Reviews & Recommendations
Goodbye my friend
Will I ever love again
Memories fade but the scars still linger

-- Tears for Fears
Tears for Fears
( Roland Orzabal & Curt Smith)
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"Tears for Fears were always more ambitious than the average synth-pop group. From the beginning, the duo of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith were tackling big subjects -- their very name derived from Arthur Janov's primal scream therapy, and his theories were evident throughout their debut, The Hurting. Driven by catchy, infectious synth-pop, The Hurting became a big hit in their native England, setting the stage for international stardom with their second album, 1985's Songs from the Big Chair. On the strength of the singles Everybody Wants To Rule the World and Shout, the record became a major hit, establishing the duo as one of the leading acts of the second generation of MTV stars."
-- Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AMG

  Tears for Fears Discography - Album / CD Reviews

****¼ 1983: The Hurting audio

"Tears For Fears has the dubious distinction of not realizing their full potential in all musical releases after their debut album. Perhaps nowhere else is there such a flagrant example of a band having amazing genius and intellectual prowess and throwing it out on a second release for catchy commerical tunes. For those of you who put on the headphones and listen to Pale Shelter or Mad World and then listen to Everybody Wants to Rule the World, you know exactly what I mean. This album is like a sacred manual on how to write intelligent songs that touch the emotions deep within. The keyboard arrangements are phenomenal on this CD, the vocals are full of pain and reflection. Buy this and treasure it. "
-- Douglas Coronel, via amazon reviews

***¾1985: Songs from the Big Chair audio
"Considering that Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, the English duo known as Tears for Fears, were avid followers of Arthur Janov, father of the Primal Scream form of mental therapy, it wasn't surprising that one of their biggest hits was titled Shout. What was surprising was how the two managed to take all their deep-rooted inner turmoil and make such positively buoyant music. Case in point: their other Songs from the Big Chair-spawned, No. 1 hit, Everybody Wants to Rule the World, was a meditative contemplation of the struggle for power within interpersonal relationships as a metaphor for global supremacy--which, thank god, had a good beat so you could at least dance to it. "
-- Billy Altman,

*** 1989: The Seeds of Love audio
"Sowing the Seeds of Love contains the album's raison d'être:
/High time we made a stand and shook up the views of the common man./ The songs constantly draw parallels between the personal and the political, and it's exciting that such thought-provoking music will undoubtedly be so widely heard. If with the title track Tears for Fears beg comparison to the Beatles, it's in the unspoken assertion that popular music can also be outstanding music. That's something this remarkable record proves over and over again. "
-- Michael Azerrad,

**** 1992: Tears Roll Down: Greatest Hits 82-92audio
Spanning hits from their first three releases, Tears Roll Down is an excellent introduction to the Tears for Fears, and a must for every 80s music fan.

**½ 1993: Elementalaudio
(...) Though not as radio-friendly upon first listen as Seeds or The Big Chair, Elemental is a more mature and direct if not darker work exposing the essence of the songs and bringing melody to the forefront. The drifting, oceanic quality evident in many early Tears tracks is still prevalent (the atmospheric concept is taken a step further by blending several songs into each other), but is coupled with a deep, mechanical groove on a majority of the cuts, reminding the listener of INXS or a latter-day U2.
CMJ, College Media Inc, via CDnow

1995: Raoul and the Kings of Spainaudio
The second Tears for Fears [album] following Curt Smith’s departure finds Roland Orzabal treading water (and self-consciously deep water at that). Long removed from the simple, melodic melancholy of the band’s early work and abandoning the mid-period Beatles-influenced pop, Raoul and the Kings of Spain often borders on progressive rock. (...) There seems to be a lack of ideas that cannot be concealed by the words, which are either inscrutable or embarrassingly silly. Listeners on both sides of the Atlantic couldn’t be bothered and the act’s commercial fortunes fell even further.
-- Tom Demalon, AMG

**** 2001: Shout: Very Best Of Tears for Fearsaudio
This is a much more complete collection than the Best Of Tears For Fears-Millenium released in 2000 by the same label (UNI/MERCURY), as the millenium CD completely overlooked TFF's debut album, 'The Hurting', which remains the band's strongest effort.

**½ 2004: Everybody Loves A Happy Ending
"Tears for Fears twosome Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith split up after making 'The Seeds of Love' in 1989 because they couldn’t stand the sight of each other. They should have followed their instincts: This reunion album is a misbegotten mess. Where Orzabal’s pompous pronouncements about inner torment and the Human Condition once came with bounding New Wave hooks, they’ve now doubled their self-seriousness, dressing mediocre songs in shopworn Beatlesque flourishes, from baroque countermelodies to psychedelic distortion. Instead of sounding clever, it comes off as dreary and dated. (...) Sorry, fellas, but nobody loves a sad reprise."
-- David Hiltbrand,

Recommended Links:

Tears for
Roland Orzabal's website
Curt Smith's website
Similar Artists:

Duran Duran | U2| INXS | Naked Eyes | The Human League | Simple Minds| A Flock of Seagulls| Thompson Twins | OMD

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