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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 September 2015
Anyone who bought the 2010 reissue of this, and might think that buying this 5-disc anniversary set is either too much or not worth it, I recommend ordering without a second thought. Visually, sonically, everything here is top notch. The package is presented in a glossy hardback book that comes with the 5 discs placed in pockets on cardboard pages. The layout of the book looks simple, but takes a look at the fine details to realize how lovingly assembled this item is altogether. All the tracks that appear on here are from the original tapes, including the demos (never knew until now there were so many!) and sound amazing, the sound is so crisp it's unbelievable. Best of all, are the original Tony Mansfield-produced tracks on disc 4 - some of these versions are better than those on the released album! As for the album itself, most of you reading this already know that it is one of the finest debuts, and most intelligent synth-pop LPs of the '80s, one that stood the taste of time a lot better than others of that era.

There's plenty of info on the story behind the album and group coming together, lyrics, and many, many photos of that era (full hair and tight pants galore!). For the audiophiles who may be wondering what happened with the 192kHz/24bit and 96kHz/24bit files, they'll be pleased to know that they are available ...but elsewhere! Check HDtracks for them, and feel free to be annoyed that these are not included on here as was originally intended (a missed opportunity, especially when there is so much space left on the 5th disc which only features 6 videos). Still, this package is a hit, both the content and packaging do justice to the "30th anniversary super deluxe edition" title. Which only makes the anticipation for the next 2 a-ha reissues grow stronger. With so many pristine repackages (ie. recent Belinda Carlisle, and Bananarama singles box sets), it's refreshing to finally see record labels putting this amount of effort into producing such well-presented sets. Physical media is not dead. And a-ha are not either!
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on 8 February 2002
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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on 10 December 2015
bought this for my brother`s birthday yesterday. we are both massive a-ha fans and the album still sounds superb today. it is a beautiful looking box set presented in a large hard cover book with the lyrics and lots of info about the making of the album etc and the 5 discs have a lot of demo versions of the songs and some b sides and rarities. but beware! . on opening the set we discovered two of the discs were scuffed and a line down the centre of them.it looks like they were marked either by the packing of the discs into their cardboard slots or it was caused when the discs wer printed. having checked some other reviews we saw that a few other people had discovered the same problem. my brother has played all of the discs and thankfully they all seem to play fine so we will not be returning the item, but these discs should have been well checked before they were sold.
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on 20 June 2009
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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on 4 November 2015
On the surface this edition looks wonderful.
I adore A-ha's debut album, and my review is only for this 30th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition.
My only issue is with the extremely poor cd holders inside the book.
Upon opening mine I soon realised that every disc was basically ruined, having marks from the cardboard slots which holds each Cd.
So lazy of Rhino, who obviously don't care that the discs are almost guaranteed to get ruined by the one thing that is supposed to protect them.
So in conclusion, a fantastic set, ruined by badly thought-out packaging.
Also I don't think it's just a bad batch, as I bought another from HMV and it had the same marks on the discs, as were the other 2 copies they had in store!
Gutted!
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on 28 November 2002
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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on 13 January 2016
I bought this 30th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition Without Any Hesitation. it comes with 4CD and DVD that has few version of a Great Song "Take On Me " . First CD is the original of 10 Great Songs .2,3 and 4 CD Has got some early mix of Songs and lots of demos,Listening to demos ,there always was that A-ha Perfection ,A-ha Magic ,after so long all these Songs sound so good ,I put them to Timeless Songs ,no meter how many times I listen to them ,I never get tired of them.There is Instrumental version of a Song "Sun Always Shines On Me ",,,Great Instrumentals ,Sounds Great ...Great To Listen To. 60 page Book comes with nice photos,information about their early work ,Great Ilustration in the book.Inside of the cover ( front and back) of a book there are notes from Randezvous Studios -nice bit of information about their schedule and notes about their songs and titles ...CDs and DVD are inside book ,came in a perfect condition .On the pages where the CDs are you'll find Ilustration from video "Take On Me "-true Master Piece..book has been carefully thought right through .
It is a truly great gift for someone who aprisiates Good Music ,Great gift for Music Lovers .
I was told once..."listen to their Songs,you want be disappointed"...I never was ...I really Enjoy Listening to so many of their Songs..they are all Beautiful in their own way .Mr. Harket,Mr Furuholmen & Mr. Waaktaar Thank You For Sharing Your Awesome Talents !A-ha Greatest Band Ever !...Thank You - For All Your Great Songs - Tusen Takk !
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on 22 September 2005
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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on 4 October 2015
Great package and an awesome way to celebrate the albums 30th anniversary. Shame the book's hardback cover had been slightly dented - and I mean slightly - in transit but the alternate tracks, well designed book and access to all the tracks via the Amazon MP3 downloads makes this 2015 edition quite an item. The album has been digitally cleaned up and sounds stunning - Living A Boy's Adventure Tale was always my favourite track and although I always loved the crackle of vinyl, hearing this track on this edition with Morten's falsetto so clear was great to hear.
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on 29 May 2016
One of the best and most consistently brilliant albums of the 80s and pop albums ever, there is not 1 bad track on here. Commercially and artistically this put our favourite Norwegians on the map with a slew of hit singles that would make any artist green with envy, and armed with an album of songs where even the album tracks have strength and production brilliance, this is an unquestionably essential album addition to any collection. Album closer Here I Stand & Face The Rain in my estimation is one of their masterpieces ...... a culmination of scandi-pop brilliance and harrowing sadness. Quintessential pop through and through
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