Features

Tears For Fears / Rule The World: A track-by-track guide + what’s missing?


Photo: Jake Walters

TFF expert & enthusiast, Paul Sinclair, examines Rule The World 

Out today is Rule The World, a new Tears For Fears greatest hits. In this special ‘track-by-track’ feature we will do two things. We’ll offer some insight into all the songs on the compilation and will additionally examine what’s missing. Are there any missteps? Wrong version, wrong choice of song? Read on…



The band’s first single was released in November 1981, a full 16 months before The Hurting was issued. Produced by David Lord, their debut 45 wasn’t a hit. Interestingly, the song is credited to “R. Orzabal & C. Smith” on the seven-inch, but when re-recorded with Chris Hughes and Ross Cullum for The Hurting, the credit is only for Roland Orzabal (The Hurting remains the only Tears For Fears album where all the tracks are credited to Roland alone). I feel this deserves a place on the greatest hits for historical reasons and because the original single version is relatively rare on CD – it only appears on the 30th anniversary two-CD and box set editions of the album. The above YouTube clip actually uses a slight variant of the original seven-inch with an extended intro (this version – accidentally issued on a promo CD to promote the 1999 re-release of the album – is also on rather more definitive The Hurting reissue of 2013).


 
After two flops – Suffer The Children and the original Pale Shelter (You Don’t Give Me Love) – things were looking a bit grim for Tears For Fears. “Our original record deal was just for those two singles”, Curt told me in 2013, adding that “without [A&R man] Dave Bates’ passion, the record company probably would have dropped us”. Thankfully Mad World (originally earmarked as a B-side!) succeeded in spectacular fashion, when released in September 1982, reaching number three in the UK charts and Roland and Curt were allowed to continue and finish the album. When Michael Andrews and Gary Jules’ version of this song was issued in 2003 they managed to do what Tears For Fears have never done – have a UK number one single.

Version on Rule The World: Standard album/single mix – 3.32



I was tempted to switch the standard Change to the ‘new version’ for the (imaginary) ‘SDE edition’ of Rule The World. Roland was initially not satisfied with the version we know and love: “I remember trying to convince everyone that we’d recorded Change at too fast a tempo. We had another crack at it, slower, but it lost something in the process”. This slower version is what is labelled as the the ‘new version’ and is a bonus track on the original UK cassette and appeared (uncredited) on some 12-inch singles. Using this would have made for a nice rarity, but on reflection, you don’t mess with the big hits (the song peaked at number four on the UK singles chart in January 1983).

Version on Rule The World: Standard album/single mix – 3.53



The original version of Pale Shelter was issued in March 1982 and like Suffer The Children, it failed to chart. It was produced by Mike Howlett. The collaboration was short-lived because, in Roland’s words “he was trying to use the Linn Drum on everything and we were not very happy; we wanted real drums”. The re-recorded version of this song was produced by Chris Hughes and Ross Cullum and issued in April 1983 (it peaked at number five), the final single from The Hurting (which had been released about a month earlier).

Version on Rule The World: Standard album/single mix – 4.08



Everyone associated with this non-album single [issued in November 1983, between The Hurting and Songs From The Big Chair] seems to regard it as an abject failure. Roland said “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.” Curt Smith calls it “a mistake”. It’s certainly different, and as Roland says, quite experimental. I actually like the fact that the band made this very weird, almost forgotten song. Also, students of the band will know that the ‘failure’ of this track (along with an aborted attempt at recording Mothers Talk in a similar manner), played quite an important part in Tears For Fears’ history. It was a stepping stone. They re-focused on what they should be doing, picked up some guitars, and delivered the world-beating Songs From The Big Chair. For those reasons, I would include The Way You Are on the SDE Rule The World. Incidentally, The Way You Are peaked at number 24 in the UK charts. It’s got a great video. You can read more about this song here.



While Roland and Curt were filming the second Mothers Talk video, Ian Stanley and Chris Hughes were working on a new demo of Roland’s. This was, in his own words, a “massive breakthrough”. Hughes estimates that they worked on Shout (on and off) for almost three months. It was worth it, since the song reached number one in ten countries around the world, including America. It peaked at number four in Britain (in late 1984) where the 5.58 UK single version ran just 33 seconds short of the full length album version. That’s very long for a single, but Roland and Curt were still peeved enough by this compromise to reference it in the lyrics to Everybody Wants To Rule The World (“So glad we’ve almost made it, So sad they had to fade it…”). It’s somewhat ironic then that Virgin are using an even shorter version, the 4.51 edit (used in Germany and a few other territories) for Rule The World. In America it was chopped even more, with the seven-inch single just four minutes long, and let’s not talk about the 3.10 Mexican Radio Edit!

Version on Rule The World: German single edit – 4.51



The last song recorded for the Songs For The Big Chair album and according to Chris Hughes “the antithesis of Shout” because it took about “a week to write, record and finish”. In America, this was the first single from the album, whereas in Britain it ended up being the third pulled from the record. A&R man Dave Bates claims he was “seeking for them to write a drive-time hit” – he got one! Everybody Wants To Rule The World was another US number one and won ‘Best Single’ at the 1986 Brit Awards.

Version on Rule The World: Standard album/single mix – 4.14



This song is joined at the hip with Pale Shelter B-side We Are Broken. Head Over Heels was derived from Broken and both songs were performed (“a segueway”) on the late 1983 UK tour that was undertaken to promote The Way You Are (released as the In My Mind’s Eye concert film). The size and scale of the song/production are “massive” according to producer Chris Hughes, who adds that Everybody Wants To Rule The World is “miniature in comparison”. The Broken/Head Over Heels/Broken combination ended up dominating the second side of Songs From The Big Chair. Head Over Heels nearly became the band’s third consecutive US number one – it peaked at number three – although it rather underperformed in the UK, stalling at number 12.

Version on Rule The World: Single mix – 4.15



To be clear, I Believe is on the Rule The World compilation but it’s the album version. SDE would select the single (‘soulful’) re-recording. Roland may have had a point when he said taking “five singles off of an eight-track album is taking the piss a bit” but this slightly jazzier, more emotive version was another hit, albeit not a big one (it reached number 23 in the UK).

Version on Rule The World: Album mix – 4.39


Mothers Talk was both the first and last single off Songs From The Big Chair. After getting a bit fed up with the time it had taken to produce The Way You Are (“at least a month to record” according to Roland), Tears For Fears had briefly moved away from working with Chris Hughes and brought in some fresh blood, in the shape of producer Jeremy Green. However, there was general dissatisfaction with the finished product, which sounded quite different to what eventually ended up on the record. A&R man Dave Bates didn’t like it and Curt admits “I don’t think the end product was that fantastic”. As a result the band “went back to working with Chris [Hughes]”. Even when the track was finished, Curt and Roland weren’t particularly happy that the record company released it as a single. “It was the first single because it was the only song that was done” according to Roland, who admitted in 2014 that “I never really liked Mothers Talk“. Curt offered this explanation, “I think our feelings for it have been tainted a little because the record company did release it as a single. We knew we had better singles on the album, but they wanted to release it before we’d done the rest”. There is a different attitude to the ‘US Remix’ (included on Rule The World). Roland thought “the US version worked really well… It was completely re-recorded at a different tempo”. The original version was a single in the UK in August 1984, while the US Remix was issued stateside in April 1986. SDE would have included the video version of the US Remix, which has a unique intro section.

Version on Rule The World: US Remix – 4.14



The band were keen to come back with a song that didn’t sound like typical eighties pop and the summery, Beatlesy first single from the 1989 Seeds of Love album sounded like a surefire number one, but peaked at number two in the USA and number five in Britain. It would be Tears For Fears last top ten hit in America and the UK. Curt contributed the chorus melody and so earns his only writing credit on the Seeds of Love album and this song is considered by both Roland and Curt to be one of the best they’ve produced. Roland’s (brilliant) live guide vocal, with distortion applied by Dave Bascombe, became the finished take, Ian Stanley makes his last appearance on a TFF single (he plays the organ solo) and that’s Chris Hughes on the drums. The actual Rule The World compilation uses the full length album version which runs to nearly six and a half minutes, but for the SDE version we’ll stick with the still very long 5.45 single version, to allow more room of other things.

Version on Rule The World: Album version – 6.17



This excellent song from The Seeds of Love featured the superb Oleta Adams and was the second single. It didn’t reach the top 20 on either side of the Atlantic and the lack of a second bit hit single didn’t help sales of the album. For some reason, the record company released Woman In Chains again in 1992 to help promote the Tears Roll Down ‘best of’ and it wasn’t a hit then, either! Curt doesn’t play bass on this track, leaving those duties to Pino Palladino (famous for his work with Paul Young). Phil Collins plays the drums, which he came in and did in one day. The 4.42  promo-only US Edit of Woman In Chains is really good. They should have used it on ‘Rule The World’ because not only would offer a never commercially released rarity, but also frees up nearly two minutes for other selections. However, the record company have gone with the full length, six and a half minute album version!

Version on Rule The World: Album version – 6.30



Roland co-wrote five of the eight tracks on The Seeds of Love with Nicky Holland and the third single, Advice For The Young At Heart, is one of them. The pair started writing this in 1985 and the last thing Nicky Holland did for The Seeds of Love was sing on this track in April 1989! That gives you an idea how long it took that album to come to fruition! The song only just scraped into the top 40 in the UK and America shrugged as it limped to number 89 over there.

Version on Rule The World: UK single version 4.51


Break It Down Again was the first single from a Curt-less Tears For Fears. Roland had made the fourth album, 1993’s Elemental, as a reaction to the overblown pomposity of The Seeds Of Love and the lyric to Break It Down Again very much reflected starting again and going back to basics. Orzabal had reconnected with Bristol guitarist Alan Griffiths who had toured with Tears For Fears in 1985 and together with producer/musician Tim Palmer and engineer Mark O’Donoghue they formed a small tight four-man unit. Break It Down Again was a successful single. It peaked at number 20 in the UK (#25 in the USA) outperforming both Woman in Chains and Advice For The Young At Heart. This paved the way for a successful US tour with a great band that included Gail Ann Dorsey on bass. Alan Griffiths sadly died this year. He co-wrote 18 songs with Roland across two albums (Elemental and Raoul and The Kings of Spain).

Version on Rule The World: Standard Standard album/single mix 4.31



Elemental is a great album and I don’t agree with only putting one track from it on Rule The World. Four singles were pulled from the long-player across various territories including the blisteringly good title track. Check out the live performance above. If you’re a Tears For Fears fan who is only familiar the first three albums, you don’t know what you’re missing. That’s why Virgin should have included a few more songs, to help spread the word – they could still have kept all the familiar big hits! The guitar riff in Elemental was nicked from Lord of Karma (Tears Roll Down B-side) and then slowed down.



Roland moved from Phonogram/Mercury to Sony/Epic for the fifth Tears For Fears album, Raoul and The Kings of Spain, which was released in October 1995. The label seemed to get behind it, releasing four singles (in all territories), of which the title track was the first. Virgin could have included the commercially unreleased 4.32 edit, although that is just an early fade of the album version.

Version on Rule The World: Standard: Standard album/single mix 5.17



Another single from Raoul and The Kings of Spain. Falling Down wasn’t issued in the UK, but really should have been. It’s a fantastic track – just listen to the gorgeous intro when the drums come in! A major omission not including this.


With this new Rule The World compilation, Virgin appear to have been strictly guided by chart positions. So in terms of the singles from the 2004/5 album Everybody Loves A Happy Ending – which saw Roland and Curt reunited – because Closest Thing To Heaven was the only UK hit (relatively speaking – it got to number 40) they’ve included it over either Call Me Mellow or the title track which were released together as a double A-side and peaked at number 102! I would argue that one song failed less than another and in that scenario chart positions are virtually irrelevant and you should go with the ‘best’ singles. For my money the song Everybody Loves A Happy Ending is classic TFF and is superior to the rather sickly sweet Closest Thing To Heaven. Therefore I’m dumping the latter from the SDE version of Rule The World and including the former.

Version on Rule The World: Standard: Standard album/single mix 4.21



I don’t think any album should only have just one lonely representative on Rule The World, so my second choice from Everybody Loves A Happy Ending is Call Me Mellow. Again, it’s much better than Closest Thing To Heaven. How was this song not a hit? It’s as catchy as hell.



One new song on Rule The World would have sufficed, but I suspect that some band politics meant that we ended up with two –  I Love You But I’m Lost sung by Roland and the acoustic Stay, sung by Curt. Since SDE doesn’t have to worry about keeping everyone happy, I will include just I Love You But I’m Lost as the final track on our Rule The World. It’s a great song and sounds very modern, which is probably a good thing, all things considered. I don’t think anyone wanted any more Beatles/sixties influenced Tears For Fears songs!


SDE Editor Paul Sinclair co-curated The Hurting and Songs From The Big Chair reissues in 2013 and 2014, respectively. As part of that process he interviewed Roland Orzabal, Curt Smith and many of team involved in making those albums. He wrote sleeve notes for both releases.


Enjoy the SDE version of Rule The World as a Spotify playlist (note: had to use full length versions of Woman in Chains and Elemental due to unavailability)

The SDE version of Rule The World (not the actual track listing!)

Suffer The Children (original 7″ mix)
Mad World
Change
Pale Shelter
The Way You Are
Shout (4.51 edit)
Everybody Wants To Rule The World
Head Over Heels
I Believe (A Soulful Re-Recording)
Mothers Talk (US Remix – video version)
Sowing The Seeds of Love (UK single version)
Woman in Chains (US promo edit)
Advice For The Young At Heart
Break It Down Again
Elemental [US single edit]
Raoul and the Kings of Spain
Falling Down
Everybody Loves A Happy Ending
Call Me Mellow
I Love You But I’m Lost

Total running time: 79 mins and 6 seconds.


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Tears For Fears

Rule The World - CD edition

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Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 8.72
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 10.36
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 11.27
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 13.36
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 13.67
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 14.03
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 12.88
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 17.99
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Tears For Fears

Rule The World: The Greatest Hits [VINYL]

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Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 24.99
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 22.99
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 28.54
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 25.99
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 42.91
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 49.97
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 24.99
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The ACTUAL track listing:

1. Everybody Wants To Rule The World – from Songs From The Big Chair (1985)
2. Shout (Edit) – from Songs From The Big Chair (1985)
3. I Love You But I’m Lost (New Track)
4. Mad World – From The Hurting (1983)
5. Sowing The Seeds Of Love – from The Seeds Of Love (1989)
6. Advice For The Young At Heart – from The Seeds Of Love (1989)
7. Head Over Heels – from Songs From The Big Chair (1985)
8. Woman In Chains – from The Seeds Of Love (1989)
9. Change – From The Hurting (1983)
10. Stay (New Track)
11. Pale Shelter – From The Hurting (1983)
12. Mothers Talk (US Version) – Re-recorded US single (1986)
13. Break It Down Again – from Elemental (1993)
14. I Believe – from Songs From The Big Chair (1985)
15. Raoul And The Kings Of Spain – from Raoul And The Kings Of Spain (1996)
16. Closest Thing To Heaven – from Everybody Loves A Happy Ending (2004/5)

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126 responses to Tears For Fears / Rule The World: A track-by-track guide + what’s missing?

  1. pinkfloyd says:

    bravo! superb article Paul, which raise the question:
    Why did Curt & Roland not give u the task?
    after all, Paul Sinclair IS the TFF expert & has compiled 3 SDE for TFF
    PS
    1. not buyingRule the world,
    2. picking up Bananarama GH expanded
    3. just release Seeds Of Love box already, ffs, no reason for delay

  2. Dave V says:

    We really don’t need another compilation. I mixed this about a year ago

  3. seikotsi says:

    any reason why you didn’t mention Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down)? On of my fav’s

  4. lee says:

    Great and fantastic article Paul !!!

    Greetings from Kerkrade, The Netherlands

  5. Chris Squires says:

    I’ve always loved “The Way you are”.

    To me it is very reminiscent of Japan. The drumming and the synth could be straight out of Janssen and Barbieri. Somewhere just before Visions of China. Maybe it like those magic 3d images and no one else can hear it.

    Said it before this should have been a 4 LP job….with decent notes like the ones above, but expanded even further. It would be £50 well spent.

    • Trash says:

      @Chris Squires – Totally agree regarding Japan. Possibly one of the reasons I love this track so much.

      I do recall reading an interview with Roland, back in the mists of time (possibly in International Musician magazine), where he extolled the virtues of the Tin Drum album and Steve Nye’s ‘dry’ production techniques. This was around the time of “The Way You Are” so I suspect Japan might have been an influence/reference point.
      Incidentally, in the same magazine Roland talked about how he loved David Byrne’s ‘scratchy’ guitar sound (he actually likened it to the sound of glass on glass from what I remember).
      Wish I still had the interview…

  6. Omar says:

    Both the new tracks I Love You But I’m I’m Lost & Stay are marginal to say the least. They could’ve grabbed the opportunity and made this into a compressive singles anthology spread nicely across 2cds. That way every 7″ mix could’ve been presented finally all together. Nevertheless I’ll probably go out and buy it at some point.

  7. vikerii says:

    I’m a huge TFF fan and love it when I read articles from people who know more about the band than me. What a treat it must have been to curate those deluxe releases.

    Everybody Loves a Happy Ending was proof that long-standing bands can still make excellent albums. I’m always thrilled when artists continue to make art. [Read: Shame on you Billy Joel! :-)] I cannot wait to hear their new album next year. They don’t go through the motions, they don’t phone it in. They give it all they have. The catch is better than the chase!

  8. Patrick Gleeson says:

    Great article as usual Paul :-) Advice For The Young at Heart is for me, one of the great love songs of the 80’s – as much as STSOL is one of the great albums of the 80’s.

  9. Trash says:

    Another great read.
    I didn’t know about the link between Elemental and Lord of Karma (both are tracks that I rate very highly).
    I also put Elemental as my second favourite TFF album (behind Songs…) would love to have a deluxe edition of this (probably not enough material available for a Super Deluxe edition).

    Cheers Paul

    P.S. There is an error in this phrase (talking about ‘Shout’) “…where the 5.58 UK single version ran just 33 seconds short of than the full length album version.”

    I guess you mean “ran just 33 seconds short of the full length album version”.

  10. Dan L says:

    HUGE TFF FAN HERE (have a huge collection)
    The Way You Are was just forced in every way and they were flogging a dead horse.
    Mother’s talk was also a brilliant idea which never reached a great commercial potential and with each successive iteration it got better, but even at it’s best, it’s not one of TFF best moments.
    TFF is a band with so many deep cuts that the dozen or so greatest hits collections are all doomed to failure for the following reasons:
    – they never capture everything TFF was capable of
    – always missing the deep cuts which are so awesome, even though they’ll never be singles
    – although there were great singles, the albums, as a whole are REALLY worth listening to
    – so many great versions, single edits, remixes and re-recordings
    Conclusion: save your money and buy the Hurting and SFTBC box sets, then work on the remaining albums. You will be rewarded many times over – a greatest hits is so not worth it except for completists and I HATE when there’s one new song on a compilation. We all know why….

  11. Mark says:

    Thanks for this article. I thought I had heard all the TFF stuff but was surprised I never heard the original single of Suffer nor the new version of Change.

    I would have left off Advice (a bit boring to me) and included Memories Fade and or Always In The Past

    Now that this compilation is out, why doesnt the label focus on at least releasing digitally all remaining tracks instead of trickling out on physical releases? Then we could have your version too!

  12. Auntie Sabrina says:

    They could have done a great 2CD Anthology. Like a lot of these compilations and new releases, this will be £5 in the January sale.

  13. Paul Fraser says:

    I’m not a big fan of TFF, but I have loved many of their singles. I found this article a pleasure to read. Maybe a few too many exclamation marks, but I know how passionate you are about the band. Checked out The Way You Are, as I don’t remember it. Can see why they left it off. But you have inspired me to give the album a spin. Could you make your SDE version a Spotify playlist? Are all the songs on there?

  14. DJ Salinger says:

    Nice work Paul. I also have to declare a soft spot for ‘The Way You Are’. It’ll always be the runt of the litter but it does nicely illustrate how “mistakes” are so important to the creative process. As you say, without that song, maybe no ‘Big Chair’.

  15. Simon says:

    Hello Paul. I’ve always assumed Woman In Chains was re-released in 1992 because, in the meantime, Oleta Adams had had her Top 10 success with Get Here.

  16. Lemmin says:

    They’ve got my money on this one due to the new tracks. I have everything else via box sets, etc., just want the new tracks on disc. Great run down article though!

  17. Bruce says:

    Great article Paul. I totally agree that Elemental is under-rated – or not well-known. Of all their albums its probably the one I play most. I’m rather fond of ‘Last days on Earth’ from Everybody, so that would be my second choice from that album.

    • SimonP says:

      I’m not in agreement. I stopped buying TFF stuff after Elemental because I found it rather boring. Might have to give it another go because I only listened to it once or twice before consigning it to a shelf to gather dust.

  18. Craig says:

    I Love You But I’m Lost does sound pretty “now”. My 17-year old daughter actually liked it and added it to her main playlist! She and I both thought it reminded us a little bit of some 1975 stuff, which I don’t hate like most new music these days.

    Add me to the list of those waiting for SDE of STSOL.

  19. AJV says:

    Great article! I too have a problem with “Closest Thing To Heaven”, mainly that the lyrics are all very random and don’t mean anything. The chorus implies its a love song, but the verses are all random thoughts like “28 days of rain” “act like a generation”, “apple pie” and closing with several “woos!” and “heys!” by Roland. Plus it’s too slow and lumbering. To sum up, a lousy song, and choosing it as the first single sunk the album. But I agree that “Call Me Mellow” and the title track are great, as is “Quiet Ones”, “Who You Are” and many others from that album, all worthy of inclusion on this new Rule The World. But it’s great that TFF are doing so well and there’s a new album coming. Nice work, Roland and Curt!

  20. bertielego says:

    The best 1xCD compilation is “The Working Hour”.
    https://www.discogs.com/Tears-For-Fears-The-Working-Hour-An-Introduction-To-Tears-For-Fears/release/241157

    And the best 2xCD compilation is “Famous Last Words”.
    https://www.discogs.com/Tears-For-Fears-Famous-Last-Words-The-Collection/release/1656234

    Both give a much better representation of TFF’s body of work that greatest hits collection, by combining singles with album tracks and B-sides.

    • Rob says:

      umm not sure I agree. These are budget releases, the first is missing mad world and the double cd is missing pale shelter. I don’t think obscure b sides and instrumentals is a good way to introduce new people to the group.

    • Chris Squires says:

      Hey Bertie, just bought famous last words for a fiver as it looks very good. Thanks very much for the tip.

  21. FRED says:

    Huge fan from France and i’m waiting for Seeds Reissue and a new album
    Not buying rule the world … for me.

  22. Rob says:

    My personal, chronological, tracklist is:

    1. Mad World (1982)
    2. Pale Shelter (1983)
    3. Change (1983)
    4. Mother’s Talk (1984)
    5. Shout (1984)
    6. Everybody Wants to Rule The World (1985)
    7. Head Over Heels (1985)
    8. Sowing The Seeds of Love (1989)
    9. Woman In Chains (1989)
    10. Advice For The Young at Heart (1990)
    11. Laid So Low (1992)
    12. Break It Down Again (1993)
    13. Raoul & The Kings of Spain (1995)
    14. Falling Down (1996)
    15. Snow Hill – Curt Smith (1999)
    16. Lowlife – Roland Orzabal (2001)
    17. Call Me Mellow (2004)
    18. Floating Down The River (2008)
    19. The Tipping Point (2018)

  23. CJ says:

    Paul,

    I wanted to let you know how much your site has done to increase my appreciation of Tears for Fears. It’s not that I never liked the band, but for years I had always felt content with “just the greatest hits.” I had Tears Roll Down and figured that was good enough for me. When I started reading this site a few years ago, around the reissue of Songs from the Big Chair, I began to realize I was underestimating them and started seeking out more material. I’ve bought both of the big SDEs that you worked on, and they are two of my favorite reissue packages. They really are the model for how these projects should be done. I’ve been buying the later albums now, but I’m still holding out for the SDE for Sowing the Seeds of Love, though I must admit, I’m getting impatient. I’d probably actually be doing everyone a favor if I just caved in and bought the original album, because it seems that almost guarantees that the SDE gets announced within a could weeks when I do it.

    But thank you so much for your passion and for helping convert me from a casual fan to a true believer in TFF.

    And, of course, if you have any pull at all in the process, if you could get the powers that be to sort out whatever the delay is with Sowing the Seeds of Love SDE, that would be excellent. Though I’m sure you’ve done everything in your power to make it happen.

    • Andrew M says:

      I will completely echo this. Before I found this site, the only TFF album I had listened to all the way through was Sowing the Seeds of Love. I had never even heard Songs from the Big Chair believe it or not!

      I knew Shout and Everybody wants to rule the world but that was it.

      Since reading this site, I have bought Big Chair on BD audio, and love it. I’m on the look out for the deluxe reissue as I really want it but can’t find it at a good price……….and can’t wait for STSOL box set.

      So yes Paul, I echo this guy’s comments. One of the greatest things about this site is that you have turned some of us on to music we never would have got into. Big Chair is a fantastic album.

  24. -SG- says:

    Good list Paul, I agree with most of your choices, though I really liked “Closest Thing To Heaven.” I find it funny that the US mix of “Mothers Talk” is not really the US single mix but an alternate version, which I believe they released on the uk fanclub 7″ and entitled it the US mix and also released it on the “Famous Last Words” single. The real single version is actally a bit difficult to find on CD. I think I have spotted 3 different variations of this 1986 recording in different stages of mix, more reverb, missing drums, alternate backing vocals etc, over the years on different compilations. Their tape archive must have gotten a bit shuffled for this particular single or there must have been a lot of revisits to the mix. The real US single mix is to my ears exactly the same as the video mix albeit without the intro, while the fake US mix has much more reverb, and the “wake me up when things get started” part is definitely different.

    • Rob says:

      As far as I can remember and not including live versions,
      1.Album version
      2.Normal black vinyl single mix – not available on CD
      3.Green/clear 7″ version – less reverb than normal single mix.Used on many compilations.
      4.1986 US Remix (only found on two Compilations Shout: Very Best Of and Millennium Series)
      5.Alternate 1986 US remix (first released on 2005 CD, probably as an error, and then on the super deluxe)
      6. 1990 remix of the 1986 US Remix (from Famous Last Words single, used on many compilations in place of the original 1986 us remix)
      7. Beat of The Drum Mix
      8. Extended version
      9. Early version
      10. Video version (this is the closest version on the super deluxe to the original 86 us remix)

      • Dave H says:

        The first time I got the US version of ‘Mothers Talk’ on CD was on the movie Soundtrack P.I. Private Investigations released in 1987. I’ve always assumed it’s the US Single version.

        Living in the UK, I didn’t know about this version until the video was shown on Entertainment USA, if anyone remembers that show!

        https://www.discogs.com/Various-PI-Private-Investigations/release/2489223

        As for the video, I had to wait a few years before it was finally released on a US Tears For Fears compilation DVD.

        It funny’s that it’s mentioned as the US Remix when clearly from the above piece, Roland says it was completely re-recorded. So why not called it Mothers Talk (US Re-recorded Version)

        What’s the name of the font your using Paul?

        • Rob Kirby says:

          And, I think there’s three different video’s for the song too – all available on different DVD compilations over the years!

      • Mike the Fish says:

        The alternate 1986 U.S. Remix on the 2005 has some solo hi hat at the beginning which is missing on the SDE!

  25. David Carter says:

    That Famous Last Words compilation certainly seems to be a much better representation, thanks for the pointer.

  26. Eamonn says:

    Blimey, I didn’t think your Paul McCartney love could be topped.

  27. Paul says:

    Great article, very informative to read. Saw them live at the RAH a few weeks ago. I’ve seen many bands and so called “legends” over the past thirty years. I’ve always liked TFF but I can honestly say it was possibly the best gig, I feel, I’ve been to. From the moment they walked on stage and everybody stood up to start singing right through to the encore, great musicianship, great songwriting, great evening. Would thoroughly recommend seeing them live next year.

  28. Neil Hunt says:

    I’m a bit disappointed with the compilation. I would have preferred more 7″ versions and more of later TFF (Roland solo era). Also, the mastering on this CD sounds very loud to me. “Mothers Talk” sounds the worst to me with loads of reverb on it. What does anyone else making of the mastering? I thought that record labels were moving back to quieter and more dynamic sounding mastering, but that’s obvioualy not the case with this release. I hope the planned Deluxe Editions of “The Seeds Of Love” and “Elemental” sound better!

    Also, when it comes to recommending compilations, the “Gold” 2CD is worth looking at.

    • Neil Hunt says:

      Just spotted a few typos on my last message, but I’m sure anyone who reads it will know what I mean!

      Also, I think the version of “Advice For The Young At Heart” is the standard album version and not the UK Single Version (which was mixed by Bob Clearmountain and has noticeable differences at the beginning of the song). The Single Version can be found on the U.S. “Shout” compilation.

  29. Michael Fortin says:

    Great article Paul. Must have been nice to get your version in at just over 79 minutes without going over 80 minutes. I’ll be picking up my copy of ‘Rule The World’, however, it seems a little hard to find right now in the USA.

  30. Michael Khalsa says:

    You’re a nerd Paul like me. I make compliations. It’s rare to find best of’s that actually get it right. Most do not. I had the Tears Roll Down compilation. Which I thought was quite good. Though I would prefer if it was chronological & updated.

  31. Daniel ( from Berlin ) says:

    i will only say that i love “stay” very much !! a great new song.
    i missed those songs with a good melodies on the new
    Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode albums!
    PSB turns more and more to cheap pop trash and DM turns more (sadly) to dark gothic
    songs without any good harmonic melody…

  32. Paul T says:

    Big TFF fan (that’s my upload of Change (New Version) from some years back used here) but i’ll give this compilation a miss as there’s nothing new on it for me. What I would like to ask, slightly off the beaten track, is if anyone can tell me about this 12″ mix of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k293MR–EE) – its sublime and sounds so contemporary but I’ve never seen it on a compilation and it wasn’t on the remastered SFTBC set so I must assume its not an official version from the time?

  33. Steve Hurley says:

    Great read & great enthusiasm as always !!
    Would really love to see them live in Glasgow next year – very disappointed they have gone down the Ticketmaster Platinum route which basically prices some people out of decent seats. The only front section seats still on sale a week ago were £180 each (!)
    Would have travelled (from Aberdeen) to see The Who, ELO & Phil Collins this year if i had unlimited cash but the crazy ticket prices & cost of travel etc have sadly put certain gigs out of my reach :(

    • Stupidactingsmart says:

      I wanted to go to that show too, but it’s just ridiculous what they’re asking. It’s off my list now.

  34. Isauro says:

    Sorry but where’s the SOL Box Set release?!!!!

  35. Steve W says:

    I would also highly recommend Tomcats Screaming Outside, which technically was a Tears For Fears album (with Alan Griffiths): but is was released under Roland Orzabal, which had two singles Low Life and For the Love of Cain.

    The song Bullet for Brains, is fab, and the melody wow.

    Paul, how do you rate this Album? And of course anyone else rate this album

    • Trash says:

      I always forget about this album when I think of TFF. It has a different style to the rest of the TFF material – I haven’t listened to it in a while but from memory it loses the usual (latter-day) Beatles/Psychedelia influence and instead has more of a drum and bass feel.

      Having said that it is still Roland (and Alan Griffiths) so it features some great melodies and strong songs.
      Well worth a listen for anyone that doesn’t know it (although it took me a few listens to get into it).

  36. Benjamin Adams says:

    When did Roland turn into Jonathan Creek?

  37. Jon says:

    I would have included “God’s Mistake” over “Roaul” anyday but I know “God’s Mistake” isn’t a fan favorite (I love it!).

  38. memoryboy says:

    Thanks Paul for this article. I appreciate your passion on Tears For Fears. They are one of my favorite bands too.

    My opinion on their first single… ‘Suffer The Children’ (Original 7″ Mix) is that although it may be rare and it may be their first single… perhaps it’s not included for a reason… I have this Original 7″ Mix…but I myself think the album version is much better than the original 7″ Version. I am guessing the band feel the same way maybe.

    I also prefer the album version of ‘Pale Shelter’.

    I am fine with ‘The Way You Are’, it’s ok. Not a big favorite. I would only include it as filler, but to me it’s not essential. They have better tracks.

    Regarding ‘Shout’… I have always been obsessed with this song. I agree the full length version is epic. But for a nice short edit I like the 4 minute one the best. As long as it included the guitar at the end, it’s ok. Sometimes I see the need for a shortened edit version of some songs. I do not like this edited version on this compilation because it cuts out the big guitar at the end. Criminal!

    I like ‘Mother’s Talk’, but I am picky about what version it is. A few mixes of it just don’t do it for me. I havent looked yet to see what one is my favorite, I will play all the versions tonight and make a decision…. finally.

    I will compile a compilation based on your suggestion Paul, I have all the versions you suggested. I’m looking forward to listening to your version.

    ‘Woman In Chains’ is another favorite. I look forward to getting this new “best Of”album.

  39. memoryboy says:

    P.S. I went back and had a listen to the ‘Suffer The Children’ (Original 7″ Mix) and.. I have to say, I really like it. I think it would be a fine choice for this compilation. I like both versions.

  40. Takeshi Makimura says:

    I hope that “Year of the knife (Canadian promo only single remix)” will be available on TFF’s compilation someday…

  41. ChrisGa says:

    I would’ve included the gorgeous Elemental single Goodnight Song as well.

  42. Andy p says:

    Would also make a few changes seems a bit stupid to put the edit of shout on the disc which freeded up room for another song then not add one , I personally would swap I believe to laid so low , then add everybody loves a happy ending ( album version ) to the end of the disc which is 79 mins , but am loving both new songs , wondering if stay is a curt solo though as sounds like his two , previous albums ,

  43. Dave - Bristol says:

    Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down) was the first Curt-less TFF single me thinks.

    Other than that, great article.

    Looking forward to SOL boxset. Guess that might be around 2019.

    Peace

    • Dan says:

      Well, the original version was a b-side during the SOL era so he was there for most of the composition of the song, whether contributed or not he was still in the band when originally recorded.

  44. Guido says:

    I‘m not happy with the actual tracklisting and find the new tracks very disappointing.
    So no buy for me.
    Would definitely go for the long announced SeedsOfLove Boxset and a Raoul Vinyl Release!

  45. Neil says:

    The best Tears For Fears compilation is this https://www.discogs.com/Tears-For-Fears-The-Ultimate-Collection/release/1871810 The sound quality is excellent on it.

  46. Stupidactingsmart says:

    Question for the (or any) Tears for Fears expert; is the charity version of ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ exactly the same as the original with ‘run’ in place of rule, or are there any other differences in instrumentation or lyrics?

    • Ive says:

      It uses a different mix of the backing track that was called the urban mix.

    • Greg says:

      Everybody Wants to Run the World has a different extended intro with bongos, and a great synth brass riff filling the space between the chords which I sing in my head every time I hear the original Rule. Listen here: https://youtu.be/y1Lg2t4GIcA

      • Stupidactingsmart says:

        Thanks for that. Must be the first time I’ve heard that since the 80s. Some of the extended instrumental parts have their own charm, but I do miss some of the removed vocals on that version. The original still does it for me, but nice to hear an alternative.

  47. Amanda says:

    Want to echo the thanks of others in these comments for your enthusiasm for TFF. As I had the first three albums on cassette only, hadn’t listened to the band with any consistency for two decades. Re-acquainting and catching-up has been a real pleasure.

    Very glad they included the album version of I Believe. Magnificent song, never got on with the 7″ version, still don’t enjoy it.

  48. Greg says:

    Great review, Paul. Where did you get the Hurting album font you used for the headings?

  49. Michael Ettengruber says:

    Roland’s Solo album is like a tears for Fears album to me…

    Maybe they should have included one song of that too to bring it more to the publics attention

  50. spaceboy says:

    Two points:

    1. Closest Thing To Heaven is sickly sweet? I think it’s classic TFF and a great track, one I’ve never tired of hearing.

    2. “I don’t think anyone wanted any more Beatles/sixties influenced Tears For Fears songs!” What are you talking about?! This is my favorite TFF sound! These 2 new songs… well, I just hope they aren’t changing their sonic formula too much.

    All in all, I probably won’t be buying this. I’ll probably pick up the 2 TFF albums I don’t have and wait for the SOL box and this new studio album.

  51. spaceboy says:

    I’d like to add, the UK & US versions of ELAHE have some slight differences in the mixing, I think. Has anyone else noticed this or am I the only one?

    • Humanracer says:

      My favourite track from ELAHE is Call Me Mellow. Even the non TFF fans I played it too, love it. Would be good in a soundtrack.
      I think TFF have two core sounds, New Wave & Beatlesque. I love both some fans clearly prefer one over the other. I haven’t met any fan yet who loves SOL but hates ELAHE.
      I had no idea the versions of ELAHE have different mixes. I will look into this.
      As good as it is, there is something about TSO that makes it different from TFF. Maybe because it’s so minimal (on purpose).
      Rob

  52. mike says:

    great band but have all the vinyls..nice review Paul also

  53. This SDE version is definitely more comprehensive & interesting than what they actually put out – though i disagree with you calling those 2 from Everybody Loves better than Closest Thing (which i still would have kept, and added Secret World as my two from that record) and i think it’s completely fair & welcome to have 2 new songs considering it’s been over a decade since the last studio record

    but yeah, those suggested promo cuts and othersuch commercial rarities would have definitely provided more incentive to what ultimately is just another in a line of what seems like hundreds of “hits comps” from these guys

  54. Larry Davis says:

    Why this was not a double is beyond me…the best collections are “Gold” and “Mad World”, both 2CD sets…aside from both album boxsets that our Paul curated himself…they shoulda taken the “Gold” model, maybe added/replaced promo-only mixes, something from every album, even Curt’s “Soul On Board” and Roland’s “Tomcats Screaming Outside”, non-LP singles like “The Way You Are” and “Tears Roll Down”, a coupla B-sides, an unreleased track or two, AND the 2 new songs, and you would have something TRULY conprehensive…this thing is another in the line of replaceable hits collections, to be outdone by the next one or something better that comes along… My eye is mainly on the next album and the “Seeds Of Love” boxset… Whenever that arrives…

  55. SimonP says:

    I’d rather they’d filmed/recorded the RAH show and released that instead of this compilation. Might have gone some way to appease those who signed up to the joke of a website they put in charge of selling tickets for said gig and ended up with sod all (that’d be me, in case it wasn’t obvious enough!)

  56. Neil says:

    It’s still annoying that you cannot get Saxophones As Opiates and We Are Broken on CD yet. Also as much as i like Everybody Loves A Happy Ending they seriously need to go back and master it properly as it is brickwalled to hell and virtually unlistenable.

    • Larry Davis says:

      I could be mistaken, but aren’t those 2 tracks on “The Hurting” boxset?? I don’t have it in front of me, but I did buy a copy…been trying to get the other Paul-curated SFTBC 6-disc box for a decent price (under $50 US) for 3 years, and now it shot up to $177 US and more…why????? Perhaps Paul has some copies lying around his place gathering dust that he doesn’t want to part with?! Haha..

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        no, Saxophones As Opiates isn’t because the band specifically requested that be removed. We Are Broken is sort of on there but I think it ended up being “Broken Revisited” which has an extended intro and the mix is a bit different.

  57. Adam says:

    As a casual fan, I wish there could be 5.1 versions of the hits compilations by these 80’s bands, that would get me spending my money. I think the music industry is missing a trick by not reissuing SACD’s and DVD-A’s that they’ve released previously when very few people had the equipment to play them on. Now we have, we have to pay the eBay scalpers for a lot of them.

    • BillyD says:

      SACDs are by far my favourite surround format. They also sound great as hi-rez audio. I have been collecting surround audio for a long time. I have several hundred quadraphonic lps as well. Bluray audio can sound good, but a lot is just mixed too loud and shrill sounding.

  58. alessandro says:

    it’s missing just a 2nd CD !!

  59. GentleRabbit says:

    I must join the chorus of those grateful to you Paul for enlightening me further regarding TFF. They are fantastic, and a real lost treasure in that they have largely passed me by until recently. I do hope that your SDEs are rereleased for us to snap up and that they continue to enjoy this renaissance of sorts, which is well deserved. The only thing wrong with the article (and all of your others) is that it isn’t much longer. Brilliant stuff and part of my sustenance for the day.

  60. Fear Of The Dark says:

    As a fellow TFF enthusiast I enjoyed reading your article, Paul! :-) Spotify seems to be using a couple of longer/album versions on the real release (i.e. Pale Shelter 4:36 and I Believe 4:56).
    Don’t forget “Famous Last Words” as it was the 4th UK single from The Seeds Of Love – however, I understand it was released by the label without the band’s knowledge, and as such that lack of promotion caused it to fail to chart.

    • SimonP says:

      My favourite track on Seed Of Love. The UK CD single was a limited edition of 5000 which would’ve hampered sales anyway…

      • mike says:

        Yeah but it was hardly a likely hit in ravey 1990 Britain! Sure they wouldve have done a second run on the vague possibility that it did.

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          Releasing Famous Last Words as a single was frankly ridiculous. They should have released Year Of The Knife instead, or just not bother.

  61. Dan says:

    Laid So Low is one of my favourites, I definitely think it deserved a place on the album / playlist.

  62. Tom says:

    Hi Paul what’s the rarest TFF item?. I have a 12 inch and 7 inch fishnet of Change and a 7 inch fishnet if Mad World (US release??). Just curious. Tks Tom

    • SimonP says:

      Outside of obscure promo stuff it’s probably the fishnet reissue that came with the Hurting boxset?

      Produced by Chris Huges.

  63. Fred says:

    “Famous Last Word” is for me the Best song ever of any band i love (equally With “Let her down easy” from TTDA)

  64. Daniel (from Adelaide) says:

    When, oh when, is the box set of Seeds Of Love coming out? The world needs this!

  65. GentleRabbit says:

    PS that Jonathan Creek comment was spot on. Can’t unsee it.

  66. Yuri says:

    It needs a new cover ;-)

  67. Dan says:

    I Love You But I’m Lost has really grown on me, the Production is great, I honestly think this is what Hurts would sound like if they carried on in the melancholy direction they started with.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I really like it. I do find the production a bit ‘dense’ but doesn’t spoil my enjoyment of a great song.

  68. walter says:

    My complaint is that “Secrets” was left off. I think it’s a wonderful song

  69. TomDM says:

    I stayed at Japanese The Best Of Tears For Fears [SHM-CD] [UICY-25242].

    And I’m waiting for the new 5.1 mix THE SEEDS OF LOVE by STEVEN WILSON , which is waiting for the release in the BLU-RAY AUDIO format (Pure Audio Series in White-Golden BD boxes) from Universal after release THE HURTING (2013) & SONGS FROM THE BIG CHAIR (2014).

  70. JohnR says:

    I Love You But I’m Lost – which is brilliant – has a touch of Aneka’s Japanese Boy to it.

  71. HalloweenJack says:

    One new studio recording is good enough to include on a compilation with a few more treats to give fans something new. This should have been a complete singles collection to put a stop to all their compilations… saving “Stay” for “The Tipping Point” and releasing “Woman In Chains” [Promo Only US Edit] and “Year Of The Knife” [Canadian Promo Single 7” Version] to gear things up for the upcoming “Seeds Of Love” box… but no.

    CD1
    1 – Suffer The Children [7” Version] 3:45
    2 – Pale Shelter [Original 7” Version] 4:04
    3 – Mad World [Single Version] 3:32
    4 – Change [Single Version] 3:53
    5 – The Way You Are [Single Version] 4:55
    6 – Shout [US Single Version] 4:07
    7 – Everybody Wants To Rule The World [Single Version] 4:14
    8 – Head Over Heels [Remix] 4:15
    9 – I Believe [A Soulful Re-Recording] 4:42
    10 – Mother’s Talk [Video Version] 4:47
    11 – Sowing The Seeds Of Love [UK Single Version] 5:45
    12 – Woman In Chains [Promo Only US Edit] 4:42
    13 – Year Of The Knife [Canadian Promo Single 7” Version] 5:33
    14 – Advice For The Young At Heart [UK Single Version] 4:50
    15 – Famous Last Words [Single Version] 4:20

    CD2
    1 – Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down) [Single Version] 4:39
    2 – Break It Down Again [Single Version] 4:31
    3 – Cold [Radio Edit] 4:12
    4 – Goodnight Song [Single Version] 3:53
    5 – Elemental [US Single Edit] 3:47
    6 – Raoul And The Kings Of Spain [Previously Unreleased Edit] 4:32
    7 – God’s Mistake [Single Version] 3:47
    8 – Secrets [Radio Edit] 4:25
    9 – Falling Down [Single Version] 4:55
    10 – Call Me Mellow [Steve Fitzmaurice Radio Edit] 3:26
    11 – Closest Thing To Heaven [UK Radio Edit]
    12 – Everybody Loves A Happy Ending [Steve Fitzmaurice Radio Edit] 2:35
    13 – Secret World [Radio Edit] 3:38
    14 – Floating Down The River 3:56
    15 – I Love You But I’m Lost 4:21

    I decided not to include any mix of “Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams” as the Plath song title is much better than the resulting “Shout vs Sowing The Seeds Of Love” mash up and rap. I would have chosen “My Girls” to represent the RSD Single but also decided not to include covers. I included “Floating Down The River” in this collection since it may have been a cancelled single and anyhow, it needs a proper home ;)

    BTW, how the band approved “Wino” for release but specifically requested that “Saxophones As Opiates” be removed is well beyond me!?!?!?! Big error there.

    Truth be told, “Everybody Loves A Happy Ending” is terribly overlooked and quite possibly my favourite TFF album! Roland’s “Tomcats Screaming Outside” is a wonderfully eclectic sounding album… Curt Smith’s “Halfway, Pleased” is a great album (and also includes TFF’s live recording of “Snow Hill”).
    Great band, all around. Very much looking forward to the new album and tour!
    Sending good vibes to Roland at this difficult time.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      That’s a great double, although I don’t like the Steve Fitzmaurice Radio Edit of Everybody Loves A Happy Ending because it misses out that brilliant McCartney-esque middle section (“The darkness of the day…”)

  72. Tom Richardson says:

    Definitely a better version of this album Paul! Other fan’s versions are much more interesting than the official release too! Love TFF but I do think they dropped the ball with this compilation. Obviously more of an ‘Xmas supermarket’ purchase for casual fans. My CD copy arrived today and the packaging is sparse and disappointing too to say the least! I wish I hadn’t bothered to be honest…

  73. Rainbow Gold says:

    They’re on ‘Strictly’ on Saturday singing a GH. Cannot wait to see Roland visibly wince as the dancers pile on in front of them. Always feel so sorry for the bands on the show; they look so utterly humiliated by the experience. Even worse, Alfie Boe and Michael Ball are also on ruining a Christmas standard.

  74. Daryl says:

    I’ve heard their new single quite a lot on the radio this week, and I honestly thought it was Take That! Very similar sound now.

  75. Pingback:Tears For Fears to issue Balearic-style remix of ‘Head Over Heels’ | superdeluxeedition

  76. Steven C says:

    Since we’re playing pretend and dreaming…. I’d throw their excellent cover of “ASHES TO ASHES” from the Ruby Trax compilation.

  77. Neil Kelly says:

    Great article! Of course i was aware how messed up this latest greatest is. But i’d just make it a double and include all the singles in chronological order in their UK 7″ single versions. Obviously two new tracks at the end ‘Stay’ final track and of course you simply can’t miss ‘Laid so low (Tears roll down’) which of course absent means you can’t claim this Greatest to be any better than the last! One edit as you suggested would mean ‘Laid’ could’ve been included. In fact i think it could just fit in anyhow. It should’ve ALWAYS have been a 17 track album one way or another! Of course i bought it but that’s neither here nor there. As to is the fact that i partly bought it for the tour pre-sale which i failed miserably at my two chosen venues anyhow…

  78. Wayne Klein says:

    The label could release both a deluxe “Seeds” AND the best of. They are really for two different markets even with the two new tracks.

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