Minor Earth Major Sky

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Minor Earth Major Sky
Aha Minor Earth Major Sky.jpg
Studio album by A-ha
Released 17 July 2000
Recorded 1998–2000
Genre Pop rock, synthpop
Length 58:42
Label WEA
Producer a-ha, Kjetil Bjerkestrand, Millenia Nova, Ras, Roland Spremberg, Andre Tanneberger, Păl Waaktaar
A-ha chronology
Memorial Beach
Minor Earth Major Sky
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.

The song "Minor Earth Major Sky" has been covered by Closterkeller, a Polish gothic rock band.


Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars link
Musicfolio 3.5/5 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. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Minor Earth Major Sky"   Magne Furuholmen, Paul Waaktaar-Savoy Boogieman, Roland Spremberg, a-ha[a], Kjetil Bjerkestrand[a] 5:25
2. "Little Black Heart"   Furuholmen, Waaktaar-Savoy Boogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a] 4:35
3. "Velvet"   Lauren Savoy, Waaktaar-Savoy Boogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a] 4:21
4. "Summer Moved On"   Waaktaar-Savoy Boogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a] 4:38
5. "The Sun Never Shone That Day"   Savoy, Waaktaar-Savoy Boogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a] 4:40
6. "To Let You Win"   Morten Harket, Håvard Rem Boogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a] 4:24
7. "The Company Man"   Furuholmen, Waaktaar-Savoy Boogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a] 3:15
8. "Thought That It Was You"   Harket, Ole Sverre-Olsen Bjerkestrand 3:50
9. "I Wish I Cared"   Furuholmen Boogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a] 4:23
10. "Barely Hanging On"   Waaktaar-Savoy Boogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a] 3:56
11. "You'll Never Get Over Me"   Waaktaar-Savoy Boogieman, Spremberg, a-ha[a], Bjerkestrand[a] 5:40
12. "I Won't Forget Her"   Waaktaar-Savoy Boogieman 4:44
13. "Mary Ellen Makes the Moment Count"   Waaktaar-Savoy Waaktaar-Savoy 4:51
  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies a remixer


  • 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)


Chart Peak
Austria Austrian Albums Chart[4] 4
Belgium Belgian Albums Chart 22
Czechoslovakia Czech Albums Chart 22
Denmark Danish Albums Chart 29
Estonia Estonian Albums Chart 1
European Union European Albums Chart 3
Finland Finnish Albums Chart 39
France French Albums Chart 41
Germany German Albums Chart[5] 1
Greece Greek Albums Chart 19
Hungary Hungarian Albums Chart 7
Japan Japanese Albums Chart 53
Netherlands Dutch Albums Chart 55
Norway Norwegian Albums Chart[6] 1
Poland Polish Albums Chart 12
Russia Russian Albums Chart 3
Slovakia Slovakian Albums Chart 29
Spain Spanish Albums Chart 8
Sweden Swedish Albums Chart[7] 36
Switzerland Swiss Albums Chart[8] 3
United Kingdom UK Albums Chart[9] 27
Ukraine Ukrainian Albums Chart 19

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2000) Peak
German Albums Chart 15
Norwegian Albums Chart 4
Switzerland Albums Chart 63



  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. ^ Austrian Album Chart Cited 26 March 2008
  5. ^ German Album Chart
  6. ^ Norwegian Albums Chart, Cited 26 March 2008
  7. ^ Swedish Album Chart , Cited 26 March 2008
  8. ^ Swiss album Chart page on Start Something in various European charts, Cited 26 March 2008
  9. ^ UK Album Chart
  10. ^ "Austrian certifications – lifelines" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter lifelines in the field Titel. Click Suchen
  11. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('Lifelines')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  12. ^ "Norwegian certifications – lifelines" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. 
  13. ^ "Russian certifications – lifelines" (in Russian). National Federation of Phonogram Producers (NFPF). 
  14. ^ "Spanish certifications – lifelines" (PDF) (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España.  Select the "Chart", enter {{{certyear}}} in the field "Year". Select {{{certmonth}}} in the field "Semana". Click on "Search Charts"
  15. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards ('lifelines')". Hung Medien. 

External links[edit]