A-Ha's "Take On Me" Video Becomes the Second '80s Video to Pass 1 Billion (2024)

On Wednesday, A-ha's "Take On Me" became the second music video from the '80s to pass one billion views on YouTube, after Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O'Mine."

In a tweet, the band thanked their fans for helping the video hit the billion views milestone.

🎉Take On Me has hit ONE BILLION views on YouTube 🎉

Thank you to all our fans old and new for helping us to reach this milestone moment. #takeonme1BN pic.twitter.com/1uAjeggFwK

— a-ha (@aha_com) February 18, 2020

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The iconic video was directed by Steve Barron, who also directed videos for classic songs like Toto's "Africa" and Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue." He went on to direct seven more videos for A-ha. According to Entertainment Weekly, the video took four months to create, with illustrator Mike Patterson creating 3,000 sketches for the video.

The Norwegian synth-pop group's video, originally released in 1985, has transported viewers to an imaginative world where both animation and live-action film meet. The following year, the video won six MTV Video Music Awards, including Best New Artist in a Video and Viewer's Choice.

In a 2019 making-of video about the song and video, the members of A-ha spoke about the song's staying power. Vocalist Morten Harket chalked up the song's continued popularity to its "buoyant melancholy" and honesty. "Melancholy is about things that are valuable to you," he said. "I think it's a genuine piece."

Keane drummer Richard Hughes added that the video doesn't just get plays for the visual, but because it is "brilliant music, and that's never going to change."

The song has been covered by countless artists in a number of styles, and the video has been parodied and inspired a number of videos to follow.

In a season four episode of Family Guy, Chris Griffin finds himself transported into the music video's iconic animated sequences while going to get milk.

In 2013, a Volkswagen ad paid tribute to the video. The ad showed a man envisioning himself in the music video while driving a Volkswagen. The video cuts away to reveal the man doodling similar illustrations, while singing the song's chorus.

Many artists who have covered the song also released videos that paid tribute to the iconic video.

English comedian Harry Hill parodied the original video by a near-perfect reconstruction, except the comic brought sausages and utensils to the forefront.

When Weezer covered the song for their 2019 Teal self-titled album, they recruited Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard and his band Calpurnia to play a young version of frontman Rivers Cuomo and his band. Mimicking the style of the original video, a mullet-sporting Wolfhard shoots a music video with his band.

Keyboardist Magne Furuholmen said that he's fond of Weezer's take on the video and song. "The Weezer thing is almost like a remake of the song and the video for a young generation," he said in the making-of video. "I loved Stranger Things. So, there's already a lot of things I already like about the idea. I thought Weezer's a cool outfit."

Comedian Brian Posehn also included a metal version of the track on his 2020 comedy album Grandpa Metal, featuring Anthrax's Scott Ian, Fall Out Boy's Joe Trohman, Dethklok's Brendon Small, and Death Angel's Rob Cavestany with guest vocals from Testament's Chuck Billy, Exodus' Steve "Zetro" Souza, and Huntress' Jill Janus.

The song has been featured in many different movies and TV shows, with covers and different versions of the song appearing in La La Land, Deadpool 2, and This is 40.

Some covers of the song have become famous in their own right. Ska-punk band Reel Big Fish's popular cover version was included in the BASEketball soundtrack.

British musician Aqualung covered the track for the season 10 finale of Grey's Anatomy.

The record's producer Alan Tarney summed up A-ha's legacy and how the video will endure. "It has a universally appealing riff. The video has enhanced it greatly," he said. "Everybody seems to love it, and it's just gone on and on. It's timeless."

A-Ha's "Take On Me" Video Becomes the Second '80s Video to Pass 1 Billion (1)

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A-Ha's "Take On Me" Video Becomes the Second '80s Video to Pass 1 Billion (2024)


How long did the Take On Me music video take to make? ›

Approximately 3,000 frames were rotoscoped, which took 16 weeks to complete. The idea of the video was suggested by Warner Bros executive Jeff Ayeroff, who was pivotal in making "Take on Me" a globally recognised music hit.

What is the meaning behind "take on me"? ›

It's like saying, 'I'm here; I'm ready; take me as I am. ' It's a very brave and optimistic statement.” Morten Harket, the lead singer of the band, said in an interview with The Big Issue: “The song is about being willing to take a risk for love. It's about daring to expose yourself and be vulnerable.

Who is the girl in a HA Take On Me video? ›

Therese "Bunty" Bailey (born 23 May 1964) is an English former actress, model and dancer. Bunty started her career as a dancer in the dance group Hot Gossip in the early 1980s. She became known as the girl in the music videos of a-ha's singles "Take On Me" and "The Sun Always Shines on T.V." made in 1985.

What song has the longest video? ›

Twenty One Pilots has officially set a new record for the longest music video of all time – clocking in at just over 4,264 hours. The pop band, known for their hit “Stressed Out,” released the song “Level of Concern” in April.

What is the most expensive music video ever made? ›

1. Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson “Scream” — $12.7 million. Coming in at first place is one of my personal favorites, Scream by Michael and Janet Jackson, where the collaboration ended up creating the most expensive MV ever made. “Scream” racked up a $7 million bill, now valued at over $12 million.

What happened to a ha? ›

The band split after their 2010 worldwide Ending on a High Note Tour, but reunited in 2015 to release their tenth studio album, Cast in Steel. They toured in support of the album and participated at Rock in Rio, which celebrated 30 years for both the band and the event.

Why is Take On Me so hard to sing? ›

Take on me by A-ha is actually not a rare song to hear when you enter a karaoke bar or a karaoke party. People just love its upbeat and catchy tune! However, the 80's synth pop mega hit is famous for the powerful falsetto chorus - so you might need to stretch up a bit before jumping on stage to hit those high notes.

Is A-ha a one hit wonder? ›

"Take On Me" by A-ha (1984)

While A-ha is definitely not a one-hit-wonder in their native country of Norway, the band only had one big hit in the US: "Take On Me" topped the charts in 1985.

Who was the girl in the Take On Me video by Ah Ha? ›

a-ha: Take on Me (Music Video 1985) - Bunty Bailey as The Girl - IMDb.

How rich is Morten Harket? ›

What is Morten Harket's net worth? According to Celebrity Net Worth, Morten Harket has a net worth of around $60 million (£40 million).

Who animated the Take On Me music video? ›

USC professor Michael Patterson and his wife, fellow USC professor Candace Reckinger, were instrumental in the creation of one of the most popular and innovative music videos of all time: A-ha's “Take On Me.” They were the animation directors, with Michael doing all the drawings while Candace co-directed the animation ...

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