A-ha receives a prestigious Q-award.

Honoured for their huge influence in pop music A-ha was awarded the Inspiration Award by Q Magazine, one of today’s most significant pop music publications.

a-ha 2006 (photo Stian Andersen)

Q-Magazine is widely regarded among the most influential magazines in Europe and they do not hesitate to call their annual awards “undoubtedly THE music event of the year.”

As with all things British this view reflects a certain disinterest in whatever is going on elsewhere, but even from a more sober and objective stance these awards mean a great deal, and receiving one is a milestone even for big acts. One should not be deceived into thinking that this is just a magazine throwing a party to celebrate itself; something which the list of attendees and the attention around the award from other media testifies to.

This year the event was spiked up all the more since 2006 marks the mag’s 20th anniversary, and the event featured a special one-time Award of awards given to the Band of bands, U2, for their enduring top ranking among Q’s readers. But at the time when the first editions of the magazine came out A-ha were the biggest name in pop music. Being awarded the Inspiration Award is a retrospective assessment of those years that have elapsed since then, and it serves to symbolize what has become ever clearer over the past few years, that A-ha’s influence, not least on such major pop-rock bands of today as Coldplay and Keane, has been immense. The fact of their importance, and of the quality of their timeless song-writing itself, is something that has been to some extent obscured during the years since their heyday –in the 90s it was not kosher to site A-ha as inspiration- and it is exactly as an affirmation of their lasting, non-withering great influence that the Q-Award is important.

Having had to rush to London from the Ukraine and their ongoing tour of Russia and environs the guys do not hide their appreciation: “It is recognition for stamina as much as anything” says Magne –that we have kept working in our vein and kept the music flowing.

Their latest release Analogue was the most warmly welcomed record of theirs in the British marked since the 80s. And people knowledgeable of the Q editors claim that A-ha’s award –which was decided by an magazine in-house jury and not its readers- is a sign that they will be followed closely onwards.

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