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A-ha not best pleased that Donald Trump ripped off their Take On Me video

By | Published on Thursday 3 October 2019


Hello, and welcome to part whoevenfuckingknowsanymore of Musicians Being Annoyed By Donald Trump Co-opting Their Work. This time it’s A-ha, whose classic 1985 video for ‘Take On Me’ was ripped off (mind-blowingly badly) for a new campaign video.

Of course, whenever Trump nabs the music or – in this case – imagery of left-leaning artists for campaign events or videos, the aim is presumably to ensure each artist’s resulting outrage spreads the US President’s political message even further.

And now we are helping with that. Still, it would be a bit weird if we didn’t now show you this campaign video. However, when you watch it, we would request that you don’t take on board any political messaging, and instead just examine how badly done the animation is.

I know music video budgets in the 80s were a lot bigger than they are today, but Trump is a billionaire hoping to lead one of the world’s largest countries for a second term. He could have made a little bit of an effort.

Anyway, here it is:

Now that’s out of the way, let’s get on to A-ha. Specifically the band’s keyboard player Magne Furuholmen, who has now spoken to Rolling Stone about all this.

He says: “You write a song in your youth and you don’t write for a particular group of people one way or another; you write it for everyone. But then stuff like this happens. You want to be careful about deciding who’s allowed to do what with what you put out in the world. We make our music for everybody. We didn’t intend to make our music part of a divisive campaign and, all things equal, would have preferred it not to have been”.

He’s being quite reserved there. Last month Furuholmen released a new solo single, ‘This Is Now America’, directly protesting Trump’s presidency.

“We are Norwegian-born”, he says. “But we have friends all over the world and are concerned about what the world’s coming to. In many respects, our heart bleeds for the America we believed in growing up. But when you get dragged into things like this, you have to lie back and laugh”.

Anyway, Trump has already moved on. He’s used Nickelback’s ‘Photograph’ video in his latest dig at Joe Biden. They haven’t commented on this yet, but back in 2016 they did get a bit shirty about constantly being used as the punchline in Trump-related jokes. This might be why Trump’s latest video has already been taken down due to a copyright claim.

Now, let’s end on a song. Here’s the video for ‘Take On Me’ – bask in its superior animation: