In Their Own Words: Tears For Fears on the story of The Seeds of Love

New interviews from SDE editor, Paul Sinclair

Finally out today is the reissue of Tears For Fears‘ 1989 album The Seeds of Love. Back in 2015, I had the pleasure and privilege of interviewing all the major players involved in the album and, from those conversations, built the ‘story’ of the album using only the words of the band, producers, co-writers and collaborators. This features in the booklet that comes with the 4CD+blu-ray super deluxe edition of The Seeds of Love, but below is an exclusive extract, giving you a flavour of quite how candid all the participants were and offering the most detailed picture to date of what when on behind the scenes and why the album took so long to make….

Sowing the seeds of The Seeds of Love

Roland Orzabal: In a sense, the germ of Seeds of Love was the moment in August 1985 when I heard Oleta Adams playing at the piano with a bass player and a drummer in Kansas. That really was the point at which I realised how sick I was of what we were doing. This was our second trip across America playing the same set with the Revox [tape machine] on stage and there was this woman I’d never heard of singing in a bar in a hotel – admittedly with her own select audience.

Curt Smith: We sat there and listened to her whole set and we thought ‘why can’t we get back to enjoying it that much?’ because she obviously had a connection to what she was doing, which was more than the connection that we had to what we were doing at that time. This is talking about touring, not about making music. We didn’t speak to her that night. We just remembered her name.

Oleta Adams:  I knew they were there, but I was used to a lot of very well known artists coming in to listen, so my thing was not to bother them, just let them be. They’d like to be entertained, or rest or whatever, so I didn’t bother to approach them. I was singing my heart out. John said ‘Tears For Fears are here’ and I thought ‘That’s nice. What’s a British pop group going to do for me!’ [laughs].  I received a phone call [two years later in autumn 1987] and Roland started telling me what he had experienced that evening. At that time they told me they had written a song called ‘Woman in Chains’ and they wanted me to bring that kind of feeling to the song. I thought ‘Well, that’s nice – that’s really nice. Sure, why not…’ and when I hung up I expected not to hear from them again…

Nicky Holland co-wrote five songs on The Seeds of Love

A new writing partnership with Nicky Holland

Roland: We certainly didn’t have a clue when we first started. There was no master plan or else the whole album would’ve been much easier and quicker to complete.

Nicky Holland [pianist and songwriter]: The first thing I’d done with Roland, creatively, was a version of Robert Wyatt’s ‘Sea Song’, which was the B-side for ‘I Believe’, and we did that in L.A. in the middle of the Songs From The Big Chair tour.  We got to soundcheck one day and no one else was there. Roland just went up to the mic and sang, ‘In my head there is a mirror…’ He’d had some experience where he’d overheard people talking about him the night before. So he had four lines of lyrics and this melody, and I was sitting at the piano, and just started… we just started vamping and figuring things out. So it started like that.

Chris Hughes [producer of Songs From The Big Chair]: Ian Stanley had been Roland’s compadre, if you will, when we were doing the Songs album. He was the guy Roland would turn to, to ask for extra chords or check on something, and Ian was quite supportive of that. I don’t know quite where that relationship went wrong, but it did. And I just think Nicky turned up and she was fantastically helpful. Roland got a lot of confidence from her. They’d sit and jam, and she’s a fantastic piano player, anyway. The two of them would just hang out and have writing sessions.

Curt: Roland first bought a flat in the West End somewhere before he moved up to Belsize Park, later. I remember it was a top floor flat and he bought this very expensive red grand piano – which I think he still has – that they had to crane into the building. It had to go in the window in the top floor. I think that’s where the majority of the initial writing got done. I remember going to visit that apartment quite a few times with him and Nicky and sitting around this big red piano. But I was still living in Bath, so I’d come up to London to see how things were going.

Roland: I would walk across to Nicky’s flat, which was a walk away from where we were living and we came up with ‘Advice for the Young at Heart’ – her chords. We thought, ‘Wow, this is really good,’ at least the original demo sounded very promising. It didn’t sound like the way it ended up – it was a lot simpler.  Curt came along and he would listen and was fairly excited by the new direction but I don’t think the record company were

Clive Langer (right) and Alan Winstanley (left) at work in the 1980s

Aborted Langer and Winstanley sessions

Dave Bates [A&R man] : I think it was Roland who wanted to bring in Langer and Winstanley, although it could have been me because I’d worked with them on The Teardrop Explodes, and they did other things for me as well. Obviously, they were hugely successful.

Roland: We’d always been fans of Clive Langer from the Madness days and Robert Wyatt with ‘Shipbuilding’ as well as the Elvis Costello album, Punch the Clock.

Alan Winstanley [producer]: I remember saying about a high-hat pattern, ‘maybe we could just double it up in the chorus’, something that would have taken – if it was a real drummer playing it – one take, but because we were doing it all programmed on a Fairlight – it was not stuff that Clive and I were familiar with. You know, we never worked on any of that. We’ve always worked with real bands and then suddenly I’m saying to him, “Well, you can programme that high hat to double up on the choruses?” and it took like four hours! Clive and I were pulling our hair out.

Clive Langer [producer]:  I was working with them for about two months or two and a half months or something and going to their houses and like listening to the same song over and over again and I think I pushed it into a more jazzy, freer space and they liked things a bit more structured where they know every note that’s going on, whereas I’m a bit looser. So when we did our first rough mix, they baulked and then lost confidence in us.

Dave Bates: Roland decided it wasn’t working. There just wasn’t the spark and it was not the thing he was looking for.

Dave Bascombe [engineer & co-producer]: A lot of artists are pretty headstrong and know what they want, but they go off with producers because they think they want something else. In fact they find they don’t really want that input – it’s always a battle.

Curt: The problem when you’re working with producers is that you may like every record they’ve made, but you don’t know how much of that comes from the producer and how much comes from the artist. When you go into a studio with these people, you may love their work, but it doesn’t mean it translates to working with you.

Producer Chris Hughes pictured in 2018

Chris Hughes: Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Roland: After Langer and Winstanley, the move was to try and get the Big Chair team back in, Ian, Bascombe, Chris Hughes…

Dave Bates: Chris Hughes was brought back in and he ended up shaping a lot of the songs for The Seeds of Love album.

Curt: Chris came back partly due to record company pressure and our own comfort level with him, even though we were trying to get away from that! I was around quite a bit during this period. I’d rented a flat near Roland’s house in Belsize Park, in England’s Lane. I was there every day and at weekends I’d drive back to Bath. It was later on when I was going through a divorce that I was around less, but that was when we were working on our own in the Townhouse [studio].

Chris Hughes: I left after about 10 months or so. I came back [later] and heard other things and made comments and was involved in other bits and pieces. I think we hit a place of, not disagreement, but not working together well, where it was very productive.

Curt: Chris is Mr. Pragmatist. If you hear things differently, he’s happy to step away from it. It’s not an easy thing to do but he doesn’t take it personally. We’re still friends to this day. We managed to convince the record label that we didn’t need a producer. And also we had Dave Bascombe, although not that he’s a producer, as such, he does get a co-producer credit. He was the record company’s ears, I think.

Dave Bascombe: I’d say my role was collaboration in trying to get where we’re both trying to go rather than me trying to steer them somewhere that I thought it should go. Engineers are often credited as co-producers, especially if you put in the hours! I was never going to be saying, ‘This isn’t good enough,’ that wasn’t my role.

‘Get Oleta’ and Woman in Chains

Roland:  We’d be trying to do guitar on ‘Woman in Chains’ and I don’t even know why, because it was all there anyway, but Chris Hughes quoted some example from Fleetwood Mac or something, I don’t know. I was getting very frustrated, he was getting very frustrated and I had to choose between hitting him over the head with my guitar or walking out, so I walked out. I said to Curt the next day I’m not working with him again. This would have been November 1987. By this time we knew it was a duet because I was singing the girlie parts. I said to Curt ‘let’s fly back to Kansas and meet Oleta’ and we flew in November or December to Kansas, without a producer.

Curt: We both flew on Concorde, if I remember correctly, to New York and then took a plane to Kansas and went to see her. We invited her to come to England and sing on our record. I think if we hadn’t gone to see her she wouldn’t have thought it was real. I think maybe she thought that someone was playing a joke on her at that point.

Oleta Adams: They specifically came over to see me and they spent three or four days with me. During the daytime they’d come over to my house and we’d talk, sit at the piano and play songs for each other. They’d tell me how they got together. You know, I was aware of them because everybody had heard ‘Shout’ and ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’. And when I had to play my gigs, they came to the gigs with me and sat there. I had already scheduled that next year – in 1988 – to go on a piano bar tour of Scandinavia. So I would spend six months touring, a month here, a month there – in Malmo, Stockholm, Oslo – to play piano bar. So before I went there I stopped off to do the recording at the top of the year [January] and recorded for one month with Tears For Fears.

Roland: So we got her in and we had Manu Katche on drums and Pino Palladino on bass and started playing live. That was really when the album kicked off, it was really getting Oleta involved. It’s almost like every album needs a key person and one to unlock it. Maybe Ian Stanley did that in Big Chair, I don’t know. It was incredible; those live sessions were magical.

Oleta: I was really happy for the chance to sing ‘Woman in Chains’, which used my upper register and I had to find a way to sing in that key, because I have a low voice. But at that time it was great to use a different part of my voice, as opposed to just the ‘chest’ voice – this took a little bit more finesse. It was a great experience and it was so completely different from ‘Badman’s Song’ where I got to use the rhythm and blues and gospel portion of my voice. That was quite a thrill.

Dave Bascombe: That song was beautiful but it never had the bridge or middle eight so it was never a full song. We struggled over this thing and recorded it countless times. One of the first things I did when Chris had left and they were away was I went into the studio and did some edits on it. I chopped it down but it still wasn’t a complete song. It took a few attempts of trying to do it with this big long middle section, which is really a jam, for Roland to realise you need the boring old middle eight. It is a good, old-fashioned structure at the end of the day. It was after another break when Roland came back and said, ‘I’ve written this break,’ and I thought it was fantastic. I think the key change maybe arrived at the same time and that’s when we recorded it over and over again and that’s the final version. What we were working on originally just wasn’t right; the song wasn’t complete.

Chris Hughes: Curt’s a very competent bass player, but he was very happy to have Pino [Palladino] play on things. Curt was very aware of the fact that in terms of confidence, Roland was in the ascendency. He just was.

Roland: I can’t even remember why we got Pino in. No, it wasn’t a difficult conversation with Curt.

Curt: I love Pino’s work. For those songs, he’s probably better playing them. I mean, he wouldn’t be better playing ‘Sowing The Seeds of Love’, he would make it too busy, but for the songs he played on then, I think he was the right kind of sound. But we used other guitar players as well and we used more than one drummer – I don’t think we were tied to anything.


Writing and recording ‘Swords and Knives’

Chris Hughes: There may have been some sessions with Dave Bascombe at Roland’s house, where we worked on the rhythms on this track. Most of the rhythms on the album were worked out on Fairlight programming. The slickness and professionalism of Steely Dan was an influence on Seeds of Love, and Nicky is well versed in Steely Dan-ness. She understands the nature of jazz chords and that kind of thing. I think it evolved quite naturally in a way.

Nicky Holland: I had the piano part, and had recorded it. I’d been listening to the soundtrack for Diva. I grew up playing classical piano. I love Debussy, I love Satie and I had the piano part going. I’d also read, And I Don’t Want to Live This Life, a book by Deborah Spungen, mother of Nancy Spungen, and was sort of haunted by it. I’d given it to Roland and said, ‘read this, it’s great.’ And then I think we’d heard that the film was being made [Alex Cox’s Sid and Nancy], and so we finished it for that. They didn’t want it, but actually, it’s fine by me. I thought it was really a soundtrack to her book.

Roland: Chris Hughes got Nicky Holland into the studio so we were working on Swords and Knives, which originally was much, much simpler. It didn’t have that long Pink Floyd backwards guitar section in it. But the Nicky/Chris interface wasn’t working at all. Nicky just follows her instincts and that’s it. Chris is incredibly analytical and their two worlds did not meet, it was very difficult.

Dave Bascombe: I quite like it in a funny way. I like the instrumental section actually. I quite enjoyed the crazy process – the overdubs and all the stuff we put on it. It was cinematic and therefore the song wasn’t as important, it was a piece of music more than a song.

Writing and recording ‘Famous Last Words’

Roland: That piano intro is another Nicky thing, which is absolutely killer. I think she came up with that in her room or maybe that was another ‘Big Chair’ one.

Nicky Holland: It’s a brilliant song, but it’s quite hard to envisage it as a basic demo in an early writing stage, I suppose, because of the way the soundscapes on that particular track developed. There’s a real stillness to it. And Roland was reading a book, and I can’t remember what the title of it was…

Roland: The book was called ‘The Fate of the Earth’ back in the days when nuclear war was still a possibility and I quite liked the idea and emotion behind that song, what would you do if you knew you only had one night left and the world was going to end. ‘Hand in hand we do or die, listening to the band that made us cry.’ I like that song and we played that live quite a bit, even with the new band, it’s fun.

Nicky Holland: We kept performing it into a cassette recorder until we got what we wanted. And even the strings and the sounds, we did those in my flat too. We had all that. We’d been listening to The Blue Nile’s A Walk Across the Rooftops.

Roland: We approached Tom Waits to sing that verse. It would’ve worked brilliantly. But he said no. ‘Tears For Fears? Fuck off!’

Chris Hughes: There’s only one problem with that song and that is the vocal mix is too quiet; the vocal levels. I don’t know why it ended up that quiet, but it is. The idea of having it gentle and in your ear is fine, but I think actually it’s too quiet.

Dave Bascombe: Never even thought about that, Chris might be right there. There’s too much reverb on the vocal at the end, but that was one that was formed when I arrived. I think the programmed drums were even done beforehand.

Why did the album take so long?

Curt: There was no one reason. It was a combination of us not really wanting to rush into it – it was kind of on and off in 1986 – and producer juggling. And then getting bogged down in the perfection side. Might it have gone quicker if I had been there more? I don’t know, but it was just something I couldn’t deal with at the time.

Dave Bascombe: There are a lot of reasons why it went on for so long but some of it was just thrashing away at songs. We lost a lot of direction on it arguably. We had all the musicians in and there was too much choice. It was so much more focused on Songs from the Big Chair, in terms of knowing where we were going. You need an image at the back of your head about roughly what you want it to sound like and I don’t think we had that on Seeds of Love so much. I’d heard that the record company had said, ‘Go away, take as long as you like, spend as much money as you like and make the perfect album’ about Seeds of Love, which is not how you make a good album; the total opposite.

Curt: We were attempting to be too meticulous, I think. Plus going through a bunch of producers, trying to find our way, trying to do it on our own and then being too perfectionist about it – I would certainly say that’s the case. When I listen to the album, some parts I love and some parts I think ‘that’s  just too perfect. I want some rough edges.’

Dave Bascombe: I think there was a reluctance to finish the album, that’s really why it took so long. To be deep about it, when you’re working on it, it’s yours and you can fiddle about with it, once it’s out, it’s out and you can’t change anything and the public has got hold of it. I think that was a big part of it. I do remember we’d go back to Roland’s place and spend day after day, ‘What are we going to do today?’ ‘Let’s edit the hi-hat,’ and we’d do it for days but we were having a nice life. It sounds absolutely ludicrous and it’s not the way to make a record these days, but we were doing an eight-hour day, going out to have a nice meal in the evening and if you can do it, why not?

Curt: When you finish and release a record you’ve got to get back into the grind again, which we were hating. The Songs From The Big Chair tour was just arduous, very hard work. So I don’t think there was necessarily a rush on our part to get back into that. But at some point the record company and us had to say ‘we’re done’.

Curt and Roland’s relationship

Dave Bascombe: Curt was rarely there, but when he was his contribution was really good. I know Curt was concerned that there weren’t enough tracks for him to sing. He tried to persuade me a couple of times, he wanted ‘Advice for the Young at Heart’ further up the front of the album, partly because they were a duo and the perception was going to be that he wasn’t on it much.

Roland: Early 1988 was when Curt was splitting with his wife, so he wasn’t very happy and he found solace in upstate New York, with the tour manager Dave Wernham and his wife Mary Wernham, so he headed off there for a little while, while that was going down. It was when he was with them he went to a party in Manhattan and met Frances, who he’s married to now. So they began a transatlantic relationship. He would come and go a bit and he would also be a bit jet lagged when he got back.

Chris Hughes: You can look at Seeds of Love as the beginning of solo Roland, really. You know, how much Curt got involved, how much he sung, was diminishing. You can plot that curve.

Roland: There was an evolution from the first album through to Seeds of Love where you could see myself growing up very much and getting to the age of 28, very different to the person who was 19, writing ‘Mad World’. Curt sang four songs on the first album, two songs on the second album and one on the third album. So it just wasn’t the same thing.

Chris Hughes: I do remember staying pretty close to both of them. I didn’t take sides. I know them very, very well. When I first met them they were quite young. I’m seven years older than Roland. They seemed young and naive. And by the end of it they seemed like grown men. Roland responds very well to positive input and positive ideas. They don’t always have to be his ideas. But he’s not good with negativity and deconstruction. He’s generous and open-hearted.

Curt: When we’d done the album, I knew I was leaving. I told Roland. In retrospect, probably not a good idea to decide before the tour, I should have left it to the end. It was a combination of things. I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore; I didn’t think it was good for me. Because of those things I think it created tension between us. I decided I was going to move to New York. I just needed to leave England to get out and I didn’t think me living in New York was going to work [in terms of being in the band]. Of course now, we have him living in England and me living in LA and its working okay!

The Seeds of Love, 31 years on…

Roland: I loved it when it was finished. I didn’t realise how over the top it was and I didn’t realise how over produced it was. Specifically, putting ‘Woman in Chains’ and ‘Badman’s Song’ first, which is a bit strange really, but those three tracks in a row – Woman In Chains, Badman’s Song and Sowing the Seeds of Love – they kill it. So I was very happy but it’s not just that, we were gaining a lot of the symbolism that we used in the video and the covers along the way, because when I was in psychotherapy, I accidentally got into astrology and started getting into that very heavily, so a lot of the ‘sun and moon’ stuff came in.

Curt: The tracks I liked then, I still like now. The ones I wasn’t a fan of, I don’t listen to, and – coincidentally – we never play them. You know, ‘Woman in Chains’, ‘Badman’s Song’, ‘Sowing the Seeds of Love’, and ‘Advice For The Young At Heart’ have all stuck around. We still play those live. We don’t play any of the other songs live.

Dave Bascombe: It was such a big part of my life. I see it as two years of my life. I had a baby and got married and was hanging out with Roland every day. Two years is a big chunk of time and it was pretty much a full time job. I just can’t disassociate it from that.

Chris Hughes: I thought it was great. I thought it was indulgent, but great. It’s my second favourite album they’ve ever done, after Songs From The Big Chair. I’m obviously fond of The Hurting, but that was more breakthrough, I suppose. I love Woman in Chains, Sowing the Seeds… just those two tracks for me make it an amazing record. The sophistication Roland managed to get on ‘Sowing the Seeds…’ is down to him. He’s responsible for how great that record is.

Nicky Holland: When I heard the finished piece of work, I loved it. It’s full of expression, the album, and a big departure for Roland and Curt. Chris Hughes was great. He always used to talk about, you need a ‘meat and potatoes’ track, you need a ‘sorbet’; you need this and that. He always had these great ways of putting things, and the role of songs within an album, and it’s such a shame that so much of that’s been lost now.

Oleta Adams: I have a very warm place in my heart when I hear that record. First of all I happen to be very much in love with Roland’s voice. I just love the sound that he gets. He’s a very talented singer, a beautiful voice. With Curt, I think his voice, his sound – they are a really good balance, for each other. When you listen to The Seeds of Love it’s a beautiful experience and I was so proud to be a part of it.

The Seeds of Love reissue is out today. Watch the SDEtv unboxing video.

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Tears For Fears

The Seeds of Love - 4CD+blu-ray box set


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Tears For Fears

The Seeds of Love - remastered vinyl LP


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Tears For Fears

The Seeds of Love 2CD deluxe


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Tears For Fears

The Seeds of Love - single CD remaster


The Seeds of Love
– 4CD+blu-ray box set


01. Woman In Chains: 6:31
02. Badman’s Song: 8:32
03. Sowing The Seeds Of Love: 6:19
04. Advice For The Young At Heart: 4:50
05. Standing On The Corner Of The Third World: 5:33
06. Swords And Knives: 6:12
07. Year Of The Knife: 7:08
08. Famous Last Words: 4:26


01. Sowing The Seeds Of Love – 7″ Version: 5:43
02. Tears Roll Down: 3:16
03. Woman In Chains – 7” Version: 5:28
04. Always In The Past: 4:38
05. My Life In The Suicide Ranks: 4:32
06. Woman In Chains – Instrumental: 6:30
07. Advice For The Young At Heart – 7” Version: 4:49
08. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams Instrumental: 4:18
09. Music For Tables: 3:32
10. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams Mix One: 6:22
11. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams Mix Two: 5:55
12. Sowing The Seeds Of Love – US Radio Edit: 4:04
13. Woman In Chains – US Radio Edit 1: 4:42
14. Advice For The Young At Heart – Italian Radio Edit: 3:40
15. Year Of The Knife – Canadian Single Version: 5:40
16. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams: 4:17


01. Year Of The Knife – Overture: 1:47
02. Year Of The Knife – Early Mix – Instrumental: 8:50
03. Sowing The Seeds Of Love – Alternate Mix: 7:22
04. Tears Roll Down – Alternate Mix: 4:07
05. Year Of The Knife – Steve Chase 7″ Remix: 4.29
06. Badman’s Song – Early Mix: 7:56
07. Advice For The Young At Heart – Instrumental: 4:56
08. Year Of The Knife – The Mix: 06:55
09. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams – Mix One Edit: 3:43
10. Sowing The Seeds Of Love – Early Mix – Instrumental: 5.55
11. Woman In Chains – US Radio Edit 2: 4:19
12. Year Of The Knife – Canadian Single Version – Instrumental: 5:40
13. Famous Last Words – French Radio Edit: 3:07
14. Woman In Chains – Reprise: 6:39


01. Rhythm Of Life – Demo: 5:12
02. Advice For The Young At Heart – Demo: 4:52
03. Swords And Knives – Demo: 3:51
04. Famous Last Words – Demo: 4:12
05. Sowing The Seeds Of Love – Demo – Instrumental: 6:06
06. Badman’s Song – Langer / Winstanley Version – Instrumental: 7:30
07. Woman In Chains – Townhouse Jam: 7:06
08. Broken – Townhouse Jam: 1:37 Tears For Fears
09. Rhythm Of Life – Townhouse Jam: 3:09
10. Badman’s Song – Townhouse Jam: 8:17
11. Badman’s Song – Reprise – Townhouse Jam: 2:50
12. Standing On The Corner Of The Third World – Townhouse Jam: 9:09


Steven Wilson 5.1 MIX

01. Woman In Chains: 6:30
02. Badman’s Song: 8:32
03. Sowing The Seeds Of Love: 6:19
04. Advice For The Young At Heart: 4:55
05. Standing On The Corner Of The Third World: 5:33
06. Swords And Knives: 6:20
07. Year Of The Knife: 6:55
08. Famous Last Words: 4:11

Original Album Mix (Bob Ludwig 1989 mastering)

01. Woman In Chains: 6:31 (Original album master)
02. Badman’s Song: 8:32 (Original album master)
03. Sowing The Seeds Of Love: 6:19 (Original album master)
04. Advice For The Young At Heart: 4:50 (Original album master)
05. Standing On The Corner Of The Third World: 5:33 (Original album master)
06. Swords And Knives: 6:12 (Original album master)
07. Year Of The Knife: 7:08 (Original album master)
08. Famous Last Words: 4:26 (Original album master)

New remaster (by Andrew Walter at Abbey Road)

01. Woman In Chains: 6:30 (New remaster)
02. Badman’s Song: 8:32 (New remaster)
03. Sowing The Seeds Of Love: 6:19  (New remaster)
04. Advice For The Young At Heart: 4:55 (New remaster)
05. Standing On The Corner Of The Third World: 5:33 (New remaster)
06. Swords And Knives: 6:20 (New remaster)
07. Year Of The Knife: 6:55  (New remaster)
08. Famous Last Words: 4:11 (New remaster)

The Seeds of Love vinyl LP remaster (same tracks on picture disc)

Side 1
01. Woman In Chains: 6:31
02. Badman’s Song: 8:32
03. Sowing The Seeds Of Love: 6:19
04. Advice For The Young At Heart: 4:50

Side 2
01. Standing On The Corner Of The Third World: 5:33
02. Swords And Knives: 6:12
03. Year Of The Knife: 7:08
04. Famous Last Words: 4:26

The Seeds of Love 2CD deluxe


01. Woman In Chains: 6:31
02. Badman’s Song: 8:32
03. Sowing The Seeds Of Love: 6:19
04. Advice For The Young At Heart: 4:50
05. Standing On The Corner Of The Third World: 5:33
06. Swords And Knives: 6:12
07. Year Of The Knife: 7:08
08. Famous Last Words: 4:26


01. Sowing The Seeds Of Love – 7" Version: 5:43
02. Tears Roll Down: 3:16
03. Woman In Chains – 7” Version: 5:28
04. Always In The Past: 4:38
05. My Life In The Suicide Ranks: 4:32
06. Woman In Chains – Instrumental: 6:30
07. Advice For The Young At Heart – 7” Version: 4:49
08. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams Instrumental: 4:18
09. Music For Tables: 3:32
10. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams Mix One: 6:22
11. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams Mix Two: 5:55
12. Sowing The Seeds Of Love – US Radio Edit: 4:04
13. Woman In Chains – US Radio Edit 1: 4:42
14. Advice For The Young At Heart – Italian Radio Edit: 3:40
15. Year Of The Knife – Canadian Single Version: 5:40
16. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams: 4:17

The Seeds of Love single CD remaster


01. Woman In Chains: 6:31
02. Badman’s Song: 8:32
03. Sowing The Seeds Of Love: 6:19
04. Advice For The Young At Heart: 4:50
05. Standing On The Corner Of The Third World: 5:33
06. Swords And Knives: 6:12
07. Year Of The Knife: 7:08
08. Famous Last Words: 4:26



130 responses to In Their Own Words: Tears For Fears on the story of The Seeds of Love

  1. Christer Leidolph says:

    I have just a few minor complaints about this fantastic SDE…

    I miss some words about the making of the B-Sides…
    Always in the past is listet as Orzabal/Stanley, so it might be composed before 1988, but it sounds like Townhouse-Recording with Session Musicians.

    The Mastering is too hefty for my taste and when you listen to Tears Roll down, you get served a heavy clipping in the second half. So I stick to the Saturnine-CD-Version.

    The 2nd Disc “The Sun” lists as Tracks 10+11 Johnny Panic in 2 Mixes, but track 11 is another Version of Sowing the seeds of love.

    Everyone might want something else included into those kind of boxsets…I could have done well without some of the Single Mixes, instead more Townhouse Sessions and early Versions of Album- and B-Side-Tracks like Swords and Knives and Standing on the corner.
    But it’s hard to satisfy everone. Commercially, it’s clear to focus on the Single-Tracks.

    But all in all, an interesting sight into the making of my favourite 80s Album.
    Big thanks to all involved…fantastic!

    • Agree with your points, but Disc 11 Track 2 is not Sowing the Seeds of Love. It is the 2nd Fluke mix of “Johnny Panic”, which (essentially the b-side of the single) is more of a dub mix & is also intercut with bits from “Sowing the Seeds of Love”. The tracklisting is correct.

  2. Neil says:

    Somebody has probably has asked this before and i’m not sure if there was an answer but is there is a reason that the spoken intro at the beginning of Always In The Past is missing on the box set ?

  3. Milosz says:

    I love that The Seeds of Love Super Deluxe edition is essentially 5 different versions of the album that we have been given. It’s not just a regular album and a bunch of bonus tracks, but instead on every disc we get to hear a new, interesting and different version of the album. That’s why it will always be an entertaining listen, not something gathering dust on the shelf like many other boxes.

    Also, the new stereo remaster of the album is very good indeed. I always liked the original master, but the new one is even better. Now the record is shining as if a new ray of light has touched upon it. Also bass is tighter.

    Thanks everyone involved for awesome job on giving those records a whole new life!

  4. Christopher Aud says:

    The 5.1 mix is beautiful and it’s an absolute wonder that it was able to be done at all given all of the source material. Great job Paul for seeing this through.

  5. Alcor says:

    Love the box set! A minor side-note: the back of the box lists Rythm of Life – demo as Rythm of Love – demo.

  6. Juerie says:

    I think the big A(mazain) screwed it again. Pre-ordered it on amazon Gernany at day one. Today i revieved an email, that thenbox eill be shipped around end of November, beginning of December. I am pretty sure, that sometimes in between, they will cancel the orders.

    All the shops, that had them in stock for a good price are sold out now.

  7. Carlos Valenzuela says:

    After enjoying the boxset for a few days, I can now conclude the completeness of the work of compiling and restoring a material that allows us to study the creative era extensively.
    I would also like very much that Paul Sinclair, who has worked so hard on the project, would fill in the information that is sorely missed about the demos and different versions of each song. So much variety is overwhelming and it may be difficult to identify well each alternate take or edit of each song.
    In any case, in my case it has made it possible to learn more about and appreciate songs like “Badman’s Song” or “Year Of The Knife” that did not get the treatment of a global single at the time.
    I join in the congratulations for putting this great product on the market.

  8. Don says:

    I’ve been waiting for this for years and it does not disappoint. I listened to the whole set in order over the weekend and was thrilled. It’s so good!

    One request, Paul: in the liner notes for the SFTBC set you had a very helpful “Guide to the Bonus Tracks.” It was invaluable! Would you consider posting a similar “Guide” for SOL here on your blog? It would be great to hear an explanation of the differences between the single and album versions of “Advice,” for example, or to know who remixed “Year of the Knife” (thankfully you answered that one above), or to read about how Fluke remixed “Johnny Panic.” Or even a bit about the b-sides and how they were recorded. This was fantastic information in the SFTBC set and I’d love to see something similar here.

    Congratulations on an amazing box! I will be listening to this for weeks to come.

    • Toast says:

      There’s a little info about each of the B-Sides (and the Fluke remix) in the Saturnine, Martial and Lunatic comp CD from 96, although I agree it would have been good to know where / when in the Seeds of Love recording process they fit, who played what and if any were ever in the running to be in the original album tracklisting. Other than that small aside it’s a perfect box set!

  9. DJ Salinger says:

    The box set is great, Paul. As expected, really.

    The interviews get under the skin of an otherwise well-worn story and shed new light on the intricacies of that infamously long gestation. TFF caught between push and pull factors – the push of seeking a simpler, more organic approach, and the inexorable pull of neurotic perfectionism. It reminds me all over again why ‘Tipping Point’ still isn’t with us.

    Having listened to the demos and jams, I still feel the final product was worth the long trudge for those involved. Decades later, it’s still a wonderful way to spend an hour (or thereabouts). They really don’t make ’em like that anymore.

  10. Rich Ayton says:

    Hi Paul.
    So, I’ve just finished listening to the box-set while reading the full booklet (more like a book!) version of the above interview. A great box set musically (obviously) and thanks Paul for a great piece of writing recounting all those interviews – a really great read. The big question I have now Paul is….. Are you aware of any plans for an Elemental box set? I think it’s such an underrated album. Songs like Break it down Again and Goodnight Song are up there with anything on Seeds of Love as great pop songs.

  11. Curtis Smith says:

    It’s a pity ‘The Hurting’ didn’t get the 5.1 surround treatment like SFTBC and TSOL. I understand, at the time the record company didn’t think commercially it will do well as SFTBC.

    Seeing that ‘The Hurting’ deluxe box was reprinted and reissued, do you know Paul, if the sales of the deluxe edition were the same as the others?

    Maybe a 5.1 mix could be created and sold in a card sleeve so it could be inserted into ‘The Hurting’ deluxe box.

  12. Jason says:

    Great interviews. Great album. Re-listened again last night, first time in probably a decade. It holds up really well, even the parts Curt thinks are less favorable. I will take on from Oleta’s final comment by saying yes, they have great voices and music, so it is such a shame there is not more music from them since the reunion 16 years ago. Glad Suede didn’t follow that model. Would love them to actually release that rumored album for years now…sssslllloooooowwwww ;-)

    Great work Paul! Biggest US indie store distributor still waiting on the box sets but the 2CD and vinyl editions are out there…probably just product chain interruption. There are more people waiting for these…

  13. Simon A says:

    Received my super deluxe version of Seeds of Love from SDE on Friday (well packaged!) and have been listening to it and reading the booklet all weekend. Loving both the music and words. A couple of questions for those that might know. What is the story behind the “fake live” intro to Year of the Knife? Other than Manu Katche and Pino Palladino who was in the band for the Townhouse Jam sessions?

  14. David Steel says:

    Like the bit in book when curt says to Collins I’ll put a couple of days aside and phill says I’ll have it done before tea phill is a great drummer selling England by the pound is way before my time but i think it’s brilliant and phills drumming is great

  15. mike says:

    Paul, its a great set to hear finally, the Townhouse Jams are certainly the highlight for me. Any idea who mixed ‘The Mix’ of Year Of The Knife please? Very of its time mix with the Soul II Soul / go-go swing groove.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Interesting question… with an interesting answer. The remix was co-produced by Chris Hughes and Paul O’Duffy (of Swing Out Sister fame). They were both involved in that session, which by all accounts didn’t go that well which is why it ended up being shelved.

      • mike says:

        Cheers Paul, I never would have guessed!

      • Marxisn't says:

        The surprise being that this sounds like it was being fashioned for a 12″ single mix… But with Chris Hughes at the helm this appears to be an earlier considered mix or a remix for the album.

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          I vaguely recall talking to Chris that they may have brought him ‘back’ late on to see if he could work some magic on this track. I do have somewhere a picture of the tape box with the details… I’ll try and find it.

          • Marxisn't says:

            Very interesting… I guess the fallout with Chris Hughes wasn’t that bad? … I think he’s always been a good sounding board for the band. Obviously Roland was getting more studio competent, adept and confident in his own abilities hence the self production with Dave Bascombe. The box set really does strip back the layers and show that every fader has a performance of worth. Thanks again Paul.

      • Steve K says:

        Also very interesting is that it has different lyrics

        The second verse is now (may not be 100% accurate):
        Something Borrowed, Something Blue
        Or New (?), Fit for a Bride
        Such a case of simple faith, become a perfect crime

        Previous verse 2 is now verse 2

        Part of the song feels like it was re-sung as well, maybe to fit the music?

  16. Simon Watkin says:

    I’m guessing one of surprises that Paul promised is the telephone ringing in the background as the demo of Famous Last Words starts. A lovely moment.

  17. Mike Vinnicombe says:

    Out of interest, how many of the vinyl picture discs were produced?

  18. Marc R. says:

    A timeless album, which neither sounds like the 80s or the 90s if you ask me. Just timeless in a good way.
    I heard that they are struggling once more to find the right producers for the new album – is it so difficult ? Why don`t they just produce another timeless record like this one ? Roland could produce a good timeless record himself anyway – I liked Elemental and Raoul as much as Seeds and I seem to remember they were produced in his studio ?
    In contrast, I was very disappointed by I love you but I`m lost and Stay – they tried to sound very modern but that just wasn`t what TFF should sound like, if you ask me. Just get it on, make it timeless, and everybody will be happy !

  19. Ross Baker says:

    The whole booklet is tremendous, wonderful work as ever. However, one thing I’m wondering after reading it is – how come there’s no mention of any of the b-sides? The five additional tracks are all incredibly different to the main album (as was the case with previous TFF albums) and I’d really love to know about how they came about, who played what and just why they’re so different to the album. The very electronic approach contrasts dramatically with the album which makes them notable in itself.

  20. Electric Sydney says:

    Very nice work Paul, when there’s care put into a project it really shows and is much appreciated. They should have given you a songwriting credit as a thank you!

  21. Make it stop. says:

    Incredible post. I know you were involed with the reissue remasters –
    This is a masterclass of info

    Enjoyed that very much over a coffee. Thank you

    It beats never ending reputitious brothers Gallagher and Bono plaguing the front cover of Q magazine. It became embarassing. Who wants to look at Bono’s nasal hair in high def month after month? And the CGI on Noel and Liam became an insult to ones intelligence.
    Then they had the gaul to release Special Editions to remind us of Noel and fu*kin’ Bono CGI’d cover shots. I have 90% of the Q back catalouge, and will never part from them never the less.

    Mojo being the polar opposite. There is a gap in the market.. thoughts anyone.

    I could go on.

    Thanks for a great post SDE

    Looks like Paul Heaton (who was absolutley slayed by Q over the yeasrs) has shoved it right up them by easing the financial woes of the Q staff if even for a day or two.

  22. Marxisn't says:

    Thanks Paul got it today… Picked up from the PO today as I wasn’t in friday. Great packaging and an excellent box set. Oh and thanks for all your contributions, keeping the interest up and the pressure on. I didn’t think it was going to be released a year back

  23. PaulC says:

    Thanks Paul, ordered from you and received promptly, good packaging too. This is my desert island album, played regularly in the past thirty odd years and never gets boring, still have my original vinyl from its release, really looking forward to getting into this and exploring its development. I guess the only disappointment, if you can call it that, is the lack of a tour recording with the band they had at the time, shame but it won’t affect it too much, superb box set.

  24. Kauwgompie says:

    For US residents, dropped the price to $51. Best price by far, especially if you are a Prime member and pay no shipping.

  25. Ken says:

    The Tour programme shows they had constructed a very accomplished band for the Seeds Tour.It is,therefore,a little disappointing they could not locate a decent audio recording of one of the Seeds Tour shows.I would really have enjoyed hearing what the live intepretations were like.Some live arrangements might have been different to the recorded versions,so it is shame none are included.

    • John Peace says:

      We all know of one show that would have been able to be included: The abbreviated set at Knebworth 90. Why on earth was this not included?

    • Steve K says:

      There is a soundboard from Cleveland, Ohio floating out there…I was just listening to it today.

    • Ken, while I lament the absence of live material, you can find quite a bit on YouTube. And the touring band – despite or because of the tensions? – was the best TFF ever had (RIP Jimmy Copley). They got into some really sick jams on some tracks, a lot of the older material was rearranged quite heavily. Also, Oleta got her solo spot and TFF did their first live cover version (usually “All You Need Is Love” with some new lyrics by Roland that mention “Raoul and the Kings of Spain”!, but at least once they played “Let It Be” instead).

    • Steve K says:

      I still have my original tour program, saw them at the Forum in Los Angeles.

  26. Darren Royle says:

    Hi Paul,

    I ordered the 4 Disc Version from the SDE shop as soon as I got the email, without even looking at the tracklisting. I may have been one of the first to order it and it arrived yesterday.

    First of all Paul, Thank You, I’ve not started to read the booklet yet, just the snippets from your post above.

    I was 15 when Songs From The Big Chair came out and became an avid TFF fan and a bit of an obssesive, posters on the walls, buying up 12″ singles etc, so waited and waited what seemed like forever for them to release what would be The Seeds of Love.

    I think the back story to the album, which was described in a great article at the time in Q Magazine, and the labour of love, makes this whole enterprise of releasing the deluxe edition more than worthwhile and it’s great to read from the main players the trials and tribulations they went through to get it made.

    I bought this on Cassette when it originally came out and have never bought the CD copy until now, so haven’t listened to the whole album in over 15 years, but at the time I played it to death, so I’m looking forward to a bit of quiet time at home and will listen all over again.

    Again, many thanks Paul and I know you are always quick to point out that lots of other people were involved in bringing this together and these things are always a team effort, so contratulations to all involved.

  27. Frédéric Delannoy says:

    Why add Advice For The Young At Heart – Italian Radio Edit.. It’s just horrible!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      It’s just an early fade… what’s the problem?

      • It adds nothing to the experience. Absolutely unnecessary. Leaving it off might have made space for the Full Version of the title track (not sure about the timings, but something else could’ve maybe been swapped), a more essential track IMO. And yes I’m aware that the version on disc 3 has no fade at all, but it’s an unfinished mix, so not quite the same.

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          Some collectors like to have all the versions. The idea on the early discs was to collect as many single edits, instrumentals, promo mixes, B-sides as possible, not to make a judgement call on how ‘good’ something is.

  28. mike says:

    I dont have very tutored ears but the Canadian Single Version of the very fabulous Year Of The Knife sounds more like a different take in the early section than a different mix but I am probably wrong! Lovely box set though, I havent got past disc 2 yet. That Italian Radio Edit of Advice is savage!

  29. Michael says:

    I would like to hear the Advice For The Young At Heart demo. That’s my favourite of the 3 songs from the album I have heard. Will listen to Badman’s Song now after the recommendation. Can someone please tell me which of which of the singles from their first 3 albums Curt Smith sang? Thank you.

    • Darren Royle says:

      From The Hurting – Mad World, Pale Shelter, Change, The Prisoner
      From Songs From The Big Chair – Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Listen
      From The Seeds Of Love – Advice For The Young At Heart

      • Mark S says:

        Didn’t they shared lead vocals on The Hurting title track so 4.5 really?

      • Steve K says:

        What’s interesting is that arguably 4 of their most popular tracks, Mad World, Change, Pale Shelter and Everybody Wants to Rule the World were all sung by Curt.

  30. AndreasL says:

    “kick out the Style, bring back the Jam” – I always took this as a dig at Paul Weller! Anybody else?

  31. Andy B says:

    Paul, I have a question for you. I was looking at the single of ‘Famous Last Words’ on Discogs. The B-side is ‘Mothers’s Talk’ (U.S Remix). I assumed this to be the later 1986 recording released in North America. However the notes for this release state, ”The US Remix of Mothers Talk is not the original 1986 mix but a new remix from 1990 that sounds noticeably different. Because it was never flagged as such, it has been often used erroneously on CDs”.
    Do you know anything about this different version? Did it appear on the ‘Songs From The Big Chair’ boxset and I didn’t notice? Are these notes incorrect? Or is this indeed a new mix and therefore maybe should have appeared on the ‘Seeds Of Love’ boxset as it was released during this time period?

    By the way, I received the ‘Seeds Of Love’ boxset yesterday. A fantastic release that I’m looking forward to exploring. Thanks for your brilliant input into this release.

    • Robert Plunkett says:

      You’ve opened a can of worms there Andy but TFF fan Julian (JulesRules) provided this helpful summary regarding Mothers Talk (USA remix)

      – original “US Remix”: Released in 1986. Re-recorded with saxophone, a completely different part replacing the string samples and a bit slower. Both Roland and Curt said that it is their preferred version. Original 1986 Mix is available on “Shout: Very Best of” and “The Millennium Collection”. Also on the 1988 CD-Video for Head Over Heels.

      – “US Remix – Video Version”: Starting with a “ballady” vocal/keyboard verse (“It’s not that you’re not good enough…”), otherwise same mix as the regular US Remix, so basically just an extended version of that. CD debut on the 2014 deluxe of SFTBC. Soundtrack to the 3rd video clip.

      – 1990 “US Remix”: A remix from 1990, first released on the b-side of the 1990 single “Famous Last Words”. Same recording but extra reverb, percussion brought up in the mix (or added?) & drums much less punchy. Other differences are found in the vocal mix, and the fadeout is shorter. Simply called “US Remix” on the 1999 remaster and 2014 deluxe edition of SFTBC, as well as “Gold” and other comps.

      – “Alternate US Remix”: Another mix of the same recording. This has very punchy drums, female background vocals more audible, no saxophone, and additional guitar and vocal parts. Simply labeled as “US Remix” on the 2006 deluxe of SFTBC and “Alternate US Remix” (which lacks the short, very quiet four-second percussion intro that’s on the 2006 CD) on the 2014 box set.

  32. Simon says:

    Very informative . Thanks a lot

  33. Aubrey says:

    Congratulations Paul! An epic and definitive piece of work that will stand the test of time. You should be very proud.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Thanks Aubrey. Do you remember hearing Sowing The Seeds of Love on the radio when we were in the US in ’89? It was played a lot, as was ‘Personal Jesus’.

      • Aubrey says:

        Ha! I do remember Personal Jesus played A LOT… (and weren’t R.E.M. everywhere too…?). I’m foggier on STSOL but from previous comments you’ve made that have left me going “Oh, yeah…” I think your memory is sharper than mine!

      • Steve K says:

        I still remember hearing SOTSOL for the first time while driving up the eastern coast of Oahu, Maui in a convertible mustang with the top down…could not wait to get home to the mainland US to get the single.

  34. MüllerMüller says:

    Where is the 12“inch version/full version of Sowing The Seeds Of Love??
    Is it in the alternate mix on disc 3 ??

  35. Kauwgompie says:

    Great read. Can’t wait for the box to arrive!

  36. just jake says:

    Paul, thank you so much for your time and effort in helping bring this super deluxe edition to fruition …at last…and thank you also for your fantastic service in your store and the strong packaging for this set. It puts other retailers to shame.
    It arrived at lunchtime today and i have been listening with my headphones on ever since.

    i look forward to using your store again in the near future.

  37. Mauro says:

    paul, a photo card lim. ed. signed by the band to join the booklet on the box!!!

  38. Adam Anderson says:

    Hi Paul– are there any plans to make the full interviews with band and participants as a standalone booklet at some stage for those that may not have the box set version?
    It would be a nice addition to an already worthy collection of booklets featuring other artists ie Kate Bush, Roxy Music, Paul McCartney etc etc

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Hadn’t considered that. Not really sure the demand would be there, since so many people have the box and the booklet… also UMC might not look too kindly.

  39. Mauro says:

    This interview on booklet and limited superdeluxe edition whit card signed by the band!!!

  40. Ernie says:

    Mine is coming early next week & can’t wait to give it a blast, for the first time in a very long time. “Woman in chains” is one of my favourites & I might have to risk annoying the neighbours to hear that in its true glory. Well done Paul, great interview!

  41. Mark S says:

    Lost interest in Tears For Fears after SFTBC and whilst I appreciate many of you love this album I don’t like it at all, The Hurting and then SFTBC was their best work in my opinion.

    The Vienna Deluxe addition is fantastic by the way and the 24/96 LPCM Steven Wilson mix sounds fantastic. Right we need Duran Duran’s first album done in exactly the same way please followed by Rio.

  42. Darren Gardner says:

    Mine arrived today…it’s a beautiful box set…time to relax in a dark room with headphones on!

  43. David Steel says:

    Got the box set today usually go to the gym on the way home but not today had to see if it had come like a little kid at Xmas brilliant paul great job great read hope the vinyl comes tomorrow love the look of the gatefold

  44. For every question answered in the liner notes, a gazilion new ones pop up – there really needs to be a whole book about the making of this album!

    Year of the Knife was supposed to OPEN the album???

    I can understand putting Sowing the Seeds of Love first, but Year of the Knife always sounded like a fine “ending” with Famous Last Words as its natural epilogue. Hard to imagine the ending sequence any differently. With the amount of space on the Blu-Ray, I’d have welcomed those alternate track orders / album masters…

  45. Luke says:

    Thanks Paul for this interview plus the good looking boxset. Just arrived today! This reminds me of that other big one you were involved :Songs From The Big Chair. Which I also enjoy since … ;-)

  46. Dave H says:

    Thanks Paul, interesting read. It could have been an extra on the blu-ray if it was filmed.

    Pino’s bass playing is quite distinctive sounding during the 80’s with his work with Paul Young and Gary Numan, The only other bassist at the time, I can think of who sounded similar is the late Mick Karn of Japan. It kind of make sense now with what was going on in Curt’s life that there was no friction getting a bass player in to help out.

    I’ve only ever seen Pino playing with The Who live and his playing is completely different to his sliding fretless playing of the 80’s.

    The first time I went to see TFF was for the Seeds tour at Wembley Arena. The second time was last year in Liverpool, I didn’t think they’ll be nearly 30 years apart.

  47. Scott G says:

    If there has been one album I have always wanted in surround it is this. And it does not disappoint – surround mix, 24bit 48kHz 5.1 DTS MA HD and LPCM, is superb.

    The BR 2 Stereo mixes are 16bit 48kHz.

    BUT the original Bob Ludwig 1989 remaster must be at least 6db quieter than the Andrew Walters 2015 remaster. Ok, so someone with the correct equipment would have to confirm but if you change sound sources from SW 5.1 to AW stereo that sound ok but go from AW stereo to BL stereo, my goodness the drop in volume is so noticeable that I wonder if that is actually a fault.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      It’s just a quieter 1989 mastering.

      • Stu says:

        If you compare the wav graphic for both mixes, the Bob Ludwig mix, the volume levels is up and down throughout each track. The 2015 mix is more level throughout giving it a louder sounding mix.

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          I don’t get enough time to listen to music, never mind create and compare wav graphics.

          • That’s a bit of a salty reply Paul… the graphs and numbers just confirm what you yourself on occasion have firmly criticized on this very site – the audible leveling out of dynamics. There simply was no need for making an album like this 6 dB louder and it’s not what I would consider a good remaster (although of course, it could always be worse!).

            Yes, we do get the original mastering on the Blu-Ray Disc but only for the original album. “Tears Roll Down” is twice as loud compared to the 1999 remaster! There was no reason for that, and it’s disappointing given that Andrew Walter did a commendable job with “Songs from the Big Chair”, and given how much care has otherwise gone into this set.

            If we get any future TFF releases, I’d prefer them to be mastered by Andy Pearce, who did a much more reasonable job on the remaster of Oleta Adams’ “Circle of One” 2 CD deluxe.

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            I very rarely go down the rabbit hole of talking about mastering – unless something is really obviously awful and you can normally tell that with your ears rather than looking at graphs. One person’s ‘brickwalled’ is someone else’s ‘sounds really good’. With the best will in the world, I don’t want the comment section on SDE to turn into the Steve Hoffman Forum where people argue about ‘DR’ values and it’s just endless back and forth.

  48. Stephen dC says:

    Oh, it is a thing of beauty.

  49. Rob says:

    My copy arrived yesterday. I’ve read through the wonderful booklet which is fantastic. I haven’t gotten to any of the CDs yet. I did however give a listen to Steven Wilson’s incredible 5.1 mix. Kudos, of course, to Steven. But also I have to say big ‘thank you’ to you, Paul. A while back you mentioned that you were instrumental in Universal issuing the 5.1 mix on Blu-ray instead of DVD. This album is such a sonic masterpiece that it really needed to be issued in the highest quality possible. So many labels go with the lower quality of the DVD (like the Fleetwood Mac 5.1 mixes). Wilson’s surround mix is a revelation. It gave me the same goose-bumps that I got when I first heard this masterpiece 31 years ago. So again Paul, thank you so much for encouraging Universal to do the right thing here. It is greatly appreciated.

    • Scott G says:

      Puzzled by what you mean. The same 5.1 sound track will be the same whether on Blu-ray or DVD .
      I have Rumours 5.1 on DVD Audio and it is a superb 5.1 mix.

      • Dave H says:

        Scott, I think what Rob is trying to get at is whether the sonics is compressed or lossless rather than the actual 5.1 mix.

        All movie DVD’s use a compressed Dolby Digital or DTS format. Basically, there isn’t enough space (8.5gb) to use a wav (pcm) file, the same type of file as found on a CD. A surround file (6 channels) uses 3 times more space than a stereo (2 channels) mix.

        The DD or DTS file is used instead as it is compressed to save space. This means the sound quality isn’t as good as a file that isn’t compressed like wav.

        Since blu-rays have more space (50gb) much larger audio files can be used without any compression using wav (pcm), DTS-HD etc. This means the highest audio sound quality can be heard.

        The recent Rolling Stones Steel Wheels concert is on blu-ray not for the picture quality but it has a great sounding stereo and 5.1 surround mix, one of the best live recordings I’ve heard of theirs.

        However, the DVD-Audio format can play like a standard DVD-Video but also can play a lossless file called ‘Advanced Resolution’. Unfortunately, you need a special DVD or blu-ray player to play these files. Recent Sony blu-ray players can now play SACD and DVD-Audio formats.

        I can’t remember if the Ultravox Vienna reissue is going to be a DVD-Audio or DVD-Video release.

        • Mathew Lauren says:

          @Dave H

          That was a great (quick) “down and dirty” explanation without getting in the weeds.



      • Scott G, there is a difference between DVD-V and DVD-A. DVD-A uses a different codec (MLP) that can produce lossless 5.1 surround, DVD-V can’t. Some surround mixes have only been released on normal DVD-V discs, and that means compromises (e.g. Dolby or AAC compression). I’m not sure about the Fleetwood Mac releases.

        However, DVD-A never really caught on as a pure audio format, and not every normal DVD player can read the lossless 5.1 (PC drives can, but you need software like foobar2000). It also seems to cost more licensing than normal DVD(-V).

        • Mathew Lauren says:

          Well said.

          Isn’t that the irony of it all? Most audio-codec licensing fees (per disc) cost more than the actual physical disc!

          • Mark S says:

            To be clear 24/96 LPCM on Blu-ray is identical to 24/96 LPCM on DVD-A absolutely no difference what so ever

        • Scott G says:

          Sorry Paul don’t want to highjack your website as a forum but I feel I should reply.

          @ Mark S. Thank you. My point exactly.

          @Jules. Thank you for your information. Did I mention DVD-V? No. Not all DVD-As use the MLP codec.
          @Dave H. Thank you for the information. Blu-ray is not preferred over DVD-A because of capacity limitations per se. Many of the Blu-ray Audio releases are on that format because all Blu-ray players will play Blu-ray Audio disk. Sadly not all DVD players will play the DVD-Audio format. The DVD format evolved more slowly and the idea of using it for Hi-Res DVD Audio was not considered till later and required enhancements to the audio components. When Blu-ray came along all the format and audio design standards were there from the beginning.

          To all surround fans if they can purchase or borrow a copy of Rumours on DVD-A if your disk player can play it. Highly recommended.

          • James Auman says:

            Btw, I’m one of the few folks with DVD-Audio in my car. I want to play this 5.1 mix in the car so bad but bluray format doesn’t play. I don’t suppose owners of the box set have a way to transfer that mix to DVD-Audio disc? I have a way to author DVD-Audio discs but I don’t have a clue how to copy the mix on the bluray to a dvd-r disc, or if we are even allowed to. Don’t want to break any rules here.

            The CD sounds amazing, btw. This is the pinnacle of SDE releases, imo. Cheers indeed!

          • Stu says:

            I have Sony DVD / SACD player in the car so to listen to surround music in other formats, I have to create my own DVD-r’s to play in the car.

            I use DVDfab which has been mentioned before from other folk to create an mpeg file that the DVD player can read.

  50. Timm Davison says:

    I am looking forward to this, arriving today! Having just finished delving into both Hurting and Big Chair, really looking forward to absorbing this SDE on what is shaping up to be a wet weekend! As always, I expect some well curated material from you, Paul.

  51. David Roest says:

    Did Phil only drummed on Woman In Chains?

  52. Steve Negus says:

    Hi Paul,

    Received my Tears for Fears box set from you and from what I have been able to play so far its amazing and the accompanying booklet is really interesting

    Thanks a lot for this and a great web site


  53. Gary Hunter says:

    A brilliant article Paul, very informative and gives you a real feel for the tensions the band had at the time, it’s a miracle they got the album finished!

  54. So Curt doesnt like the epic side 2 (in old money) then?! Too overproduced?! Never!
    It’s perfect….

    • Steve K says:

      You could argue that pretty much the entire album is over produced given how long it took them to finish it…BUT, it’s still sounds amazing and I have no clue why Curt doesn’t like the second half. All for songs are fantastic.

  55. tom m hans says:

    I am so happy that it arrived yesterday here in the US – thank you – and will play it today – one question remains to be answered – Why did it take so long to make it available after it was done and boxed nearly 5 years ago? Just curious. Thanks and Kudos to you, Paul – excellent interviews. Now for future releases – I am 52 and my eyes are not getting better – can we please increase the font size in the booklets? Listen Without Prejudice SDE comes to mind as a perfect example on how NOT to do it. Peace and have a great weekend everybody!

  56. Peter Stark says:

    Paul, What a fantastic job you and the label have done on this reissue, loving the remaster and your booklet notes

  57. RMJ says:

    Paul, did they ever talk about the selection of drummers they used for each track (Manu Katché, Phil Collins, Simon Phillips and Chris Hughes)?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      They talk quite a bit about Phil Collins in the much longer booklet version of these interviews.

      • RMJ says:

        Looking forward to reading it when my box arrives. Did you know that Simon Phillips the “P” in Ph.D who had the hit song “I Won’t Let You Down” in the early 80’s (Hymas and Diamond being the other two members) and later went on to be the drummer for Toto after the death of Jeff Porcaro?

  58. Peter says:

    Brilliant. Loving the box set, it came this morning :)

  59. Jon says:

    I received this here in the US yesterday so thank you so much Paul. The sound is amazing. I will say I was disappointed to read Curt doesn’t like half of the album which is a shame because it is an excellent album from start to finish. Otherwise it is a fantastic package. I hope Roland continues with Elemental.

  60. Ralf says:

    Well done Paul.
    My copy has just arrived.
    I´m off now….

  61. B-57 says:

    Nice one Paul

  62. Trash says:

    Hi Paul –

    Have you shipped out all original orders? I ask because I ordered (vinyl and box) from the SDE shop when this was originally announced and usually I would have expected a shipping notice by now. I have received one for the A-ha album I ordered (later than the TFF) but nothing for my TFF order.

    So far looking like a disappointing day – TM stores have only just shipped my Divine Comedy and Ultravox orders despite both being placed many months ago and no sign of my TFF order.
    I was hoping to have ‘Something for the weekend’ but at his rate… :-)

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      More or less, I think. UMC short-shipped some vinyl so we’ve had to wait on replacements which arrived this morning. I can’t check because the email address you are using here isn’t what you use for the shop…

      • Trash says:

        Many thanks for letting me know Paul –
        I’ve sent an email to the store earlier this morning – no response yet (I’ve put the relevant email address in with this message)

        • Trash says:

          Hi Paul –

          Any update/confirmation on the status of my order please?
          Trying to get an idea of when I am likely to actually receive it…
          Many thanks

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            It’s being posted today. Sorry it’s not with you today. Complicated story.. email me if you want and we can take offline.

  63. GentleRabbit says:

    Congratulations, Paul. I know you waited a long time and probably wondered at times whether or not this project would ever see the light of day.

    It’s here. Soak this moment up :D

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