Monday, November 19, 1984

Tears for Fears released "Shout"


Tears for Fears

Writer(s): Roland Orzabal, Ian Stanley (see lyrics here)

Released: November 19, 1984

First Charted: December 1, 1984

Peak: 13 US, 12 CB, 13 RR, 6 AR, 1 CO, 4 UK, 12 CN, 11 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.25 UK, 1.35 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 177.6 video, 164.66 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

In the UK, “Shout” was the lead single from Tears for Fears sophomore album Songs from the Big Chair. However, the song wasn’t released in the United States until after “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” hit #1. “Shout” followed its predecessor to the top in America, besting its #4 peak in the UK.

People understandably assumed the song was about “primal scream treatment, which worked by getting people to confront their fears by shouting and screaming.” SF The band did, after, all take their name from Prisoners of Pain, the book by Primal Therapy psychologist Arthur Janov. The band also used primal scream therapy as a theme for their first album, The Hurting.

However, according to band member Roland Orzabal “Shout” was not about primal scream theory. He said, “It is actually more concerned with political protest.” WK Bandmate Curt Smith said the song “encourages people not to do things without actually questioning them.” WK

Musically, the song was marked by “power chords, heavy percussion, a synth bass solo, and a vocal-sounding synth riff.” WK Orzabal said it was written on a small synthesizer and a drum machine. He thought the chorus “was very repetitive, like a mantra” WK and after playing it for Ian Stanley, the band’s keyboardist, and Chris Hughes, the producer, “they were convinced it would be a hit around the world.” WK


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First posted 8/7/2020; last updated 8/5/2022.

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