Among Universal Music Group’s RSD Drop offerings for Record Store Day’s two-pronged 2021 celebration include a previously unreleased live double album from Tears for Fears.
Live At Massey Hall captures the British rockers supporting sophomore album Songs from the Big Chair as it starts to take off worldwide. When the group started a four-date stand at the Toronto theatre at the end of May 1985, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was on its way to topping the U.S. charts. (“Shout” would follow later that summer.) Indeed, nearly all of the album is featured in the set, including “Rule the World,” “Shout,” singles “Head Over Heels,” “Mothers Talk” and “I Believe,” and favorite album tracks “The Working Hour” and “Broken.” The rest of the set features the cream of TFF’s 1983 debut The Hurting, including “Mad World,” “Pale Shelter” and “Memories Fade.”
The expanded concert line-up of the group at Massey – core members Roland Orzabal (vocals/guitar) and Curt Smith (vocals/bass), in-studio sidemen Ian Stanley (keyboards), Manny Elias (drums) and Will Gregory (saxophone), guitarist Andy Sanders and second keyboardist Nicky Holland (a key member of sessions for 1989 follow-up The Seeds of Love) – has been heard on official releases before. Footage from the shows appeared in the Scenes from the Big Chair documentary, and six tracks were included on the Big Chair box set released in 2014. (Four of them had been heard before that, on a Canadian promo disc in 1986.) The material on this set, however, has been newly mixed from recently-located multitrack tapes, offering the first optimized listening experience for a classic Tears for Fears concert.
TFF have had an active year despite the slowdown of the music industry: they gave The Seeds of Love the box set treatment last fall, signed to Irving Azoff’s management company, got their last album (2004’s Everybody Loves a Happy Ending) digitally available after a lengthy absence, and continue work on their seventh studio album.
Live At Massey Hall is limited to 3,500 copies worldwide and will be sold on the first RSD Drop date (June 12) at all participating retailers. The full track list is below!
Live At Massey Hall (Mercury/UMe, 2021)
- Mothers Talk
- Head Over Heels/Broken
- Pale Shelter
- Memories Fade
- Start of the Breakdown
- The Prisoner
- I Believe
- The Working Hour
- Mad World
- Everybody Wants to Rule the World
- The Hurting
All tracks recorded live at Massey Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada – 5/29-6/1/1985
LP 1, Tracks 2-3 and 5 and LP 2, Track 4 possibly previously released on Live At Massey Hall promo – Vertigo (Canada) DJV173, 1986
LP 1, Tracks 2-3 and 5 and LP 2, Tracks 2, 4 and 6 possibly previously released on Songs from the Big Chair box set – Mercury (U.K.) 3794991, 2014