Features

EXCLUSIVE: Tears for Fears on their 1983 single “The Way You Are”

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Earlier this year SDE Editor Paul Sinclair spoke to Roland Orzabal, Curt Smith, producer Chris Hughes and A&R man Dave Bates about Tears For Fears’ second album ‘Songs From The Big Chair’. These interviews resulted in a fascinating and often candid commentary on the writing and recording the album. You can read the full ‘in their own words’ feature in the the booklet that forms part of the forthcoming super deluxe edition box set. 

Exclusively for SuperDeluxeEdition.com readers, here is an extract from that text, with Roland, Curt et al discussing a song that didn’t end up on the album – the 1983 single The Way You Are which was recorded and released between The Hurting and Songs From The Big Chair.


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Seven-inch cover to “The Way You Are”

[TFF Producer] Chris Hughes: “Dave Bates said, ‘Roland’s got this new song, it’s really interesting, it’s got a kind of interesting rhythm to it, it could be a single’ and I remember thinking that it feels like the first thing he has written since The Hurting, and people are investing too much belief in it. I saw them perform it live at The Lyceum and I thought it was okay – quite exciting – and we set about in the studio to try and make it make sense. I think it was ill-conceived.”

Roland Orzabal: “For some bizarre reason it was considered to be a good idea [laughs]. The chart position [it reached number 24] reflected how it good it was, which was a shock to us because we’d had three top five hits, or something. We were experimenting in the studio – perhaps a little too much – trying to work on sounds and textures, when we maybe should have been writing more melodic pop songs. We made a similar mistake with Mothers Talk, which was perhaps a taster of things to come, because we spent an awful long time on a song that maybe didn’t warrant it. The first version of Mothers Talk actually had a lot in common with The Way You Are.”

Curt Smith: “It was undoubtedly a mistake to do it. I don’t think we’re a singles oriented band. We tend to look at a project as a whole, which is this big longer piece of music separated into tracks. Doing one song is really against all the things we stand for and the way we work.”

[TFF A&R Man] Dave Bates: “The Way You Are was recorded at The Farmyard Studios in Buckinghamshire. It’s my least favourite Tears For Fears song, although they definitely liked it at the time. Every writer has no real perspective of what’s great and what’s not, because every one of them is their baby.”

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The Way You Are was co-written by Manny Elias, Roland Orzabal, Curt Smith and Ian Stanley

Chris Hughes: Roland wrote it, and wanted it to become something, with good heart. We tried to make it work and it was done with good intention but it just wasn’t one of those songs where you thought ‘yes, this is obviously going to work’. So I think it was uphill.

Curt Smith: At that point the record company were desperate for any product, and accepted something that was really very substandard.

Dave Bates: I didn’t express any reservations at the time. The record company are saying ‘we need a hit, and we need it now’ and this is the only thing I’ve got. I’m going to convince everybody that this is great. They have to totally believe that they are on to a winner. You can have doubts, but you can’t ever go expressing them. In fact the band used to call me ‘grave doubts’ because I used to have grave doubts about things!

Chris Hughes: I don’t remember the band ever sitting around going ‘that was a dismal failure’. It was put out, got played on the radio a few times and fans quite liked it. I don’t think we sat around thinking this is a definite point at which we need to change direction and do something else.

Curt Smith: We got over it and managed to go on and have more success despite that song. It’s one of those things that we can’t take it back, but we wish we hadn’t done it.

Dave Bates: I think during the time of recording Songs From The Big Chair it was decided it wasn’t going to fit on. I think stylistically, it’s got nothing in common with anything else on the album.


Interviews by Paul Sinclair. The Way You Are wasn’t on the original issue of Songs From The Big Chair but makes an appearance on the super deluxe box set a total of six times; original single version, DJ Edit, Extended Version, a previously unreleased early mix, the promo video and a rare Top Of The Pops performance.

Songs From The Big Chair is reissued on 10 November across a number of formats (see below for details and track listings.

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TFF_SongsFromBigChair_3D

6-disc super deluxe edition box set

D

2CD Deluxe Edition

TFF_BigChair_SuperAudio_sde

Blu-ray Audio

TFF_BigChair_Vinyl

Vinyl Edition

TFF_BigChair_Vinyl_2014_SW_Mix

2014 Stereo Mix on vinyl

Track listing

DISC ONE

  • 01. SHOUT : 6:31
  • 02. THE WORKING HOUR : 6:29
  • 03. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD : 4:09
  • 04. MOTHERS TALK : 5:04
  • 05. I BELIEVE : 4:54
  • 06. BROKEN : 2:38
  • 07. HEAD OVER HEELS : 5:02
  • 08. LISTEN : 6:54

Bonus tracks 

  • 09. THE BIG CHAIR : 3:20
  • 10. EMPIRE BUILDING : 2:41
  • 11. THE MARAUDERS : 4:13
  • 12. BROKEN REVISITED : 5:15
  • 13. THE CONFLICT : 4:02
  • 14. THE WORKING HOUR – Piano Version : 2:08
  • 15. PHARAOHS : 03:42
  • 16. WHEN IN LOVE WITH A BLIND MAN : 2:22
  • 17. SEA SONG : 3:51 

DISC TWO – Edited Songs From The Big Chair (this is second CD in the 2CD deluxe)

  • 01. THE WAY YOU ARE : 4:49
  • 02. MOTHERS TALK – Single Version : 3:53
  • 03. SHOUT – Single Version : 5:58
  • 04. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Single Version : 4:14
  • 05. HEAD OVER HEELS – Remix : 4:15
  • 06. I BELIEVE (A Soulful Re-Recording) : 4:39
  • 07. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RUN THE WORLD : 4:30
  • 08. THE WAY YOU ARE – Short Version : 4:21
  • 09. MOTHERS TALK – U.S. Remix : 4:14
  • 10. SHOUT – U.S. Single Version : 4:51
  • 11. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RUN THE WORLD – Running Version : 4:30
  • 12. HEAD OVER HEELS – Radio Version : 4.20
  • 13. MOTHERS TALK – Video Version : 4:14
  • 14. SHOUT – Short Version : 4:03
  • 15. LISTEN – Clean Intro : 6:52
  • 15. INTERVIEW WITH CURT & ROLAND : 7:35

DISC THREE – Remixed Songs From The Big Chair (exclusive to box)

  • 01. THE WAY YOU ARE – Extended Version : 7:37
  • 02. MOTHERS TALK – Extended Version : 6:18
  • 03. SHOUT – Extended Remix Version : 7:40
  • 04. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Extended Version : 5:40
  • 05. BROKEN / HEAD OVER HEELS / BROKEN – Preacher Mix : 8:00
  • 06. MOTHERS TALK – Beat Of The Drum Mix : 8:54
  • 07. SHOUT – U.S. Remix : 8:02
  • 08. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Urban Mix : 6:06
  • 09. MOTHERS TALK – U.S. Remix alternate : 4:12
  • 10. SHOUT – Dub : 6:49
  • 11. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Instrumental : 4:21
  • 12. SHOUT – Acappella : 5:02

DISC FOUR – Unreleased Songs From The Big Chair (exclusive to box)

  • 01. HEAD OVER HEELS : 4:14 Richard Skinner Session
  • 02. THE WORKING HOUR : 6:06 Richard Skinner Session
  • 03. BROKEN : 3:19 Richard Skinner Session
  • 04. MOTHERS TALK : 4:05 Live At Massey Hall
  • 05. BROKEN / HEAD OVER HEELS : 5:01 Live At Massey Hall
  • 06. MEMORIES FADE : 6:50 Live At Massey Hall
  • 07. THE WORKING HOUR : 7:31 Live At Massey Hall
  • 08. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD : 4:19 Live At Massey Hall
  • 09. SHOUT : 7:50 Live At Massey Hall
  • 10. MOTHERS TALK – Early Mix / Instrumental : 4:39
  • 11. THE WAY YOU ARE – Early Mix : 4:25
  • 12. BROKEN – Early Mix : 5:38
  • 13. SHOUT – Early Mix : 5:08
  • 14. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Alternate Single Version: 4.20

DISC FIVE (DVD-A)

5.1 and Stereo mix

  • SHOUT : 6:32
  • THE WORKING HOUR : 6:31
  • EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD : 4:11
  • MOTHERS TALK : 5:10
  • I BELIEVE : 4:54
  • BROKEN : 2:38
  • HEAD OVER HEELS : 5:20
  • LISTEN : 6:49

DISC SIX (DVD-V) (exclusive to box)

Documentary

  • 01. SCENES FROM THE BIG CHAIR – Documentary : 1:14:43
  • 02. INTERVIEW WITH PRODUCER CHRIS HUGHES : 35:00

Promos

  • 03. THE WAY YOU ARE – Music Video : 3:57
  • 04. MOTHERS TALK – Alternative UK Video : 4:00
  • 05..MOTHERS TALK – Music Video : 4.49
  • 06. SHOUT – Music Video : 6:31
  • 07. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Music Video : 4:52
  • 08. HEAD OVER HEELS – Music Video : 4:26
  • 09. I BELIEVE – Music Video : 4:45
  • 10. MOTHERS TALK – US Mix – Music Video : 4:52
  • 11. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RUN THE WORLD – Music Video : 4:52

 BBC TV Appearances

  • 03. THE WAY YOU ARE : 4:11 Top Of The Pops
  • 04. MOTHERS TALK : 3:48 Top Of The Pops
  • 05. MOTHERS TALK : 3:51 Top Of The Pops
  • 06. SHOUT : 4:20 Top Of The Pops
  • 07. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD : 4:08 Wogan
  • 08. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD : 3.35 Top Of The Pops
  • 09. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD : 3.45 Top Of The Pops
  • 10. THE WORKING HOUR : 4:28 Wogan

TFF_SongsFromBigChair_3D

6-disc super deluxe edition box set

D

2CD Deluxe Edition

TFF_BigChair_SuperAudio_sde

Blu-ray Audio

TFF_BigChair_Vinyl

Vinyl Edition

TFF_BigChair_Vinyl_2014_SW_Mix

2014 Stereo Mix on vinyl

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29 responses to EXCLUSIVE: Tears for Fears on their 1983 single “The Way You Are”

  1. Karel says:

    Why The Conflict will release again when includes on single Change and box The Hurting?

    • Julian H says:

      Because Paul (or the people involved) wanted to recreate the running order of the limited cassette of SFTBC.

  2. Julian H says:

    Interesting article Paul, but I think the band are a bit harsh about the song. It isn’t bad, but it lacks the drive and message that most of ‘The Hurting’ had IMO.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      It’s not really much of a ‘song’ which I think is the band’s issue with it. Some interesting ideas/sounds/textures – could have perhaps been developed as an quirky emotive semi-instrumental album track, but as a single to follow-up three top 5 hits undoubtedly a bit of a misstep. If it hadn’t been a single I suppose it would have ended up on a B-side of a “Songs” 45.

      • Julian H says:

        P’haps but I find the melody to be quite catchy, and as for textures, it isn’t much more complicated than, say, Duran Duran’s singles around the same time.

  3. Jon says:

    The Way You Are is GENIUS!!
    FACT!!!

  4. Garnet says:

    I listened to it for the first time today have never heard of it and I couldn’t get past the three minute mark. I found it grating and annoying.

  5. Leonardo Marques says:

    Interesting article on an uninteristing song… I love Tears For Fears and everything that these guys have put out BUT that song. When I bought the ”Saturnine Martial & Lunatic” compilation I could never listen to that track in its entirety. There must have been a very specific reason for Roland not want to include it on their greatest hits compilation back in 92. I’m can hardly wait for my Super Deluxe Edition Box to arrive at my door. My 5.1 Onkyo system is desperate to grab the surround mix!!! Cheers

  6. Mark says:

    Why didn’t we get a DVD with The Hurting box? I would have liked to have had the music videos and TV appearances.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      There was a DVD – but you’re right there were no promos or videos on it. Hopefully they’ll turn up somewhere else at some point…

      • Julian H says:

        That DVD should have been called “In My Mind’s Eye/The Videosingles plus BBC appearances”. That would have been comprehensive. Still like the set, and have preordered the SFTBC which is pretty nicely priced now (only 6 € more than The Hurting).

  7. trash says:

    Interesting but I’ve never agreed with the negative views on this track.

    Yes it is eclipsed by everything on ‘Songs…’ but for me (not really a huge fan of most of ‘The Hurting’ apart from the first three songs and ‘Change’) it’s a great bridge between the first and second albums.
    And I love the 12″ version.

  8. Eric says:

    Its chart position was a bit skewed by the time of year; I’m guessing a #24 hit around Christmas is going to sell a lot more than it would during a normal period.

    I like the track; it’s not amazing but as others have said it stands as an interesting bridge between the first and second albums. If they hadn’t released it, the gap to Mothers Talk might have been too long and the whole Big Chair era could have been dead before it began.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      The TOTP appearance is good. Roland stays back with the rest of the band ‘playing’ the keyboards with only Curt up front. Interesting.

    • Julian H says:

      “If they hadn’t released it, the gap to Mothers Talk might have been too long and the whole Big Chair era could have been dead before it began.”

      Not only that: They also went straight back out on tour to promote the single, and this tour brought forth many songs that would eventually land on SFTBC – literally, as in the case of ‘Broken’, they actually used the second half of the medley recorded for “In My Mind’s Eye” on the studio album.

  9. Metal Mickey says:

    Nice little mini-piece on a semi-lost track, thanks… I actually miss the days when artists used to put out odd non-LP tracks when they were between albums, and the entire record business wasn’t totally centred around 3-4 year album-campaigns…

    Best example is probably The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever”/”Penny Lane”, prematurely extracted from “Sgt Pepper” because there hadn’t been a new Beatles single for 6 whole months (!) The last one I actively remember was Oasis’ “Whatever”, though there have probably been others…

  10. Pharaoh says:

    Great tune! Period.

  11. Baward says:

    Close parallels with another big 80’s act, Depeche Mode’s ‘It’s Called A Heart’ which is ball-droppingly awful IMO.

    • Metal Mickey says:

      @ Baward
      To be fair though, DM’s “Shake The Disease” was also done specifically for inclusion on their first “Singles” album, and is a stonking track…

  12. Rob says:

    Hey Paul –

    Another quick question…..will the music videos on the DVD have 5.1 soundtracks?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      No they won’t, unfortunately. I would have loved to do that but we ran out of time with deadlines etc.

  13. Michael says:

    Hello Paul

    Have the b-sides like “Sea song” been remastered too?

  14. Michael says:

    I’ve got fond memories of The Way You Are. It came out just before Xmas and there was a lot of good songs around at the time. The Smiths had just released This Charming Man and I was just getting into guitar/synth bands. I loved the artwork as well, especically the 7″.

  15. Steve says:

    I was the singles buyer at HMV in Leeds all those days ago and I loved that single (maybe being a fan and The Hurting having run it’s course.) I can still listen to it fondly now. Just shows no.24 eh? that’d be like what today….oh yes…top 5!

  16. Scott says:

    The track Listen does incorporate a few instrumental elements of this song, like an Art Of Noise deconstruction. By far not the worst thing released under the name of Tears For Fears, that honor should go to Ghost Papa.

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