Album Reviews of the 80s

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A Flock of Seagulls, "Listen" / 1983 Review by: Stephen K. Myrick
"I Ran (So Far Away)" was a curse. Yeah, it was a big big hit, huge in fact. But there is much more to this group than the only song they're known for. For example, "Space Age Love Song", which was a better track, and the album "Listen". Unfortunately, most tapes and CDs have more than 6 songs on them. Side two of the tape is not worth listening to, but side one is the real deal in terms of versatility and listenability. The 6 songs on the A side typify the eighties sound from many different directions. Beginning with "Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You" which is definite new wave pop, it was a moderate chart success. This is followed by "Nightmares" which borderlines on the Gothic style of Mission UK but has a more uptempo beat. Then the track "Transfer Affection", a song that is relatively simple but puts one to mind of OMD. This one is followed by "What Am I Supposed To Do", a wake-up-and -smell-the-genre type of song that is full of sound and melody and is one of their best tracks ever. Follow that with "The Fall" a hauntingly slow enjoyable work that isn't much lyrically but is still a treat. Then finally, witness what could be somewhat of a birth of the industrial sound, the experimental (for it's time) and hardedged "Rosenmontag". All in all, six of the best examples of eighties new wave genres all rolled into one side of one album. You don't have to even listen to side two. You may enjoy side one so much, you may never get there anyway.

This group was a breakthrough for the synth/new wave type bands, they were light years ahead of there time. I first listened to the flock in '89 almost 8 years since there first release. Listen is a trend setting album and if you like new wave its a must. But you will have to look long and hard to find Listen with the 3 extra songs, my personal favorite of the extra 3 is The Last Flight of the Yuri Gura. I rank this album 10 out of 10.

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