A Flock Of Seagulls - I Ran (So Far Away) (1982)
- 80's score: 1.54
“I Ran (So Far Away)”, also released as “I Ran”, is a song by English new wave band A Flock of ...
“I Ran (So Far Away)”, also released as “I Ran”, is a song by English new wave band A Flock of Sealsgul. It was released in 1982 as their third single and it was the second single from their self-titled debut album. It topped the chart in Australia, and reached numbers seven and nine in New Zealand and the United States respectively, although the single did not enjoy similar success in the band’s home country (United Kingdom), failing to make the top 40.
In an article for Rolling Stone titled, Anglomania: The Second British Invasion, Parke Puterbaugh wrote of the impact of the song’s music video on its US chart success, “Fronted by a singer-synth player with a haircut stranger than anything you’d be likely to encounter in a month of poodle shows, A Flock of Seagulls struck gold on the first try.”
Recording and composition
Lead vocalist Mike Score says that there were two main sources of inspiration for “I Ran (So Far Away)”. The members of A Flock of Seagulls would regularly visit Eric’s Club in Liverpool, where one of the bands had a song called “I Ran”. Score noted that because A Flock of Seagulls would rehearse right after returning from Eric’s, the song title and chorus may have gotten stuck in his head. Another idea came from a poster at a Zoo Records office. The band had gone there with the intent of securing a recording contract, and they wanted to use the poster, which featured a man and a woman running away from a flying saucer, as the cover for their first album, A Flock of Seagulls (1982). This depiction also helped spark the song’s unusual space-like lyrics.
Single release and legacy
The single was promoted by a distinctive music video directed by Tony van den Ende in which the band members performed in a room covered in aluminium foil and mirrors. The cameras used to film the video are clearly visible in many of the background reflections, their stands also covered in foil. The video is an homage to Brian Eno and Robert Fripp’s (No Pussyfooting) album cover, which was also portrayed by the Strokes in the video for their single, “The End Has No End,” two decades later. The video received heavy rotation on MTV in the summer of 1982, and helped the single to become a hit.
The band toured the United States extensively to promote the single, supporting Squeeze on their 1982 tour. As well as reaching number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, “I Ran” peaked at number 3 on the Top Tracks chart and number 8 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. Subsequently, the album reached number 10 on the Billboard 200.
In the VH1 special 100 Greatest Songs of the ’80s, “I Ran” was listed at No. 55 on the countdown, while on the VH1 special 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 80s, the song was listed at No. 2.
Although considered a 1980s new wave classic, the song experienced something of a revival in 2002 as the signature theme for the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, being played during the game’s television commercials and during gameplay as one of the songs in the playlist for radio station Wave 103.