Tears for Fears: Songs From The Big Chair

Tears for Fears: Songs From The Big Chair

Universal (Japan)  UIGY-9559

Stereo Single Layer


Tears for Fears

Tears For Fears are one of the defining bands of the 80s who have gone on to sell over 30 million albums, spawning over 20 #1 singles.

Recording started on the second studio album in early 1984. The band were keen to create something a little less insular than what had come before and open up the sound – bigger guitars, less reliance on sequencers and technology. Tears For Fears’ willingness to do something different, to expand their musical horizons, aligned to the record label’s natural desire to find a bigger audience and sell even more records, created the phenomenon that was “Songs From The Big Chair”.

The rhythmic “Mothers Talk” was released as the first single in the UK in August 1984. The no. 14 hit was perhaps a modest start to the campaign, but on this thick fusion of funk, rock and technology, Roland invited listeners to “wake me up when things get started, when everything starts to happen”. Rather good timing in fact, since everything was about to happen… In March 1985 “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” led the ‘Big Chair’ single releases in the US, and the song quickly reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The melodic everyman lyric, appealing two-chord verse structure and MTV-pleasing video, conspired to make this rather atypical Tears For Fears track an enormous hit. This Stateside success would be consolidated as the chant-like “Shout” belted out of radios across the nation in June 1985 and also reached the top spot, remaining there for three weeks. “Head Over Heels” was another major hit single (US no. 3), and the album almost inevitably went to number one. Tears For Fears found themselves leaders of the so-called ‘Second British Invasion’ of the US pop charts in the mid-eighties and with this American success echoed across Europe (and beyond), they were irrefutably, one of the biggest bands in the world. “Songs From The Big Chair” would go on to sell over five million copies in the US alone.

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11 of 12 recommend this, would you recommend it?  yes | no

1. Shout
2. The Working Hour
3. Everybody Wants To Rule The World
4. Mother's Talk
5. I Believe
6. Broken
7. Head Over Heels/Broken [Live]
8. Listen
Reviews (1)

Review by Rick Kosmick - June 16, 2014

Songs from the Big Chair is a great album. For several years I have listened to the MFSL Gold CD that has exceptionally good sound and always provided me with an enjoyable listening experience. The SHM SACD, however, elevates this recording to a whole new level.

The soundstage is absolutely outstanding with excellent spatial qualities. The sound expands effortlessly and just soars at times. By the way, boosting the volume control is recommended for a full appreciation of this SACD and what it has to offer in terms of audio quality.

The sound seems to jump out at you but in a very pleasant way. Yes, I really enjoyed the dynamic range that expands and contracts with ease. Just superb.

A special note about the bass. I do have my personal preferences: a nice firm bass (I do not care for a booming bass that sometimes overwhelms other instruments). I would describe the bass on this SACD as support like a "pocket" for the other instruments that moves the music along for a very nice ride.

The liner notes state a DSD flat transfer from UK original master tapes. The original recording sessions would indicate well recorded songs and the master tapes must have been in excellent condition. In addition, the Japanese transfer is noteworthy and the SHM technicians deserve special recognition for their efforts.

This SACD is a version of special merit. It joins a very small group of albums in my collection that warrant a classification of reference recordings. It is positively that good, in my humble opinion.

Copyright © 2014 Rick Kosmick and



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