Reason #402 Why The ’80’s Didn’t Suck: Songs From The Big Chair

tffLet me be honest: Songs From The Big Chair was the reason I stopped listening to Tears For Fears. I bought, devoured and loved the The Hurting, the band’s debut. It was synth pop, but it was edgy synth pop, not unlike another of my favorites from early in the decade, The The’s Soul Mining. The massive (and I do mean MASSIVE—5 million US sales alone!) popularity of SFTBC and hearing the singles Shout, Everybody Wants To Rule The World and Head Over Heels every time I turned on a radio or stepped into an elevator was a major turn off and obliterated any chance I had of embracing this album.

But time heals all wounds (or, as Nick Lowe says, “Time wounds all heels”, eh?Or was that Groucho Marx?), and listening to this album again for the first time in well over 25 years I have to conclude that, as a pop album representative of the decade in which it was birthed, it’s pretty f*&kin’ good! I mean, who can deny the pure pop of Everybody Wants To Rule The World? If there was a better, more insidious earworm produced during this decade I’d like to hear about it. Shout was the ‘80’s version of Instant Karma, or even We Will Rock You, and still gets played today. Head Over Heels…well, I still don’t like that one too much. Moving on to Mother’s Talk, that’s a barn burner, even if the ‘80’s drums dates it somewhat, and the rest of the tracks are as dark and subversive as anything on The Hurting.