CD Review: Tears for Fears

Tears for Fears
Songs from the Big Chair: Deluxe Edition
By David Chiu

Because everyone remembers the three hit singles (“Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” “Shout,” “Head Over Heels”) and mammoth sales (10 million) Tears for Fears’s second album generated, it is easy to forget that Songs from the Big Chair is a really solid effort, and one of the better albums from the ‘80s. At a time when the MTV era bands were posing and preening about how cool they were and looked, TFF addressed more introspective and personal themes that carried over from the debut The Hurting two years earlier, although not that much angst-ridden. The mood of the record varies from the empowering synth and guitar-driven rockers such as “Broken” and “Mother’s Talk” to the jazzy and soulful numbers “I Believe” and “The Working Hour.” Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have an album powered by hits that have since become staples on pop radio: ask anyone in the world, and he or she’ll will at least heard “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” once; “Shout” is a great anthem alongside U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and Simple Minds’ “Sanctify Yourself”; and “Head Over Heels” is a pop gem whose “la la la la la’s” in the finale updates the Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” The Deluxe Edition doesn’t offer any outtakes or previously unreleased songs but only B-sides and 7” and 12” singles. Regardless, the Deluxe Edition paints a complete picture of a time when TFF was the biggest band of 1985, while retaining a maturity and sensibility that its peers sorely lacked.


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