My sister and I have had a bit of a musical disagreement. My hubby and I both believe that a-ha (yes, all lower-case) are the superior band, whereas Vicky is under the misapprehension that The Script are all that. In order to point out exactly how wrong she has (and that she has no taste in music at all), I offer here, for all to see, the facts. Let’s pit them against each other and see who comes out the victor. All info taken from the relevant Wikipedia pages. (I hasten to add, this is all in good fun and not meant to offend – obviously, I want a-ha to win, so I’m more than a little biased!)
Round 1: Longevity
a-ha – Formed in 1982, had a 4-year hiatus between 1994 and 1998, returned in full force and are now bowing out in 2010.
Total years as a group = 24
The Script – Formed in 2001 and still going in 2010 (were formerly known as Mytown, but The Script do not have the same line-up, therefore it cannot be considered the same band.)
Total years as a group = 9
Result – Round 1 to a-ha who have had the same line-up for 24 years (not including their 4-year hiatus) – a full 15 years longer than their rivals.
Round 2: Discography
a-ha – Recorded their first album (Hunting High and Low) in 1985, 3 years after they formed. As a-ha, they have recorded 9 studio albums. Morten Harket has recorded a further 4 solo albums; Magne Furuhomen has recorded 2 solo albums and 1 with Apparatjik; Paul Waaktaar-Savoy has recorded 6 albums with Savoy.
Total albums = 22
The Script – Recorded their first album (The Script) in 2008, 7 years after they formed. As The Script, they have recorded 2 albums. I have not been able to find information showing they have recorded solo albums or any albums with other groups other than as Mytown. Mytown (formed in 1996) do not seem to have recorded any albums either.
Total albums = 2
Result – Round 2 to a-ha who were picked up for their debut album in just 3 years (as opposed to The Script waiting 7 years) and have released, between the members, 20 more albums than their opponents.
Round 3: Album sales
a-ha – Sold over 35 million albums (and more than 15 million singles), making them the best-selling Norwegian music act in history and the second best-selling act from Scandinavia of all-time after Abba.
Total album sales: 35 million
The Script – Sold over 600,000 copies of their debut album and 70,816 copies of their second album.
Total album sales: 670, 816
Result – Round 3 to a-ha who have outsold The Script by a looooooong shot!
Round 4: Concert Touring (not small-scale or supporting gigs)
a-ha – Currently touring. As of November 2009, a-ha had held 488 concerts around the world. This does not include the 2010 tour, which (up to the last concert date on 4th December this year) will have included a further 71 dates, which brings the final tally to 559. This is over the course of 10 tours and they have visited 33 countries.
Totals: 559 dates / 10 tours / 33 countries
The Script – Currently selling tickets for forthcoming tour. 11 dates, all in the UK and Ireland in 2011. They have announced that they will be doing a headlining tour across the U.S. in the autumn of 2010, kicking off in San Diego on October 11th, although I couldn’t find the dates for this tour even when I visited the official band website.
Totals: 11 dates UK and Ireland (unknown dates for US leg of tour) / 1 tour (not yet started / 3 countries
Result: Round 4 to a-ha. Just look at the figures – you can count, people.
Round 5: World-wide Success
a-ha – Obviously they’re huge in their native Norway, have had great success in the UK and in the USA. Judging by the fact that half the German dates in their current tour have completely sold out, I’d say they were very popular there too. I point back to the number of countries toured mentioned in the previous round – 33 countries (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the USA).
Total countries: 33
The Script – Popular in their native Ireland and the UK, have also had success in Russia in the singles chart, and have also done well in the USA. Denmark is also mentioned in relation to their second single.
Total countries: 5
Result – Round 5 to a-ha (again, look at the numbers – it’s not rocket science)
a-ha 5 / The Script 0
I therefore declare a-ha the winners, and to celebrate, point you all in the direction of their final single Butterfly Butterfly (The Last Hurrah)