Skip to main content

Tears For Fears: Songs From the Big Chair – Super Deluxe Edition

80s prog pop at its finest.

That one of the biggest albums from the 80s is a mere six tracks long is the giveaway here. Admittedly now stretched out over a whopping six discs (if you fork out for the box set), another pointer is prog rock wunderkind Steven Wilson presiding over a delightful 5.1 remix (as he has done with Yes, King Crimson, ELP and XTC of late).

There was always something more to early Tears For Fears than the pop tag they had foisted on them. The annoyingly memorable Everybody Wants To Rule The World hangs over this album, but it’s so good a pop song that you can’t not like it.

The real jewels are the ebullient opener Shout and the beautifully emotive Head Over Heels – if a better pop refrain was written in the 80s, I’d like to hear it. Their debut The Hurting was about Roland Orzabal’s dad shouting at him a lot – this is stuff straight from the psychoanalyst’s couch.

Even if album-closer Listen sounds like Genesis jamming, they certainly weren’t prog rock. But alongside Talk Talk and XTC, they were the closest pop music got to it./o:p

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock, as well as sleevenotes for many major record labels. He lives in North London and happily indulges a passion for AC/DC Chelsea Football Club and Sydney Roosters.