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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, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

You're just, just, just wasting time....
Very nice song!!!
Got my first girl friend u know what I mean. Kate. J. Miss u
BARF ON THE POST BELOW MINE!!
mcmbrwn
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible 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 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works!
Yeah these guys came to the Bay Area
Rip lil bro this our song now its yo nephew s**t aw man dam
dlpn1fan
Rocked the Pearl!
nvdaisy
Saw them over the weekend in Las Vegas, BEST show I have seen in years!
hollace88
Just saw then Saturday night at the Palms in Las Vegas. Wow. Great Concert.
I love this song! The video for this song is funny, especially with the chimpanzee.
To moms this her s**t everybody wants to rule the world rip lil bro this r s**t hey son toast up r s**t the family song lol
mecinerev3
Hi guys my mom Carla and friends are going to see u live on stage today so call her on stage!!!!!!! ! ! !
Doesn't get any better than Tears For Fears. Wore out this album. Top notch cannot be repeated
kekahunab
❤️
Tears for years R.I.P lil bro i love u this our s**t hey son this our s**t too 4 leaf clover la la la la!!!
copsinis
i do not want to rule the world!!!
Gotta have the Gummy's
Not Bad
I made love to most of the Frannies at SFA in Joliet in the back seat of my 5.7L IROC-Z to this song.
Oh yes the the tapes, headphones. I remember listening to this as a kid. Great memories, dancing!! :-)
selbychan
Favorite group from 80s
Nice
archie2012.f g
Una de mis favorite's song I. Just Reilly like this song FOR EVER 80's! !!!!!!!!!!!
More evidence that the group effort was way more productive than the individual solo efforts ever were!
The best driving song ever!!!
mecinerev3
I LOVE your songs and great job last time when you guys played Everybody wants to rule the world live on stage go Tears for fears!!!!
One of my favs from the 80s!
I love this song is
Even tho my lil bro gone this is to my only son we be turnin up lol i put him on this song the 80's love it lol
Your the best Tears for fear!!:)
Um what's a cassette tap C Thomas 68
Found this cassette tape in the dirt, loved them ever since
sdcalloway8
Wow!!!
Scream at the top of your lungs then go into your basement gorage or atic look around then go outside scream pull down your pants run around don't stop reading now because your half way done!! Post this on 20 other songs draw a picture then take a picture look under your pillow!!
SHOUT!!
OMG!!
#AWSOME!!:)
#:D
R.i.p lil bro
tuatara24
Shout will never not make me think of psych now.
Rock on!
Pandora wanna jam win i gotta go to bed... R.i.p lil bro i love u
Donnie Darko!! Great song, Great movie!!
Songs from my high school years. Now my 22 -likes to listen to 80 music.
Great memories of my youth.......
Man! I still love this song! 80's is the BEST OF ALL TIME!
Love the 80, s
siamsa69
Songs from the Big Chair is a masterpiece
elizabethk70 9
God al the memories that this song takes me too...luv this song & band!!!!!!
This is My....
I loved this band. Beth and I saw them at their final N. American show in Portland OR on Sept.27 2014. Even though they did have to start one song over again after a goof, the whole concert was amazing and they played many songs over the 1.5 hours! A great memory
who did not or does not love this band!!!
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