Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Flock of Seagulls - The Story of a Young Heart

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of The Story of a Young Heart, the third studio album from A Flock of Seagulls. This was also the last album by the group to feature the original line up; guitarist Paul Reynolds left the band shortly after the album came out. The 1984 release spent ten weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 66. It also went to number 36 in New Zealand, number 32 in Canada, number 31 in Germany and number 30 in the UK.

Side opens with the up-tempo title track. “The Story of a Young Heart” has a bit of that 80’s new romantic sound to it, with some percussion near the end that brings to mind the Far East.

“Never Again (The Dancer)” was released as the second single. I like how this one sort of flows right out of the end of the album opener.

“The More You Live, the More You Love”, the lead single, went to number 56 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 37 in Germany, number 32 in New Zealand, number 26 in the UK, number 23 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, and number 16 in the Netherlands. Prior to this review, this is the only track from the record with which I had been familiar (I had it on a “best of” compilation for the band). Of the first three, this one sounds the closest to the earlier output by the group.

“European (I Wish I Was)” has an interesting rhythm to it that reminds me a bit of the Fixx.

Side two begins with “Remember David”, a synth-centric track that the group was known for with their debut. It has a dynamic element to it as you and the band wonder what happened to the titular young man.

“Over My Head” keeps things going with a bouncy, danceable track.

Lyrically, “Heart of Steel” has a cold, unemotional stance. The music, however, is signature Seagulls (that blend of synths and guitars).

“The End”, ironically, is not the last track of the album. It is, though, more like the tracks that started out the record.

“Suicide Day” is the closer, and it has a persistent ratta-tat percussion that sits in the background through out.

I was a day-one fan of A Flock of Seagulls, but by the time this album came out in 1984 they had sort of faded off to the edge of my music horizon. The tracks on The Story of a Young Heart seem a bit more reserved or restrained than the ones on their first two albums. I suspect that was a bit of a by-product of the group’s maturing sound and viewpoint. Still, I liked it and will be looking to pick up a few of the tracks at some point. You can check this one out for yourself over on Spotify and it is readily available on all the usual download outlets as well.

For more of A Flock of Seagulls, click here.

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