A Flock of Seagulls

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A Flock of Seagulls
Mike Score.jpg
Lead singer Mike Score performing in 2011
Background information
Origin Liverpool, England
Genres
Years active
  • 1980–1986
  • 1988–present
Labels
Website www.aflockofseagulls.org
Members Mike Score
Pando
Kevin Rankin
Gord Deppe
Past members List of former members

A Flock of Seagulls are an English new wave and synth-pop band originally formed in 1980 in Liverpool by Michael "Mike" Score (lead vocals, keyboards), his brother Alister "Ali" James Score (drums), and Francis Lee "Frank" Maudsley (bass), with their most famous line-up consisting of the Score brothers, Maudsley, and lead guitarist Paul Reynolds.

New wave is a genre encompassing numerous pop-oriented music styles popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock. New wave moved away from traditional blues and rock and roll sounds to create pop and rock music that incorporated disco, mod, and electronic music. Initially new wave was similar to punk rock, before becoming a distinct genre. It engendered subgenres and fusions, including synth-pop.

Synth-pop is a subgenre of new wave music that first became prominent in the late 1970s and features the synthesizer as the dominant musical instrument. It was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, electronic, art rock, disco, and particularly the "Krautrock" of bands like Kraftwerk. It arose as a distinct genre in Japan and the United Kingdom in the post-punk era as part of the new wave movement of the late 1970s to the mid-1980s.

Liverpool City and metropolitan borough in England

Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in North West England, with an estimated population of 491,500. Its metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in the UK, with a population of 2.24 million in 2011. The local authority is Liverpool City Council, the most populous local government district in the metropolitan county of Merseyside and the largest in the Liverpool City Region.

Contents

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 first became notable in the 1980s for their music video for "I Ran (So Far Away)" that received airplay on MTV during the Second British Invasion. [3] The band won a Grammy Award in 1983 for their instrumental "D.N.A" (1982).

I Ran (So Far Away) 1982 single by A Flock of Seagulls

"I Ran ", also released as "I Ran", is a song by English new wave band A Flock of Seagulls. It was released in 1982 as their third single and it was the second single from their self-titled debut album. It topped the chart in Australia, and reached numbers seven and nine in New Zealand and the United States respectively, although the single did not enjoy similar success in the band's home country, failing to make the top 40.

Space Age Love Song single by A Flock of Seagulls

"Space Age Love Song" is a 1982 single released by the British band A Flock of Seagulls. It was their fourth single. Lead guitarist Paul Reynolds remarked on their 1984 video album "Through the Looking Glass" that, as the band couldn't come up with a title for the track, he suggested "Space Age Love Song" because he thought it sounded like a space age love song.

Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You) 1982 single by A Flock of Seagulls

"Wishing " is a 1982 song by A Flock of Seagulls, the opening song and only hit single from their second album Listen. The song exemplifies "synth-pop's spaced-out loneliness" and yearning for imagined, absent lovers, and is noted for its Wall of Sound-styled layer of synthesizer padding – a "multi-layered, hypnotic song", according to AllMusic.

History

1980–1986: Formative years and mainstream success

A Flock of Seagulls was started by Mike Score in 1980 in Liverpool. [1] The band's name was taken from The Stranglers song "Toiler on the Sea" and the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull, according to Mike Score. [4] The inaugural line-up of the band featured Mike, who was previously a hairdresser, on lead vocals and keyboards, Ali Score on drums, and Frank Maudsley on bass. The band added Willie Woo on guitar; and then brought in Mark Edmondson to replace Ali on drums when the Score brothers had a falling-out. [5] Not long afterwards, Edmondson departed to make way for a returning Ali; and shortly thereafter Woo departed the band and was replaced by teenager Paul Reynolds, who had been a close friend of Edmondson, at the behest of Maudsley; thus creating the band's classic line-up. After practising above Score's hair salon, [6] the band started playing clubs and eventually got a recording contract.

Mike Score British musician

Michael Gordon "Mike" Score is an English musician. He is best known as the keyboardist, guitarist and lead singer of the new wave band, A Flock of Seagulls. He released a solo album on 1 March 2014 titled Zeebratta.

The Stranglers English punk rock music group

The Stranglers are an English rock band who emerged via the punk rock scene. Scoring some 23 UK top 40 singles and 17 UK top 40 albums to date in a career spanning four decades, the Stranglers are one of the longest-surviving and most "continuously successful" bands to have originated in the UK punk scene.

<i>Jonathan Livingston Seagull</i> story by Richard Bach

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, written by Richard Bach and illustrated by Russell Munson, is a fable in novella form about a seagull who is trying to learn about life and flight, and a homily about self-perfection. Bach wrote it as a series of short stories that were published in Flying magazine in the late 1960s. It was first published in book form in 1970, and by the end of 1972 over a million copies were in print. Reader's Digest published a condensed version, and the book reached the top of the New York Times Best Seller list, where it remained for 38 weeks. In 1972 and 1973, the book topped the Publishers Weekly list of bestselling novels in the United States.

They recorded radio sessions for John Peel's Radio 1 on 6 May 1981, which aired six days later. [7] Eventually, under the management of Harry Maguire, Tommy Crossan and Mick Rossi all directors of Checkmount Limited, they began to release singles through Jive Records. The group released their debut single "Talking" (produced by Nelson), on Bill Nelson's Cocteau label. They were then signed to major label Jive, distributed through CBS records, where they released their second single "Telecommunication". The single was also produced by Nelson and became a club hit. Their third release was the EP "Modern Love is Automatic". Originally released as a 4 track EP on both 7" and 12", the 12" edition was soon reissued adding "Telecommunication". This 5 track EP was also their first release in the U.S. [6] In 1982, the group's fourth single "I Ran (So Far Away)", produced by Mike Howlett, the former bass player of the band Gong, became a worldwide hit, reaching number 1 in Australia and the Top 10 in both the US and New Zealand. Their debut album and single "Space Age Love Song" were both successful. [8] In late 1982, the band finally 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. [9] Later, the band was praised for having broken the ground for other musical acts during the advent of the video music area, [10] but as it turned out, 1982 was the peak year of their commercial and critical success.

John Peel English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist

John Robert Parker Ravenscroft,, known professionally as John Peel, was an English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist. He was the longest serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting regularly from 1967 until his death in 2004.

BBC Radio 1 British national radio station

BBC Radio 1 is one of the BBC's two flagship radio stations, specialising in modern popular music and current chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres after 7 pm, including electronica, dance, hip hop and indie. The choice of music and presenting style is entirely that of programme hosts, however those who present in the daytime have to rotate a number of songs a specific number of times per week. It was launched in 1967 to meet the demand for music generated by pirate radio stations, when the average age of the UK population was 27. The BBC claim that they target the 15–29 age group, and the average age of its UK audience since 2009 is 30. BBC Radio 1 started 24-hour broadcasting on 1 May 1991.

Jive Records American record label

Jive Records was an American record label under the RCA Music Group formed in 1981 by Zomba Records. Formerly headquartered in New York City, the label was best known for a string of successes with hip hop artists in the 1980s, and also in teen pop and boy bands during the 1990s and early 2000s.

On Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, 28 May 1983, A Flock of Seagulls performed at the US Festival along with Oingo Boingo, Men at Work, and others. [11] Three more singles were released from Listen in 1983, including a re-recorded version of their debut single "(It's Not Me) Talking", but they were only minor successes in the UK and abroad. Faced with disappointment, the group changed direction from their science fiction themes and produced a more conceptual emotion based third album in 1984 called The Story of a Young Heart , with "The More You Live, the More You Love" as the lead single. Despite heavy rotation on MTV and other music video shows at that time, the single was only moderately successful, but the album's other two singles – "Never Again (The Dancer)" and "Remember David" (released only in a few European countries) – did not make any headway. Faced with sliding sales and a loss of direction, the band continued to consider their options whilst touring. During this period, Paul Reynolds left the band, and was replaced by Gary Steadman (from Classix Nouveaux). [1] Keyboardist Chris Chryssaphis was added at the same time to augment their sound. [1] Both would stay in the band for the recording and release of next the album– Dream Come True– but would soon depart once the tour had ended. The album was released in 1985 in the UK and 1986 in the USA, and would fail to chart, thus leading to the dissolving of the band until 1988. [1]

The US Festival was the name of two early 1980s music and culture festivals.

Oingo Boingo was an American new wave band, formed by songwriter Danny Elfman in 1979. Oingo Boingo emerged from a surrealist performance art theatrical troupe, The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, founded in 1972 and led by Danny Elfman's brother Richard Elfman.

Men at Work rock band from Australia

Men at Work are an Australian rock band formed in 1979 and best known for their 1981 hit "Down Under". Its founding member was Colin Hay on lead vocals and guitar. After playing as an acoustic duo with Ron Strykert during 1978-79, he formed the group with Ron Strykert playing bass guitar, and Jerry Speiser on drums. They were soon joined by Greg Ham on flute, saxophone, and keyboards and John Rees on bass guitar, with Ron then switching to lead guitar. The group was managed by Russell Depeller, a friend of Colin Hay, whom he met at Latrobe University. This line-up achieved national and international success in the early 1980s. In January 1983, they were the first Australian artists to have a simultaneous No. 1 album and No. 1 single in the United States Billboard charts: Business as Usual and "Down Under" (1981), respectively. With the same works, they achieved the distinction of a simultaneous No. 1 album and No. 1 single on the Australian, New Zealand, and United Kingdom charts. Their second album Cargo was also No. 1 in Australia, No. 2 in New Zealand, No. 3 in the US, and No. 8 in the UK. Their third album Two Hearts reached the top 20 in Australia and top 50 in the US.

1988–present: Reformation and the current era

The band's line-up had a complete modification in 1988 in Philadelphia with a line-up composed by Mike Score of himself along with numerous local musicians; consisting of guitarists Ed Berner and Dave Maerz, bass guitarist, Mike Radcliffe, keyboardist Mike Railton, and drummers' Kaya Pryor and Jonte Wilkins. [12] This line-up expanded the following year to include drummer Mike Marquart; [13] [14] but was then reduced to a five-piece band consisting of Score, Berner, Pryor, Radcliffe, and Railton; and it was this line-up which released the single "Magic" that same year.

Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2018 census-estimated population of 1,584,138. Since 1854, the city has had the same geographic boundaries as Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

Michael Marquart is an American music producer and guitarist. Marquart was a drummer in the rock band A Flock of Seagulls, active during the 1980s. In the mid 2000s, Marquart founded the rock band A Bad Think. Marquart is also the founder and owner of the recording studio Windmark Recording, which he manages with his daughter Samantha Marquart. Marquart's Windmark Recording Studio has recorded many notable musical artists, including Coldplay, Jeezy, J. Cole, YG, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, Kanye West, and Kendrick Lamar.

In 1994, the band's line-up changed again; this time to a formation consisting of Score, Berner, and new recruits A.J. Mazzetti (drums) and Dean Pichette (bass guitar). This line-up recorded the album The Light at the End of the World in 1996, but it failed to chart.

In 1998, Berner, Mazzetti, and Pichette departed the band and were replaced by Joe Rodriguez, Darryl Sons, and Rob Wright respectively. In 1999, the band re-recorded the Madonna song "This Used to Be My Playground" for the 2000 Madonna tribute album The World's Greatest 80s Tribute to Madonna. In November 2003, the original line-up of 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 did a brief tour in the United States. Though the tour continued to be advertised as the "original lineup", later shows no longer included the original band, but was Mike Score's continuation of the newer band; which by this point consisted of Score, Rodriguez, and new recruits Michael Brahm (drums), and Pando (bass guitar). In 2005, this version of the group starred in the American version of the entertainment show Hit Me Baby, One More Time , where they performed "I Ran" and a cover of Ryan Cabrera's song, "On The Way Down" for a chance to have $20,000 donated to a charity of their choice.

In June 2011, former members Frank Maudsley and Paul Reynolds performed at Croxteth Park music festival in Liverpool, under the name 'A Flock of Seagulls'. [15] [16]

On 4 February 2013, Mike Score indicated via his YouTube account that he was pursuing his solo career. He released the singles "All I Wanna Do" in February 2013, [17] and "Somebody Like You" in January 2014. [18] In late July 2013, after a Southern California performance, Mike Score told the Los Angeles Daily News that the band's rented van that contained $70,000 of equipment and the hard drives that stored tracks for his solo album Zeebratta were stolen from a Comfort Inn. [19] While this delayed the album's release, he was able to reconstruct it with music files from his home in Florida. Zeebratta was finally released on 1 March 2014.

Kevin Rankin replaced Brahm on drums in 2016, and Gordon Deppe–from the Canadian band Spoons–replaced Joe Rodriguez in December 2017.

On 3 May 2018, it was announced that the band's original four members would reunite once again to record a new album titled Ascension , their first studio recording since 1984. [20] Featuring the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, it will be a 10-track album composed of unique renditions of their previous hits and one new song. [21] The music video for "Space Age Love Song" premiered on YouTube on 6 June, [22] and a 5-track EP which features five versions of the song was released digitally two days later. [23] The album was released digitally and in physical stores on 6 July, [24] but physical copies were available online two weeks prior. In December 2018, the orchestral version of "I Ran" was released as a single.

Legacy

Due to their memorable and unusual style and appearance, A Flock of Seagulls are sometimes referred to with ironic appreciation. The New Musical Express wrote: "Of course, everyone remembers this group now for singer Mike Score's ridiculous back-combed haircut and the fact that they are mentioned in Pulp Fiction . So now they're kind of cool, but in the early 1980s it was a different story." [25] Additionally, the band was featured on Viacom's VH1 and Sony's BMG Legacy Recordings' 2006 revival CD series and multi-platform marketing campaign, "We Are the 80's". [26] In a 2007 article for The Guardian , Alfred Hickling described the group as "dreadful", and unfavourably compared them to Liverpool new wave peers OMD and other acts of the time. [27]

Their dramatic style has drawn much criticism and parody, but the band has also been recognized as a pioneering act, capturing the spirit 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." [28] The band also is noted for creating a successful concept album, their debut, which alludes to an alien invasion of earth. [29] Billboard writer Robert Christgau applauded their "mechanical lyrics, about a mechanical end of the world," while noting the "aural pleasure" of both the band's debut album and the follow-up. [30] [31]

The video for "I Ran" was low budget (even for the time) but enjoyed enormous success, and is well remembered in part due to its heavy rotation on MTV. [32]

Personnel

Members

Timeline

A Flock of Seagulls

Line-ups

1980198019801980
  • Mike Score – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Frank Maudsley – bass guitar
  • Ali Score – drums
  • Mike Score – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Frank Maudsley – bass guitar
  • Ali Score – drums
  • Willie Woo – lead guitar
  • Mike Score – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Frank Maudsley – bass guitar
  • Willie Woo – lead guitar
  • Mark Edmondson – drums
  • Mike Score – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Frank Maudsley – bass guitar
  • Willie Woo – lead guitar
  • Ali Score – drums
1980–84
(Reunions: 2003, 2004, 2018)
1984–851985–861986–88
  • Mike Score – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Frank Maudsley – bass guitar
  • Ali Score – drums
  • Paul Reynolds – lead guitar
  • Mike Score – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Frank Maudsley – bass guitar
  • Ali Score – drums
  • Chris Chryssaphis – keyboards
  • Gary Steadman – lead guitar
  • Mike Score – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Frank Maudsley – bass guitar
  • Ali Score – drums

Disbanded

1988–8919891989–941994–98
  • Mike Score – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Ed Berner – lead guitar
  • Dave Maerz – lead guitar
  • Kaya Pryor – drums, percussion
  • Mike Radcliffe – bass guitar
  • Mike Railton – keyboards
  • Jonte Wilkins – drums
  • Mike Score – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Ed Berner – lead guitar
  • Dave Maerz – lead guitar
  • Kaya Pryor – drums, percussion
  • Mike Radcliffe – bass guitar
  • Mike Railton – keyboards
  • Jonte Wilkins – drums
  • Mike Marquart – drums
  • Mike Score – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Ed Berner – lead guitar
  • Kaya Pryor – drums, percussion
  • Mike Radcliffe – bass guitar
  • Mike Railton – keyboards
  • Mike Score – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Ed Berner – lead guitar
  • A.J. Mazzetti – drums
  • Dean Pichette – bass guitar
1998–20042004–20162016–20172017–present
  • Mike Score – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Joe Rodriguez – lead guitar
  • Darryl Sons – drums
  • Albert Cruz - drums
  • Rob Wright – bass guitar
  • Robbie Hanson - bass guitar
  • Mike Score – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Joe Rodriguez – lead guitar
  • Michael Brahm – drums
  • Albert Cruz - drums (till 2006)
  • Pando – bass guitar
  • Robbie Hanson - bass guitar (till 2006)
  • Mike Score – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Joe Rodriguez – lead guitar
  • Pando – bass guitar
  • Kevin Rankin – drums
  • Mike Score – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Pando – bass guitar
  • Kevin Rankin – drums
  • Gord Deppe – lead guitar

Discography

Grammy Award

The album track "D.N.A." from A Flock of Seagulls won a Grammy Award in 1983 for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. [33] [34]

See also

Related Research Articles

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A Flock of Seagulls is the debut studio album by the new wave band A Flock of Seagulls. It was released in 1982 on Jive and featured the international hit single "I Ran ", which reached the Top 10 in the US and New Zealand, as well as No. 1 in Australia. The song "Space Age Love Song" also managed to score radio play. On the success of the singles, the album reached No. 10 in the US.

<i>Listen</i> (A Flock of Seagulls album) 1983 studio album by A Flock of Seagulls

Listen is the second album release by the new wave band A Flock of Seagulls, released on 29 April 1983. It, once again, teamed the group with record producer Mike Howlett–who produced their debut album–except on the single release "(It's Not Me) Talking", which was produced by Bill Nelson. The record included the UK Top 10 hit "Wishing ". Other singles released from the album include "Nightmares" and "Transfer Affection". The person's face on its sleeve cover is that of the band's drummer, Ali Score.

Paul Reynolds is the former lead guitarist and backup singer for the band A Flock of Seagulls.

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Dream Come True is the fourth album by A Flock of Seagulls, released in March of 1986 in by Jive Records.

<i>The Light at the End of the World</i> (A Flock of Seagulls album) 1995 studio album by A Flock of Seagulls

The Light at the End of the World is a 1995 US-only studio album by the band A Flock of Seagulls. It is the first album the band had released since 1986's Dream Come True.

Talking (A Flock of Seagulls song) single by A Flock of Seagulls

"(It's Not Me) Talking" is the debut single by British new wave band A Flock of Seagulls, originally recorded in 1981. It was re-recorded in 1983 and is featured on their second album Listen. The song is about a man who hears voices in his head, who believes that he is being contacted by aliens from outer space, and who cannot run away from his emotions; wherever he goes, the voice is there.

<i>The Story of a Young Heart</i> 1984 studio album by A Flock of Seagulls

The Story of a Young Heart is the third album by A Flock of Seagulls, and was released in 1984. It was their last album–until 2018's Ascension–to feature the original line-up of the band, as guitarist Paul Reynolds left shortly after the album's release. Three singles were released from the album, some only in select countries: "The More You Live, The More You Love", "Never Again " and "Remember David". The album was reissued in 2008 by Cherry Red with bonus tracks.

<i>The Best of A Flock of Seagulls</i> 1987 compilation album by A Flock of Seagulls

The Best of A Flock of Seagulls is a compilation album by new wave band A Flock of Seagulls, released in 1987 by Jive Records.

<i>Wishing</i> (A Flock of Seagulls album) 1996 compilation album by A Flock of Seagulls

Wishing is a compilation album by new wave band A Flock of Seagulls, released in 1996.

<i>I Ran: The Best of A Flock of Seagulls</i> 2004 compilation album by A Flock of Seagulls

I Ran: The Best of A Flock of Seagulls is an album by new wave band A Flock of Seagulls released in 2004. The album has subsequently been reissued under the titles Space Age Love Songs and Greatest Hits.

"Modern Love is Automatic" is a 1981 EP by the British new wave band A Flock of Seagulls, written by Mike Score, Ali Score, Frank Maudsley and Paul Reynolds. The song of the same name was also showcased on their self-titled album the following year. The song peaked at #19 on the US Dance Club Play chart as a double A-side with Telecommunication.

Telecommunication (song) single by A Flock of Seagulls

"Telecommunication" is a song by A Flock of Seagulls from their debut album A Flock of Seagulls, released in 1982. The song was released in 1981 as the band's second single. Although it did not chart on either the traditional United Kingdom or United States charts, it received considerable time on the dance charts. It peaked at number 19 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart in 1981, along with "Modern Love Is Automatic". The uptempo beat featuring power chords and heavy synth, along with the futuristic lyrics, has enabled the song to reach cult status. The song is noteworthy because the band eschewed the guitar-laden choruses many songs of this period had, and instead relied on percussion arpeggios and multi-layered sounds. The effect is not unlike what is known as the Wall of Sound effect, although unlike recordings of Phil Spector, A Flock of Seagulls recorded in stereo.

A Flock of Seagulls discography

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<i>Zeebratta</i> 2014 studio album by Mike Score

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<i>Ascension</i> (A Flock of Seagulls album) 2018 studio album by A Flock of Seagulls

Ascension is the sixth studio album by the band A Flock of Seagulls, and was released on 6 July 2018. It is the first album since 1984's The Story of a Young Heart that features all four original members. It contains twelve songs rerecorded with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The album debuted and peaked at #8 on the Billboard Classical Albums chart for the week of 21 July 2018 and at #29 on the UK Independent Albums chart for the week of 13 July 2018.

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