A lot of what you're saying above could have been copied directly from my brain So we are quite aligned on many things. Great minds think alike and all that jazz
Scoundrel Days from Live in South America is possibly the live song I have listened to the most. Both Pål and Magne on guitars, Morten's voice in peak condition, the intensity, the drama... It's just absolutely wonderful!
I know there are a lot of Magne fans out there, and I totally get that. What a great guy he is, and what a wonderful musician! I will any day prefer Pål over Magne both when it comes to a-ha and their solo stuff (yes, I definitely listen to a-ha solo albums! Morten, Savoy, Magne, Apparatjik, Waaktaar & Zoe...) as I get the feeling especially since 2002 that Magne has something he wants to prove which makes sense when you watch the documentary. It's like he's said "screw that! I'm doing it MY way", which I can sympathize with but I don't really think many of the songs are what I would call "a-ha songs". I would call them "Magne songs with Morten on vocals", but at the same time I admit that the same can said for some of Pål's songs on the later albums. I don't know... to me Magne just sometimes becomes a bit too lecturing in his lyrics, whereas I appreciate the more abstract qualities of some of Pål's songs. Having said that: There are more Magne songs to come in the last episodes Plus some of this solo stuff is excellent such as Past Perfect Future Tense or A Dot of Black in the Blue of your Bliss. I just don't like the whole "I don't want to do a-ha anymore. But I don't want to NOT do a-ha anymore either". But still - Morten, Magne and Pål are a-ha, I'm not, so who am I to say what's fair and what is not???
Morten's contributions to a-ha have... mixed qualities, let's put it like that Wild Seed is a wonderful album. So is Vogts Villa. I think the real low point was Out Of My Hands, but neither Letter From Egypt nor Brother (apart from the title track) really impressed me. But that's a looong discussion and possibly one we'll pick up on in what we hope will be season 2 of "Ranking Highs and Lows".
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and impressions. I think we see many things the same way. And don't hesitate to also jump over to http://www.facebook.com/rankingaha and join the discussion there. The question there right now after we struggled in the podcast to agree on Angel in the Snow is:
What do YOU think of Angel In The Snow? An overrated sugarcoated piece of Valentine's Day candy or an underrated 24 carat gold ring?