Listful Thinking: Top 5 Tears For Fears Songs

My Top 5 Tears For Fears songs... today.
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So picking up with my '80s dalliance from earlier in the week...

Amigos, this is a difficult task, naming my Top 5 Tears For Fears songs because there are too many songs missing from this list! I furiously crossed titles off and added new ones only to cross those out and replace them with a previously struck item or another song entirely. The only way I could make myself settle on these five is if I put in the following disclaimer... these are my Top 5 for today. Ask me tomorrow and some of these stay while others are likely rotated in favor of the song what fits my mood at that moment.

I chose to exclude the two excellent Curt Smith-less releases from this list. I may do a companion to this and grab my favorite songs from those two records. That's actually not a bad idea, now that I think about it. Let's come back to that. For now, here are my Top 5 Tears For Fears songs. For today.

Head Over Heels: There is a better than average chance I've listened to this one more than any other Tears For Fears song. How many times, you ask? So many times I got familiar with it to the point my godawful voice can almost sound passable singing in unison with Roland Orazabal. No, you don't want to hear it. You especially don't want to hear it if the song isn't playing loudly at the same time. Roland's voice feels like it gets more and more powerful as the song closes.  

Sowing The Seeds Of Love: I was firmly in my hair/glam metal phase when this song came out but *Songs From The Big Chair* created a bond stronger than my teenage suspicion of anything not metal. Yes, this song is that good. It was years before I heard the similarities between this and "I Am The Walrus" but they're clearly there. I love Orzabal's cadence in the verses. I love Curt Smith's vocal on the "Time to eat all your words" bit and his bass playing. I love the wordplay. This song big time stands up these many years later. Magnificent, is what.

Mad World: So I discovered this one later, being introduced to the band with the *Big Chair* record. I took to it immediately upon hearing it and it remains a favorite. The bitterness and hurt are so evident in the lyrics, very different from the music which reminds me a good bit of early Cure.

Everybody Wants To Rule The World: I think this is the first Tears For Fears song I ever heard, watching the video with a childhood friend. I was hooked immediately and maintained an abiding love for them over the next- I don't want to admit to how many years. Let's just say a long time. What do I love about this song besides everything? I think what strikes me most is the guitar. I love the sound they achieved with the guitar and that lick in the intro. I like the slight snarl they give the guitar in the solo. I also wonder if they sued Michael Jackson for lifting the rhythm on this for his "The Way You Make Me Feel." Probably not. I would have given them money if I'd been on that jury and it's not because of any animus for MJ or that song. NIN lifted the same bit for a song on *Year Zero*. It happens. This song always feels like a rush of warm air.

Closest Thing To Heaven: Most of you slackers don't know that after years apart, Orzabal and Smith rejoined forces and made a really good record called *Everybody Loves A Happy Ending* and this is my favorite from it. The best bit in this is the patented Curt Smith bass work. It's not just the notes he plays but it's the restrained way he plays them. He's always in time yet half a click behind the beat and builds a tension that I rarely hear from other bass players. Roland's vocal is spot on in this one, too. You really should hear this song and this record. The magic of their first chapter together was frequently evident on this one, too.