I ran so far away.
I just ran,
I ran all night and day.
I couldn't get away"
Hairdresser Mike Score (lead vocals, keyboards) formed the New Romantic band A Flock of Seagulls with his brother Ali (drums) and fellow hairdresser Frank Maudsley (bass) in 1980, adding guitarist Paul Reynolds several months later. The group released its debut EP on Bill Nelson's Cocteau Records early in 1981, and while the record failed to chart, its lead track, "Telecommunication," became an underground hit in Euro-disco and new wave clubs. The band signed a major-label contract with Jive by the end of the year, and their eponymous debut album appeared in the spring of 1982. "I Ran (So Far Away)" was released as the first single from the album, and MTV quickly picked up on its icily attractive video, which featured long shots of Mike Score and his distinctive, cascading hair. The single climbed into the American Top Ten, taking the album along with it. In the U.K., "I Ran" didn't make the Top 40, but "Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)" reached number ten later that year; in America, that single became a Top 40 hit in 1983, after "Space Age Love Song" peaked at number 30. "Wishing" was taken from the group's second album, Listen (1983), which was moderately successful.
Mike Score's distinctive hairstyle, dubbed "the flock of seagulls" hairdo has been mentioned, copied, and parodied many times in the media even though the hairdo first appeared in Xanadu with the band The Tubes.
Their songs other than I Ran (So Far Away) include:
- "(It's Not Me) Talking"
- "Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)"
- ''Space Age Love Song''
- "The More You Live The More You Love"
- 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)
And I troped, I troped so far away...
- Album Title Drop: "This is the story of a young heart."
- Artistic License Ornithology: A large group of seagulls is called a colony, not a flock. Justified, in that Mike Score got the band's name from a misheard song lyric.
- Bookends: The Story Of A Young Heart starts off with the title track and ends with a slight reprise of the song at the end of "Suicide Day".
- Break-Up Song: "The End", "Suicide Day", and "How Could You Ever Leave Me".
- Broken Record: "This is the story of a young heart, this is the story of a young heart..."
- "It's all right when you say you love me" in "The End".
- "Living in heaven."
- Chained to a Railway: In the music video for "Heartbeat Like A Drum", a woman is tied down to railroad tracks in the fashion of an old-time film, but surprisingly the train merely passes right over her, showing the whole thing to be an optical illusion.
- Concept Album
- Their self-titled debut has a running theme of extraterrestrials. "I Ran" in particular is about an alien abduction.
- Attempted with The Story Of A Young Heart.
- Cover Version: "This Used To Be My Playground" by Madonna from Virgin Voices 2.
- Driven to Suicide: "Suicide Day" at the end of The Story Of A Young Heart.
- The '80s - for a band that's largely known for one song, they're an icon from that decade.
- '80s Hair: To a ludicrous extreme (though perhaps justified given that two of the band members were professional hairdressers)
- Epic Instrumental Opener:
- "I Ran (So Far Away)" in the 1986 Greatest Hits album and all later releases of their debut album has a 1:34 long opening of the band getting in tune.
- "Standing In The Doorway" from the debut album has a 1:57 long opening.
- Epic Rocking: The extended version of "Wishing" runs 9:36. The extended version of "Heartbeat Like A Drum" (the original recording of the song without the fadeout) runs 6:57.
- Face on the Cover: Dream Come True features three of the band members (minus Paul Reynolds, who left in 1986) playing violins against a stylish computer-generated background.
- Fading into the Next Song: "The Story Of A Young Heart" —> "Never Again (The Dancer)" and "Over My Head" —> "Heart Of Steel" from The Story Of A Young Heart.
- Greatest Hits: Notably their 1986 The Best Of A Flock Of Seagulls and their 1999 Greatest Hits Remixed albums.
- Hall of Mirrors: The "I Ran" video is set in one.
- I Am the Band: From the late 1980s to their reunion in 2018, Mike Score is A Flock Of Seagulls.
- Instrumentals: Quite a few in their lineup: "Tanglimara", "D.N.A.", "2:30", "Rosenmontag", "The Last Flight Of Yuri Gagarin", "The Light At The End Of The World", and "Seven Seas".
- Intercourse with You: "Say So Much" and "Love On Your Knees" from Dream Come True; "Burnin' Up" from The Light At The End Of The World.
- "I Want" Song: "European (I Wish I Was)" from The Story Of A Young Heart, and "All I Wanna Do" from Mike's solo work.
- Lyrical Cold Open: The 1995 Light At The End Of The World version of "Magic" opens up with this.
- Man on Fire: "Burnin' Up".You make me feel, you make me feel like I'm on fire.
- Mate or Die: "Say So Much" just says it in the lyrics:Oh, don't stay a mother's child. Make love to me before I die.
- Minimalistic Cover Art: The Story Of A Young Heart has just a flower and a jeweled heart pendant against a black background.
- Never Trust a Title: "The Story Of A Young Heart" on the CD version of their 1986 Greatest Hits album is actually a remix version of "The More You Live, The More You Love".
- New Sound Album: Dream Come True switched from New Wave rock to late 80s dance pop.
- Non-Appearing Title: "Space Age Love Song," although it's an appropriate description of its sound. Apparently this was because the band couldn't come up with a better title.
- One-Man Song: "Remember David" from The Story Of A Young Heart, and "Ordinary Man" from The Light At The End Of The World.
- One-Word Title: The album Listen, plus "Tanglimara", "Telecommunication", "Messages", "Tokyo", "Windows", "Nightmares", "Electrics", "Rosenmontag", "Committed", "Rainfall", "Magic"
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis: Children of The 2000s are likely to associate "I Ran" with Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and its trailer.
- Questioning Title?: "What Am I Supposed To Do?"
- Self-Titled Album
- Shout-Out: Their instrumental track title "The Last Flight Of Yuri Gagarin".
- Speedy Techno Remake: Greatest Hits Remixed is an entire album full of this.
- The Something Song: "Space Age Love Song"
- Stalker with a Crush: "Standing In The Doorway" is about one.
- The End: The title of the second-to-the-final track on The Story Of A Young Heart.
- Titled After the Song: The band's name is partially inspired by a line in The Stranglers' song "Toiler on the Sea".
- Title-Only Chorus: "The Story Of A Young Heart".
- Title Track: The Story Of A Young Heart and The Light At The End Of The World.