they didn't like this serious rock sound from a pop band. "Dark is the Night For All" and "Angel in the Snow" are two outstanding tracks and among their best ever. Other songs like "Cold as Stone", "Locust", "Lie Down in Darkness", "How Sweet it Was" and "Memorial Beach" may take some time to digest but they're good. I don't think they improved "Move to Memphis" here as the single version on "Headlines and Deadlines" is still the way to go and "Lamb to The Slaugher" is nothing special. "Between Your Mama and Yourself" deserves a special mention as I still think it's quite stupid lyrically but it's a strangely appealing song.

A-ha was a great band and these five albums come highly recommended.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2011
The box set contains the first five albums of the Norwegian band
1985 - Hunting High and Low
1986 - Scoundrel Days
1988 - Stay on These Roads
1990 - East of the Sun, West of the Moon
1993 - Memorial Beach

No-frills!
Cardboard pack.
No booklet with lyrics.
This offer is chosen for the songs and for the price, not for a deluxe edition.
Totally 100% recommend!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Max and AJ my fellow reviewers have given great reviews and info.

But once again we have no easy to read track listings.
Often in these series there are re mastered and CDs with extra tracks making the purchase more tempting.
I've included a track list to help you.
If you see I've made any mistakes just add a comment and I will change it.

Tracklist for Box set containing:-
1985 - Hunting High and Low
1986 - Scoundrel Days
1988 - Stay on These Roads
1990 - East of the Sun, West of the Moon
1993 - Memorial Beach

Disk: 1
1. Take On Me
2. Train Of Thought
3. Hunting High And Low
4. The Blue Sky
5. Living A Boy's Adventure Tale
6. The Sun Always Shines On T.V.
7. And You Tell Me
8. Love Is Reason
9. I Dream Myself Alive
10. Here I Stand And Face The Rain

Disk: 2
1. Scoundrel Days
2. The Swing Of Things
3. I've Been Losing You
4. October
5. Manhattan Skyline
6. Cry Wolf
7. We're Looking For The Whales
8. The Weight Of The Wind
9. Maybe Maybe
10. Soft Rains Of April

Disk: 3
1. Stay On These Roads
2. The Blood That Moves The Body
3. Touchy!
4. This Alone Is Love
5. Hurry Home
6. The Living Daylights
7. There's Never A Forever Thing
8. Out Of Blue Comes Green
9. You Are The One
10. You'll End Up Crying

Disk: 4
1. Crying In The Rain
2. Early Morning
3. I Call Your Name
4. Slender Frame
5. East Of The Sun
6. Sycamore Leaves
7. Waiting For Her
8. Cold River
9. The Way We Talk
10. Rolling Thunder
11. (Seemingly) Nonstop July

Disk: 5
1. Dark Is The Night For All
2. Move To Memphis
3. Cold As Stone
4. Angel In The Snow
5. Locust
6. Lie Down In Darkness
7. How Sweet It Was
8. Lamb To The Slaughter
9. Between Your Mama And Yourself
10. Memorial Beach
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2013
you probably know more of these songs than you think you do.consistently good songwriting with tunes that can't help but get lodged in your head.the stay on these roads album is the weakest here, but still pretty good and miles ahead of other artists
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2012
very happy with this was a brilliant buy. better than a compilation album as some rare tracks. brilliant for us 'oldies' who dont like to download music and have prefer a physical copy
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2012
I believe that there is a point with any popular band that the music needs to move up another level to preserve their interest in the long term. For me A-ha never quite managed it. So is this just another set where you should forget the original albums and just get the Greatest Hits package instead? Well no - for two reasons - firstly, the journey documented by their first five albums here is in itself an fascinating one, from the pure pop of their debut album Hunting High and Low through to their really quite introspective fifth album, Memorial Beach - and secondly, because you would miss out on some really intriguing pieces like the Nymanesque 'You'll End Up Crying' from Stay On These Roads and the sparse 'Locust' from Memoral Beach. So buy this and you'll get a much better understanding of the context of some of the 80's greatest pop singles like 'I've Been Losing You' and 'Stay On These Roads'.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2013
The five best albums of a-ha! The pack is very simple a one-centimeter thick cd paper case, with each of the albums separate in a paper sleeve that pictures the original album cover (reminds me of vinyl/LP covers). Very nice to give as a gift or for a person that wants to get to know a-ha's music.
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