I own Tears for Fears’ greatest hits album, 1982’s Tears Roll Down, but I had no idea it was released a year after the band broke up. Or, more specifically, a year after founding member Curt Smith left and co-founder Roland Orzabal continued recording under the Tears for Fears moniker in his absence.
Tears For Fears has released one album in the past 18 years, and that was nine years ago. Now the band is back in the studio working on a new record, so I guess the ‘once every nine years’ pattern is working for them.
This is actually a great time for new Tears For Fears music, assuming it’s as good, and in the same style, as their 80s hits. Today’s pop music is very much influenced by the 80s and I can imagine songs like ‘Shout’ and ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ succeeding wildly were they released in 2013.
I have a half-baked theory that it takes three great songs to make a great album. Not three pretty good songs, but three really great ones. The realization goes something like this… “Does [ALBUM NAME] have [SONG A]? Cool. Oh, [SONG B] too? That’s a really good one. Wait… it has [SONG C]? Really? Damn, that’s a great album.” Doesn’t really matter what else is on it.
So by that standard, Tears for Fears’ Songs from the Big Chair (1985) is a great album. ‘Shout,’ ‘Head Over Heels’ and ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ are three truly great songs (‘The Working Hour,’ ‘Mothers Talk’ and ‘I Believe’ ain’t shabby, either). If I were to make a list of the best albums of the 80s, this one would be high on that list.