Tears For Fears – Roland Orzabal (vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Curt Smith (vocals, bass, keyboards) formed in Bath, England 1981. With 30 million albums sold worldwide, performing to countless sold-out audiences, and winning various awards, the band represent an inimitable intersection of pop palatability, clever and cognisant lyricism, guitar bombast, and new wave innovation. Their 1983 debut The Hurting yielded anthems such as “Mad World,” “Change,” and “Pale Shelter,” reaching RIAA Gold status in the United States. 1985’s Songs from the Big Chair became a watershed moment for the group and music at large. Boasting the signature BRIT Award-winning “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” “Shout,” “Head over Heels,” “Mothers Talk” and “I Believe (A Soulful Re-Recording),” it went quintuple-platinum and captured #1 on the Billboard Top 200.
Slant dubbed it one of, “The Best Albums of the 1980s,” it was featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, and Consequence of Sound awarded it a rare A+ rating in a 20-year retrospective.1989’s Seeds of Love proved to be Orzabal and Smith’s last collaboration together until Everybody Loves A Happy Ending in 2004, which rekindled the creative fire between them. The band engaged in a three-year touring whirlwind across North America, Japan, South Korea, Manila, and South America beginning in 2010. 2013 saw them return with their first recorded music in a decade: a cover of Arcade Fire’s “Ready to Start.” The band returned once more in 2017 with the Rule The World best of collection which once more catapulted the band back to the upper echelon of the UK album charts.
The duo’s DNA remains embedded within three generations of artists on both subtle and overt levels. Quietly casting a shadow over rock, hip-hop, electronic dance music, indie, and beyond, Kanye West interpolated “Memories Fade” on “The Coldest Winter” from the seminal 808s & Heartbreak, The Weeknd infused “Pale Shelter” into Starboy’s “Secrets,” David Guetta sampled “Change” for “Always,” and Drake utilized “Ideas as Opiates” as the foundation for “Lust For Life,” while Ally Brooke Hernandez, Adam Lambert, and Gary Jules recorded popular covers of “Mad World” and Disturbed took on “Shout,” and that’s only to name a few. Lorde cut a haunting cover of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” for the Soundtrack of the blockbuster The Hunger Games – Catching Fire, which Tears For Fears gleefully would use as intro music live and thus bring everything full circle.
Meanwhile, classic songs figure prominently everywhere from The Wire and Donnie Darko to Straight Outta Compton and Mr. Robot. Long before they became a cultural cornerstone Tears For Fears simply consisted of two school friends growing up in Bath, Somerset UK.
With The Tipping Point and comprehensive touring plans on the horizon Orzabal and Smith remain as loud as ever, while yet another generation gets ready to “Shout” with them all over again.