ALBUM OF WEEK 6: SONGS FROM THE BIG CHAIR

You might think I’m crazy or something like that for writing about this new wave-pop-whatever 80s British band. No, it’s not a guilty pleasure. I like Tears for Fears.

songs

Travelling back in time I remember when Seeds of Love came out in 1989. I was 13, and still listened to lots of mainstream pop music. The popularity of this album was massive, and its hits were broadcast nonstop for long time. Videos were quite naive and full of crazy imagery, quite similar to Peter Gabriel‘s. The music was an allegory of sound layers, vocals, and synthesizers. Don’t think Tears for Fears were the most accessible band for an early teenager, however I found the singles released from that album amazing, and some of their previous works I finally identified as theirs too.

Question about whether I liked them or they were a hot band at that time arose many many years later.

You know when you relate a band to some event in your life or just to a film? I discovered I actually like Tears for Fears thanks to the amazing film Donnie Darko. On one hand the sequence scene of the high school with Head Over Heals is brilliant, and the cover of Mad World performed by Gary Jules is simply breathtaking. Well, that soundtrack is outstanding in general, recovering hits by INXS, Joy Division, Duran Duran and Echo & The Bunnymen. Watch the film and listen to the soundtrack if you haven’t done it yet. You won’t regret.

Like I’ve said, Donnie Darko was the starting point in the process of discovering I like this band. Second step was to recover the album I was most acquainted with, Seeds of Love, and go on with their discography.

TFF has turn one of these bands whose albums I need to listen to from time to time, and Songs from the Big Chair, their most successful album released in 1985, is usually the most often listened here at the Hellhouse.

I like this album for many reasons.

First, it features several of their most popular songs in their career. Who hasn’t heard Shout or Everybody Wants to Rule the World? Both are magnificent

Second, Head Over Heels blows my mind. I don’t get tired of that song. Voice melody lines achieved by the amazing work performed by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith reach levels of perfection at some points. That song is an exercise of grandiloquence, with so many details in production as to offer a jungle of sounds, synth effects, drums and percussions, pianos…but it’s not chaos, everything sounds solid and perceptible.

 Here is a stunning live performance, so you can appreciate what I’m talking about, or you just can think I’m nuts.

(*Have you seen the drummer? Brilliant!)

The original album included 8 tracks. I have one of this re-issues with another 6-7 songs, two being US Mixes. They’re not bad, but to be honest, it’s the original album what really counts. Seems that, as times have changed and usually albums contain 11-14 songs average, these new editions have to be filled up. Unnecessary.

Those who grew up in the 1990s musically speaking, and focused on rock, me included, should take a look back to 80s pop, because there are so many treasures we are avoiding due to pure and simple prejudice, I think we’re missing great stuff. This band is a great example.

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