Minor Earth Major Sky

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minor earth major sky
Aha Minor Earth Major Sky.jpg
Studio album by
Released14 April 2000
Recorded1998–2000
GenreAlternative rock, pop rock, synthpop
Length58:42
LabelWEA
Producera-ha, Kjetil Bjerkestrand, Millenia Nova, Ras, Roland Spremberg, Andre Tanneberger, Păl Waaktaar
A-ha chronology
Memorial Beach
(1993)
minor earth major sky
(2000)
Lifelines
(2002)
Singles from Minor Earth, Major Sky
  1. "Summer Moved On"
    Released: 22 May 2000
  2. "Minor Earth Major Sky"
    Released: 10 July 2000
  3. "Velvet"
    Released: 14 September 2000
  4. "The Sun Never Shone That Day"
    Released: 21 September 2000
  5. "I Wish I Cared"
    Released: 2001

Minor Earth Major Sky (stylized as minor earth | major sky) is the sixth album by Norwegian synthpop band a-ha, released on 17 July 2000 by WEA.

Background and release[edit]

Following the release of a-ha's fifth studio album, Memorial Beach (1993) the band decided to go on a hiatus. In 1998, the band was invited to perform at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert. Paul Waaktaar-Savoy had written "Summer Moved On" especially for this performance.[1] They also performed "The Sun Always Shines on T.V.". This performance was a-ha's comeback into the world of music and the band decided to return to the studio.

Almost the entire album was remixed by producer Niven Garland at the record company's insistence to make it more radio-friendly for the band's German market.

"Summer Moved On" (edit), "Minor Earth Major Sky" (remix) and "Velvet" (edit) were commercially released as singles. "I Wish I Cared" was an Internet download single, accompanied by an internet-only music video—one of the first of its kind.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic3/5 stars link
Musicfolio3.5/5 stars link

Jayne Howarth of The Birmingham Post gave the album a mixed review writing, "It was grown-up ballad stuff and a few attempts at light pop but it didn't work and some of the vocals were, frankly, strained. There were a couple of bright spots, apart from the opener – The Sun Never Shone That Day and I Wish I Cared – and although it was a grower, I fear the CD is condemned to stay on the CD shelf."[2]

Commercial performance[edit]

Minor Earth Major Sky debuted at number one on the Norwegian Albums Chart, and became the band's first number one album in Germany. The album peaked at number 27 on the UK Albums Chart, but was not released in the U.S. This album was certified platinum in Norway and Germany and gold in Austria, Spain and Switzerland.

Track listing[edit]

Standard version
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Minor Earth Major Sky"Magne Furuholmen, Paul Waaktaar-SavoyBoogieman, Roland Spremberg, a-ha[a], Kjetil Bjerkestrand[a]5:25
2."Little Black Heart"Furuholmen, Waaktaar-SavoyBoogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a]4:35
3."Velvet"Lauren Savoy, Waaktaar-SavoyBoogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a]4:21
4."Summer Moved On"Waaktaar-SavoyBoogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a]4:38
5."The Sun Never Shone That Day"Savoy, Waaktaar-SavoyBoogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a]4:40
6."To Let You Win"Morten Harket, Håvard RemBoogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a]4:24
7."The Company Man"Furuholmen, Waaktaar-SavoyBoogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a]3:15
8."Thought That It Was You"Harket, Ole Sverre-OlsenBjerkestrand3:50
9."I Wish I Cared"FuruholmenBoogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a]4:23
10."Barely Hanging On"Waaktaar-SavoyBoogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a]3:56
11."You'll Never Get Over Me"Waaktaar-SavoyBoogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a]5:40
12."I Won't Forget Her"Waaktaar-SavoyBoogieman4:44
13."Mary Ellen Makes the Moment Count"Waaktaar-SavoyWaaktaar-Savoy4:51
Notes
  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies a remixer

Personnel[edit]

  • Vocals by Morten Harket
  • Keyboards by Magne Furuholmen
  • Guitars by Pal Waaktaar Savoy
  • Arranged by a-ha[3]
  • Strings arranged by Kjetil Bjerkestrand, Magne Furuholmen, Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
  • Engineers – Jan-Erik Kongshaug*, Jon Marius Aareskjold, Ulf Holand
  • Mixed by Boogieman (tracks: 4, 6), Niven Garland (tracks: 1 to 3, 5, 7 to 13)
  • Producers – Boogieman (tracks: 1 to 7, 9 to 12), Kjetil Bjerkestrand (tracks: 8), Paul Waaktaar-Savoy (tracks: 13), Roland Spremberg (tracks: 1 to 7, 9 to 11)
  • Strings – Norwegian Radio Orchestra*, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra*
  • Pro Tools Operators – Jon Marius Aareskjold, Kjetil Bjerkestrand
  • Written by Håvard Rem (tracks: 6), Lauren Savoy (tracks: 3, 5), Magne Furuholmen (tracks: 1, 2, 7, 9), Morten Harket (tracks: 6, 8), Ole Sverre Olsen (tracks: 8), Paul Waaktaar-Savoy (tracks: 1 to 5, 7, 10 to 13)
  • Frode Unneland: drums (tracks 1, 7).
  • Sven Lindvall: bass (tracks 2, 13).
  • Simone (D'Sound, courtesy of Virgin Records Norway AS): vocals (track 3).
  • Per Lindvall: drums (tracks 3, 10 & 13).
  • Lauren Savoy: vocals (track 11).
  • Per Hillestad: drums (track 11).
  • Vertavo Quartet: Strings (track 11).
  • Jøhun Bøgeberg: bass (track 11)

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Germany (BVMI)[24] Platinum 300,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[25] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[26] Gold 25,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ interview on "A-ha live at valhall homecoming" DVD, 2001
  2. ^ https://www.questia.com/article/1G1-62486848/cd-reviews
  3. ^ a-ha – Minor Earth | Major Sky
  4. ^ "Response from ARIA re: a-ha ARIA chart history, received 22 December 2017". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 19 January 2019 – via Imgur.
  5. ^ "Austriancharts.at – a-ha – Minor Earth | Major Sky" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Ultratop.be – a-ha – Minor Earth | Major Sky" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – a-ha – Minor Earth | Major Sky" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  8. ^ "European Top 100 Albums" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 17 no. 19. 6 May 2000. p. 12. OCLC 29800226. Retrieved 19 January 2019 – via American Radio History.
  9. ^ "a-ha: Minor Earth - Major Sky" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Lescharts.com – a-ha – Minor Earth | Major Sky". Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – a-ha – Minor Earth | Major Sky" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Top 40 album DVD és válogatáslemez-lista – 2000. 22. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  13. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 23, 2000". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  14. ^ a〜haのアルバム売り上げランキング [-a-ha album sales ranking] (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – a-ha – Minor Earth | Major Sky". Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  16. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 17 no. 20. 13 May 2000. p. 13. OCLC 29800226. Retrieved 19 January 2019 – via American Radio History.
  18. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – a-ha – Minor Earth | Major Sky". Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  19. ^ "Swisscharts.com – a-ha – Minor Earth | Major Sky". Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  20. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Year in Focus – European Top 100 Albums 2000" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 17 no. 52. 23 December 2000. p. 9. OCLC 29800226. Retrieved 19 January 2019 – via American Radio History.
  22. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts – 2000" (in German). Offizielle Deutsche Charts. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  23. ^ "Swiss Year-End Charts 2000". swisscharts.com. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  24. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (A-ha; 'Minor Earth / Major Sky')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  25. ^ Salaverrie, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (PDF) (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Madrid: Fundación Autor/SGAE. p. 954. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  26. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (A-ha; 'Minor Earth, Major Sky')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 January 2019.

External links[edit]