The ultimate 80’s flashback. Norvegian new-wave or “synth-pop” band A-ha had, if I recall correctly, two major hits in the 80’s: “Take on Me”, and “The Sun Always Shines on TV”. The songs aren’t too bad but they haven’t necessarily aged that well either: too much synth and too much pop, perhaps. But the “Take on Me” video, however, remains visually stunning even after 30 years. Actually, the “organic” pencil feel of the drawings is quite refreshing in this new millenium where computer generated images are a constant. Yes, fine, they can be mind-blowing at times (my mind did blow up watching Transformers… in a non-enjoyable way), but have we completely forgotten about soul? Star Wars episode 1 syndrom, people?
The romantic fantasy storyline behind this video is as 80’s as it gets. It’s about a girl at a café reading a (rather huge) comic book and, after getting an unsettling wink from the handsome main character, she litteraly gets drawn into it. They then get chased around by angry bikers (the main character is also a biker – he does have a leather jacket – but he looks like a sweet non-threathening wild-haired prince charming) and after running around for a while through the pages, they somehow end up both in the living world, as a cute happy loving couple. The end. No need to worry about the details, like who the heck is this cartoon guy and how did he… and why did she… and how come they…? And what about those strange norwegian bikers with helmets like a billiard ball?…
Better not go there. Let’s just enjoy the beautiful imagery this video has to offer.
The video won six MTV music awards in 1986. The mirror part is just amazing. Well done, Steve Baron (who, incidentally, is also behind Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean)!