Take on This!
—-One hit WHAT?—-
When it comes those three little words—One Hit Wonder—A-ha fans are very sensitive.
Yes, we understand that some of the world (read: United States) see them as such. It’s even easy to understand why. They didn’t tour here past October 24th, 1986. (This obviously doesn’t include the gigs they did in 2010…) The management and/or promotion company decided to focus their energy on Europe, Japan and South America.
The question I have is, why?
Maybe they thought the fanbase wasn’t there. (WRONG!)
Perhaps they figured Americans wouldn’t go for Norwegians? (INCORRECT!)
They were just dumb? (BINGO!)
Whatever their reasons, they ultimately doomed A-ha to permanent “One-Hit Wonder” status in the United States. It’s unfair and unwarranted. And it makes us (sometimes irrationally) angry.
I’ve wanted to throat punch people on more than one occasion for uttering the phrase.
Case in point:
About a month ago I went to get my emissions test at a local car dealer. I had Take on Me blaring in the car when the technician turned it on. (In my defense, I really truly did forget that I had the volume up so loud.) I apologized to the nice young man for the noise and he replied, “Don’t worry about it. Hey, I know this song! They were a one-hit wonder.”
I shouldn’t have apologized.
He’s lucky he was way bigger than me and I had realized I never stood a chance had I attacked.
Because I was ready to put the smack down.
Plus, there were a lot of potential witnesses around. I bit my tongue and forced a smile while quickly explaining that they weren’t with a simple, “A-ha has been popular all over the world since 1985.”
He nodded politely and was probably thinking about how fast he could get this crazy lady out of his garage. My only thought then was that I was bummed I was missing the song. (He turned the radio down…jerk.) I guess he didn’t want Norwegian Synth-Pop blaring in his ears.
What a weirdo, right?
So many times in my life—and I’m sure in all of ours—I’ve had to explain at one moment or another just why A-ha isn’t a one-hit wonder. The question always comes with a smile and I’m pretty sure is never meant to be insulting or malicious, but it still makes me want to get up close and personal with my fists.
I know karate, so watch out. Blue belt, yo.
So, what do we say when confronted with the dreaded statement? I usually blush bright red at the mere mention of A-ha, then find myself having to compose my thoughts and actually sound like a sane person when answering. Because I don’t think I’d help my case by blabbering incoherently, spewing Norwegian names and rambling about why Touchy! is an underappreciated song. (I’ve just outed myself, by the way. I don’t hate that song…too much.)
I’m happy that more often than not, when I actually can compose myself and reply like an educated person and not a crazy fangirl, people are genuinely happy to hear that the lads have done quite well for themselves over the past thirty years.
It still doesn’t mean I haven’t considered having a tee-shirt made that says, “A-ha isn’t a &%#@-ing One-Hit Wonder!”