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A-ha - Manhattan Skyline (1987)

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  • 80's Score 80's score: 1.35
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

“Manhattan Skyline” is a song by the Norwegian pop band A-ha. It was the third single from their Scoundrel Days ...

“Manhattan Skyline” is a song by the Norwegian pop band A-ha. It was the third single from their Scoundrel Days album, and reached #13 in the UK Singles Chart.

The song was co-written by keyboardist Magne Furuholmen and guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy. The song starts with Furuholmen playing a Harpsichord synthesizer sound 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 1985–2010 by Jan Omdahl, Furuholmen said: “Manhattan Skyline” 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. I thought I was doing a classic when I worked on the opening riff. Well, okay, it is a classic, actually.”

The B-side, “We’re Looking for the Whales”, was recorded at a concert at Fairfield Halls, Croydon in London on 19 January 1987.

The single version omits the lyric “you see things in the depths of my eyes that my love’s run dry” that is present twice on the album version during the song’s main chorus.

On January 30, 1987 A-ha filmed the “Manhattan Skyline” video in a London studio. The music video was directed by Steve Barron and was inspired by newsprint, featuring a connect-the-dots animation of the band, a crossword puzzle, a printing press, and articles from newspapers from around the world.

The newspaper at the end is one of Norway’s largest papers, Aftenposten.

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