A Flock of Seagulls

  • British New Wave group formed in 1979 from Liverpool England. Members during their successful time in the 80s were Mike Score (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Frank Maudsley (bass guitar), Ali Score (drums) and Paul Reynolds (guitars). All members contributed to songwriting.
  • Mike Score owned a hair salon, and his friend Frank Maudsley also was a hair dresser. They enjoyed the developing new wave sound, and in 1979 Score quit performing with another local band called Tontrix. Score decided to start a new group, with Maudsley and his brother Ali. They rehearsed in a room above Score’s hair salon, soon adding friend Reynolds on guitar. Deciding on a name, they wanted something strange, since at that time many Liverpool bands were creating odd names. They chose A Flock of Seagulls, in homage to a song by punk rock band the Stranglers titled Toiler On the Sea, which included “…a flock of seagulls…” as a lyric. They rehearsed for over a year, until a English record label heard their demo tape and signed them to a recording contract.
  • Their debut single, (It’s Not Me) Talking, was released in 1981. It charted on the UK Indie chart at #45. The video for the song managed some airtime on MTV – it was the first video on MTV to use screen credits for the actors. The success of the song led to a new recording contract with a major label, and later in 1981, the single Telecommunication was released. The song became popular at dance clubs, and it reached #19 on the Dance Club Songs chart in the U.S., along with its double A-side song Modern Love Is Automatic.
  • Both songs were included in the group’s debut album, the self-titled A Flock of Seagulls, released in 1982. Soon after the album was released, the single I Ran (So Far Away) was released – and A Flock of Seagulls had their breakthrough. The music video for the song became a mainstay on MTV, and the song reached #9 on the Hot 100 chart and #3 on the Top Tracks chart. When VH-1 compiled their list of the Greatest Songs of the 80s, it was ranked #55, and when VH-1 listed their best One-Hit Wonders of the 80s, it was ranked #2. Another song on the album, an instrumental piece titled D.N.A., won a Grammy award in 1983 for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. Another single from the debut album, Space Age Love Song, managed to reach #30 on the Hot 100.
  • Their second studio album was released in 1983. Titled Listen, it included Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You), their first top 10 hit in the UK. The song also peaked at #26 on the Hot 100 and at #3 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Other singles from the album did not chart, and A Flock of Seagulls began their descent in popularity.
  • Albums were released in 1984 and 1986 – neither sold well. After 1984’s The Story of a Young Heart album, Reynolds left the band, replaced by Gary Steadman. Chris Chryssaphis was added to the group as a keyboardist for the 1986 album Dream Come True. One single from the first album, The More You Live, The More You Love, reached #56 on the Hot 100 and #10 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. It was their final entry on these charts. After Dream Come True failed to chart, the band broke up.
  • Mike Score reformed A Flock of Seagulls in 1988, and there were eight different lineups between 1988 and 2022, with an album released in 1995. There was a one-off shows with the four original members in 2003 and a small tour with the original members in 2004. In 2018, all four original members of the band participated in the release of an album titled Ascension. It included twelve orchestral versions of songs from their early albums, collaborating with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The album debuted at #8 on the Top Classical Albums chart. In 2021, another orchestral album was released, titled String Theory, this time with the Slovenian Symphonic Film Orchestra.
  • A Flock of Seagulls makes many “One-Hit Wonder” lists, though technically they had more than one hit. I Ran (So Far Away) was such a phenomenon in the summer of 1982, and the rest of their hits were so forgettable, so it’s easy to see why they make those lists. Here’s the video to I Ran (So Far Away). The song got additional hype since Iran the country was so prevalent in the news in 1982, making the lyric “I ran so far away” an interesting pun of the day. The song is an 80s new wave classic today, and the video perfectly depicts what the early days of MTV were all about.

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