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.
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%:
DMDB Top 5%:
3. Head Over Heels (1985)
DMDB Top 10%:
DMDB Top 20%:
12. Advice for the Young at Heart (1989)
DMDB Beyond 20%:
17. Laid So Low (1992)
21. Raoul and the Kings of Spain (1995)
31. Broken (1985)
41. The Big Chair (1984)
51. Ashes to Ashes (1996)
61. Bloodletting Go (1993)
71. Lord of Karma (1992)
81. Head Over Heels (Katy Perry, 2008)
91. Music for Tables (1990)
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First posted 10/9/2021; last updated 10/10/2021.