|Studio album by A-ha|
|Released||6 October 1986|
|Genre||Synthpop, new wave, pop rock|
|Producer||Alan Tarney, Pål Waaktaar & Magne Furuholmen|
|Singles from Scoundrel Days|
Scoundrel Days is the second full-length album by the 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.
"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 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 and to the top spot in Japan. 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." 
The cover photography was taken by Norwegian photographer Knut Bry at the Haleakala volcano on Maui (Hawaii) in 1986.
Release and reception
|Rolling Stone||(Good) |
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 and Gold in Germany and Brazil.
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."
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 America 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 July 6, 2010 the albums Hunting High and Low and Scoundrel Days was released as deluxe editions in the USA 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.
All songs written by Furuholmen/Waaktaar unless noted otherwise:
- "Scoundrel Days" – 3:56
- "The Swing of Things" – 4:14 (Waaktaar)
- "I've Been Losing You" – 4:24 (Waaktaar)
- "October" – 3:48 (Waaktaar)
- "Manhattan Skyline" – 4:52
- "Cry Wolf" – 4:05
- "We're Looking for the Whales" – 3:39
- "The Weight of the Wind" – 3:57 (Waaktaar)
- "Maybe, Maybe" – 2:34 (Furuholmen)
- "Soft Rains of April" – 3:12
Produced by Alan Tarney, except tracks 3, 9 and 10 produced by Furuholmen and Waaktaar.
2010 Deluxe Edition
- "Scoundrel Days"
- "The Swing of Things"
- "I've Been Losing You"
- "Manhattan Skyline"
- "Cry Wolf"
- "We're Looking for the Whales"
- "The Weight of the Wind"
- "Maybe, Maybe"
- "Soft Rains of April"
- "I've Been Losing You" - Extended Version
- "Cry Wolf" – Extended Version
- "Manhattan Skyline" – Extended Version
- "Scoundrel Days" – Demo
- "The Swing of Things" – Demo #3
- "I've Been Losing You" – Octogon Studios Demo
- "October" – Demo
- "Manhattan Skyline" – Demo
- "Cry Wolf" – Demo
- "We're Looking for the Whales" – 1984 Demo
- "The Weight of the Wind" – Demo
- "Maybe, Maybe" – Demo
- "Soft Rains of April" – Guitar Version
- "Scoundrel Days" – Octogon Studios Demo
- "This Alone is Love" - Original Version
- "Days on End"
- "Train of Thought" (Live)
- "I’ve Been Losing You" (Live)
- "The Blue Sky" (Live)
- "We're Looking for the Whales" (Live)
- "Cry Wolf" (Live)
Please Note:There are four bonus download-only tracks on each release, available in most countries:
- "I’ve Been Losing You (Dub)"
- "Soft Rains of April (Piano Version)"
- "The Swing of Things (Demo #1)"
- "I’ve Been Losing You (Early Demo)"
Scoundrel Club EP
- "Cry Wolf" (Extended Version) – 8:13
- "We're Looking for the Whales" (live version) – 3:50
- "I've Been Losing You" (Dub Version) – 4:28
- "Manhattan Skyline" (Extended) – 6:49
- "Hunting High and Low" (Extended Version by Alan Tarney) – 6:02
- Morten Harket — vocals
- Magne Furuholmen — keyboards, vocals
- Pål Waaktaar — guitars, vocals
- Graham Prescott — strings on track 1
- Michael Sturgis — drums on tracks 2, 3, 10
- Leif Karsten Johansen — bass on track 3
- Øystein Jevanord — drums on track 6
|1986||"I've Been Losing You"||Norwegian Singles Chart||1|
|Swedish Singles Chart||11|
|Austrian Singles Chart||20|
|Swiss Singles Chart||16|
|British 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|
|British Singles Chart||5|
|Irish Singles Chart||4|
|French Singles Chart||35|
|German Singles Chart||20|
|1987||"Manhattan Skyline"||British Singles Chart||13|
|Irish Singles Chart||3|
|Norwegian Singles Chart||4|
|German Singles Chart||28|
Here are some known existing cover versions from the album:
- Scoundrel Days Thomas — Pihale's Rainstorm Project
- Manhattan Skyline — Kings of Convenience
- October — Sigurd Køhn
- October — Savoy (Waaktaar-Savoy's other band)
- "A-ha.com: discography/videos/manhattan skyline". www.A-ha.com. Archived from the original on 2006-06-18. Retrieved 2006-04-02.
- Q magazine Review
- Musicfolio Review
- Allmusic Review
- Rolling Stone Review
- Scoundrel Days info
- "Deluxe albums enter US Billboard charts | The Official Website of a-ha". A-ha.com. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- "Upcoming special releases | The Official Website of a-ha". A-ha.com. Retrieved 2012-03-08.
- Austrian Album Chart Cited 26 March 2008
- "Canadian Album Chart". RPM. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- German Album Chart
- Italian Album Chart
- Norwegian Albums Chart, Cited 26 March 2008
- Swedish Album Chart , Cited 26 March 2008
- Swiss album Chart page on Start Something in various European charts, Cited 26 March 2008
- UK Album Chart
- Billboard.com 26 March 2008
- "Norwegian certifications – Hunting High and Low" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway.
- "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards ('Hunting High and Low')". Hung Medien.
- "Brazilian certifications – Hunting High and Low" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos.
- "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('Hunting High and Low')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
- "French certifications – Hunting High and Low" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
- "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved 2011-11-05.
- "Norwegian Singles Chart". VG-lista. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- "American Single Charts". VG-lista. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- "American Single Charts". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-05-07.[dead link]
- "British Single Chart". UK Top 40. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- "Swedish Singles Chart". Hitlista. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- "French Singles Chart". Palmares. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- "Austrian Singles Chart". Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- "Swiss Singles Chart". Schweizer Hitparade. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- "Irish Singles Chart". The Irish Chart. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- "German Singles Chart". Charts-Surfer. Retrieved 2008-06-07.[dead link]
- "Italian Singles Chart". hitparadeitalia. Retrieved 2008-06-07.