Sunday, October 10, 2021

Tears for Fears: Top 100 Songs

Tears for Fears

Top 100 Songs

Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, the duo who’ve largely comprised Tears for Fears through the years, met as kids in Bath, England. In 1979, they formed the ska-revival band Graduate and released one album, Acting My Age. Another album, to be titled Ambition, was scrapped but Orzabal and Smith formed the more synth-pop-oriented new wave/pop group Tears for Fears in 1981.

Their debut album, 1983’s The Hurting, was a hit in England. Their sophomore effort, 1985’s Songs from the Big Chair, hit #1 in the U.S. and went multi-platinum on the strength of #1 songs “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Shout” as well as the #3 hit “Head Over Heels.”

The next album, The Seeds of Love, was released in 1989. It was another top-10, platinum-selling album fueled by the #2 hit “Sowing the Seeds of Love” and top-40 hit “Woman in Chains.”

Smith left in 1990 and released a solo album, Soul on Board, in 1993 while Orzabal continued under the Tears for Fears banner with Elemental that same year. It gave Tears for Fears another top-20 hit. Orzabal released one more album, Raoul and the Kings of Spain, as Tears for Fears in 1995 before releasing his first solo album, Tomcats Screaming Outside in 2001. Meanwhile, Smith released the album Mayfield in 1997.

Tears for Fears gained attention in 2003 when Gary Jules and Michael Andrews’ version of “Mad World,” from the Donnie Darko soundtrack, hit #1 in the UK. Smith and Orabal reunited for the 2004 album Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, their first album together again in 15 years. Smith released Halfway, Pleased in 2007 and Deceptively Heavy in 2013. It would be another 18 years before they released another album – 2022’s The Tipping Point.

Click here to see other best-of lists from performers and here to see other best-of lists from songwriters and/or producers.

Awards:


Top 100 Songs


Dave’s Music Database lists are determined by song’s appearances on best-of lists as well as chart success, sales, radio airplay, streaming, and awards. This list includes covers of Tears for Fears’ songs by other artists as well as songs by Graduate and Mayfield and solo material from Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal.

DMDB Top 1%:

1. Everybody Wants to Rule the World (1985)
2. Shout (1984)

DMDB Top 5%:

3. Head Over Heels (1985)
4. Sowing the Seeds of Love (1989)
5. Break It Down Again (1993)

DMDB Top 10%:

6. Woman in Chains (with Oleta Adams, 1989)
7. Mad World (Michael Andrews with Gary Jules, 2002)
8. Change (1983)
9. Mother’s Talk (1984)
10. Mad World (1982)
11. Pale Shelter (1982)

DMDB Top 20%:

12. Advice for the Young at Heart (1989)
13. I Believe (1985)
14. Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Patti Smith, 2007)
15. Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Lorde, 2013)
16. Suffer the Children (1981)

DMDB Beyond 20%:

17. Laid So Low (1992)
18. The Way You Are (1983)
19. The Working Hour (1985)
20. Goodnight Song (1993)

21. Raoul and the Kings of Spain (1995)
22. Famous Last Words (1989)
23. When in Love with a Blind Man (1985)
24. Sea Song (1984)
25. Closest Thing to Heaven (2004)
26. Cold (1993)
27. Badman’s Song (1989)
28. God’s Mistake (1995)
29. Year of the Knife (1989)
30. The Hurting (1983)

31. Broken (1985)
32. Watch Me Bleed (1983)
33. Memories Fade (1983)
34. Ideas As Opiates (1982)
35. Call Me Mellow (2004)
36. Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams (1990)
37. Tears Roll Down (1989)
38. Start of the Breakdown (1983)
39. Swords and Knives (1989)
40. The Devil (2004)

41. The Big Chair (1984)
42. Standing on the Corner of the Third World (1989)
43. I Love You But I’m Lost (2017)
44. Elemental (1993)
45. Pharoahs (1985)
46. Listen (1985)
47. Everybody Wants to Run the World (1986)
48. Always in the Past (1989)
49. The Conflict (1983)
50. Power (1993)

51. Ashes to Ashes (1996)
52. Soul on Board (Curt Smith, 1993)
53. Ready to Start (2013)
54. The Working Hour (acoustic, 1985)
55. Brian Wilson Said (1993)
56. Creep (live, 1995)
57. What Are We Fighting For? (Curt Smith as Mayfield, 1997)
58. Everybody Loves a Happy Ending (2004)
59. New Star (1993)
60. My Life in the Suicide Ranks (1989)

61. Bloodletting Go (1993)
62. Dog’s a Best Friend’s Dog (1993)
63. The Prisoner (1982)
64. Elvis Should Play Ska (Graduate, 1980)
65. Me and My Big Ideas (1995)
66. Falling Down (1995)
67. Mr. Pessimest (1993)
68. The Marauders (1983)
69. Secret World (2004)
70. Acting My Age (Graduate, 2004)

71. Lord of Karma (1992)
72. Perfect Day (Curt Smith, 2007)
73. Low Life (Roland Orzabal, 2001)
74. Still in Love with You (Curt Smith, 1993)
75. Sketches of Pain (1995)
76. Schrodinger’s Cat (1993)
77. Empire Building (1984)
78. Sorry (1995)
79. Who Killed Tangerine? (2004)
80. Oh U Boys (Graduate, 1981)

81. Head Over Heels (Katy Perry, 2008)
82. Calling Out (Curt Smith, 1993)
83. Los Reyes Catolicos (1993)
84. Day by Day by Day by Day by Day (Roland Orzabal, 2001)
85. Woman in Chains (instrumental, 1989)
86. Humdrum and Humble (1995)
87. Secrets (1995)
88. Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Weezer, 2019)
89. The Body Wah (1992)
90. Déjà Vu and the Sins of Science (1993)

91. Music for Tables (1990)
92. Come the Revolution (Curt Smith, 1993)
93. I Choose You (1995)
94. I Will Be There (Curt Smith, 1993)
95. Julie Julie (Graduate, 1980)
96. Ticket to the World (Roland Orzabal, 2001)
97. All of the Angels (1995)
98. Words (Curt Smith, 1993)
99. Break It Down Again (acoustic, 1993)
100. Killing with Kindness (2004)


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First posted 10/9/2021; last updated 10/10/2021.

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