Norwegian pop perfectionists A-ha were always more than just another pop group, such was their reach and mastery of their craft: pretty much any of their 80’s singles could have made this article bar their lightweight playful songs such as “Touchy!” which to my mind never could match their darker more tense songs, and my god, “The Sun Always Shines …” is tense as hell.
It’s essentially a progressive rock epic filtered through a pop lens and is every bit as momentous as any of the great epic tracks we all know and love. Consider the way the tension builds throughout rising higher and higher and the fact that the drums don’t even appear until a minute in and the first verse almost two minutes in. This is far from your average pop song structurally but hangs together magnificently.
The relative serenity of the opening section and first chorus with its wistful chords suddenly gives way to pounding intensity, squealing guitars, ominous synth and stabbing minor piano chords with Mortens impassioned, desperate and impossibly high vocal holding it all together until the final chorus where the music crashes around him. Before a final stabbing piano chord a la “A Day In The Life” and the ominous burbling synths return to fade us out of an epic five minutes. Truly a classic of its time or any other and far more than ‘just’ a pop song in my humble opinion and just as exhilarating on the thousandth listen as it was on the first. True class.