a-ha released their album "True North" on 21 October 2022. The album was recorded during a week at Svømmehallen Scene concert hall in Bodø, Norway at the end of October/beginning of November 2021. The album features the Arctic Philharmonic orchestra. a-ha were joined by Even Ormestad, Kjetil Bjerkestran, Karl Oluf Wennerberg and Per Hillestad. The album has 12 tracks and was released on several different formats: CD, Limited Deluxe Edition, double LP black vinyl and a special recycled double LP coloured vinyl unique to the UK, France and Germany.
The cover art is white with a shot of the sea and rocky coastline in the north of Norway. "a-ha" is printed in silver above with "True North" below. The reverse is also white with another shot from nortern Norway, this time looking out towards the mountains over the sea with some white house in the foreground.
The CD comes in a jewel case with a 10-page double sided booklet. The pages are white with the lyrics printed in black. There is a coloured double page shot of the band performing in Bodø in the centre of the booklet. Towards the back of the booklet is a shot of the band (Magne, Morten, Paul against a very datrk background. The recording information is printed in white in the bottom right. The final two pages have information on the orchestra and production information. The back of the booklet has a close-up shot of the waves breaking onto the beach from the cover art.
The disc is silver great with a white compass in the centre and "North", "East", "South" and "West" printed around the outside. "a-ha" is printed in white at the top of the disc with "True North", Sony Music and RCA at the bottom. Under the CD, you can see a picture of the compass, in grey, through the CD tray. The back cover has the track list in white directly over the srtwork with track and copyright information in black below.
There are two different versions of the double LP set which come in identical packaging, the only difference is that the special recycled coloured edition has a sticker over the barcode on the reverse of the sleeve with a different catalogue number. The sleeves are gatefold, across the whole width of the inside is a coloured shot of the band performing in Bodø on a white background. On the back cover, the tracks are listed in silver in the centre of the sleeve, partially over the picture. Track and copyright information is printed below in black.
The LPs are housed in either end of the gatwfold sleeve, along with a double sided coloured insert. On one side is the front artwork from the cover with a close-up shots of the waves breaking onto the beach. On the inside of the insert is a coloured shot of the band (Magne, Morten, Paul) against a dark background with the album recording and production information printed down the right hand side in white.
The LPs come in light silver grey papaer sleeve with the lyrics printed in white. Each LP has a tile ot "North", "East", "South" or "West" printed in large white letters, each printed along a different edge of the sleeve, representing the appropriate compass positions.
In the regular edition, the LPs are black with silver grey labels with a white compass in the centre. Each disc has one of "North", "East", "South" or "West" printed in white at the appropriate point on the compass, with the other compass points only having "N","E", "S" or "W". The "a-ha" logo is printed in white at the top with "True North", "Sony Music" and "RCA" in white at the bottom. "45 r.p.m." is printed in white on the right hand side of the label, except for on the "East" disc where it is printed on the left.
The LPs of the special recycled release are uniquely coloured in shades of red and green (the colours are less vibrant than the pictures suggest). the labels are the same as on the recgular LP.
The Limited Deluxe Edition is a special LP sized book release with similar cover artwork to the regular release. It comes with a silver grey sticker on the front "Limited Deluxe Edition Recycled black heavy weight 2LP, 40 pages hardcover book, True North CD, USB card featuribg True North (a film by Stian Andersen)" plus some technical specification information below. The regular black recycled LPs are housed in either side of the book. They come in the grey paper sleeves, but only have the track listings on them and not the lyrics. The book has 20 double sided pages with lyrics and shots taken from the "True North" film. Most of the double page spreads have lyrics for one of the songs printed in white over the artwork. The final page has a shot of a-ha with the album recording and production information as printed on the insert which comes with the regular LP release.
On the inside cover of the book is the "True North" USB card which is the size of a thick credit card with the shot of the burning boat from the film printed on one side. "a-ha" is printed in silver towards the bottom with "TRUE NORTH" in white below with some film production and company logos printed in very small font at the bottom. The reverse is black with the orange / white 12 certificate and grey / white FSK ab 0 freigegeben logos. At the bottom is some additional information about the film containing flashing lights and copyright information. The USB part flips up for us in a computer or similar USB reader.
Stuck on the inside back cover is a copy of the CD in a card wallet. This special edition comes with a signed print of the cover artwork which has been hand signed by Morten and Magne (Paul was unavaiable for the official signing of the prints).
Tracks: North: I’m In / Hunter In The Hills / As If // East: Between The Halo And The Horn / True North / Bumblebee // South: Forest For The Trees / Bluest Of Blue / Make Me Understand // West: You Have What It Takes / Summer Rain / Oh My Word
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