A Flock of Seagulls
|A Flock of Seagulls|
|Genres||New Wave, synthpop, post-punk|
|Labels||Jive, I.R.S., Cocteau|
|Past members||Ali Score
A Flock of Seagulls (also known as Flock of Seagulls) are an English New Wave band originally formed in Liverpool by brothers Michael "Mike" Score (keyboards, vocals) and Alister "Ali" James Score (drums), with Francis Lee (Frank) Maudsley (bass), and Paul Reynolds (guitar).
The group had a string of international hit singles including "I Ran (So Far Away)", "Space Age Love Song," "Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)" and "The More You Live, the More You Love", and became notable in the 1980s for their video for the song "I Ran (So Far Away)".
Formation and success
A Flock of Seagulls was started by Michael Score and his brother Ali in 1979 in Liverpool (The name was taken from The Stranglers song "Toiler on the Sea", according to Mike Score). Mike, who was previously a hairdresser, played keyboards, guitar, and vocals; Ali played drums; and their friend Francis Maudsley played bass. Original guitarist Willie Woo left and was replaced with Paul Reynolds. After practising above Score's hair salon, the band started playing clubs and eventually got a recording contract.
Eventually, under the management of Tommy Crossan and Mick Rossi (Checkmount Limited), they began to release singles through Jive Records. The group released an EP, Telecommunication, and two singles, "It's Not Me Talking" and "Telecommunication" (both produced by Nelson), on Bill Nelson's Cocteau label; the success of the latter single, a club hit, got them a contract with a major label. In 1982 the group's third single, "I Ran (So Far Away)" (produced by Mike Howlett), became a worldwide hit, reaching number 1 in Australia and the top 10 in the US and New Zealand. The parent album A Flock of Seagulls and another single, "Space Age Love Song", were also successful. In late 1982 the band found major success in their home country with "Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)", the first single from their next album, Listen, which reached the top 10. Later, the band was praised for having broken the ground for other musical acts during the advent of the video music area, but as it turned out, 1982 was the peak year of their commercial and critical success.
1983 and after
1983 saw the release of three more singles from Listen, but they were only minor successes in the UK and abroad. Faced with disappointment the group produced a third album in 1984, The Story of a Young Heart, with "The More You Live, the More You Love" as the lead single. It was moderately successful, but the album's other two singles – "Never Again (The Dancer)" and "Remember David" – did not make any headway. Faced with sliding sales and a loss of direction, the group relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, minus Paul Reynolds. In 1986, the band released a new album; Dream Come True, which was panned by the critics and flopped commercially. To promote Dream Come True two videos (for "Who's That Girl" and "Heartbeat Like a Drum") were filmed in quick succession, the last time the three remaining members were together in a recording or performance capacity until 2003.
For the next eighteen years, Mike Score worked with various musicians under the A Flock of Seagulls banner, playing live gigs and occasionally issuing new recordings. In 1989, the group released a single called "Magic" which did not chart. The follow-up album (The Light at the End of the World) which included the single did not appear until 1996, and similarly did not chart.
In November 2003, the original line-up (Mike and Ali Score, Paul Reynolds and Frank Maudsley) reunited for a one-off performance on the VH1 series, Bands Reunited. In September 2004, they reformed again and played a few shows in the United States, but broke up immediately afterward. Mike Score continues to tour with other musicians as A Flock of Seagulls. In 2006, the band re-recorded the Madonna song "This Used to Be My Playground" for the 2006 Madonna tribute album The World's Greatest 80s Tribute to Madonna.
Although parodied in later years, the band is now recognised as a pioneering act, capturing the zeitgeist of their time, particularly with the guitar work of Paul Reynolds and sonically multi-layered hits such as "Space Age Love Song," "Telecommunication," and "Modern Love is Automatic." The band also is noted for creating successful concept album, their debut, which alludes to an alien invasion of earth.
The video for "I Ran" was low budget (even for the time) but enjoyed enormous success, at one time finding its way to MTV's rotation every ten minutes. The group has the record for actual number of video plays, both due to the lack of other music videos available during the music channel's early years, and the demand for the futuristic look. M Janosik – 2006 – Greenwood Press.
Main Article: A Flock of Seagulls discography
- A Flock of Seagulls (1982)
- Listen (1983)
- The Story of a Young Heart (1984)
- Dream Come True (1986)
- The Light at the End of the World (1995)
- Thompson, Dave (2000). Alternative Rock. Hal Leonard. pp. 141–42. ISBN 9780879306076. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
- "A Flock of Seagulls – Wishing (If I Had A Photograph of You)". Chart Stats. 29 January 1983.
- "Never mind the hair bands, here's a Flock of Seagulls!". Salon.com. 30 August 2001.
- Space Age Love Song: The Mix Tape in a Digital Universe Megan M. CarpenterMM Carpenter – works.bepress.com
- Shakespeare Meets the Backbeat: Literary Allusion in Rock Music. JR Duxbury – Popular Music & Society, 1988 – Taylor & Francis
- The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Rock History: The Video Generation, 1981–1990