Song of the Day #3,405: ‘Take On Me (Unplugged)’ – A-Ha

Back when MTV played actual music rather than Teen Mom: Roanoke or whatever, my favorite series was MTV Unplugged. These were the Tiny Desk Concerts of the 90s, presenting acoustic sets in an intimate environment. The artists had to be pretty good to pull that off, so you got a wide range of talented acts.

Well, apparently MTV Unplugged is still kind of a thing, at least online and at least in Norway. I know that because I happened upon a viral clip of A-Ha performing a gloriously stripped-down version of their classic ‘Take On Me’ in Giske Harbor Hall, against a beautiful backdrop of mountains and sea.

As frequent readers of this blog know, ‘Take On Me’ is one of my all-time favorite songs, so this was quite the find. Lead singer Morten Harket is pushing 60 but still hits most of the high notes and gives the synth-pop masterpiece a whole new life.

Feeling nostalgic for the Unplugged days, I’m going to dedicate a couple of weeks to those performances, both old and new.

[Verse 1]
We’re talking away
I don’t know what I’m to say
I’ll say it anyway
Today’s another day to find you
Shying away
I’ll be coming for your love, OK?

[Chorus]
Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two

[Verse 2]
So needless to say
I’m odds and ends
But that’s me stumbling away
Slowly learning that life is ok
Say after me
It’s no better to be safe than sorry

[Chorus]
Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two

[Bridge]
Oh, things that you say
Is it a life or just to play my worries away
You’re all the things I’ve got to remember
You’re shying away
I’ll be coming for you anyway

[Outro]
Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two
Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,405: ‘Take On Me (Unplugged)’ – A-Ha

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I did not watch all of the Unpluggeds back in the day, but enjoyed the ones I did see. I had heard they were bringing it back to MTV, but I guess they are just putting these online.

    Someone, either you or my son, had shared this one from Aha before. If there was any song I would have thought could not be easily performed acoustically, it might have been this one, given the highly produced synthesized sound and crazy high vocals, but I must say I’m impressed.

    Looking forward to some unplugged weeks.

  2. Amy says:

    Daniel has become a huge fan of these sorts of performances and is often unearthing and sharing some gem or another. This is particularly beautiful. I often find that the stripped down version reveals how good a song actually is without all the trappings. Turns out this one works quite well without all the extra stuff that makes it so much fun in its studio version.

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