Hunting High and Low (A-ha song)

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"Hunting High and Low"
Single by a-ha
from the album Hunting High and Low
B-side "The Blue Sky" (Demo Version)
Released 2 June 1986
Format 7", 12"
Genre Alternative rock, pop rock
Length 3:43
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Pål Waaktaar
a-ha singles chronology
Train of Thought
Hunting High and Low
I've Been Losing You

"Hunting High and Low" is a song by Norwegian new wave band a-ha. It was released as the fifth international and final single from the band's debut album, Hunting High and Low.

Release and reception[edit]

"Hunting High and Low" was released in the summer of 1986 and became the third most successful single from Hunting High and Low on the rock charts and one of the band's most recognizable and popular songs. The song didn't chart on the Billboard Hot 100, but charted in Britain where its peak was #5 and in Ireland where it peaked at #4.

The album version was produced by Tony Mansfield and is played with synthesizers, the single remix produced by Alan Tarney features an orchestra.

Coldplay has been known to perform this song in concert, with a special nod to the band of their initial inspiration.[1]

"Hunting High and Low" is one of a-ha's most famous songs and is part of their live set. The song appears on the live album How Can I Sleep with Your Voice in My Head.

World Sales: 1,500,000 copies.

Music video[edit]

This was the last video from the band's debut album which was directed by Steve Barron.

The UK TV show Blue Peter featured a making-of-the-video special on "Hunting High and Low" to demonstrate the morphing effects of Morten into animals.

The video starts with a lonely Morten walking across a snowy landscape which then cuts to a silhouette of the band in a studio with Morten on Vocals, Mags on Piano and Pål on Guitar. The film then cuts back to show Morten turn into an Eagle using animation and fly off across the snowscape into a city. With the orchestral part of the song starting the video then goes back to the silhouettes of the band, this time with an orchestra animated like a rotoscope.

With Morten now back again as a human he is seen standing on top of a cliff face about to dive off of it. When he does he turns into a shark and swims off across the ocean. As the film continues, a woman is shown on a beach who sees the shark and steps into the water. All of a sudden two hunters spear the shark and try to drag it onto the beach. As they do so, the shark turns into a lion and runs off into the wilderness. As the film moves toward the end, the silhouettes of Morten, Magne and Pal become full colour ... and a hunter is seen lining up the lion in his sights, about to shoot. The woman from the beach stops the hunter.

The basic idea behind the video is that love brings a man back in various forms to be near the woman he loves.

Track listing[edit]

7" Single:

  1. "Hunting High and Low"
  2. "The Blue Sky" (demo version)

12" Single:

  1. "Hunting High and Low" (extended)
  2. "Hunting High and Low" (remix)
  3. "The Blue Sky" (demo version)

Chart performance[edit]


Year Chart Peak
1986 British Singles Chart 5
Australian Kent Music Report 33
Irish Singles Chart 4
Norwegian Singles Chart 10
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 9
French Singles Chart 4
Austrian Singles Chart 24
German Singles Chart 11
Italian Singles Chart 10


Country Certification Date Sales certified
France[9] Gold 1986 500,000


Hunting High and Low has been covered by several artists over the years, either recorded, live performance or both. Some of the artists that have performed this song include:


  1. ^ Hunting High and Low
  2. ^ "Norwegian Singles Chart". VG-lista. Retrieved 7 March 2008. 
  3. ^ "British Single Chart". UK Top 40. Retrieved 7 March 2008. 
  4. ^ "French Singles Chart". Palmares. Retrieved 7 March 2008. 
  5. ^ "Austrian Singles Chart". Austria Top 40. Retrieved 7 March 2008. 
  6. ^ "Irish Singles Chart". The Irish Chart. Retrieved 7 March 2008. 
  7. ^ "German Singles Chart". Charts-Surfer. Retrieved 7 June 2008. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Italian Singles Chart". hitparadeitalia. Retrieved 7 June 2008. 
  9. ^ French certifications [1] (Retrieved 14 September 2008)