We Are the '80s

by: A Flock of Seagulls

It can't be said that there haven't been enough compilations of A Flock of Seagulls over the last 20 years. Ever since 1987's Best of A Flock of Seagulls, there has been a new major-label comp every three or five years, with a bunch of budget-line and international releases arriving nearly on an annual basis, so there have been more than enough options for casual fans over the years -- particularly since most listeners aren't looking for much more than "I Ran (So Far Away)," "Space Age Love Song," "Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)," and "Telecommunication," which invariably show up on every one of these discs. All four are on 2006's We Are the '80s, released as part of VH1 Classic and Legacy's We Are the '80s series, which focused on MTV favorites from the early and mid-'80s. A Flock of Seagulls was certainly an MTV favorite, with lead singer/keyboardist Mike Score's haircut being as well known as the group's chilly synth pop, so they're a perfect choice for this series, and the comp does manage to be an effective dose of nostalgia -- either for those who grew up with synth pop on MTV or for those who wish they did -- as well as an effective overview of the group's work. While there is a genuine rarity here with "Lost Control" -- the B-side to "The More You Live, the More You Love," making its CD debut here -- this is hardly a fan-oriented compilation. It's a basic Flock of Seagulls primer, serving up the big hits plus other singles like "Nightmares" and a few album tracks, and it does its job very well. It may not be worth purchasing if you already own one of the many Flock comps over the years -- it covers the same ground as the other discs, after all, and the good remastered isn't quite enticing enough to warrant a replacement -- but if you're in the market for a Flock of Seagulls CD, this is the one you should get. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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