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Songs from the Big Chair

Songs from the Big Chair

by Tears for Fears Tears for Fears
Songs from the Big Chair

Songs from the Big Chair

by Tears for Fears Tears for Fears


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If The Hurting was mental anguish, Songs from the Big Chair marks the progression towards emotional healing, a particularly bold sort of catharsis culled from Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith's shared attraction to primal scream therapy. The album also heralded a dramatic maturation in the band's music, away from the synth-pop brand with which it was (unjustly) seared following the debut, and towards a complex, enveloping pop sophistication. The songwriting of Orzabal, Smith, and keyboardist Ian Stanley took a huge leap forward, drawing on reserves of palpable emotion and lovely, protracted melodies that draw just as much on soul and R&B music as they do on immediate pop hooks. The album could almost be called pseudo-conceptual, as each song holds its place and each is integral to the overall tapestry, a single-minded resolve that is easy to overlook when an album is as commercially successful as Songs from the Big Chair. And commercially successful it was, containing no less than three huge commercial radio hits, including the dramatic and insistent march, "Shout" and the shimmering, cascading "Head Over Heels," which, tellingly, is actually part of a song suite on the album. Orzabal and Smith's penchant for theorizing with steely-eyed austerity was mistaken for harsh bombasticism in some quarters, but separated from its era, the album only seems earnestly passionate and immediate, and each song has the same driven intent and the same glistening remoteness. It is not only a commercial triumph, it is an artistic tour de force. And in the loping, percolating "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," Tears for Fears perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the mid-'80s while impossibly managing to also create a dreamy, timeless pop classic. Songs from the Big Chair is one of the finest statements of the decade.

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Product Details

Release Date: 11/10/2014
Label: Mercury
UPC: 0602537956753
catalogNumber: 3795675
Rank: 334


  1. Shout
  2. The Working Hour
  3. Everybody Wants to Rule the World
  4. Mothers Talk
  5. I Believe
  6. Broken
  7. Head Over Heels
  8. Listen

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tears for Fears   Primary Artist
Andy Davis   Piano (Grand)
Sandy McLelland   Background Vocals
Curt Smith   Bass Guitar,Vocals
Mel Collins   Saxophone
Marilyn Davis   Vocals,Background Vocals
Manny Elias   Drums
William Gregory   Saxophone,Soloist
Chris Hughes   Drums
Stevie Lange   Background Vocals
Jerry Marotta   Drums
Annie McCaig   Background Vocals
Roland Orzabal   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Piano (Grand)
Ian Stanley   Keyboards
Neil Taylor   Guitar,Soloist

Technical Credits

Curt Smith   Composer
Dave Bascombe   Engineer
Manny Elias   Drum Arrangements
Chris Hughes   Composer,Producer
Jerry Marotta   Saxophone Arrangement
Roland Orzabal   Composer
Ian Stanley   Arranger,Composer
Curt Evans   Artwork
Immanuel Elias   Composer
Paul Sinclair   Liner Notes,Interviewer,Sleeve Notes
Tim O’Sullivan   Cover Photo

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