Monday, June 10, 1985

Tears for Fears released “Head Over Heels”

Head Over Heels

Tears for Fears

Writer(s): Roland Orzabal, Curt Smith (see lyrics here)

Released: June 10, 1985

First Charted: June 22, 1985

Peak: 3 US, 3 CB, 3 RR, 5 AC, 7 AR, 1 CO, 12 UK, 11 CN, 21 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 76.6 video, 105.93 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Tears for Fears exploded in the U.S. market with their second album, Songs from the Big Chair. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Shout” were both chart-toppers on the Billboard Hot 100. They were followed by “Head Over Heels,” which reached #3.

The song evolved as a segue with the song “Broken,” which had previously been a B-side to the 1983 single “Pale Shelter” from the band’s first album, The Hurting. In live performances, “Head Over Heels” was sandwiched in between two parts of “Broken.” The band did the same thing on the Songs from the Big Chair album version with a live version of “Broken” preceding “Head Over Heels” and a reprise following it. A single edit version of the song cut the song before the “Broken” reprise.

The song is a fairly straight forward love song, although lines such as “It’s hard to be a man when there’s a gun in your hand” might cause a girl to file a restraining order. SF On a personal note, I misunderstood the lyric for years as “It’s hard to be a man when there’s a girl in your head.” I thought the line worked better since it suggested one had a hard time being himself when hung up on someone. The song also proved a pretty spot-on soundtrack for my own unrequited love the summer after my senior year in high school.

The video for the song was directed by Nigel Dick, who would also assume the director’s chair for Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” more than a dozen years later. Singer Roland Orzabal suggested the concept of meeting a girl in the library as well as random images like a rabbi and a chimp. There’s an homage to the movie Ghostbusters when cards come flying out of the catalog drawer. SF In 2008, a literal video was made of the song mocking many of the visuals. SF


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First posted 2/1/2020; last updated 8/5/2022.

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