Songs From the Big Chair by Tears for Fears, released in 1985 was one of the first classic albums to come from the second British Invasion. With only two members, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, this record is a testament to the classic 80s sound.
The album starts off with the recognizable song Shout and you get a sense of what the album is going to be like. Right off the bat I got a sense of the bands musical and lyrical depth. Shout is the perfect opening song, hooking the listener right away.
Everybody Wants to Rule the World is probably one of Tears for Fears most well known songs. It’s also one of the most relatable, starting off talking about the need to grow up in order to fit into the competitive “adult world.” But then it takes a different direction, talking about wanting to rebel against it all.
Everybody Wants to Rule the World is arguably one of the best songs on the album.
Side two has a more unique feel, and it gives out more of an experimental vibe than the first.
I Believe is a brief but engaging song, that is cleverly placed as an intro into Broken. The simple riffs from I Believe give way to the more powerful ones in Broken, but they do so in a way that flows and is easy to listen too.
Head Over Heels has lovely storytelling and is by far one of the bands biggest achievements musically, were as Listen totally falls off for me. In this song, Roland Orzabal’s voice blends almost too well with the music, and at points I found myself wondering if he was singing or if it’s just instrumental.
Songs From the Big Chair is an achievement far beyond some of the other albums being released at the time. When you think 80’s, you think Tears for Fears. It is a solid album all around, showing the diversity and talent of the two man band. It’s not for everybody and at points it could fall off for a certain listener, but if you like other 80’s bands such as Spandau Ballet, Wham! or the vocal stylings of Swedish rock band A-ha, this album is for you.
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