If you caught them during their recent co-headlining U.S. summer tour with Daryl Hall & John Oates, you know that Tears for Fears have lost none of the power and style that made them a juggernaut of '80s pop. Now, with a new album on the horizon (their first in more than a decade), the duo are reintroducing themselves to audiences with a newly curated single-disc collection.
Rule The World: The Greatest Hits showcases all the most popular songs from the Bath-born duo of singer-songwriter-guitarist Roland Orzabal and singer-songwriter-bassist Curt Smith. After meeting through several local bands, the pair took inspiration from the burgeoning synth/New Wave sound and the writings of psychologist Arthur Janov to create music that was sleek but primal, with emotional lyrics embedded deep into the grooves of each single. "Mad World," "Pale Shelter" and "Change," from debut album The Hurting (1983), placed within the Top 5 of the U.K. charts; "Mad World," of course, got a new lease on life worldwide when a forlorn, piano-driven cover by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules was recorded for the cult sci-fi film Donnie Darko in 2001. (It earned the coveted Christmas No. 1 slot in England two years later.)
Follow-up album Songs From The Big Chair (1985) expanded upon the themes and variations of The Hurting; with the help of Hurting co-producer Chris Hughes and backing members Ian Stanley (keyboards) and Manny Elias (drums), Orzabal and Smith sounded even bigger and broader on Big Chair, with more prominent guitars and more sparkling synth fills. The result was a worldwide success, with singles "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" and "Shout" both topping the Billboard Hot 100 and reaching the U.K. Top 5. (A third single, "Head Over Heels," was a U.S. Top 5 smash.)
Fans waited four years for a third album, the intricate The Seeds Of Love (1989). Years in production, the record found TFF turning away from synth-rock and more toward a cohesive, organic band sound. Influenced by prog rock, psychedelia and soul, Seeds featured the delicious Beatles homage "Sowing The Seeds Of Love" (a Top 5 hit on both sides of the Atlantic) and the heartfelt ballad "Woman In Chains" with Oleta Adams. But tensions were starting to mount, and Smith departed the band in the early '90s; Orzabal kept recording under the name for two alt-rock-leaning albums, 1993's Elemental and 1995's Raoul and The Kings of Spain (both of which are represented on Rule The World).
As Smith came into his own as a solo musician in the late '90s, the duo soon reconnected and patched up their differences. Everybody Loves a Happy Ending (2004) was the result of that reunion, and Tears For Fears have actively toured ever since, pausing only to reissue and expand their first two albums. Rule The World represents that body of work over the past 35 years as well as a hint of new things to come: hard at work on an album tentatively titled The Tipping Point, this new collection features two brand-new songs: the just-released single "I Love You But I'm Lost" and "Stay."
Rule The World is available worldwide on CD November 10, just weeks after a London gig at Royal Albert Hall. (A vinyl release is planned for early 2018, ahead of a full U.K. tour.) The full track list and pre-order links are available below!
Rule The World: The Greatest Hits (Virgin EMI (U.K.)/Mercury/UMe (U.S.), 2017)
- Everybody Wants To Rule The World
- Shout (Edit)
- I Love You But I'm Lost
- Mad World
- Sowing The Seeds Of Love
- Advice For The Young At Heart
- Head Over Heels
- Woman In Chains
- Pale Shelter
- Mothers Talk (U.S. Remix)
- Break It Down Again
- I Believe
- Raoul and The Kings Of Spain
- Closest Thing To Heaven
Original versions of Tracks 1-2, 7, 12 and 14 from Songs From The Big Chair (Mercury, 1985)
Tracks 4, 9 and 11 from The Hurting (Mercury, 1983)
Tracks 3 and 10 are new tracks
Tracks 5-6 and 8 from The Seeds Of Love (Fontana, 1989)
Track 13 from Elemental (Mercury, 1993)
Track 15 from Raoul and The Kings Of Spain (Epic, 1995)
Track 16 from Everybody Loves A Happy Ending (Arista (U.K.)/New Door (U.S.), 2004)