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Released: October 6, 1986


Rating: 3.670 (average of 4 ratings)


Genre: synth pop


Quotable: --


Album Tracks:

  1. Scoundrel Days
  2. The Swing of Things
  3. I’ve Been Losing You
  4. October
  5. Manhattan Skyline
  6. Cry Wolf
  7. We’re Looking for the Whales
  8. The Weight of the Wind
  9. Maybe, Maybe
  10. Soft Rains of April


Total Running Time: 37:17


Sales:

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated 600,000
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 6.6 million


Peak:

peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 74
peak on U.K. album chart 2


Singles/Hit Songs:

  • I’ve Been Losing You (10/4/86) #8 UK
  • Cry Wolf (12/6/86) #50 US, #5 UK
  • Manhattan Skyline (2/28/87) #13 UK


Scoundrel Days
Aha
Review:
“While not quite as strong as the band’s debut, Scoundrel Days is still a-ha succeeding as a marketed ‘pretty boy’ band which can connect musically and lyrically as much as any musical sacred cow. The opening two songs alone make for one of the best one-two opening punches around: the tense edge of the title track, featuring one of Morten Harket’s soaring vocals during the chorus and a crisp, pristine punch in the music, and The Swing of Things, a moody, elegant number with a beautiful synth/guitar arrangement (plus some fine drumming courtesy of studio pro Michael Sturgis) and utterly lovelorn lyrical sentiments that balance on the edge of being overheated without quite going over” (Raggett).

“Although the rest of the disc never quite hits as high as the opening, it comes close more often than not. A definite downturn is the band’s occasional attempts to try and prove themselves as a ‘real’ band by rocking out, as on I’ve Been Losing You – there’s really no need for it, and as a result they sound much more ‘fake,’ ironically enough” (Raggett).

“Other songs can perhaps only be explained by the need to translate lyrics – We’re Looking for the Whales isn’t an environmental anthem, and neither is Cry Wolf, but both also don’t really succeed in using nature as romantic metaphor” (Raggett).

“When a-ha are on, though, they’re on – October snakes along on a cool bass/keyboard arrangement and a whispery vocal from Harket; Maybe Maybe is a quirky little pop number that’s engagingly goofy; while Soft Rains of April captures the band at its most dramatic, with the string synths giving Harket a perfect bed to launch into a lovely vocal, concluding with a sudden, hushed whisper. The ‘80s may be long gone, but Scoundrel Days makes clear that not everything was bad back then” (Raggett).


Review Source(s):


Related DMDB Links:

previous album: Hunting High and Low (1985) Next album: Stay on These Roads (1988)


Last updated January 18, 2009.