Harket just couldn’t bow out

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Morten Harket, former lead singer of the retired Norwegian rock band “a-ha,” either misses the spotlight, seeks new sources of fresh income or simply still loves to sing. Whatever the reason, he’s re-launching a solo career and embarking on an extensive concert tour.

Singer Morten Harket is mounting a comeback. PHOTO: Views and News

Harket has an album coming out in Norway next month, timed to coincide with the concert tour that begins in Russia on April 16. The tour will swing through Belarus and Germany before moving on to Switzerland, Belgium, France and the UK in mid-May.

After a four-month hiatus, Harket will reappear on stage back home in Oslo on September 14, when, as newspaper Dagsavisen noted, he’ll be celebrating his 53rd birthday. Harket’s new website (external link) also duly notes that a-ha itself would have been celebrating the band’s 30th anniversary if its three Norwegians had stayed together.

The mid-September weekend will thus feature several other band-related activities, in conjunction with an international fan club meeting in Oslo. Photographer Stian Andersen is also publishing a new book with his pictures of the group for fans who just can’t get enough of the band. Some of them will also be exhibited at the Oslo gallery where former band member Magne Furuholmen is involved, Stolper + Friends, from September 1-16.

Then Harket will resume his solo concert tour in Brazil, Argentina and Chile, where it will end in Santiago on September 30.

The band itself held a lengthy farewell tour in 2010 for what were supposed to be their last concerts ever. Many fans and music industry commentators didn’t believe it and indeed, the band re-united briefly to perform at a memorial following last summer’s terrorist attacks in Norway.

Now Harket claims “the spirit of a-ha is deep inside me.” The band’s “grand finale,” he said, “has left all options open.”

Views and News staff

  • as the press release from 2009 about a-ha’s split already sais:
    ” Doing this now will give us a chance to get more involved in other meaningful aspects of life, be it humanitarian work, politics, or whatever else – and of course through new constellations in the field of art and music. We are retiring as a band, not as individuals.”

    Note the part about the music.

  • I find it inexplicable that this piece of yellow journalism crossed an editorial desk, and it would seem even more inexplicable that it was published in any form. I take issue with this article and I wish to make a few points of my own.

    Firstly, Mr. Harket has not “re-launched” his solo career but is continuing it; his upcoming album “Out of My Hands” will be his fifth solo album, with his last being “Letters from Egypt,” released in May 2008. While that may look to the uninformed person to be a four-year gap between albums, Mr. Harket toured in support of “Letters” in 2008, worked with a-ha on “Foot of the Mountain” which was released in 2009 and toured to support that effort, then, after only a few months reprieve, embarked on the extensive “Ending on a High Note” tour, which ended in December 2010. Which gave Mr. Harket a roughly a year’s rest and production time for the upcoming album. Mr. Harket is also not the first member of a-ha to produce musical work since the group’s retirement: Mr. Furuholmen has produced an album with Apparatjik as well as an art exhibit at Stolper + friends, and Mr. Waaktar-Savoy has produced a song and video for the soundtrack of the movie adaptation of Jo Nesbø’s “Headhunters,” however, neither has had such a slanted piece of writing such as this leveled at them.

    Secondly, the September 14th concert mentioned on somewhat of a derisive note has attracted international attention amongst concertgoers and fans, and will be bringing international tourism to the center of one of the most expensive cities in the world in a worldwide economic climate still experiencing doldrums. Mr. Harket, both on his own and with his bandmates of a-ha, has brought worldwide attention and tourism to Oslo and Norway at large, and has shown his home country in the positive light it seems to deserve. It would seem that Oslo would be ill-served by deriding something so beneficial to its economy and image.

    Thirdly, the mention of the one-time reunion of a-ha for the performance at the Memorial Service for the victims of the attack in Utøya and the bombing of the government ministry was something the group did for their country in extreme circumstances. It was not an effort at publicity; in fact, no member of the group granted an interview either before or after the performance our of respect for those who died. Apparently “News and Views” has no such respect, to be bringing up such a somber event in an article with this tone.

    This article has shown itself to be of no more value than those in the average tabloid trash found in the local supermarket, with writing of a similar quality. If such is what is to be expected of “News and Views Staff,” then I would think you should consider re-staffing. I apologize that this refute has become so verbose, and I apologize for those who may require a dictionary and a thesaurus to read it, however I can write, and I have no fear of signing my name to my writing.

    Dawn M. Probst
    Collinsville, Illinois, USA

    • Well done, Dawnie ! This is again the sad example of that still ruling ignorance (at best) from the media and the complete refusal of acknowledgement of the achievement and talent of a-ha as a group and it’s members on their own, as artists in their own right. This has unfortunately overshadowed their career as a successful and inspirational band, and still seems to linger in the superficial air of “expert journalism”…! 😛
      Ildiko Karpati
      Bonyhad, Hungary

    • Annikaha

      Bravo Dawn , wonderfully said ! I am going to add a little comment here too , the same one I heve recently posted on my fb wall. Whoever wrote the ” article ‘ or rather trashy tabloid piece , must be a bitter and jelaous person. Comments like : ” Morten either misses spotlight or seeks new sources of income ” are an insult to Him as an artist and us fans who followed Aha for years. Maybe , just maybe Morten is touring because of his love and passion for music , singing and incredible bond with fans ? Or maybe that Morten’s whole life was and still is about performing and creating ? The attempt to be a journalist in this case is pathetic and really dissapointing.Next time , when writing an article , whoever you are , check the facts clearly and thoroughly .

    • Mary Ann Blanton

      Hats off to you Dawn; no one could have said it better. I live in Texas, and I traveled all the way to Oslo for the 14 Sept. 2012 concert and a-ha 30th anniversary party. Why? Because such talent is worthy of fans willing to travel far and wide. Though I do hope Morten would tour in the U.S.

  • FleurDeLys59

    UUUGGGHH! Who comes up with this tripe? Misses the spotlight? Doing it “just for the money”?

    Or maybe, just maybe, because this is what he’s wanted to do since he was 15 years old? That this is his passion? Honestly, if you’re going to open your yap, at least know what the hell you’re talking about.

  • Both A-ha and each one of its former members are ARTISTS, real people with a special gift. I ´d love to keep seeing them around


    Morten Harket has had a long solo career already, this is if my count is correct, his fifth solo album. Both Pal and Magne also have developped careers separately from A-ha in both the musical and visual arts fields. And they are still working on them too. As they continuously said when they ended A-ha, it is not an end, just the beginning of a new chapter in all of their lives, a continuation. So this is no news and no surprise for those who do know A-ha and their history. As for their singing at the memorial last summer, they were invited to this exceptional occasion and it seems perfectly normal that they were willing to participate in solidarity with the victims families.

  • He looks so much like Patrick Swayze in that photo 🙂

  • lucille

    Morten is full of talent plus great singing voice, compare to singers nowadays they dont have a voice like Morten, he is one of a kind, … no reason for him to stop singing…i grew up with his band n enjoy,love them them so much…even in Live concerts he can really sings…such insults to him is unforgivable,trashy news