Take On Me. Take Me On.
October 28, 2010 10:54 AM   Subscribe

"Commuter" by Michael Patterson, was the forerunner to a-ha's "Take On Me" [via].

When "Take On Me" became a #1 song 25 years ago the first version was less memorable.
posted by kirkaracha (16 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
The literal version (previously) is fun, too.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:54 AM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Interesting to hear that the famous synth intro was inspired by Ray Manzarek. I would have thought steel drums.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:00 AM on October 28, 2010

And the "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" sequence from Yellow Submarine" was the forefrunner of "Commuter" in its use of rotoscoped figures as vehicles for continually shifting textures, shading and hatching.
posted by Faze at 11:04 AM on October 28, 2010

There are some sonic textures which should not be encoded as low bitrate mp3. I mean really if you want to play with dense semi-random combinations of tones go for it, but don't pretend it has any relation to the near white noise you are supposedly encoding.
posted by idiopath at 11:26 AM on October 28, 2010

Could you add animation to the tags please?
posted by ocherdraco at 11:43 AM on October 28, 2010

Obligatory Family Guy....
posted by schmod at 11:45 AM on October 28, 2010 [3 favorites]

Wow, that first version. I usually am of the opinion that a good song can find an audience over a range of production values, but there's no way it would have been the hit that it was without the step up in production quality and the amazing video. I became an instant a-ha fan when I saw the video in a movie theater before Back to the Future, and I dare say a good chunk of the rest of the audience did too -- the vibe in the room was that people were just astounded and tickled. I'm pretty sure if they'd tried the same thing with that original video, a-ha would have been a joke.
posted by weston at 11:45 AM on October 28, 2010

The synth solo in the middle of the song is my iPhone ringtone. I still think A-ha were slightly underrated as a band, at least for their first two albums.
posted by dnash at 11:51 AM on October 28, 2010

I hate that the rapist gets away from the cops who were chasing him, trying to prevent him from escaping into the real world.
posted by Xoebe at 12:53 PM on October 28, 2010

I'm actually disappointed to find that "Commuter" only goes back to the 1980s, as it's clearly based on 1950s (or 40s) footage. As for the rotoscoping technique, that does go way back (to 1915 according to the wiki).

As for the song, in case you haven't already heard it, AC Newman's recent take is definitely worth a few minutes of your life.
posted by philip-random at 1:01 PM on October 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've always enjoyed the MxPx cover, but alas no snazzy video for it.
posted by cftarnas at 3:27 PM on October 28, 2010

The quality of that YouTube video is so bad it's hard to tell what's going on. Here's a direct link to a larger version of the BBC video.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 5:18 PM on October 28, 2010

I love the Altered States reference.

What? I can't be the only one!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:27 PM on October 28, 2010

I love the Altered States reference. ... What? I can't be the only one!

No, you're not.
posted by ericb at 5:42 PM on October 28, 2010

That's a rather interesting interpretation, Xoebe.
posted by Picklegnome at 11:02 PM on October 28, 2010

Take On Me - the sequel. Norwegian ad (2009) for "Easy Clean" wall paint.
posted by iviken at 10:04 AM on October 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

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