Number Ones: #77


  • a-ha Hunting High And Low [Remix] (Warner Bros.)
  • Week Ending 5th July 1986
  • 1 Week At #1


My new favourite band continued their hot streak with a third #1 in four outings, this time with a sympathetically enhanced mix of Hunting High And Low‘s title song.

So utterly obsessed with The Sun Always Shines On T.V. and other immediate standouts such as The Blue Sky and Train Of Thought (which, ironically, broke the sequence of chart toppers by only reaching #2 in March), at first I barely noticed the plaintive ballad at the centre of Side One. Perhaps because it lacked much in the way of synthesizers, and probably because – as we’ve established – I was never much of a ballad man.

Looking at it objectively, the timing of its release in May/June shouldn’t have made much sense either, its Nordic beauty and epic crescendos more suited to colder climes and darker days, yet none of this ultimately mattered one jot. A pleasing remix, adding some extra orchestral drama and some tinkling keyboards, was enough to win me over and see what had originally seemed an underwhelming album track in December 1985 become the single which dethroned Mountains, my favourite piece of music in all of 1986’s first six months.

Four singles out, and a-ha were now part of the established pop landscape, along with Pet Shop Boys and Five Star they were seen as the emerging forces in the UK Top 40. Next up, would be that difficult second album, of course….

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