Friday, 2 August 2013

A-ha 'Manhattan Skyline'

Chart Peak: 13

The follow-up to 'Cry Wolf' charted at No. 17 on 24th February. Their first six British hits have all made the Top 10.
It famously took the Norwegian trio a while to score a significant UK hit, but once they broke through they had a decent run of chart smashes - rather a better one than you'd expect from their three Now appearances, in fact. This track, despite its promisingly high entry, proved to be the song that broke their run of Top 10 singles. Perhaps the teenybopper audience they'd gained at this stage were beginning to tire of them, or something.

Perhaps the song wasn't quite what their fans wanted. In truth 'Manhattan Skyline' is a bit of a mixed bag, combining a soft ballad-like verse (written by keyboard player Magne Furuholmen) with a loud rock chorus (by guitarist Paul Waaktaar). The two elements fit lyrically as a tale of forced separation, but producer Alan Tarney seems slightly out of his depth; neither part sounds quite right in itself, and they don't fit together at all, though neither is the jump cut dramatic enough to work as an effect in its own right. Perhaps he should have stuck with Cliff Richard. I'm usually the last person to advocate an acoustic cover version over an original, but I have to say that Kings Of Convenience win this one.

Still, this is notable as the first taste of rock music on the album, tucked at the end of Side 3.

Also appearing on: Now 9, 63
Available on: 25

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