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Tears For Fears

Tears for Fears were always more ambitious than the average synth pop group. From the beginning, the duo of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith were tackling big subjects -- their very name derived from Arthur Janov's primal scream therapy, and his theories were evident throughout their debut, The Hurting. Driven by catchy, infectious synth pop, The Hurting became a big hit in their native England, setting the stage for international stardom with their second album, 1985's Songs from the Big Chair. On the strength of the singles "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" and "Shout," the record became a major hit, establishing the duo as one of the leading acts of the second generation of MTV stars. Instead of quickly recording a follow-up, Tears for Fears labored over their third album, the psychedelic and jazz-rock-tinged The Seeds of Love. While the album was a big hit, it was the end of an era instead of a new beginning. Smith left the group early in the '90s, and Orzabal continued with Tears for Fears, pursuing more sophisticated and pretentious directions to a smaller audience.

Orzabal and Smith met as children in Bath, England. Both boys came from broken homes, and Smith was leaning toward juvenile delinquency. Orzabal, however, turned toward books, eventually discovering Arthur Janov's primal scream therapy, a way of confronting childhood fears that John Lennon embraced after the Beatles disbanded. Orzabal turned Smith on to Janov, but before the duo explored this theory further, they formed the ska revival band Graduate in the late '70s. After releasing a handful of singles, including "Elvis Should Play Ska," Graduate dissolved in the early '80s, and the duo went on to form Tears for Fears, a synth pop outfit directly inspired by Janov's writings.

Riding in on the tail end of new wave and new romantic, Tears for Fears -- which featured musical contributions from former Graduate keyboardist Ian Stanley on early albums -- landed a record contract with Polygram in 1982. The following year, the band released its debut, The Hurting, which became a major hit in Britain, generating no less than three Top Five hit singles. Two years later, the group released Songs from the Big Chair, which demonstrated a more streamlined and soul-influenced sound. Songs from the Big Chair became a huge hit in America, rocketing to the top of the charts on the strength of the singles "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" and "Shout," which both hit number one, and the number three "Head Over Heels," which were all supported by clever, stylish videos that received heavy MTV airplay.

Instead of quickly following Songs from the Big Chair with a new record, Tears for Fears labored over their new record, eventually delivering the layered, Beatlesque The Seeds of Love in 1989. Featuring soulful vocals from Oleta Adams, who dominated the hit "Woman in Chains," the album became a hit, reaching number eight, while the single "Sowing the Seeds of Love" reached number two in the U.S. Again, Tears for Fears spent several years working on the follow-up to Seeds of Love, during which time they released the collection Tears Roll Down: Greatest Hits 82-92. Smith and Orzabal began to quarrel heavily, and Smith left the group in 1992, making Tears for Fears' 1993 comeback Elemental essentially a solo record from Orzabal. On the strength of the adult contemporary hit "Break It Down Again," Elemental became a modest hit, reaching gold status in the U.S., yet was hardly up to the group's previous levels. Smith, meanwhile, released a solo album in 1993, Soul on Board, which went ignored. Orzabal returned with another Tears for Fears album, Raoul and the Kings of Spain, in 1995, which failed to make much of an impact. In late 1996, the group released a rarities collection. In 2004, Orzabal reunited with Smith for the colorful and Beatlesque Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, their first collaboration in over a decade. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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tisha60
Saw them in concert a couple years back in San Diego and will see them again here in California. This guys sound amazing in concert just like they did in the 80's.
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"Everybody wants to rule the world," the theme song to "Real Genius," classic 80s movie starring Val Kilmer. Typical of the 80s, Kilmers character is a wise cracking, above-the-fr a y , aloof, charismatic hero surrounded by and propped up by a cast of supporting stereotypica l foils, against the cartoonishly evil antagonist and his dim witted sidekick. Guess who wins in the end....? The movie is great not in spite of this but because of it: it perfectly embodies a very specific 80s genre flick. Thos
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Love Tears for Fears....... . . . . 8 0 ' s ruled in my day!
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Now Playing: Shout by Tears For Fears on '80s FlashBACK! Radio (Hits1 Radio Network)
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audra7145
Love it ����
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I can't believe Songs From The Big Chair is 30 years old.... They should make a remastered, 30th anniversary album!
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Love the tears for fears.
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jamiegsteele r
Love it
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Best of the 80's!!
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Oh I almost forgot... Don't read this 'cause it actually works. Now how much would you pay? But don't answer yet because you also get this Ginsu knife!!!
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Wow lots of people commented on this particular selection! Maybe I shouldn't give up on humanity just yet.
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Best music ever
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This song gives me Nostalgie about high school.
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Love Tears For Fears
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Classic!!! Nuff said. Thank you.
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Love love love tears for fears
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Don't read this because it actually works you will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in two days. Now you started don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lovers name will appear in big letters this is so scary because it actually works.
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The original,I remember maddddddd world,where are we as a country?
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Love curt Smith he so handsome��
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trinn17
The LP Elemental... . A b s o l u t e masterpiece. Every song is excellent. Orzabal is a genius !
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Anna Sparks, check out the cds that followed Songs From the Big Chair...All of it great. Roland O pours himself into his music. And they still do perform live. You can check out some of their perfomances on YouTube
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Seen them perform and while this and 'Shout' are great and the most recognized, when Roland broke out 'Raoul & the Kings of Spain' it was, to me, anyway, by far, the best song performed that night...awes o m e .
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I was twelve or something living in Central Europe when I heard this song for the first time - and even after all those years, I still love this music, it makes me happy and puts me in instant positive mood :-)
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What an era!! The music, gay bars, dancing, festivals, good drugs!! hahaha... Oh what a fantastic time to be alive and young :) 30 yrs. later, still Happy and the music will always play on....
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sctnia
Not everybody wants to rule the world... me for one. Sounds like too much work... :/
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This song has been covered by everyone but I still remain stuck to this version
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artist685
1980's still rock me! Now I'm going to get rocked!!!!! Lol! Enjoy the music.
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break this down if your answers can be found never in a world of clowns do they utter reasons to make sound an idea less profound than any thought beyond this day watching chaos play and illusion take away small truths built from larger lies while those opposed to benign signs design abstract concepts for irrational minds so others might find farther notions a waste of there belittled time as they are the kind to scoff those stepping from the line
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The best of 80's
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I love this song.
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cody1327
80's are so boss
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Look whose calling who douchbag hag
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My dad put us on this song now me being 40 my son love this song rip lil bro u love this too
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Numero uno pa
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The 80's are #1
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artist685
The 1980's rule! Everybody Wants a To Rule The World....... Love this song......gr e a t memories.
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I agree Songs From The Big Chair was brilliant, I could listen to that all day, but it is rather disappointin g they didn't follow up with something
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The whole world???hmmm m , , , , ok maybe it is!!!!!!
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jaselocke
This is the beet song in the whole eotld
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Head Over Heels
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Everybody wants to rule
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God I love this song
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Amazing
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Better times
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Love this song.
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nromanello
Who cares
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Yes, I think they r still a band, but I don't know if they go on tours anymore. Good question though.
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tbatohie52
Are they still a band?
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Great 80s tune
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I love tor music
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