Tears for Fears: Songs from the Big Chair (1985)

“I wanted to be with you alone…and talk about the weather.”

The purpose of this site is twofold: To revisit albums that have made a lasting impact on our lives, and to explore new albums that we haven’t yet heard in full. Tears for Fears 1985 chart topper Songs from the Big Chair falls into the latter category, as it predates my existence on this planet by a few months.

I don’t anticipate diving into the ’80s too frequently, so if you love it and want to contribute a future article, let me know at dvyhnz@gmail.com. For now, here’s my take:

There are plenty of songs on this album that I know — like Shout, which was a huge hit — or Head Over Heels, which is a big reason why this is one of the best scenes in Donnie Darko (and perhaps one of the best uses of music in film.

And of course, there is the oft-covered Everybody Wants to Rule the World. (Soulive does a great version of this.) So there’s no doubt that Tears have had a lasting impact on musicians and the collective consciousness as a whole.

Outside of the hits, this album is crazy. Some of these tracks feature backwards vocals, unique synth noise, and really put the drum machine to work. For tracks like The Conflict or Broken Revisited, I imagine they encapsulate what it’s like to take peyote on a spaceship. But some of these concepts, like tagging the melody to one song in another completely different track, probably set the groundwork for early electronica musicians.

If you had to pick one album that just “sounds like the ’80s,” this might be it. And since Wednesdays are basically the ’80s of the work week (in that they usually suck, but sometimes surprise you), I thought this album would be appropriate. 

Happy listening.

Suited for: Coming of Age

Appropriate Playback Device: Walkman

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