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Tears for Fears reminds us of what could have been,
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Songs From The Big Chair (Dig. Remastered) (Audio CD)
"Songs From the Big Chair" was the first CD I ever bought, which I did about four months before I actually had a CD player (stockpiling for new technology is a dominant gene). But this was one of the first really hot CDs and it was where I got my infamous "three song rule." This rule states: If you are interested in an album by a new group all you need to justify the purchase is for the album to have three solid songs you would like to have. This one offered up "Shout," "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" and "Head Over Heels." The first two made it to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and last one topped off at #3. Of course the album went to the top of the charts as well, but more importantly there are other interesting tracks on the album besides the big three. "Heads Over Heels" is actually part of a suite with "Broken," and both "The Working Hour" and "Listen" are above average.
This edition offers up extended mixes of "Shout" and "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" as bonus tracks, but they are hardly necessary to justify having this album in your music collection. I still listen to "Songs From the Big Chair" about once a month and there is always a touch of regret that Tears for Fears self-destructed. The group produced a rather unique blend of synth-pop that made it stand out from most of what was going on in 1985 and the lyrics would have made for nice essay questions on a psychoanalysis exam:
They gave you life
And in return you gave them hell
As cold as ice
I hope we live to tell the tale
Who would have thought that Arthur Janov's primal scream theory would result in deep lyrics? But then the group's name comes from that same source and the whole idea was much more in evidence on their debut album "Hurting" ("Mad World" from that album is reworked to great effect by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules at the end of the cult film "Donnie Darko," which also used "Head Over Heels" to make Tears for Fears the official group of the film). Such ideas are still in evidence on this album, but if "Hurting" is about emotional pain then "Songs From the Big Chair" is moving on to the healing process. This is not exactly a concept album, but the songs do fit together in a way that suggests a definite sense of direction. But then when they start singing about four leaf clovers and do a techno-rap song like "Mother's Talk" you are just going to lose people who are going to go back to the melodies and not bother to figure out the words and dive for deeper meanings.
Looking at the writing credits on these songs you would have said Tears for Fears was clearly Roland Orzabal's group, but by the time Curt Smith bolted they had produced only one more album in three years which had one decent song on it. So Tears of Fears does not exactly come under the heading of a One Hit Wonder, but they certainly only had the solid really great album. However, unlike other groups you might point to in similar circumstances from this same time period (e.g., A-Ha, Mr. Mister), this was the group I really thought had the musical talent to build on. In retrospect, I think it is clear that they did have the talent and Tears for Fears is arguably the most memorable "lost" group of that period.