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a-ha / Cast in Steel fanbox

castbox

a-ha‘s forthcoming new album, Cast in Steel, will be issued in four physical formats including a ‘fanbox’ (pictured above).

The 12-track release sees the band collaborating with a variety of producers, including Erik Ljunggren and Steve Osbourne (who both worked on 2009’s Foot of the Mountain) and notably Alan Tarney who produced the first three a-ha albums in the 1980s.

A two-CD deluxe edition is interesting because five of the bonus CD’s six tracks are previously unreleased variants of songs from Foot of the Mountain, while the vinyl edition of Cast in Steel is only a ten-track affair – omitting She’s Humming A Tune and Giving Up The Ghost.

More details to be confirmed on the ‘Fanbox’, although I’m not too convinced at the moment. According to a-ha’s Facebook page it will include the 2CD deluxe, a numbered print, an A2 poster, and an exclusive fan pass and lanyard which gives you earlier access to a a German Tour concert in 2016 “in association with” a valid ticket. The fanbox may or may not be a German exclusive, but if you don’t live in Germany (there are a few of us) then you’re out of luck!

But seriously, I know a-ha are signed to Universal Germany for this record, but someone needs to pull their finger out and start thinking a bit more internationally. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the early noughties when the two ‘comeback’ albums (Minor Earth Major Sky and Lifelines) were all but ignored in the UK. As you will see below, you can also only order this via Amazon Germany at present.

Cast in Steel will be released on 4 September 2015.


castinsteel

Fanbox

2CD

Vinyl

CD


Track listing

CD

01. Cast In Steel
02. Under The Makeup
03. The Wake
04. Forest Fire
05. Objects In The Mirror
06. Door Ajar
07. Living At The End Of The World
08. Mythomania
09. She’s Humming A Tune
10. Shadow Endeavors
11. Giving Up The Ghost
12. Goodbye Thompson

CD 2 (deluxe edition only)

01. The End Of The Affair
02. Mother Nature Goes To Heaven (Original Version)
03. Nothing Is Keeping You Here (Original Version)
04. Shadowside (Demo Version)
05. Start The Simulator (Stereophonic Mix)
06. Foot Of The Mountain (Mark Saunders Remix)

Vinyl Album

Side A:

Cast In Steel
Under The Makeup
The Wake
Forest Fire
Objects In The Mirror

Side B:

Door Ajar
Living At The End Of The World
Mythomania
Shadow Endeavors
Goodbye Thompson

Further details on track listing

CD 1

01. Cast In Steel

Words and music by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
Produced by Erik Ljunggren and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy

02. Under The Makeup

Words and music by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
Produced by Erik Ljunggren and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy

03. The Wake

Music by Morten Harket and Peter Kvint
Words by Morten Harket and Ole Sverre Olsen
Produced by Peter Kvint and Morten Harket

04. Forest Fire

Music by Magne Furuholmen, Morten Harket, Martin Terefe and Peter Kvint
Words by Magne Furuholmen
Produced by Steve Osborne, Magne Furuholmen and Erik Ljunggren

05. Objects In The Mirror

Words and music by Magne Furuholmen
Produced by Steve Osborne, Magne Furuholmen and Erik Ljunggren

06. Door Ajar

Words and music by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
Produced by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and Alan Tarney

07. Living At The End Of The World

Music by Morten Harket and Peter Kvint
Words by Morten Harket and Ole Sverre Olsen
Produced by Peter Kvint and Morten Harket

08. Mythomania

Words and music by Magne Furuholmen
Produced by Magne Furuholmen and Erik Ljunggren

09. She’s Humming A Tune

Words and music by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
Produced by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and Erik Ljunggren

10. Shadow Endeavors

Words and music by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
Produced by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and Alan Tarney

11. Giving Up The Ghost

Words and music by Magne Furuholmen
Produced by Magne Furuholmen and Erik Ljunggren

12. Goodbye Thompson

Words and music by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
Produced by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and Alan Tarney

CD 2:

01. The End Of The Affair

Words and music by Magne Furuholmen
Produced by Erik Ljunggren and Magne Furuholmen

02. Mother Nature Goes To Heaven (Original Version)

Words and music by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
Produced by a-ha

03. Nothing Is Keeping You Here (Original Version)

Words and music by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
Produced by a-ha

04. Shadowside (Demo Version)

Words and music by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
Produced by a-ha and Erik Ljunggren

05. Start The Simulator (Stereophonic Mix)

Words and music by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
Produced by Mark Saunders and Roland Spremberg

06. Foot Of The Mountain (Mark Saunders Remix)

Words by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
Music by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and Magne Furuholmen
Produced by Mark Saunders


Fanbox

2CD

Vinyl

CD


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42 Comments

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Arnd

“Mother Nature Goes To Heaven (Original Version)” was released before! On the CD single “Shadowside”, labeled “demo version”.

Dyson

Thanks to Universal Germany, here is information about the Cast In Steel Deluxe Fanbox Edition, which is limited to 4,000.

[…] information on the various editions of Cast in Steel here. The album is released on 4 September […]

Daran

A-ha website confirms that there is a UK fanbox version that omits the German tour pass.

Sven

A comment on the fanbox from a big a-ha fan:
The deluxe edition seems to be a big disappointment and the fanbox utterly worthless. Who had the idea to fill the bonus discs of the deluxe and fanbox editions predomonantly with songs from 6 years ago – which should make in on a FOTM deluxe edition instead. Why no demos etc. from this year, from the Cast in Steel songs? And the fanbox is complete kitsch for me – no useful audio material, just worthless prints etc. A-ha has serious fans out there who care for their music and not for such useless stuff. And: the world is not just Germany! Why should a British, Brazilian etc. fan order a fanbox which gives early admission for the GERMAN concerts only?

And a comment on the above discussion:
I agree with many statements here, and also think Darren gets the point . At least from the perspective of a “typical British music consumer” who just listens to radio there was not much after Stay on these roads. And a TOP 5 album in July 2009 unfortunately cannot be compared to a-ha’s earlier achievements from a commercial perspective. Just visit the buzzjack.com forum and have a look at the weekly album sales figures. This week’s UK number 1 (from the Chemical brothers) just sold around 16k copies. This is nothing compared to the 1980’s and 1990’s. And in 2006, when the Analogue single charted at Number 10, single sales were extremely low, resulting even in the Manics having threee number 2 singles in a row.

Duran Duran, in contrast, had a very succesful comeback in 2004 (btw, I don’t like Astronaut and think Red Carpet Massacre is great, even though I can’t stand Timbaland – I think it sounded fredh and different while Astronaut was a safe but boring way to get back, just like a-ha and ME/MS), at least for one album.

A-ha’s best albums are EOTS and Memorial Beach, along with Scoundrel days and (most of) Analogue.

Paul Edwards

Paul, I’m also an a-ha collector so know both Bands material like the back of my hand. Driftwood is my fave track of theirsI can see what you are saying but we probably won’t agree. A-ha run of albums from scoundrel days through to Analogue is very consistent and I adore Memorial Beach.

I think DD post reunion have been very consistent (RCM is actually ok if you ignore the Timbaland tracks) and their 90s albums aren’t all bad (agree the analysis of Liberty tho!)

I guess it comes down to preference and if we all liked the same it’d be dull!

Great site by the way (and again- any chance of a forum?!)

Charlie D

I love this band, but why am I not surprised they are thumbing their nose, once again, at the US and ignoring to play here. I’m fortunate I saw the 2 NYC shows but offering up a deluxe edition with German tour-related ticket stuff is sitting insultingly with me, since I really wanted the 2cd for those bonus tracks.

Neil Kelly

They are playing the UK

Daran

Economics of touring Charlie. We all know it’s not cheap, and you can only scale a production down so much. Even then you have a very large part of the fixed costs to pick up. Think of the recoup needed to cover the band and crew flights and hotel, even allowing foir a lot of the gear to be hired in the US rather than freighted out. Huge money, and no way a few thousand ticket sales are going to be enough. I guess no pay back =no can do?

Cosmos

@ Charlie D…why don’t you order the 2 CD Deluxe Edition from the AmazonUK site? I pre-ordered it, go to link above at this post and order it!

Mark Jobson

I’m sorry Darren, but you clearly don’t know much about a-ha’s music at all if you think it is on the level of Take That.

Go and listen to the songs Scoundrel Days, October, Manhattan Skyline, Soft Rains of April, East of the Sun, Sycamore Leaves, Locust, Lamb to the Slaughter, Memorial Beach, Minor Earth Major Sky, Mary Ellen Makes The Moment Count, Lifelines, Cosy Prisons and The Bandstand to educate yourself about their 30 year career. Then come back and we can have a serious discussion about their musical ability.

Neil Kelly

‘The Bandstand’… My fav A-ha song!

MrDJP

I just listened to Memorial Beach after not hearing it for a while.

Damn… What an album.

A-ha are too often ignorantly lumped into the pretty boy 80s category by the masses. They are criminally underrated and did some classy pop albums.

I think most of us would agree that Memorial Beach is their best. Yes?

Paul Edwards

Think Paul’s criticism of DD is overly harsh. Yes the 90s weren’t that great but 4 studio albums, plus a very successful greatest hits album. Even in the late 90s they toured and played the likes of wembley arena multiple times.

Creatively they had to try new things or they’d have died. Even if that process did lead them back where they started with the agreement to reform the original band in 2000.

I love a-ha but they aren’t a patch on dd. DD have never split up and the core seem to still be friends whereas a-ha sadly seems to be a partnership of convenience these days.

garax

Even an interview with Tony Mansfield would be amazing – talking about his career and the production work he has done. It never ceases to amaze me that some mediocre talents lumber on for years and then you get some genuine but under appreciated talents like Tony’s where you’d still like to hear what they want to do but they just basically vanish.

mintoncard

Is that some homeless person in the back photo-bombing the album cover? Oh no, wait. That’s just Paul. ;)

Neil Kelly

Pal

Daran

All other dates in Europe that should have read.

Daran

I don’t agree with other Darren as all those artists he mentions started off as bubble gum pop artists and stayed that way throughout their active lives, but a-ha did not. They went serious after a couple of albums and so their public profile had waned for all those lightweight teen fans (girls mostly in the early days I’d wager). But for all serious music fans their names and songs will still be remembered quite clearly. The German release focus makes perfect sense when you see how popular they still are there – take a look at the tour schedule to see how many big arena shows they have booked in Germany compared to all dates in other countries combined. No contest.

Darren

I don’t think you could really call Take That bubblegum pop since their comeback. They are not to my taste, but the sales figures speak for themselves. Of the 4 albums since their comeback they have had 3 go at least 7 x Platinum in the UK. Those are figures A-Ha can only dream about these days. That was my point. It’s all about the potential sales and which market is most suitable. For A-Ha, it seems to be Germany.

Kiki

The 10 track only on LP is a big mistake, they should have done a double LP with the inclusion of the bonus CD in it!

Big mistake, just as the siging with Universal Germany… I think they didn’t remember what prenvented them from success when signing with Warner Germany (after the first split) because Warner GB and Warner DE did always made a hard war to themselves…

I think it’s going to be available everywhere else in the next future… As i don’t see the interest in the steel box, I think I Will opt for the Deluxe edition only…

Cosmos
Cosmos

My comment was directed @ Kiki

Baward

If I was a big fan, I’d still be highly miffed with them for declaring that their last tour would be the final one.

Since Alan Tarney is involved in this album, coax Tony Mansfield out of retirement for the next one :-)

Kiki

Well, Mansfield will NEVER go back with A-ha, as their collaboration didn’t went well…

Alan Jones

It’s a shame only 10 tracks on the vinyl version. Surely this release was ideal for a two disc, three tracks each side affair in swansong coloured vinyl. Schoolboy error.

Darren

The problem with A-ha is that they are very much of their time. Certain acts have appeal that has followed them through the years, so when they return it is with a genuine affection for the people as much as for the music. Take That or The Spice Girls are a good example of artists where the people are as important as the music, which allows them to reappear from time to time. They have a celebrity status. This is why ABBA still have such a massive following. People know their catalogue of songs, but they also know the individual members names and a bit of their personalities also.

I like A-ha’s songs “The Sun Always Shines On TV”, “Take On Me”, “Hunting High And Low”, “You Are The One”…. and now I’m struggling to remember any more. I can name Morten Harket and without cheating to look it up, I think one other was something like Pal Waaktar. But I know absolutely nothing of their personalities. They are just names I have read. Whereas I am much more familiar with Robbie Williams, Gary Barlow, Melanie B, Melanie C, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton, without even being a particular fan of these people and I could name loads of songs of Take That and Spice Girls without much thought at all. It’s as much about publicity and exposure with artists as it is about the music. For me, A-ha were quite invisible and went off the radar at the end of the 80’s and I’m not that bothered. I think most people feel the same. We’ll hum along to one of the big hits if we hear it, but then move on. It is only the hardcore fans that will still be interested in the UK. Their later albums were far more popular in Germany than here, which is presumably why they are targeting that market. “Foot Of The Mountain” reached No. 5 here and went Silver, but in Germany it was No. 1 and went Platinum. “Minor Earth, Major Sky” was No. 1 in Germany and also went Platinum. Here it struggled, reaching No. 27. They have a much better chance of doing well there than here.

MrDJP

Hey Darren,

The points you make are quite sad, because I can genuinely tell you that A-ha’s best three albums are:
– East Of The Sun, West Of The Moon
– Memorial Beach
– Minor Earth Major Sky
which came after the first three mainstream ones:
– Hunting High And Low
– Scoundrel Days
– Stay On These Roads.

Do yourself a favour and check them out, they’re damn good.

Unlike many of the bands you mentioned, A-ha have a solid discography of consistently excellent albums.

Don

Wait… aren’t there THREE more deluxe editions coming, Paul, not just two?
Stay on These Roads
East of the Sun (includes Rio DVD)
Memorial Beach

As for the DD vs. a-ha debate, for me it is no contest. A-ha wins hands down. Pal, in particular, is an incredibly gifted but under-appreciated songwriter.

Matt

I agree. I love Duran Duran, I’ve got most of their stuff and I always anticipate the release of new material, I love their creativity. But if I had to choose (I’m glad I don’t) it would be a-ha.

Darren

Thanks for that MrDJP,

I have since realised I know quite a lot more songs of theirs when I checked out the listings, but I can’t say I really like them that much. For me, I would just like a collection of the 12″ mixes of the main hits. That would suit me. So, I would have bought a double CD of the “Hunting High And Low” album with the album plus associated 12″ mixes, but they aren’t appealing enough for me to want a multi-disc set with lots of demos and alternative mixes. The prospect of a new album leaves me cold.

Neil Kelly

Clueless. ‘Foot of the mountain’ was their best for me. Comparing them to The Spice Girls. Really?

Matt

I don’t even see the point of this comment. You seem to be saying you’re more familiar with the names of pop artists other than a-ha. Well, congratulations, Then – big mistake – you go on to reveal these names, every single one of them being inferior to a-ha in every possible way (Melanie B???). As for your comments about publicity, what does it even mean to say that publicity means something to you? There are plenty of albums I’ve bought that have had zero exposure and have been absolute classics, Ejecta’s ‘Dominae’ for example. What you seem to be saying is that you equate exposure with quality and that you prefer to be told what to listen to instead of going to find out for yourself.

garax

Loving Tarney’s involvement – thought he’d just cast an eye over it from an earlier interview – actual production credits is exciting stuff.

Shaun

I just ordered it with no problems – handier still use google’s translate function and it’s all turned into english on the page.

Kirstie Rann

I’m in the UK and I as well as other fans have pre-ordered the Fanbox from German Amazon with no problems. I’ve used Amazon.de plenty of times and had things delivered so don’t let it prevent you from ordering!

Neil

I believe you meant to say they made their name in the UK surely.