Tears for Fears

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About Tears for Fears

After the dissolution of their first group, a mod outfit called Graduate, in 1981, childhood friends Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal (along with keyboardist Ian Stanley) set out to form England’s next big synth band. But while they were aiming for Duran Duran, they ended up with “Mad World,” a darkly relatable song that offered an early sign that Tears for Fears were more contemplative. After all, they took their name from Arthur Janov's book on primal therapy and imbued their lyrics with many of his ideas, like the lines concerning dreams about dying on “Mad World.” Their 1983 debut album, The Hurting, earned them success in the UK, but their 1985 follow-up LP, Songs from the Big Chair, introduced their sobering pop to the world. First, there was the brash “Shout,” which paired synths with a catchy chorus, metal guitars, and a rumination on political protest, and then the plaintive sing-along hit “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” which tapped into Cold War anxiety. Four years later, they returned with a soulful, Beatles-esque sound for 1989’s The Seeds Of Love, featuring "Sowing The Seeds Of Love," the band’s reaction against Thatcherism and most overtly political single to date. Smith left the band shortly after, but Orzabal persevered, releasing Elemental in 1993, buoyed by the pop-rock anthem “Break It Down Again,” and 1995’s Raoul and the Kings of Spain. After Gary Jules’ cover of “Mad World” was featured in 2001’s Donnie Darko, Smith and Orzabal reunited for 2004’s aptly titled Everybody Loves a Happy Ending. That title may have sounded final, but it wasn’t the end. Eighteen years later, the two returned with The Tipping Point, their seventh studio album. They’d toiled on the record for years, working with several contemporary songwriters—but only when the duo sat down together and began writing on acoustic guitars did the album begin to flow. “Albums for us should be a journey,” they told Apple Music. The Tipping Point proves that if there’s a will to keep going, no journey is ever finished.

Bath, England
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