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Graham J releases spellbinding cover of A-Ha classic


Songs My Disco Taught Me #SMD™ is the brand new album from Graham J, released in 2019 via MREX.


Graham explains the inspiration behind choosing Take on Me as a single…


“When I was choosing the music for this album. Take On Me seemed an obvious choice. I wanted to include music that was sung by counter-tenors. The 80’s were rife with songs sung by men using their higher registers. Morten Harket’s effortless two and a half octave transition from tenor to alto during this song makes me think of him as an 80s counter-tenor. 


In 1984 I would have been five years old. I can still remember the first time I saw the incredible pencil-sketch animation / live-action video for Take On Me. A-Ha’s wonderful romantic fantasy about love and modern day knights in shining armour. I remember being glued to the TV set one Saturday morning when it came on our screen. I can still see Morten Harket being chased by motorbike goons and the incredible scene change to the coffee shop with the young woman reading the comic. I loved the cheeky wink Morten gives to her as his his pencil-drawn hand reaches out inviting the her into his comic book world. Once inside, she too appears in pencil-drawn form, as he sings to her and introduces her to his black-and-white world which features a sort of looking-glass portal where people and objects look real on one side and pencil-drawn on the other. For weeks after, when it came on TV or radio, I’d sing along with instrumental riff and the final chorus. Not really managing the low notes. 


As a child I didn’t really pay attention to the lyrics. When Pawel and I started to discuss the arrangement for this song. It struck me how moving they are. It really is a plea for love. When I sing them now I think about the various relationships in my life that didn’t work out as planned. The wonderful thing about life and music is that with the passage of time our perception of things can change. Something that seems frivolous can suddenly become heartfelt and full of pathos. I think of this song as a romantic torch song. We slowed it down and stripped it back allowing the beautiful lyrics to speak for themselves.”


You can see the video to Under Pressure below


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