Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Listen to "Miss Eerie," the song that would go on to become a-ha's "Take On Me"

Illustration for article titled Listen to Miss Eerie, the song that would go on to become a-has Take On Me
Screenshot: a-ha

In 1981, back before we knew that Norwegian musicians were lurking in comic books just waiting to abduct hapless readers, a-ha’s Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and Magne Furuholmen recorded a song called “Miss Eerie” for their band Bridges. In 1984, having formed a-ha with vocalist Morten Harket, they’d take another stab at the track and end up creating “Take On Me,” one of the ‘80s biggest hits.

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Now “Miss Eerie” has been released alongside the band’s Down To The Tracks biography for anyone curious to hear a steel drum-heavy zygote of the now-iconic song.

According to Wikipedia, Furuholmen and Waaktaar-Savoy tried to offset the cheery lead riff of “Miss Eerie” (which was originally called both “Panorama” and “The Juicyfruit Song”) by making the rest of the song sound rougher. After Bridges broke up and a-ha was formed, they reworked the song “to show off Harket’s vocal range,” initially naming it “Lesson One” before deciding on the title, “Take On Me.”

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On “Miss Eerie,” the instantly recognizable synth line (apparently written by Furuholmen when he was 15) remains intact, even though it’s played on a steel drum. The verse’s vocal melody is the same, too, but the chorus feels weirdly anticlimactic after so many years of hearing Harket doing the “Take On Me” falsetto. There are a lot of other differences between the two versions, big and small, but it’s easy to recognize how “Miss Eerie” would get reworked and cleaned-up to become a-ha’s best known track.

Now we just need a rougher version of the “Take On Me” video, maybe drawn with stick figures on post-it notes, to go along with this grimier early take on the song. It’s not like the original video is immune to being fucked with, after all.

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[via Boing Boing]

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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