Scoundrel Days

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Scoundrel Days
Scoundrel Days album cover.jpg
Studio album by A-ha
Released 6 October 1986
Recorded 1986
Studio RG Jones Studios, Wimbledon
Genre Synthpop, new wave, pop rock
Length 38:41
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Alan Tarney, Pål Waaktaar & Magne Furuholmen
A-ha chronology
Hunting High and Low
(1985)Hunting High and Low1985
Scoundrel Days
Stay on These Roads
(1988)Stay on These Roads1988
Singles from Scoundrel Days
  1. "I've Been Losing You"
    Released: 22 September 1986
  2. "Cry Wolf"
    Released: 24 November 1986
  3. "Maybe, Maybe"
    Released: 1986 (Bolivia Only)
  4. "Manhattan Skyline"
    Released: 16 February 1987

Scoundrel Days is the second full-length album by Norwegian new wave pop/rock band A-ha. It was released on 6 October 1986 through Warner Bros. Records. A deluxe/expanded edition with additional tracks was released in 2010.


Yamaha DX7 and Roland Juno-60/106 synths used in the recording of this album—Roland Juno used on intro of the song "Manhattan Skyline " and Yamaha DX7 drum sound used on the intro of song called "October". "Scoundrel Days" and "Swing of Things" signature sounds are from the PPG Wave. The drums and several other sounds are from the Fairlight CMI.


"I've Been Losing You" was the first single from the album. It reached #1 in Norway, and #8 in the UK. "I've Been Losing You" became the biggest hit from the album in Europe.

"Cry Wolf" was the second single from the album. It was the most successful single from the Scoundrel Days album in the U.S., where it peaked at #14 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts and went to #50 on the Billboard Hot 100. While it would be their last entry on that chart, the band would continue to have major pop hits from each album release throughout the rest of the world through to the present day. The single went Top 40 nearly everywhere else it was released, including Top 5 chartings in the UK, Poland and Ireland, going #2 in Norway. The lyrics "Night I left the city I dreamt of a Wolf..." are credited to Lauren Savoy whom Pål later married.

"Maybe, Maybe" is the third single released from the album and was only released in Bolivia.

"Manhattan Skyline" reached #13 in the UK charts. The song was co-written by keyboardist Magne Furuholmen and guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy. The song starts with a calm verse in F major, before kicking into a hard rock-style chorus with a guitar riff in D minor. In the official A-ha biography, The Swing of Things, Furuholmen said it was "perhaps one of the most inspired cut and paste-projects that Paul and I did. I wrote the quiet part. Paul wrote the rock part." [1]


The cover photography was taken by Norwegian photographer Knut Bry at the Haleakala volcano on Maui (Hawaii) in 1986.[2]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Q 3/5 stars [3]
Musicfolio 3/5 stars [4]
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars [5]
Rolling Stone (Good) [6]

Scoundrel Days was the band's second studio album. The album's peak on the Billboard 200 was 74. The album was another big hit by A-ha and sold over 6 million copies worldwide which gave the band international recognition. Scoundrel Days achieved Platinum status in the UK and Switzerland as well as Germany and Brazil. The album reached #2 in the European top-100 albums sales chart.

Ned Raggett of AllMusic Guide said, "The opening two songs alone make for one of the best one-two opening punches around: the tense edge of the title track, featuring one of Morten Harket's soaring vocals during the chorus and a crisp, pristine punch in the music, and "The Swing of Things," a moody, elegant number with a beautiful synth/guitar arrangement (plus some fine drumming courtesy of studio pro Michael Sturgis) and utterly lovelorn lyrical sentiments that balance on the edge of being overheated without quite going over...The '80s may be long gone, but Scoundrel Days makes clear that not everything was bad back then."[7]

Scoundrel Days included the singles "I've Been Losing You", "Cry Wolf", "Maybe, Maybe", and "Manhattan Skyline". All the singles with the exception of "Maybe, Maybe" charted on the UK Singles Chart. "I've Been Losing You" and "Cry Wolf" were the most successful singles from the album, "Cry Wolf" became a minor hit in the US and charted on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #50, while "I've Been Losing You" was the most successful single in Europe.

As part of a re-release of their first two albums, Scoundrel Days was expanded and remastered in 2010.

On 6 July 2010 the A-ha albums Hunting High and Low and Scoundrel Days were released as deluxe editions in the US through Rhino Records and both albums debuted in the top 40 Billboard Top Internet Sales Chart; Hunting High and Low at #34 and Scoundrel Days at #36.[8]

The remaster of Scoundrel Days reached #52 in Germany, #27 in Norway, #190 in the UK.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Furuholmen/Waaktaar unless noted otherwise:

  1. "Scoundrel Days" – 3:56
  2. "The Swing of Things" – 4:14 (Waaktaar)
  3. "I've Been Losing You" – 4:24 (Waaktaar)
  4. "October" – 3:48 (Waaktaar)
  5. "Manhattan Skyline" – 4:52
  6. "Cry Wolf" – 4:05
  7. "We're Looking for the Whales" – 3:39
  8. "The Weight of the Wind" – 3:57 (Waaktaar)
  9. "Maybe, Maybe" – 2:34 (Furuholmen)
  10. "Soft Rains of April" – 3:12

Produced by Alan Tarney, except tracks 3, 9 and 10 produced by Furuholmen and Waaktaar.

2010 Deluxe Edition[edit]

Disc 1

  1. "Scoundrel Days"
  2. "The Swing of Things"
  3. "I've Been Losing You"
  4. "October"
  5. "Manhattan Skyline"
  6. "Cry Wolf"
  7. "We're Looking for the Whales"
  8. "The Weight of the Wind"
  9. "Maybe, Maybe"
  10. "Soft Rains of April"
  11. "I've Been Losing You" - Extended Version
  12. "Cry Wolf" – Extended Version
  13. "Manhattan Skyline" – Extended Version

Disc 2

  1. "Scoundrel Days" – Demo
  2. "The Swing of Things" – Demo #3
  3. "I've Been Losing You" – Octogon Studios Demo
  4. "October" – Demo
  5. "Manhattan Skyline" – Demo
  6. "Cry Wolf" – Demo
  7. "We're Looking for the Whales" – 1984 Demo
  8. "The Weight of the Wind" – Demo
  9. "Maybe, Maybe" – Demo
  10. "Soft Rains of April" – Guitar Version
  11. "Scoundrel Days" – Octogon Studios Demo
  12. "This Alone is Love" - Original Version
  13. "Days on End"
  14. "Train of Thought" (Live)
  15. "I’ve Been Losing You" (Live)
  16. "The Blue Sky" (Live)
  17. "We're Looking for the Whales" (Live)
  18. "Cry Wolf" (Live)


Please Note:There are four bonus download-only tracks on each release, available in most countries:

  1. "I’ve Been Losing You (Dub)"
  2. "Soft Rains of April (Piano Version)"
  3. "The Swing of Things (Demo #1)"
  4. "I’ve Been Losing You (Early Demo)"

Scoundrel Club EP[edit]

  1. "Cry Wolf" (Extended Version) – 8:13
  2. "We're Looking for the Whales" (live version) – 3:50
  3. "I've Been Losing You" (Dub Version) – 4:28
  4. "Manhattan Skyline" (Extended) – 6:49
  5. "Hunting High and Low" (Extended Version by Alan Tarney) – 6:02


Chart positions[edit]


Chart Peak
Australia Australian Album Chart[10] 17
Austria Austrian Album Chart[11] 9
Belgium Belgian Album Chart 4
Canada Canadian Album Chart[12] 31
Netherlands Dutch Album Chart 6
Finland Finnish Album Charts 12
France French Album Chart 7
Germany German Album Chart[13] 4
Italy Italian Album Chart[14] 11
Japan Japanese Oricon Album Charts 6
New Zealand New Zealand Album Chart 4
Norway Norwegian Album Chart[15] 1
Sweden Swedish Albums Chart[16] 11
Switzerland Swiss Album Chart[17] 6
United Kingdom UK Albums Chart[18] 2
United States US Billboard 200[19] 74

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
France (SNEP)[20] 6
Italian Albums Chart 50
UK Albums Chart[21] 31




Year Name Chart Peak
1986 "I've Been Losing You" Norwegian Singles Chart 1
Swedish Singles Chart 11
Austrian Singles Chart 20
Swiss Singles Chart 16
UK Singles Chart 8
Irish Singles Chart 3
French Singles Chart 14
German Singles Chart 15
Italian Singles Chart 11
"Cry Wolf" US Billboard Hot 100 50
Norwegian Singles Chart 2
Swiss Singles Chart 27
UK Singles Chart 5
Irish Singles Chart 4
French Singles Chart 35
German Singles Chart 20
1987 "Manhattan Skyline" UK Singles Chart 13
Irish Singles Chart 3
Norwegian Singles Chart 4
German Singles Chart 28

Cover versions[edit]

These are some known existing cover versions from the album:

  1. Scoundrel Days Thomas — Pihale's Rainstorm Project
  2. Manhattan Skyline — Kings of Convenience
  3. October — Sigurd Køhn
  4. October — Savoy (Waaktaar-Savoy's other band)


  1. ^ " discography/videos/manhattan skyline". Archived from the original on 18 June 2006. Retrieved 2 April 2006. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Q Magazine - Music news & reviews, music videos, band pictures & interviewsQ Magazine - The world's best music". 
  4. ^ Musicfolio Review Archived 7 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Scoundrel Days - a-ha - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. 
  6. ^ "Rolling Stone Review". 
  7. ^ Scoundrel Days info Archived 20 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Deluxe albums enter US Billboard charts | The Official Website of a-ha". Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Upcoming special releases | The Official Website of a-ha". Archived from the original on 9 May 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1970 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988.
  11. ^ Austrian Album Chart Cited 26 March 2008
  12. ^ "Canadian Album Chart". RPM. Retrieved 7 March 2008. 
  13. ^ German Album Chart Archived 29 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - ALBUM 1986". 
  15. ^ Norwegian Albums Chart Archived 29 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine., Cited 26 March 2008
  16. ^ Swedish Album Chart Archived 28 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine., Cited 26 March 2008
  17. ^ Swiss album Chart page on Start Something in various European charts, Cited 26 March 2008
  18. ^ " - UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". 
  19. ^ 26 March 2008
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  23. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards ('Hunting High and Low')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  24. ^ "Brazilian certifications – Hunting High and Low" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. 
  25. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('Hunting High and Low')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  26. ^ "French certifications – Hunting High and Low" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  28. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Archived from the original on 26 June 2007. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
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  30. ^ "American Single Charts". VG-lista. Retrieved 7 March 2008. 
  31. ^ "American Single Charts". Billboard. Archived from the original on 5 July 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2008. 
  32. ^ "UK Singles Chart". UK Top 40. Retrieved 7 March 2008. 
  33. ^ "Swedish Singles Chart". Hitlista. Archived from the original on 21 September 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2008. 
  34. ^ "French Singles Chart". Palmares. Archived from the original on 21 September 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2008. 
  35. ^ "Austrian Singles Chart". Austria Top 40. Retrieved 7 March 2008. 
  36. ^ "Swiss Singles Chart". Schweizer Hitparade. Retrieved 7 March 2008. 
  37. ^ "Irish Singles Chart". The Irish Chart. Retrieved 7 March 2008. 
  38. ^ "German Singles Chart". Charts-Surfer. Archived from the original on 29 October 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2008. 
  39. ^ "Italian Singles Chart". hitparadeitalia. Retrieved 7 June 2008.