Music interview: Tears For Fears

Tears For Fears.
Tears For Fears.
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Tears For Fears’ classic second album, Songs From The Big Chair, was going to be re-released whether the band liked it or not.

“So we thought we might as well get involved,” says Roland Orzabal.

He and Curt Smith formed the duo in 1981, after their previous band Graduate failed to take off. Songs From The Big Chair was released in 1985 and built on the success of their platinum-selling debut The Hurting.

“There’s an arm at every record label devoted to this kind of thing,” Orzabal, 53, continues. “You know, a department that puts together old products in new and exciting ways, with or without the artists’ permission.

“Seeing as this is the king of all re-releases, we wanted to part of it.”

He’s not kidding on that front. The album, which spent six months in the Top 10 of the UK album chart and five weeks at No 1 in America, is now available in five different formats, including a six-disc set that features 5.1 surround sound mixes of the album, re-mastered by engineer Steven Wilson.

The songs Shout, Head Over Heels and Everybody Wants To Rule The World, all gigantic hits, still played by radio stations around the world.

Orzabal and Smith were 22 when they wrote Songs From The Big Chair, described by Melody Maker magazine upon release as ‘one of the finest statements of the 1980s’.

“My eldest son is turning 23 soon,” says Orzabal, “and that got me thinking. We were so young, just 19 when we signed to Polygram. I celebrated my 21st birthday in Abbey Road Studios’ cafe, two months before we were on Top Of The Pops for the first time.”

While the band has never folded, Orzabal and Smith did go their separate ways in 1991, after the release of third album Seeds Of Love.

Orzabal carried on the name on his own, releasing two albums, Elemental and Raoul And The Kings Of Spain in 1993 and 1995 respectively.

They reunited in 2000, with the resulting album Everybody Loves A Happy Ending released in 2005.

The famously unprolific pair are currently working on what will be their seventh album, although Orzabal has reservations.

“It’s happening, but it changes every day. We have a few songs amassed but I still think we need one or two more songs that will define what the record will be.

“It was easy with the last one, because the whole point is that we were back together. Now we’ve been back together for a long time and we need to find something else to say.

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