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In 1985, A-ha became global sensations with 'Take On Me'. Now they're returning to Australia. 

For the first time in 34 years, Norwegian pop rock band A-ha are finally returning to Australian shores.

In celebration of the anniversary of their debut best-selling album Hunting High and Low, singer Morten Harket, keyboardist Mags Furuholmen and guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy will return to Australia in early 2020.

But while the bouffants may be gone and the posters of the smouldering, chisel-jawed Norwegians have been taken down from bedroom walls, there’s no doubt the long-awaited tour will likely be a sell-out nationwide.

As expected, the upcoming tour will largely include the hits that made the band global superstars more than three decades ago.

In fact, this time around, A-ha’s set list actually won’t differ much from the last time they toured the country.

Watch a snippet of A-ha’s film clip for ‘Take On Me’ below. Post continues after video.

But where have A-ha been since they burst onto the scene with ‘Take On Me’ in 1985 and what do they look like now?

Here’s what you need to know about the return of A-ha.

The rise of A-ha.

It’s been a very long road for the boys from Olso, Norway.

In 1982, Mags Furuholmen and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, who knew each other from their schooldays, recruited singer Morten Harket to form A-ha. (In case you’re wondering, the band were named after a song written by Waaktaar-Savoy, which singer Harket described in 1986 as a “terrible song but a great name”.)

Managed at the time by Terry Slater, who had worked with Queen, Kate Bush and the Sex Pistols, the band soon went on to enjoy number one hits in the United States, Britain and Norway, including number one singles ‘Take On Me’ and ‘The Sun Always Shines on TV’.

In 1987, they also provided the title song for the James Bond movie The Living Daylights and as they grew in popularity, the band often easily outsold acts including Queen and Prince on tour. On one occasion, the band broke the record for having the biggest-paying rock concert attendance when they drew an audience of 198,000 at a music festival in Brazil.

a-ha australia tour
Image: Getty.
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Over the next few years, the band released five studio albums before they went on hiatus after their 1993 album Memorial Beach failed to achieve the same success as their previous records.

After a brief hiatus, the band returned to perform at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 1998 before releasing their sixth studio album, Minor Earth Major Sky, in 2000.

"It was the first time we'd be in a room together for all that period and we immediately started talking about doing something new," Furuholmen told the Financial Times.

Following their sixth studio album, the band went on to release three more albums before announcing that they would split after their 2010 world tour.

Just five years later, the band reunited in 2015 and embarked on a world tour once again.

This time around, singer Furuholmen was less-than-enthusiastic about bringing the band back together again.

a-ha australia tour
Image: Getty.
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"[It] certainly wasn't my decision. The other two wanted to do it, and I had to decide: do I block it, let them do it without me, or make a fool of myself, with my statements about this being the end," Furuholmen said in 2016.

The return of A-ha.

Decades on from their rise to fame, A-ha aren't exactly fond of being pop stars.

“People never saw past the cheekbones and the glossy surface,” Furuholmen told the Financial Times.

"The problem is you want it all, don’t you? If you have success you want credibility, and if you have credibility you want success. Normally it’s people who feel a great sense of entitlement who think they can have it all."

Now in their 50s, A-ha don't appear to be slowing down anytime soon as they prepare to head to Australia in February.

Singer Morten Harket, who is now 59 years old, has three children with his ex wife Camilla Malmqvist Harket – Jakob, Jonathan and Anna (who goes by Tomine). He also has a daughter, Henny, with former girlfriend Anne Mette Undlien and another daughter, Karmen Poppy, with Inez Andersson.

a-ha australia tour
Morten Harket. Image: Getty.

Guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, who is now 57 years old, is married to American musician Lauren Waaktaar-Savoy and they have one child together.

a-ha australia tour
Paul Waaktaar-Savoy Image: Getty.
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56-year-old keyboardist Mags Furuholmen married his high school sweetheart Heidi Rydjord in 1992. It's believed they have two sons together.

a-ha australia tour
Mags Furuholmen. Image: Getty.

A-ha's Australian tour.

A-ha will return to Australia in February 2020, supported by fellow 80s star Rick Astley and Australian band I Know Leopard

“Australia was the country we played our first ever live concerts and was our first brush with worldwide fame,” Furuholmen told Music Feeds about the tour.

“It was a thrilling adventure to be there on the opposite side of the world and it’s a thrill to return in 2020 – finally we will be back where it all started!”

Besides tour dates in Melbourne, Sydney, Christchurch and Auckland, the band will also play A Day On The Green in Perth, Hunter Valley, Yarra Valley and Mount Cotton.

You can find out more about A-ha's Australia tour dates right here.

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Tags: a-ha , celebrity , music , news-stories , pop-culture
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