I Ran (So Far Away)

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"I Ran" redirects here. For the A Flock of Seagulls live album, see A Flock of Seagulls discography.
"I Ran (So Far Away)"
Single by A Flock of Seagulls
from the album A Flock of Seagulls
B-side "Pick Me Up"
Released March 1982 (1982-03) (UK)[1]
Format 7", 12"
Recorded Battery Studios, London, 1981
Genre New wave,[2] post-punk[3]
Length 5:07 (long version)
3:58 (video version)
3:43 (radio edit)
Label Jive Records (UK)
Teldec (Germany)
Writer(s) A Flock of Seagulls
Producer(s) Mike Howlett
A Flock of Seagulls singles chronology
"I Ran (So Far Away)"
"Space Age Love Song"
Music video
"I Ran" on YouTube

"I Ran" (also released as "I Ran (So Far Away)")[4] is a song by English new wave band A Flock of Seagulls. It was released on their debut album A Flock of Seagulls in 1982 and was its most successful single, reaching number nine in the United States and number one in Australia.


Three different versions of the song exist:

  • The long version (5:07) features an introduction with swirling synthesizer noises imitating seagulls which then segues into a lengthy instrumental passage by the band before leading into the song. It concludes with a guitar solo and comes to a full ending. This version was featured on some pressings of A Flock of Seagulls and is featured on all CD versions of the album.
  • The video version (3:58) omits most of the introductory section and begins with a cymbal crash but retains the full ending of the long version. This version was featured on some pressings of A Flock of Seagulls.
  • The radio edit (3:43) begins with a cymbal crash and loops the song's final chorus, fading out at the end.

Single release and legacy[edit]

The single was promoted by a distinctive music video directed by Tony van den Ende in which the band members performed in a room covered in aluminum foil and mirrors. The cameras used to film the video are clearly visible in many of the background reflections, their stands also covered in foil. The video is an homage to Brian Eno and Robert Fripp's (No Pussyfooting) album cover, which was also portrayed by The Strokes for their single, "The End Has No End" two decades later. The video received heavy rotation on MTV in the summer of 1982,[4] and helped the single to become a hit.

The band toured the United States extensively to promote the single, supporting Squeeze on their 1982 tour. As well as reaching number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, "I Ran" peaked at number 3 on the Top Tracks chart and number 8 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. Subsequently, the album reached number 10 on the Billboard 200.[5]

Despite success in the US and Australia, the single did not enjoy similar success in the band's home country (United Kingdom), failing to make the top 40.

In an interview on the VH1 special 100 Greatest Songs of the '80s, Mike Score said that he resents the song, but plays it live because people enjoy it. "I Ran" was listed at #55 on the countdown. In VH1's 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 80s, the song was listed at #2, with Mike Score's interview played again.

Although considered an '80s new wave classic, the song experienced somewhat of a revival in 2002 as the signature theme for the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, being played during the game's television commercials and during gameplay as one of the songs in the playlist for radio station Wave 103.[6]

Along with the Bowling for Soup cover, it was also used as the theme song for the English dub of the anime series Knights of the Zodiac, which was later removed from the air during its first season.

The song briefly featured in the Dead Zone Season 2 episode "Playing God", heard during a party scene. It can also be heard during a nightclub scene in the 2005 Nick Love film The Business.

The master recording is available as a playable song in Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s as well as the rebooted version of Karaoke Revolution, the song is also available in the game Rock Band 3 as a DLC.

The song was used in the Everybody Hates Chris episode "Everybody Hates the Last Day".

It was performed by the Ska Rangers in the film The Hangover: Part II during the closing scene.

The character Fez sang a verse in That '70s Show during one of the "circles" in the fourth season's opener.

An actual flock of seagulls sang it in a Cape Cod Potato Chips commercial.

In 2012, the song was featured in the video game Sleeping Dogs as part of a karaoke mini-game.

Cover versions[edit]

"I Ran" has been covered by a number of artists:

Chart performance[edit]

Preceded by
"I've Never Been to Me" by Charlene
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single
2 August 1982 – 9 August 1982 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Goody Two Shoes" by Adam Ant


  1. ^ "A Flock Of Seagulls – I Ran". Discogs. Retrieved 2 May 2013. released March 1982 
  2. ^ New Wave (Top Songs) (1/2) at the Wayback Machine (archived 20 February 2012). AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  3. ^ Reynolds, Simon (2006). Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–1984. New York: Penguin Books. p. 340. 
  4. ^ a b Demalon, Tom. "A Flock of Seagulls – Overview". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d "A Flock of Seagulls – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  6. ^ Phares, Heather. "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Vol. 2: Wave 103 – Overview". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Australia No. 1 hits -- 1980's". World Charts. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6547." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Officialcharts.de – A Flock Of Seagulls – I Ran". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  10. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – A Flock Of Seagulls – I Ran" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Charts.org.nz – A Flock Of Seagulls – I Ran". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  12. ^ "A Flock Of Seagulls: Artist Chart History" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  13. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending OCTOBER 23, 1982 at the Wayback Machine (archived 20 September 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  14. ^ "Forum - ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1982". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  16. ^ The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1982 at the Wayback Machine (archived 21 September 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  17. ^ "Top Disco/Dance Singles/Albums". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media) 94 (51): 36. 25 December 1982. ISSN 0006-2510.