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a-ha to release deluxe editions of Minor Earth Major Sky and Lifelines

a-ha to release deluxe editions of Minor Earth Major Sky and Lifelines

2CD deluxe editions with bonus tracks • First time on vinyl • Remastered

a-ha will reissue Minor Earth Major Sky and Lifelines, their ‘comeback’ albums that were issued at the beginning of the new millennium.

The band took a break after 1993’s Memorial Beach and pursued their own interests until an invitation to perform at the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo rebooted their enthusiasm for the band and resulted in the release of Minor Earth Major Sky in 2000. “They weren’t super planned,” says guitarist and songwriter Pål Waaktaar-Savoy of the sessions. “It came about because we wan­ted to do it. When we connect, we make a-ha music, no matter the circumstances.”

It says something about the quality of the first single, ‘Summer Moved On‘, that despite a-ha having zero profile in the UK by this point, it still scraped into the top 40. It enjoyed more success elsewhere, topping the charts in a-ha’s native Norway, while reaching the top ten in Austria and Germany. Three further singles followed in mainland Europe, each with a generous selection of remixes. The album went platinum in Norway and Germany and a-ha were back.

a-ha to release deluxe editions of Minor Earth Major Sky and Lifelines

The 2002 follow-up Lifelines, saw a more collaborative approach with each band member contributing compositions to an arguably rather bloated record that perhaps lacked the focus of its predecessor. Nevertheless, there was still much to enjoy such as the brilliantly titled ‘Forever Not Yours‘ (the lead single in most of Europe, but not the UK which opted for ‘Lifelines‘) and the menacing ‘Did Anyone Approach You?‘ There was much fun to be had in collecting the European CD singles issued at this point which offered different production treatments of album tracks such as ‘Turn The Lights Down‘ and ‘You Wanted More‘, as well as some good (and not so good) remixes.

Apart from the odd exception, the two deluxe editions generally eschew the remixes, focusing on early versions and demos. Minor Earth Major Sky virtually exists in its entirety on the second disc in demo form and the CD is completed with a selection of live tracks.

Lifelines bonus material is similar and includes three songs that didn’t make it on to the finished album: ‘The Breakers’, ‘Sole Survivor’ and ‘To Show It Is To Blow It’. Not one to waste a good song, ‘The Breakers’ was later re-recorded by Pål’s band Savoy. Both deluxe sets feature brand new sleeve notes by Kieron Tyler.

‘Minor Earth Major Sky’ and ‘Lifelines’ are both issued on vinyl for the first time as part of this reissue campaign. They are both 2LP 180g black vinyl pressings on gatefold sleeves and feature the remastered album only, without the bonus material.

Minor Earth Major Sky and Lifelines are reissued on 27 September 2019 (the US have to wait a few more weeks, with a release date of 18 October).

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a-ha to release deluxe editions of Minor Earth Major Sky and Lifelines

Minor Earth Major Sky 2CD deluxe edition

CD 1

1 Minor Earth Major Sky (2019 Remaster)
2 Little Black Heart (2019 Remaster)
3 Velvet (Remaster 2019)
4 Summer Moved On (2019 Remaster)
5 The Sun Never Shone That Day (2019 Remaster)
6 To Let You Win (2019 Remaster)
7 The Company Man (2019 Remaster)
8 Thought That It Was You (2019 Remaster)
9 I Wish I Cared (2019 Remaster)
10 Barely Hanging On (2019 Remaster)
11 You’ll Never Get Over Me (2019 Remaster)
12 I Will Not Forget Her (2019 Remaster)
13 Mary Ellen Makes the Moment Count (2019 Remaster)
14 Summer Moved On (Remix)
15 Velvet (Alabaster Mix)
16 The Sun Never Shone That Day (Radio Edit)
17 Minor Earth Major Sky (Milenia Nova Remix)

CD 2
1 Minor Earth Major Sky (Early Version)
2 Little Black Heart (Alternate Mix)
3 Velvet (Early Version)
4 Summer Moved On (Early Version)
5The Sun Never Shone That Day (Early Version)
6 To Let You Win (Early Mix)
7 We Will Never Speak Again (Demo)
8 The Company Man (Early Version)
9 Life’s Not Fair (Early Version of “I Wish I Cared”)
10 Barely Hanging On (Early Version)
11 I Will Not Forget Her (Early Version)
12 Manhattan Skyline (Live Oslo 2001)
13 Thought That It Was You (Live Oslo 2001)
14 You’ll Never Get Over Me (Live Oslo 2001)
15 Mary Ellen Makes the Moment Count (Live Oslo 2001)
16 Summer Moved On (Demo)

a-ha to release deluxe editions of Minor Earth Major Sky and Lifelines

Lifelines 2CD deluxe edition

1. Lifelines (2019 Remaster)
2 You Wanted More (2019 Remaster)
3 Forever Not Yours (2019 Remaster)
4 There’s a Reason for It (2019 Remaster)
5 Time and Again (2019 Remaster)
6 Did Anyone Approach You (2019 Remaster)
7 Afternoon High (2019 Remaster)
8 Oranges on Appletrees (2019 Remaster)
9 A Little Bit (2019 Remaster)
10 Less Than Pure (2019 Remaster)
11 Turn The Lights Down (2019 Remaster)
12 Can not Hide (2019 Remaster)
13 White Canvas (2019 Remaster)
14 Dragonfly (2019 Remaster)
15 Solace (2019 Remaster)
16 Did Anyone Approach You (Tore Johanson Mix)
17 Time and Again (Langer & Wainstanley Version)
18 Lifelines (Apoptyma Berzerk Remix)

CD 2
1 Lifelines (demo)
2 You Wanted More (Demo)
3 Forever Not Yours (Demo)
4 There’s a Reason for It
5 The Breakers
6 Time and Again
7 Did Anyone Approach You (Demo)
8 Afternoon High (demo)
9 Oranges on Appletrees (Early Mix)
10 Sole Survivor
11 Less Than Pure (Demo)
12 To Show It’s To Blow It
13 Turn The Lights Down (Demo)
14 Can not Hide
15 There’s a Reason for It
16 One in a Million (Demo)
17 Dragonfly (demo)
18 Solace (Early Version)
19 Differences (demo)

a-ha to release deluxe editions of Minor Earth Major Sky and Lifelines

Minor Earth Major Sky 2LP vinyl

LP1

Side 1
1. Minor Earth Major Sky
2. Little Black Heart
3. Velvet

Side 2
1. Summer Moved On
2. The Sun Never Shone That Day
3. To Let You Win

LP2

Side 1
1. The Company Man
2. Thought That It Was You
3. I Wish I Cared
4. Barely Hanging On

Side 2
1. You’ll Never Get Over Me
2. I Won’t Forget Her
3. Mary Ellen Makes the Moment Count

a-ha to release deluxe editions of Minor Earth Major Sky and Lifelines

Lifelines 2LP vinyl

LP1

Side 1
1. Lifelines
2. You Wanted More
3. Forever Not Yours
4. There’s a Reason for It

Side 2
1. Time and Again
2. Did Anyone Approach You
3. Afternoon High

LP2

Side 1
1. Oranges on Appletrees
2. A Little Bit
3. Less Than Pure
4. Turn the Lights Down

Side 2
1. Cannot Hide
2. White Canvas
3. Dragonfly
4. Solace

65 responses to a-ha to release deluxe editions of Minor Earth Major Sky and Lifelines

  1. Joe says:

    Lifelines 2 CD on Amazon UK now.

  2. Darren says:

    Hi. Please. Guys. Make. A. New. Album. To. Hopefully. Great. Band. More. Deluxe albums. To. Blu-rays. And lots more. Tours. A-ha. See. You again. November.

  3. thomas scallan says:

    I remember spending a small fortune buying (on import) all those German Maxi Singles at the time of release that Paul mentions so I’m pleased most aren’t included, as I assumed they would be.

    On an irrelevant side note, I still think the artwork for the two albums is dreadful!

    • Ron I says:

      @thomas
      What a miserable outlook on things. First, you’re happy that others won’t be getting extra songs because you spent so much money on them years ago. Then you bash the album artwork. You must be a real joy to hang with lol.

  4. Luke Jackson says:

    Many years ago (long before discogs, google translate and other such helpful websites) I convinced myself there had been a vinyl edition of Minor Earth Major Sky in South America and was very pleased with myself for finding and ordering it online from Argentina. The shipping was brutal! It was called Caza Mayor Y Menor…sounds about right I guessed. Imagine my disappointment when what showed up was a Spanish-titled pressing of Hunting High And Low!

    https://www.discogs.com/a-ha-Caza-Mayor-Y-Menor-Hunting-High-And-Low/release/6333683

    Looking forward to righting that wrong at long last!

  5. Rickjapan says:

    Interesting to see so much dislike for a-ha’s later work from some people. I’m a long time follower and will continue to be, and also agree that Lifelines is not perfect with a few really good songs (the title song is awesome).
    It’s fine to fall out of love with a band when they go on and develop, changing out of the comfort zone that you like, but that doesn’t make them worthless, so while I’m happy to accept opinions that people don’t like a particular album, I don’t think they should just trash the band as a whole.

    Really happy to see the Japan link up, since I live here, but what’s harder to understand is why the album is in the western books category and includes the Japanese for audiobook in the title. I think Amazon or someone is a little confused?? Anyhow, definite buy from me but will hold off until they sort out their entries.

    Thanks as always for everything, Paul, my so80s CDs arrived today, too! Now I have something to listen to tomorrow as the typhoon rages overhead

    • carlos Garate says:

      dear Rick: I Agree on everything you say on your coment. I thing “Lifelines” is a very good album, as you say, it is not perfect, but it contains awesome tracks such as “Lifelines”, Youu wanted More, Forever not Yours, There’s a REason for it, Did anyone approach you…… afterwards, in my opinion, the album falls a bit in quality and their songs turn into the poorest fans had listened at that time, though it doesn’t mean the tracks are not very good. I’ll be a fan of A-ha since I have listened to them for the first time in 1992 tilll the day I die. Otherwise, You menction that you live in Japan. ¿could you tell me if there will be reisswes of these records in your country?. It happens that, no matter how I’m trying, I cant find information about it. In case you had a piece of news, I’d be grateful if you coult write to me at carlosgarate1979@gmail.com. looking forwards to hearing from you, carlos.

      • Rickjapan says:

        carlos, I’m just a regular guy, with no inside info on release schedules. All I can tell you is there is no sign of any Japanese-produced editions of these deluxe reissues on the Amazon site, they’re just imports from Germany

  6. Ken Harris says:

    Most bands and acts last a few years and a few albums then get dropped by major labels and struggle to both find audiences as large as before or release music that gets heard by many.This is very sad as usually the songwriting,performance and general musical talent of the dropped band has not vanished.So it is unfair to criticize and run-down A-ha’s output since the 1980’s just because their audience and record sales were lower.I have found all their albums have merit and plenty of good and interesting songs.Good bands like A-ha and Depeche Mode have a fantastic longevity and evolution of performance and song that should be celebrated.There is something exciting I think about bands and acts that can release a record in say 1985 that is fab then still release a record of brand new songs in say 2015 that is also good and different.Bands that last longer than 30+ years have something good about them otherwise they’d have ceased existing/having an audience years ago!

  7. Dylan says:

    Lifelines CD not up?

  8. Dmitri says:

    Why not colored vinyl….

  9. MüllerMüller says:

    Hallo – „Time and Again ( Langer & Wainstanley Version )“ >> is this track unreleased? I canˋt find it in my collection /discogs – only the version of „Turn the light down“ !

  10. Arnd says:

    Is there information available which tracks are previously unreleased? Differences, for example, is likely the version from the Forever Not Yours Single, the live tracks are likely all from Live At Valhall…
    It’s a pity they did not choose the Pumpin’ Dolls Radio Edit, that is the rarest version that was only found on the spanish CD single IIRC.

  11. Paul G says:

    I’ve noticed that several of their other Deluxe Editions have been selling out on Amazon this morning. Get in quick if you want them.

  12. MusicFan says:

    If I remember correctly this is the first time these albums have been officially released in the UK.

    When these were first released they were only available as imports in the UK.

    For many years I had to buy all A-ha vinyls and CD from Amazon Germany as the UK had lost interest in A-ha.

    After Memorial Beach in 1993, A-ha did not release an album in the UK until Analogue in 2005.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      That’s not true. Both albums were released in the UK. There wasn’t much in the way of promotion, although Morten went on “So Graham Norton” when Lifelines was released.

      • Kevin Galliford says:

        I remember them doing “Summer moved on” on some BBC evening consumer show wondering why & I read much later that it was the only show they could get booked on.

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          I seem to remember The Sunday Times ‘Culture’ supplement had a little bit that raved about how good Summer Moved On was. It’s painful when your a fan of a band in the ‘lean’ years when most people don’t give a shit about them.

          • Kevin Galliford says:

            I thought “Where’s the credibility gone?” but if you want to promote your new songs & the choice is doing nothing or going on some shitty show with the credits rolling over half of your song what do you do?

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            Indeed.

  13. Dennis says:

    > 18 Lifelines (Apoptyma Berzerk Remix)
    should be Apoptygma Berzerk Remix

  14. Brian Wenner says:

    Thanks for the links… I preordered Minor Earth/Major Sky in both Vinyl and CD versions.. One of my favorite albums from A-Ha.

  15. Art says:

    Just made my day !
    The live album for the lifelines tour needs a vinyl release as well

  16. Kauwgompie says:

    Excellent news. MEMS is an outstanding album. Lifelines is not too bad either. Will buy both deluxe CD’s. For those wanting the remixes, I’m a remix lover and have the cd singles. The remixes are absolutely atrocious. It was in a time when remixers started to think its cool to completety re-do the songs by adding weird drumloops and add additional production that completely changed the essence of the original song. That hardly ever turned out any good remixes IMHO. So you’re not missing much. First time ever that I agree to not add most remixes to a deluxe version.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Also, Bill Inglot put the best remix of ‘Did Anyone Approach You’ (at my request) on the second CD of ‘Time And Again: Ultimate a-ha’ compilation. That is the ‘reamped’ mix. In fact that second disc is full of great remixes. The Mauracher Remix of Celice is also amazing.

  17. Yvonne says:

    Paul,

    Are these going to be sold in the UK ?

    Amazon UK sold the previous ones, but I remember it was about 3 months after release date that HMV where I lived got any of them in stock.

    I have pre-ordered on Amazon Germany which came to £42.00 including postage

    I only ask because some releases of a-ha have only in Germany

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      They will be available in the UK. Give it a day or two…

      • Malcolm says:

        That has made my day. Minor Earth has always been one of my all time favourite albums so will definitely want the vinyl and CD reissue. Will likely just get Lifelines on vinyl though. Thanks for the excellent article

  18. Griffin says:

    Not my cup of tea. So I won’t be buying. I bought their earlier super deluxe/remastered/expanded editions. But I’m very happy for other A-Ha fans these 2 albums finally get the 2CD treatments. I just hope they can put all the “unreleased” remixes & still unreleased on CD remixes, missing tracks or full length versions of the “early faded” mixes (unconfirmed by anyone, but I hope they did that and now perhaps the chance to retify it or finally give us what we wanted for a long time) from their early albums: 2-3CD Remixes Compilation (only their earlier albums).

  19. Kevin Galliford says:

    Wow! MEMS is definitely one of their best ever albums & certainly one of my favorite albums . No duff tracks at all & every song resonates. Lifelines has some good songs too but lacks the “whole album is great feel” of it’s predecessor . I’ll be buying both on CD to go with all the other A-ha reissues I’ve bought no worries. Cheers Paul! Are you reading this Duran Duran? A remaster programme on CD not just Vinyl. !!!!!! Written in view of the highly suspected vinyl only reissues for the DD40 anniversary next year.

  20. Derek says:

    Agree that Lifelines is a bit “bloated ” album, but there are some gems on that album, and Lifelines is one of my all time favourite A-ha tracks. Haven’t heard MEMS in years, but I remember it being a solid album.

  21. colinthebruce says:

    Bit annoying for me. I’m a vinyl collector, love a-ha but will not buy both vinyl and CD so miss out on the extra tracks. This on the back of m vinyl purchase of the Unplugged vinyl which didnt have a download code. Paying the extra for vinyl it should come with a download code (as ALL vinyl should now – are you listening Madonna et al) so you get my preferred choice of vinyl but don’t miss out. In summary, not buying both so hard luck with that ploy record company!

  22. Paul Nesmith says:

    Hunting High And Low,Scoundrel Days,Stay On These Roads are really all you need
    No disrespect but i have no interest in their catalogue after 1989,they really should have called it a day at that point,instead we have had to endure 30 years of interminable forgettable dross and never ending reunions

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Lazy representation of the reality.

    • Larry Davis says:

      I respect your opinion BUT everything they did AFTER 1989 and “Stay On These Roads” is among the best-ever work they have done, ESPECIALLY “East Of The Sun, West Of The Moon”, “Minor Earth Major Sky”, and “Move To Memphis” as a single, “Memorial Beach” is a great album too, produced by David Z & recorded at Paisley Park!!…before MEMS, “East Of The Sun” was my fave a-ha album, period (“Slender Frame” my fave a-ha song until “Move To Memphis”)…they reinvented themselves organically and established themselves as songwriters first…from that point on, a-ha have not been identified by electronics. but as an epic pop band with a rock edge…your comment is lost in a-ha’s artistic evolution, sorry…

    • Willy says:

      “No disrespect” yet “interminable forgettable dross”?

      No further questions, your honour.

    • Aevion says:

      Real harsh there, as I know many fans including myself have enjoyed their output from after 1989. But I guess it’s just a personal opinion so nothing wrong with that.

    • EW99 says:

      This is such a strange thing to say. My comparisons would be to New Order and the Cure: I’ve not enjoyed NO since Republic or The Cure since Disintegration but I just stopped buying their records. I’m delighted for them that they’ve continued so successfully and wouldn’t wish that they had stopped their careers just for me.

    • Mark says:

      @Paul Nesmith: Do you really think ‘Stay On These Roads’ is a superior album to the likes of ‘East Of The Sun West Of The Moon’, ‘Memorial Beach’, ‘Minor Earth Major Sky’ and ‘Analogue’?

    • Darren says:

      To Paul Nesmith,
      Frankly, you don’t know what you’re talking about.
      The albums that came after the first three are A-Ha’s best.
      East of the Sun, West of the Moon (1990), Memorial Beach (1993) and Minor Earth Major Sky (2000) are honestly A-Ha’s best albums.
      I’m sure many here will agree.

  23. Kiki_ says:

    I still don’t car ethat much about live tracks… but it’s very enjoyable to see that there will be plenty of unreleased / Demo tracks !
    I will make my own additional CD of remixes anyway …. ;-)

  24. toni hernandez says:

    A Foot Of The Mountain also was released for first time on vinyl recently but only distributed on Norway.

  25. Jurg says:

    I have the CD singles of MEMS but most of the remixes I don’t like. In my opinion you can call a remix a remix when you use what’s recorded and mix it again. A skill that has been lost. It’s not the same as using a sample and put that on a selfmade drumloop. So I’m happy with what’s on the second CD. Find it strange to remaster music from 2000 and later. It already sounds good to me.

  26. Vishal says:

    damn it! have to buy them all!!

    ps: As others have mentioned, wish they would repress the records for Stay on these roads; east of the sun; memorial beach. Also, my east of the sun deluxe edition seems to be lost, can’t find it! :(

  27. negative1 says:

    I’ll be getting them regardless.

    Would have been nice to get a 3/4 cd set with the remixes on them.
    I do have the cd-singles, but would have been better to put them
    in one place.

    later
    -1

  28. Lee Cook says:

    Why haven’t they pressed stay on these roads, east of the sun and memorial beach albums yet on vinyl Paul do you know?

  29. Trash says:

    Excellent news.
    Minor Earth… is probably my favourite (or at least most-played) a-ha album 9as much as i love the first three in particular). It’s definitely one of the best comeback albums of any 80s band.

    Can’t wait for these to appear on Amazon UK so that they can take my money…

  30. Marcel Rijs says:

    The only thing missing IMHO is the 2001 Nobel Peace Price performance of ‘Differences’. That was one mesmerizing performance. Other than that: very glad to finally see these releases happen.

  31. Craig Hedges says:

    Hurray!…. but why didn’t we vinyls of the previous 3 albums? I’m glad they dumped the remixes, they were completely pointless.

  32. Don says:

    These follow the pattern of the previous deluxe editions by including 1 remix of each single as a bonus track on Disc 1 and saving the demos, live tracks, and b-sides for Disc 2. It’s strange to see the Live from Valhall tracks on MEMS, though. Were they used as b-sides? Anyway, looking forward to hearing these!

  33. Joe Mac Pherson says:

    And my remastered, deluxe treatment of the a-ha catalogue continues! Thanks Paul, for the advance notice!
    In the 1990’s as well as the last decade, when people would ask me what current bands I regard, I always mentioned a-ha. Then, “Weren’t they from the Eighties?” or, “Didn’t they stop making music a long time ago?” or, “a-ha? Are they still making music?” My level of defense was maintained, every time. “I realize you’re not aware, but a-ha never broke up. They still release albums, every decade. Blame US radio stations for ignoring this fact.”
    I will always love Norway’s finest!

  34. MusicFan says:

    This really is great news, as all of the fans have been waiting a long time for this announcement.

    I am very happy with the tracklistings, however, I would have not included the live tracks as they are already on DVD and CD.

    There is a wealth of remixes from these two albums with the vast majority already on CD, yet there are a small number of vinyl only remixes that could have been put on CD rather than live tracks we already have!

    However, I really can’t wait for these!!

  35. esque says:

    Oh, I really wish that the 2CD of _Lifelines_ included the Langer/Winstanley version of “Turn The Lights Down,” but I’m so excited.

  36. Baq says:

    WOW!
    I was waiting for ages to see these two albums getting their deluxe treatment and a vinyl release.

    Looking forward to hear the demos and unreleased songs.
    Hopefully the records will be pressed at Optimal in Germany. (very good pressing quality!)

    A blu-ray with some live footage would have been nice too. But as far as I know both tours (MEMS and L) were not filmed apart from the concert at Vallhall in 2001.

    A complete box set of all their music videos in 1080p quality (especially from the 2000s upwards) would be nice. A filmed concert of the 80s or 90s too!

  37. Mike the Fish says:

    I was hoping for more alt mixes rather than demos, to be honest, which can be quite challenging. Maybe there’s not as many alternate productions of the Lifeline tracks as I was expecting. Ages ago it felt like a better, shorter, album was tucked in there and could have done with a single vinyl pruning treatment (like Cast In Steel got years later). Hopefully this will sound nicer than the original.

  38. Mark says:

    Yes! Been waiting for these for what seems like forever. Really looking forward to hearing the a-ha version of ‘The Breakers’, as that’s one of my favourite Savoy tracks. Nice to see them on vinyl for the first time too, my dream release of ‘Analogue’ on vinyl is slowly inching closer!

    • Larry Davis says:

      I’m wondering whether to wait for NEW deluxes of “Analogue” & “Foot Of The Mountain” or just get the original deluxes from 10-15 years ago?? They were both on Universal, different label, so I don’t know if they will be redone again?? I will wait if they are or will be…as for these two, been waiting since the last ones, and since Paul told Paul that they had been done, just waiting for finalities and legalities and contract stuff to be signed…yes same label, just different contract than the first 5…now what to do with the first 2 Universal albums, another contract…oh joy…

      • thomas scallan says:

        I think we pretty much have the Deluxe version of Foot of the Mountain, with the bonus tracks on Disc 2 of Cast in Steel.

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