This week's chart news is dominated by newcomers, starting with the Norwegian group A-Ha, whose sprightly hit "Take On Me" showed unexpected strength by jumping from No. 3 to No. 1 on America's singles charts.
The success of A-Ha is surprising, because never before has a Norwegian group even cracked the Top 10 on the U.S. charts, let alone hit No. 1. (Scandinavia's last big noise came from the '70s supergroup ABBA, which in its heyday was one of Sweden's top-ranking corporations.)
And the success of "Take On Me" is unusual, because it took so long to get to No. 1. A typical chart champion--a perfect example is the recent "Everything She Wants" by Wham!--takes 10 weeks to hit the top spot, stays at No. 1 for two weeks and then falls out of the Top 10 by the 14th week. But "Take On Me" already has been on the charts longer than that--15 weeks, to be precise--which makes it the "oldest" No. 1 song so far this year.