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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.

A Flock of Seagulls
Mike Score.jpg
Lead singer Mike Score performing in 2011
Background information
OriginLiverpool, England
Genres
Years active
  • 1980–1986
  • 1988–present
Labels
Websitewww.aflockofseagulls.org
MembersMike Score
Pando
Kevin Rankin
Gord Deppe
Past membersList of former members

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).

Contents

HistoryEdit

1980–1986: Formative years and mainstream successEdit

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.

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.

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]

1988–present: Reformation and the current eraEdit

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.

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.

LegacyEdit

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]

PersonnelEdit

MembersEdit

TimelineEdit

 

Line-upsEdit

1980 1980 1980 1980
  • 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)
1984–85 1985–86 1986–88
  • 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

1988–89 1989 1989–94 1994–98
  • 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
1998–2004 2004–2016 2016–2017 2017–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

DiscographyEdit

Grammy AwardEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "A Flock of Seagulls – Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b Larkin, Colin (2011). "A Flock of Seagulls". Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85-712595-8.
  3. ^ Puterbaugh, Parke (10 November 1983). "Anglomania: The Second British Invasion". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  4. ^ Bird Jr., Walter (26 April 2017). "Mike Score still flying with Flock of Seagulls". Worcester Magazine. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  5. ^ "A Flock of Seagulls – Biography". Amoeba Music. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  6. ^ a b Thompson, Dave (2000). Alternative Rock. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 141–42. ISBN 978-0-8793-0607-6.
  7. ^ "BBC – Radio 1 – Keeping It Peel – 06/05/1980 A Flock of Seagulls". BBC Radio 1. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  8. ^ Greene, Andy (8 August 2012). "Where Are They Now? 1982's Biggest Pop Acts – A Flock of Seagulls". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  9. ^ "A Flock of Seagulls". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  10. ^ Cross, Charles R. (30 August 2001). "Never mind the hair bands, here's a Flock of Seagulls!". Salon. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  11. ^ Wener, Ben (31 August 2012). "The Forgotten Festival: Remembering US '82 and '83 as Steve Wozniak's dream bash turns 30". Orange County Register. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  12. ^ Takiff, Jonathan (18 November 1988). "Local Seagulls Join The Flock". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  13. ^ Strong, Martin C. "A Flock of Seagulls". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  14. ^ Venable, Malcolm (13 October 2009). "Low-key musician doesn't need to be a big rock star". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  15. ^ "80's Band A Flock of Seagulls top Croxteth Free Music Festival line-up". LLTV. 25 June 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  16. ^ Wright, Jade (10 June 2011). "Jade Wright recommends . . .Croxteth Park Free Music Festival". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  17. ^ Waller, Paul (24 January 2013). "Flock-of-Seagulls/Mike-Score". Penny Black Music. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  18. ^ "A Flock of Seagulls' Mike Score Releases New Single 'Somebody Like You'". Broadway Worldwide. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  19. ^ Associated Press (23 July 2013). "Flock of Seagulls Tour Van Stolen With Instruments, New Album Inside". Billboard. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  20. ^ Cummings-Grady, Mackenzie (3 May 2018). "A Flock of Seagulls Announces New Album 'Ascension'". Billboard. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  21. ^ Staff (7 May 2018). "Fully Reunited, A Flock of Seagulls Readying New LP 'Ascension,' with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra". Rock Cellar Magazine. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  22. ^ "Magnet Exclusive: Premiere of A Flock of Seagulls' "Space Age Love Song" Video". Magnet. 6 June 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  23. ^ Gray, Julia (7 June 2018). "A Flock Of Seagulls' Original Lineup Remade Their Best Song for First Recording in 34 Years". Stereogum. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  24. ^ "A Flock of Seagulls – Ascension". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  25. ^ "252-281: The '80s". 501 Lost Songs. NME: 53. 2011.
  26. ^ Paoletta, Michael (22 July 2006). "Making The Brand: An '80s Revival". Billboard. Vol. 118 no. 29. p. 13. ISSN 0006-2510.
  27. ^ Hickling, Alfred (19 March 2007). "The Electric Hills". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  28. ^ Carpenter, Megan M. (2010). "Space Age Love Song: The Mix Tape in a Digital Universe". Works.bepress.com. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  29. ^ Duxbury, Janell R. (1988). Shakespeare Meets the Backbeat: Literary Allusion in Rock Music. Taylor & Francis.
  30. ^ Christgau, Robert (30 November 1982). "A Flock of Seagulls". The Village Voice. Christgau's Consumer Guide. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  31. ^ Christgau, Robert (26 July 1983). "A Flock of Seagulls: Listen". The Village Voice. Christgau's Consumer Guide. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  32. ^ Janosik, MaryAnn (2006). The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Rock History: The video generation, 1981-1990. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-3133-2943-2.
  33. ^ "A Flock of Seagulls – Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  34. ^ "Artist: Flock of Seagulls". Grammy.com. Retrieved 27 April 2019.

External linksEdit