A Flock of Seagulls are an English new wave and synthpop band originally formed in Liverpool by Michael “Mike” Score(keyboards, vocals) and his brother Alister “Ali” James Score (drums); with their most famous line-up consisting of the Score brothers along 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)” (1982), “Space Age Love Song” (1982), “Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)” (1982), and “The More You Live, the More You Love” (1984). They became notable in the 1980s for their video for “I Ran (So Far Away)”. The band has also won a Grammy Award.
[It’s Not Me] Talking—-For so many people, this band was all about what appeared as a one hit single and a dramatic flair for hair-do’s and the 1980’s. It is important to note that the first few of the band’s singles helped to usher out the Punk movement…while still encouraging pogo dancing and ushering in the New Romantic period. Despite a bad rap, the band produced many stellar singles such as this. This track is wonderfully wrapped in synth driven mechanic ism and drenched with the robotic vocal from Mike Score. It encouraged dancing by yourself and allowing me personally a new sound that was fresh and innovative. This is so remote and impersonal…it helped define my youth.
Telecommunication—-One of the more aggressive and robotic singles from the band, I can clearly remember the first time I heard this song and how it changed my outlook on the current music landscape. This is both robotic and melodic…driven by synths and the mechanical era..it is a gorgeous precursor to the world we live in today….just listen to it and see how it all relates now.
I Ran [So Far Away]—-I suppose you would have to be dead not to realize the importance and success of this single. The video era helped make this band a sensation based on image…little credit was given to the content of the song…the musicianship and the meaning of the entire damn thing. This …way back then….almost predicted our future. Yes…it is pure pop pleasure as well. The swirling synths and the undeniable chorus….made for a huge single.
Space Age Love Song—-Perhaps for me, one of the most perfect pop songs ever written. The distant but warm lyrics touched me and the swirly synths established a love for 80’s music that has never died. This is pure cotton candy perfection…sad….and touching. A robotic love song made for The Jet-sons. The musicianship is stellar….allowing for drums and guitars to be heard despite the Moog and the keyboards….immaculate.
Wishing [If I Had A Photograph Of You]—-The first single off the second album by the band, this alone proved they were more than just a one hit wonder. Allowing for a bit more warmth in the sound while still remaining true to the mechanical edge, this song has a more human element that brought me even closer to the band. This is a remarkable track…the constant synth line driving the track at it’s own pace while the swirls create a whole landscape of its own.
Nightmares—-Much more aggressive in sound and with a deeper mysterious sound, this was the band at one of it’s finest moments. This is incredibly catchy and adept at capturing the picture of life at the time. Mike Score has never sounded better…the drums are so present in this song as well. The deep reverb on the chorus gives the song a slight sad edge. Just brilliant.
Transfer Affection—-If you can have a love song for the 80’s, than this pretty much sums it up for me. This has an achy quality that leaves you sad and alone but still encourages you to dance….alone. The synths swirl and create it’s own personal atmosphere. This is quality music….too bad it was overlooked as quiche’ by so many.
The More You Live, The More You Love—-Another track that paints a more human side to this band, despite the robotic flavor of the synths there is a real emotional edge to this song. The lyrics will make you sad…but at the same time give you optimism and a purpose for going on. The guitars are more present on this track…the drums seem relegated to an almost kick though…relying on the machine for the rhythm instead….and then in the middle of it all…you hear the propulsion of the drum and realize it was there all along. Fantastic!
Never Again [The Dancer]—-Almost seeming to copy the synth line from the previous track, this track perhaps begins to show the cracks in the bands facade. The melody line of this song is so God-dam infectious though. Mike Score sounds literally brilliant on this and the chorus opens up and fills you with a joy that is unmistakable. Drums….guitars and a melody that will stick in your brain for days.
Remember David—-Listening to this song, you will think that the band took a step backwards…the sound more like the early fodder than the more updated sound three releases in. The vocal is pushed way to the back of the mix…allowing the machines the center stage….not a horrible song, but the production is at the fault here. A great chorus and a noisy backdrop.
Who’s That Girl [She’s Got It]—-Another misstep in the band’s history, this was when everything really began fall apart within the confines of the partnership. The sound and the song quality suffered as the band faced it’s own implosion. Too bad it had to resort to this. This is not a horrible track…but it lacked inspiration and dedication to the sound the band had made…..it seems like they tried to step backwards….with a disastrous result.
Heartbeat Like A Drum—-The last proper single to be released by the original members of the band before they went their separate ways. This seemed to step away from the mysterious synth sounds of the band and tried to become more dance floor friendly with female backing vocals. This was a terrible song….not sure why it was ever released.
Magic—-More fodder from a band trying to remain relevant despite the proper time for it to all pass. The only standout is the vocal from Mike Score…..his voice is at once recognizable and familiar despite what is playing behind him.
Burnin’ Up—-Released by the revamped AFOS in the early to mid 90’s, this was a favorite album of mine….even if I’m the only one who bought it…lol. It was heavier in synth sound, a bit darker and has a much fuller sound. Score still sounds incredible and I loved this release. The high points of this release were worth the try to once again become relevant. The chorus is magnificent.
Rainfall—-This second single off the last proper AFOS album is incredible….bringing home everything about the band that I loved from the very first footsteps. The melody….the forlorn vocal….the synth. If this was indeed the last swan song…I could never ask for more…this is a beautiful track.
**** out of 5