Favorite Music Videos, Part Ten: a-ha’s ‘Take on Me’

There are several examples that would clearly stand out in the discussion of music video’s evolution as an art form (at least in its beginning). These few should be considered the best that the genre has given us…and due to the originality of each, should be in the Music Video Hall of Fame (if there was such a thing).

Some of these are still to be revealed on this List. There should be no question that tonight’s offering would belong there.

This is what Wikipedia has to say about the music video for a-ha’s “Take on Me”:

At the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards, the video for “Take on Me” won six awards—Best New Artist in a VideoBest Concept VideoMost Experimental VideoBest DirectionBest Special Effects, and Viewer’s Choice—and was nominated for two others, Best Group Video and Video of the Year. It was also nominated for Favorite Pop/Rock Video at the 13th American Music Awards in 1986.

The famous ending sequence–where the singer bashes himself against the wall again and again so that he becomes human–is based on a similar scene at the end of the 1980 film Altered States.

(The story in this video actually concludes at the beginning of another a-ha music video, “The Sun Always Shines on TV,” which can be found here.


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