Scoundrel Days

Scoundrel Days is the second full-length album by the rock band a-ha. It was released on 6 October 1986 through Warner Bros. Records.


Recording and production


"I've Been Losing You" was the first single from the album. It reached #1 in Norway, and #8 in the UK. "I've Been Losing You" became the biggest hit from the album in Europe.

"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 Norway.

"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."

Release and reception

Scoundrel Days was the band's second studio album. The albums 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 hit 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 british single chart. "I've Been Losing You" and "Cry Wolf" where the most successful singles from the album, "Cry Wolf" became a hit in America and charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at 50. While "I've Been Losing You" was the most succsessful single in Europe.

Track listing

  1. "Scoundrel Days" – 3:56
  2. "The Swing of Things" – 4:14
  3. "I've Been Losing You" – 4:24
  4. "October" – 3:48
  5. "Manhattan Skyline" – 4:52
  6. "Cry Wolf" – 4:05
  7. "We're Looking for the Whales" – 3:39
  8. "The Weight of the Wind" – 3:57
  9. "Maybe, Maybe" – 2:34
  10. "Soft Rains of April" – 3:12

Produced by Alan Tarney, except tracks 3, 9 and 10 produced by Mags and Pål.

Scoundrel Club EP

  1. "Cry Wolf" (Extended Version) – 8:13
  2. "We're Looking for the Whales" (live version) – 3:50
  3. "I've Been Losing You" (Dub Version) – 4:28
  4. "Manhattan Skyline" (Extended) – 6:49
  5. "Hunting High and Low" (Extended Version by Alan Tarney) – 6:02

Chart positions


Chart Peak
Swiss Album Charts 6
Austrian Album Charts 9
Swedish Albums Chart 11
Norwegian Album Chart 1
Billboard 200 74
UK Album Charts 2
German Album Chart 4
Italian Album Chart 11
Canadian Album Chart 33


Year Name Chart Peak
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


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