Saturday, September 27, 2008

Number 448 - Tears For Fears


Number 448

Tears For Fears

"Everybody Wants To Rule The World"

(1985)
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Genre: Alt Pop
Face Off

The Internet tells me Barrack Obama won the good fight in the 1st "Leaders Debate" on Friday. However, my country's television news told all 4 million of us, that John McCain won the event by dominating the younger man. I had to laugh when i heard that. Sure i can imagine McCain threatening Obama with his body and facial language, but as an intellectual battering? I don't think so. So who wants to rule the world? Question is, what would make a person want to? Sure you are all yelling "POWER" at your monitor right now, but i think its something else. I believe it to be a way to immortality because you cannot take wealth and power with you to the grave. But to live in the history books for all of time? Everyone learns and remembers Julius Cesar but no-one remembers poor ole Skaff Quigley.
Go Obama [I say], it's certainly a change i can believe in. Same goes for John Key, to end this pro-feminism, nappy changing, government breast feeding state we live in.
Roll on November!
We are all young once
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.
Have you seen Danny?
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. [The deluxe edition, released in 2006, adds seven B-sides, the non-album A-side "The Way You Are," and a dozen 7" and 12" mixes.] ~ [tanton Swihart, All Music Guide]
The Song
Ironically, considering the song's overwhelming success, "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" was somewhat of an afterthought during the recording of Songs from the Big Chair. According to Roland Orzabal, he initially regarded the song as a lightweight that would not fit with the rest of the album. It was producer Chris Hughes who convinced him to try recording it, in a calculated effort to cross over into American chart success. Orzabal would later reveal in a radio interview that the beat from the song was "borrowed" from another UK Top 40 chart hit: "Waterfront", by Simple Minds.
It was written and recorded in two weeks and was the final track to be added to the Songs from the Big Chair album. The shuffle beat was alien to our normal way of doing things. It was jolly rather than square and rigid in the manner of 'Shout', but it continued the process of becoming more extrovert. —
Roland Orzabal
As was the case with the three hit singles from Tears for Fears' debut LP
The Hurting, the song featured bassist Curt Smith on lead vocals. The guitar solo at the end of the song was recorded in one take by session guitarist Neil Taylor. Originally the song was called "Everybody Wants to Go to War", but was rewritten as "Everybody Wants to Rule the World". ~ [Source: Wikipedia]
For Simple Minds see Number 476 & #703
What does Rolling Tones think about TTF?
Tears For Fears sounds a lot like a lot of other British bands. On the group's second album you can hear U2's social conscience, the Bunnymen's echoing guitars and XTC's contorted pop wit, as well as lead singer Curt Smith's version of the affected sob that's run through art rock from Yes to Spandau Ballet. Apparently, these elements have not been borrowed consciously but absorbed naturally – which is worse: they can't help it if you've heard it all before.
What nudges Songs from the Big Chair slightly ahead of the pack is the sparkling production by Chris Hughes, which aspires to and sometimes achieves the chilly grandeur of Thomas Dolby's studio work. The songs inevitably progress toward dense noise, but they always begin with pristine snatches of odd hooks juxtaposed to suggest spaciousness and atmosphere. The gorgeous saxophone and bell-like electric keyboards that precede the Latin rhythms of "The Working Hour," for instance, conjure a daydream of heaven to distract the workingman from his woes. Except for "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," a catchy Beatlesque number updated to the Synth Age, the songs are more interesting for their textures than for their melodies or lyrics. The last cut, "Listen," has the most to offer in terms of sheer beauty, with its cracking-glacier sound effects and airy synths, wafting operatic soprano and inscrutable chanting. It leaves only an elusive impression, but it's a lovely surprise at the end of an album typified by crunch rockers like "Shout" and "Broken." ~ [Source: RS Don Shewey 1985]
For U2 see Number 661 also MM Vol 1 #038 & #129
For XTC see Number Number 749 & #773
For Thomas Dolby see Number 796
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '448th Song of all Time' was "Heroin" by Velvet Underground. Velvet Underground's "Heroin" has appeared in The Definitive 1000 @ Number 953
Other songs with reference to Tears For Fears #605
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (OK so we forgot a classic) and the Album ranked at (Like you, never made a mistake?)
This song has a Definitive 1000 rating of 77.2 out of 108
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You would vote for John Key?

I didn't think you could be so easily fooled.

He is a conman of the highest calibar.

8:31 pm  
Blogger crowbarred said...

I would vote for Mickey Duck just to be free of this PC feminest bullshit

8:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helen Clark is anything but feminine. I think she is tougher than most men I have met.
You know the saying, better the devil you know...
John Key will start showing his horns very soon I reckon.
Can't stand the guy. bleh.

3:39 pm  

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