Significant Songs (80)

Everybody Wants To Rule The World

In the early 1980s, I became aware of a new British group. They were a duo, called Tears For Fears. They had a fresh and distinctive sound, and a very different line-up. The main vocalist, Curt Smith, was a fashionable, good looking young man. The guitarist was Roland Orzabal, not your usual image of a pop star. There was serious talent in there somewhere though, and I was keen to hear more. I found out that the duo formed the public image of the group, but also recruited other musicians to perform on their records. They were from Bath, in the county of Avon, not an area known for British bands at the time.

In 1982, they issued the single ‘Mad World’, from the soon-to-released album ‘The Hurting’. (This track was later featured in the successful film, ‘Donnie Darko’, released in 2002.) The album achieved worldwide fame, and was a massive hit in many countries. By 1985, the new album, ‘Songs From The Big Chair’ was released, and secured them a massive following, as well as staying in the charts for over a year. This track comes from that album, and was also a massive world-wide hit. By now, it was becoming obvious that Orzabal was the talent behind the band; writing the songs, and being heavily involved in production. Influences from The Beatles, and the electro-pop era were coming to the fore, and at the time, it seemed that they could do no wrong, with sales in excess of thirty million.

In 1990, ‘Seeds Of Love’ was released, including the huge-selling title track. This went straight to number one in the UK, and was in the US top ten at the same time. By now, their sound was instantly recognisable, and often described as ‘Epic Pop’. By 1991, it was all over. Smith and Orzabal had a public and acrimonious split, and Smith blamed the band’s success for the break-up of his marriage. Despite re-forming in 2005, and touring extensively, they never achieved that level of success again. On paper, they are still working now, but we have yet to hear anything to compare with the early successes. One thing’s for sure, I only have to hear this introduction, and I know what to expect.


16 thoughts on “Significant Songs (80)

  1. Just seeing the title brings the song to the front of my head and it will linger their for hours or days. I actually didn’t like it when it first came out. It was overplayed on MTV perhaps. I don’t know for sure. But now it brings back an era so quickly.


  2. The song was gorgeous. Just lovely. The B side Pharoahs is delightful too. So many other great songs too. I really like Head over Heels. probably their best video too.


    1. They were very much of their time and place I think Alex. Like Manic Street Preachers, New Order, and many other innovative British groups. Perhaps it is good that they didn’t go on too long, doing the same stuff. We can all remember them at their best.
      Regards from Norfolk. Pete.


  3. Apparently;,the Wheel Inn in Cabazon, California, where some of this was filmed, has closed. I’m not sure what has happened to the dinosaurs.

    Pete, I recognized this excellent song immediately. It’s one I really like. Thanks for sharing!


  4. Their debut album “The Hurting” (1983) is one of my favourite albums. Raw, visceral and hauntingly beautiful. They became a bit too pop for me after that album but the debut is a masterpiece. Lovely tribute x


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