Interview

SDE Exclusive: Tears For Fears on the making of Sowing The Seeds of Love

Tears For Fears’ single ‘Sowing The Seeds Of Love’ was released 30 years ago today. To mark the occasion, SDE publishes an exclusive interview with Roland Orzabal & Curt Smith – and producers Chris Hughes and Dave Bascombe – on the song’s genesis & the recording process.

Before we get to the interview, first a preamble…

Sowing The Seeds of Love nearly became Tears For Fears‘ third US number one, but the single ultimately stalled at number two. In the UK, the song entered the singles charts at number nine (for the chart week ending 2 September 1989). It rose to a peak of number five and during its nine week residency, TWO different ‘Jive Bunny’ singles went to number one (God help us). In between them, Black Box’s ‘Ride On Time’ parked up at the top spot, pulled on the handbrake, turned off the engine and remained there for six weeks.

‘Sowing The Seeds Of Love’ would be the only single to precede Tears For Fears’ third album The Seeds Of Love (by contrast the record label issued four singles before 1983’s The Hurting and two prior to 1985’s Songs From The Big Chair) although three more would follow (in the UK): ‘Woman In Chains,’ ‘Advice For The Young At Heart’ and, rather apologetically a year later, ‘Famous Last Words’.

The Seeds of Love sessions took the best part of three and a half years and cost a fortune. The album heralded a more ‘organic’ sound, with respected session musicians brought in, such as Pino Palladino (best known for that bass sound on Paul’s Young‘s ‘Wherever I Lay My Hat’), drummer Manu Katché and percussionists Luis Jardim and Carole Steele. This was also the long-player that introduced the world to the talents of American soul/gospel singer and pianist Oleta Adams. Oleta made high profile contributions to a number of tracks, notably ‘Woman In Chains’ and ‘Badman’s Song’.

The recording sessions were like a graveyard for producers and previous collaborators. Ian Stanley, co-writer of more than HALF of Songs From The Big Chair (including ‘Shout’ and ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’) left early on, along with Big Chair producer Chris Hughes (who came back later and then left again!). Fresh blood was brought in in the shape of Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley only for them to fail to deliver the sound Roland and Curt required and leave after some short and unfruitful sessions. After more toing and froing, the record label –  possibly at their wits end – let the band produce themselves, with Dave Bascombe engineering and eventually putting in so many hours that he earned a co-producer credit.

The album version of ‘Sowing The Seeds Of Love’ runs for 6.19 while the UK seven-inch version was a still lengthy 5.43. Remarkably, a US Radio Edit managed to snip the song down to 4.04 by literally chopping a full two minutes from the middle (all the good bits). It’s that version the group mimed to on BBC TV’s Wogan on 23 August (see below). The 12-inch single used the ‘full version’ from the album – there was no remix. As well as the seven and 12-inch vinyl, there was a 12-inch picture disc, a CD/V single and a cassette single. The B-side ‘Tears Roll Down’ was largely instrumental and later reworked by Roland into ‘proper song’ ‘Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down)’. The 1992 compilation which included this new song also took its name from the Sowing The Seeds Of Love B-side (it was called ‘Tears Roll Down (Greatest Hits 82–92)’.

But we digress. Without further ado, here’s some exclusive insight into the song from its creators. So let’s hear what the the protagonists themselves have to say about Sowing The Seeds Of Love…


Roland Orzabal: It was a very different sound for Tears for Fears, that was the most important thing. It was crucial that we didn’t come back with the typical Eighties pop. At the time, Radio One was changing, it was the Stock Aitken Waterman years. I was getting older and I’d stopped listening to Radio One.

Chris Hughes [producer]: It’s an amazing song. I remember when Roland first played it to me. It was quite jangly, very ‘60s, sort of blonde-girl-jumping-off-a-red-bus-in-Trafalgar-Square type imagery. It was very poppy and jolly, but I felt it could be much more like ‘A Day In The Life’, or something mature Beatles period. I took the opening chord progression home to my ‘lab’ and did a slightly distorted electronic piano, put that radio transmission sound at the front and did a Ringo style drumbeat. Roland really liked that and we worked on it and made it slightly more Beatlesy than it was. But I remember him writing sections, and sections being removed and moving sections into different orders. By the time we got to actually record it, there’d been so many alterations and variations it was actually quite complex, hacking through the track.

Roland Orzabal: I was driving up from Bath, to London, listening to Radio 4. There was a program about a guy who was going around trying to unearth all these traditional songs and he would write down the lyrics. One of the songs he unearthed was ‘The Seeds of Love,’ that he’d heard about from a gardener called Mr England. And I thought ‘wow, Mr England, sowing the seeds of love’ and from that I just wrote the thing. Also, there was a piece of graffiti across from my house, in England’s Lane (in North London) and all it said was ‘I love a sunflower.’ Don’t ask me what it means or what it meant, but I managed to get it in the song. I was also reading for the first time books like Marxism for Dummies, Thatcher for Dummies, all those “…for Dummies” books and ‘A Brief History of the Working Class’. I was getting a little anti-government and for the first time quite political, in a left wing way.

Dave Bascombe [engineer/co-producer]: Originally the track was written to this little beat box, to a drum machine which had a very different flavour, a much more hip hoppy Prince-style thing and I got a bit obsessed with that. It made it much more contemporary in the terms of the Eighties but then it took on much more of the obvious Beatles direction.

Chris Hughes: When you are working on a track like that, people tend to be quietly confident. Curt came in and started singing the actual, slightly nursery rhyme ‘Sowing The Seeds of Love’ chorus. I think Roland loved the fact that he’d come in, in the middle of this big work, with something quite childlike. I don’t mean that disrespectfully, I mean genuinely childlike and brilliant.

Curt Smith: As far as production goes it’s the best thing we’ve done. Without doubt there was a feeling it was going to be a big song. Initially, there may have been some reservations about how Beatlesy it was, but we got through that by just embracing it and making it obvious and not trying to hide it.


Sowing The Seeds Of Love performed on BBC TV’s ‘Wogan’

Chris Hughes: There was a fantastic floaty, reflective, trippy section. Essentially the lyrics were something like ‘half a dollar, half a crown, half a Guinness, going down.’ It was a beautiful Londonesque, tripped out imagery, and that section got cut out. There were lots of blocks and Roland kept bringing new bits in.

Roland Orzabal: ‘Sowing the Seeds of Love’ was on my Fairlight [cutting edge digital synthesizer, sampler and digital audio workstation] and I would sing the whole thing and then we went in to record the track live, with Chris [Hughes] on drums. Ian Stanley came back in to do Hammond, Curt on bass and me on Wurlitzer piano and vocals. We went into the Townhouse [studios] and played the track I don’t know how many times – quite a lot – but we didn’t have a click track. At the end of the day when Chris was trying to splice the drums together, it just wasn’t possible.

Curt Smith: We wanted it to slowly speed up, but you had to do that to the click track too, so everyone could play to it and then we’d edit to it afterwards, and put things in time. It was a long process.

Roland Orzabal: It was one of those, ‘it’s going to sound organic, it’s going to sound like The Beatles’, blah, blah, blah. But anyway, after that disaster, we listened to ‘I Am the Walrus’, and we copied the track tempo.

Dave Bascombe: It was a lot of editing but it was workmanlike in the Songs From The Big Chair manner. We had a vision for it, Chris was there, and it was all very positive and had a bit of direction to it. Although it is massive and sounds huge and there’s a lot going on, it’s all very disciplined and organised compared to some of the other stuff [on The Seeds of Love album] because it had a great structure to it and a great vision behind it. As far as I’m concerned, the vibe in the studio was great because it was the band playing – the real band rather than a band of session musicians, like later on. For me it was much more enjoyable, but around about this stage, Roland was frustrated with the musicianship – he thought it was good, but I think he was still wanting more.

Roland Orzabal: I Am a Walrus starts off at one tempo and ends up at another tempo. So we programmed the click from 84.5 BPM to go all the way up right at the end when it’s going mad to 88.5 beats! Then we recut it and then we had it – that was working pretty well.

Dave Bascombe: To get the template for the tempo, we didn’t actually use ‘I Am The Walrus’; we used ‘Piggy In The Middle’ by The Rutles. I remember borrowing the album from my manager; I don’t think I ever gave it back.

Curt Smith: That song is not only the best on the album; it came together the easiest as well. I don’t remember that being a struggle. If you consider how many parts there are to that song, and the fact that we actually took parts out – it would have been a nine-minute masterpiece, otherwise.

Dave Bascombe: Ian Stanley’s organ playing on ‘Sowing The Seeds of Love’ was fantastic, but he doesn’t rate himself as a keyboard player at all, so it was always a bit like pulling teeth. We tried to get him to have another go and see if he could improve it, which is always the way, to see if you can get it any better, and he wasn’t interested in doing that at all.

Chris Hughes: ‘Sowing the Seeds of Love’ has got a tempo and momentum that just keeps going. It doesn’t drop, or flake about or have eight bars of reflection – it’s just relentless. The final work has an absolutely brilliant engine.

Dave Bascombe: A lot of Roland’s vocal is live and that’s the only time that’s ever happened – it’s live to the backing track and he asked me to distort the vocal à la Lennon. I literally overdrove the mic channel and didn’t really care too much because it was [only supposed to be] a guide. Mostly that was great, but then it needed a bit of massaging and we did fix some bits. We did put a bit more distortion on it and little bits in the chorus are purely through the distortion box. But there’s actually not as much treatment as you might think on the rest of the vocal. There’s so much stuff going on, there’s vocoder bits, all that stuff gives the impression of this huge collage. Because I know what’s going on there, I can break it down quite easily. Roland said to me ages ago, ‘You recorded the fucking drums too bright,’ which was true.

Curt Smith: ‘Sowing the Seeds of Love’ confused Bob Clearmountain – there was just too much on it. Bob’s strength really, is stuff that’s quite open, and ‘Woman in Chains’ [which he mixed] is a pretty open song. It’s also much easier to mix if – as Dave Bascombe had been – you are there for the recording process, because you know all the bits. Bob came in and just started turning faders up and it was like ‘what the… where do I go with this?’. While we had been working on it, we’d been mixing it ourselves as we went along, so we had a better idea of where everything was and where everything was supposed to be, whereas you bring someone in cold and there’s 120 tracks – good luck!!

Roland Orzabal: When we came to mixing ‘Sowing the Seeds of Love’ at the end of 1988, which Dave Bascombe did just before Christmas, we took it home and thought the chorus vocals were a bit loud, so we went in the next morning, turned them down a db or two and that was it – I thought it sounded amazing, absolutely amazing. It was rejected by Dave Bates and we spent another six months on it. That’s six more months in the studio based on a decision made by the record company, so now they’re spending our money. The story is that when we’d done all the mixing and had all the different versions, Bates found the original ‘overnight mix’, as it was called and went, ‘that’s the one!’ – the one he’d rejected six months before!

Curt Smith: Dave Bates rejected many, many mixes of this. I think I had DATs with ‘recall 62’ – obviously all the recalls were just changing tiny bits, but I think because we were doing the record on our own, when Dave came in, he felt like he had to make comments. But you know, it was things like “turn up the hi-hat”, it was inane.

Roland Orzabal: Once ‘Sowing the Seeds of Love’ ‘only’ got to number two [in the US], it gave the American record company an excuse to take their foot off the gas. It was number one in sales, but it was behind Janet Jackson in radio plays. At one point, we had to go round checking to see if the album was actually in the stores in certain places in America and it was all getting a bit nasty.

Dave Bates [A&R man]: It is a puzzle why it didn’t go to number one [in America]. Absolute fucking mystery. However, having said that, I don’t think [record label executive] John Betancourt was running the promotion department at that point. It would have gone to number one if John had been there. I mean, the [other] guy did good – we went to number two, but it wasn’t number one. You know, that… And it deserved to be number one.


Tears For Fears would never enter the top ten of the singles chart, in the UK or the USA, again. After touring The Seeds of Love album Curt Smith left the band and Roland made two albums without him. The pair reunited in 2004 for Everybody Loves A Happy Ending. It remains the last Tears For Fears studio album. The band continue to tour and actively promoted the Songs From The Big Chair reissue in 2015. The Seeds Of Love was remixed for 5.1 surround by Steven Wilson in 2015 but remains unreleased in the vaults. There is currently no official news on a Seeds of Love reissue.

80 responses to SDE Exclusive: Tears For Fears on the making of Sowing The Seeds of Love

  1. B-57 says:

    Tks Paul n TFF

  2. Geof says:

    When I saw the side menu that there was a discussion about this, I thought, “Finally!!!”, but … no. A great interview, save for one thing: why not ask ANYONE what is holding up the Steven Wilson reissue done nearly four years ago after the release of the first two? Surely they have an answer. Between Curt and Roland, the producer, the engineer etc. some/all of them know what the issue is and I can’t believe it didn’t come up in the conversation…

  3. Isaías says:

    To Trash:

    The one before is
    SONGS FROM THE BIG CHAIR,

    the one after is
    ELEMENTAL.

    I wonder: what’s the hell TSOL means !!??

  4. Kenny says:

    Another fine article Paul The original Fontana CD still sounds good but would welcome an SDE

  5. Erin Taylor says:

    “The Seeds Of Love was remixed for 5.1 surround by Steven Wilson in 2015 but remains unreleased in the vaults.”

    Reminds me of a certain scene from a certain movie….

    Brody: Where is the Seeds of Live 5.1 mix?
    Eaton: I thought we’d settled that. The mix is somewhere very safe.
    Jones: From whom?
    Brody: Steven Wilson’s mix is a source of unspeakable power and it has to be researched!
    Eaton: And it will be, I assure you Doctor Brody, Doctor Jones. We have top men working on it right now.
    Jones: Who?
    Eaton: Top Men.

  6. Dan L says:

    Waiting on an SDE. There’s a lot of material.
    Would be nice if TFF did a 12″ Singles Box Set as well
    – great mixes, great artwork, alternate versions, I think it would be awesome but not gonna hold my breath. (I can hope though!)

  7. Shawn C. says:

    Great article about a great song from a great album. IMO TFF’s best album. Cherish my vinyl copy and wait with bated breath for news on the deluxe release!

  8. Trash says:

    Great Interview/Aricle article Paul – thank you.

    As much as I like this album I prefer the one before and the one after (Elemental) both of which I find more consistent (Side two of TSOL is not as strong I find).
    Having said that I really hope that the deluxe edition comes out one day – there were some great tracks around at that time (Music for Tables is a particular fave).
    Also I would love a heavyweight vinyl reissue of the album. I know a lot of folks don’t see the need for 180gram vinyl BUT I challenge you to find a decent pressing of TSOL second hand. The ones that were release in the UK were made at a time when vinyl releases were not given much care and attention. Copies of TSOL are really lightweight, warp easily and are easily scratched. The vinyl was also very noisy. A nice 180gram reissue would be most welcome.

    Always loved the line “Kick out the Style bring back the Jam” (even though I prefer the Style Council to the Jam).

  9. Matt Thurston says:

    “Kick out the Style bring back the JAAAAAAAAAAM!!!”

    Agree, one of the best singles of the 80s. The bridge just contains layers upon layers upon layers of Beatles-esque goodness. Never tire of it. One of the ultimate “headphones” songs.

  10. -SG- says:

    When this record came out TFF was my absolute favorite band in the world. Oddly, the first time I heard it on the radio, I didn’t realize it was them, halfway through thinking, they sound a bit like Tears For Fears. It was such a radical shift, that was hard to get my head around, once I realized what I had actually heard, it had been so long and everything was different, I was dumbfounded. I talked to my best friend, where I theorized that they had recorded a different album more like SFTBC and scrapped it, recording and rerecording their songs like they had done with Mothers Talk. I found some solace with the abstract b-side, but even that sounded like some mutant version of world music, I found myself compelled to analyze and deconstruct this new Beatlesque opus. The 12″ also contained Shout, which coupled with these new songs seemed smaller and suddenly a relic. The album initially offered no relief, the opening drums of my other favorite Phil Collins, were slow and the song was about dimestic abuse, what happened, everyone had chilled and gotten so serious, it was like being reunited with an old friend, only to discover they had grown up. But this is a compelling record, albeit, an adult record, This was and still is an amazing record which sonically sounds like nothing else from 1989. Even now I would be so entertained if I could sift through all of those discarded mixes and outtakes from these sessions. A definite throwback for me when a single album completely captivated me and took me on a journey, stretching the limits of my taste and forcing me to grow as a listener. I am very greatful they did not take the easy route and dash off a half baked record and in the process become a disposable band remembered for a couple of hits. Well, perhaps that is all one can hope for, after all, this is pop music we are talking about here, but I say for me atleast, for a time, it meant so much more.
    Thank you Paul for this article it was a real enjoyable read. Here’s to hoping that they actually do release this set.

  11. Timm Davison says:

    I really enjoyed reading this article, and I don’t even like this TFF album in comparison to their first two. But this makes me want to go back and reassess at least the title track. Thanks!

  12. Graham stuart says:

    Thanks for the info Paul. Like all parties here I am patiently waiting for a new cd and a reissue of SOL. Neither seems forthcoming. I have had the privilege of seeing the band 2x in the last 10 years and they were great each time.BUT there were no new cuts… I wish that we would see the new record materialize but beach passing year you wonder how much more tinkering can be done? Or is it finished and sitting in record limbo?

  13. Nico says:

    Thank you so much Paul for this amazing insight.
    It puzzles me that after 30 years that I can get NEW stories
    and details about a track I love and have read about for all those years. You make my life happier and feeds my passion.
    Thank you again

  14. Francesco says:

    Thank you very much Paul for this fantastic interview!
    QUESTION: if the box set comes out, will it include the original 9 minutes version of STSOL?
    Cheers :-)

  15. A-Lo says:

    The best TFF album….where oh where is that SW remaster, I’m getting nervous. Take whatever organ from me you need, just release it already!

  16. Jules(Rules) says:

    Great article Paul but I noticed you mixed up things when it came to the full version. That, which was released on the 12″ as well as the CD single, runs for half a minute *longer* than the album version – about 6:50!

  17. Steven Roberts says:

    Bah, humbug!

    I always thought Sowing… veered a little too close for comfort in the chorus towards ‘God Gave Rock ‘n Roll to You’ by Argent.

    And production-wise, it has ‘I Am the Walrus’ stamped all over it.

    Bah, humbug!

    (That said, I *would* still buy a 5.1 blu-ray of the album – if they ever announce the flippin’ thing…)

  18. Without reading any of the above yet, or the responses (I’m sure someone already asked)

    WHERE IS THE SUPER DELUXE EDITION?!!! It’s the 30th Anniversary for goodness sake!

    I want the b-sides, the live recordings, the Oleta demos, the notes from side players…. a legit dvd edition of GOING TO CALIFORNIA…..

    sigh…..

    and of course – the above article in the booklet.

    If they can give me a-ha Unplugged in a box…..come on!

  19. Kevin Galliford says:

    What a fascinating article! Paul did you need anyone’s permission to publish this as it’s part of a much anticipated release ? For me it’s the least good one of the 1st 3 albums & I’m sure I had a copy made by a friend ( naughty I know ) on cassette when it came out. There’s no doubting that “Women in chains” is brilliant & as & when this is released I will buy it no question. Is it coincidence that the 2 most anticipated SDE’s here are this & “Street Fighting Years” and they were both released in the same year?

  20. Schu says:

    Since this is the 30th Anniversary year, the question I have is how much longer would the band/record label wait to announce this for a Christmastime release? Late-September, mid-October?

  21. Tony says:

    I’ve said it before and it is still true. I love these guys, but they make it so tough to be a fan. New album promised for years, deluxe reissue of Seeds of Love promised for years, and, nothing other than promises ever materializes. Having said that, I still want these guys back in the States for live dates, cause when I saw them a few years ago, they were fantastic!

  22. Fear Of The Dark says:

    Thanks, Paul, for an enlightening interview to celebrate the 30th anniversary of a wonderful song. While we wonder whose door we can possibly knock on to lobby for the swift release of a repackaged Seeds Of Love, I’ll be celebrating with the existing singles/albums/compilations :-)

  23. Clive Lathrope says:

    Saw them at Wembley Arena SOL tour with Oleta opening the concert with the band .

  24. Jose says:

    That period just after SFTBC and before the release of SOL must had been a very intense and creative moment despite the disagreements on the backstage. They were on the top of the world at that time and as a great fan I would be very happy to listen all abandoned projects and unreleased tracks and versions of that obscure time. The diference between both albuns is abyssal and I’m sure that every great fan of TFF would like to fill that gap and uncover the “missing link” on the TFF discography collection. Please Paul, don’t give to release the SDE of SOL or at least a cd of previously unreleased tracks and versions of that period.

  25. Joe Unreal says:

    To me this is a much more exciting prospect than a new LP to be honest. Didnt dig any of their 2014 – newer dancey sound. Very disappointing that were all still sitting around waiting on this from 2015. There’s loads of gold in the faults, the TFF version of Rhythm of Life for eg,given this box set is not gonna sell a million copies dont see point in any of the parties procrastinating about it.

  26. DJ Salinger says:

    Thanks Paul. Brings back those feelings of the moment in August 1989. Trepidation before hearing the new single: they’d been down the rabbit hole a long time, the landscape had changed a lot since SFTBC. Would they blow it?

    Then, hearing it for the first time on the radio. Outrageously indulgent, shamelessly Fab, altogether wonderful slice of life-affirming pop. All’s well with the world again.

    And to think: in a matter of a few weeks around that time we also fantastic singles from Depeche, XTC, Kate Bush, The Blue Nile, Kirsty MacColl and The Cure. The ’80s went out in style, according to my ears, anyway.

  27. Janice Pugh says:

    Thanks Paul – I love TFF (saw them in Manchester and Bournemouth earlier this year after their 2018 gigs were cancelled due to doctors advice). Loved the band since the beginning…..hope you produce the interview in booklet form? And fingers crossed that the box set will finally emerge from the gloom! Best wishes

  28. Cosmo Castanza says:

    I remember liking this album a lot , for some reason it reminded a lot of The Beatles.
    They were by a country mile the best group from the early 80’s electronic world.

  29. Craig says:

    I get waiting on a re-release IF they are really doing a new album that is coming out in the next year.

    But if not, they should just release the SDE box. The market for these boxes shrinks with every passing day, so TFF and all these legacy bands need to get on significant reissues before those who will actually buy them physically (where there is actual money changing hands LOL) decide to stop adding to their collections (for various reasons).

  30. Joe W. says:

    Great single, great album, great b-sides from this album, (Johnny Panic, a favorite of mine as well). I enjoyed collecting all the CD singles as they came out, back in the day. I would love to hear anything “new” from this time period, and I agree, it would be awesome to hear a 9 minute version of Sowing The Seeds of Love, it’s disappointing when it fades, it could go on forever! So sad they had to fade it….

  31. James says:

    As always, excellent job Paul.
    One of my all-time favourite bands with Roland one of my favourite songwriters. Here’s hoping the reissue and the long rumoured new studio album see the light.

  32. Fred says:

    SEEDS OF LOVE is my favorite album of all time with Terence Trent D’Arby’s Introducing… and Prince LOVE Symbol (1992 album)… Can’t wait for the reissue of SOF

  33. Marxisn't says:

    I remember that originally we were going to have a new album before the SOL box set… We’ve got neither. At one point earlier this year Curt Smith ‘seemed’ to be out of the band. It’s a soap opera worthy of the decades of trying to get the early classic line-up of Genesis back together (and now there is little point).

    At least TFF have been touring… And they do still sound great… So many great tracks just slung aside: for years my tape of SOL had (the fabulous) Always In The Past on it in place of the lead track (because I was sick of it). There are more of course: I wish Roland would have reworked those demo’s Deep Seeded Blindness and Cold Planet (if you don’t know try you tube!). Both of these tracks are better than the two recent offerings for the latest hits album.

    Seeds of Love box set please… We hope!?!!!

  34. Steve says:

    Wow. What an amazing read. Thank you for posting this, Paul! TFF is my favorite band of all time, and it continues to make me so incredibly sad that the super deluxe of “Seeds of Love” remains unreleased. The deluxe versions of the first two albums were both spectacular. And considering the protracted recording process of SOL and the wealth of information contained in the interview posted here, I can only imagine what an entertaining read the included booklet(s) will be [would have been?]. Thank you for giving us this. It’s better than nothing.

  35. Mark says:

    I’m surprised to see no mention of Phil Collins in your list of contributors, Paul – he is the performer that opens the album, after all.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I don’t really think of Phil as a well known ‘session’ man, although I know he’s done a lot of it.

  36. fenwick says:

    Great stuff as always Paul.

    Register me as officially in the queue waiting for the SDE Booklet when it’s published with the full interview…

    Hopefully later this year in conjunction with a box set release!

  37. Jason says:

    It’s unfortunate when some artists are perfectionists to the point that their career actually suffers the consequences. TFF, Peter Gabriel, the Cure (hopefully changing soon)…even Guns n Roses…products of thinking and thinking and rethinking projects again and again to where they become their own worst enemy. The passion is appreciated except when it’s a detriment to your own productivity.

    That being said, Sowing the Seeds IS one of the most amazing singles of the 80’s and incredibly its seen by some as a number two worldwide failure. Sales figures are not the ultimate measure of greatness. This whole project was long gestating but fortunately it turned out great. I’ll never forget the excitement around the project as a kid living in the Kansas City area knowing they had seen Oleta playing in the area and wanted to include her in the album. What would these two contrasting worlds produce when they collided? Something very special as I remember being blown away the first time hearing “Woman in Chains”.

    Thanks for this amazing interview and insight Paul. Many of us would love a deluxe reissue of this album and there’s definitely a lot of passion surrounding it as is being voiced in everyone’s comments here.

    • RJS says:

      “their career actually suffers the consequences”

      The artists you mentioned are established acts with already successful careers. The only thing that possibly suffers from the consequences of not reissuing material is their bank balances.

  38. Jayson says:

    Paul in your opinion just what is the holdup of this box??

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I think it’s just label/band/management shenanigans to be honest. It’s a murky world :)

      • Mark says:

        May Love find a way
        To bring this to the light of day

        Every minute of every hour
        We love a sunflower
        And we believe
        In Love power!

  39. Jan says:

    Great interview Paul.

    I quite like the Johnny Panic single too. Was that planned for the box set too?

  40. ROBIN PULLEN says:

    There are precious few albums that are perfect from start to finish, however ‘Seeds Of Love’ is an absolute gem, no filler, no poor track, nothing; an exceptional album from start to finish (imo)

  41. Rotem says:

    So you guys had a “9 minutes masterpiece” under your hands, and yet, decided not to release it, even as a 12″?

    Seriously, I don’t get that!

    • Willy says:

      I need to hear that lengthier version, and all of the other snippetty snippets that were snipped out.

      • Christian says:

        It sounds like a 9 minute version was never recorded properly. Remember, they were changing, adding & dropping bits around during the arranging and demoing phase.

  42. adrian says:

    ” The pair reunited in 2004 for Everybody Loves A Happy Ending. It remains the last Tears For Fears studio album.”

    As an A-Ha fan, this prospect worries me – I really fear A-Ha may go down this road of staying together but not releasing new studio albums – I’ve a lot of time for Tears For Fears but that’s a living dead sort of existence for my money.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      They are *supposed* to be working on a new record, but they’ve been promising it will come out for the last 3 years or so…

      • Michael E. says:

        I was a little bit disappointed that they didn’t play one new song in July at their concert, not even the last single “I love you….”
        Maybe They are not satisfied with the new songs (if they exist) :)

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          As far as I’m aware they haven’t played either new song from the last greatest hits live.

        • Stephen says:

          They’ve previously said they would never play forthcoming songs live as some concertgoers would make recordings and post them on the web.

    • Dylan says:

      At least A-ha are giving us deluxe editions…

    • william says:

      You are right. Even Stevie Nicks commented about not doing new albums because of this digital age. She talked about how it is almost useless to release an album because everything just gets thrown on the internet and very few people nowadays buys physical music mediums anymore. It is just more profitable doing tours and putting out music that way.

  43. Dan says:

    I love this album, I was obsessed with The Hurting and Songs From the Big Chair when I discovered Tears for Fears last decade (in my late teens I discovered I loved 80’s music and went on a long journey I’m still discovering).
    It took me a long time to get to Seeds of Love, and it was only a few years ago that I finally listened to it and fell in love, the only song I don’t care for is Bad Man’s Song, but everything else about the album is perfect, Year of the Knife into Famous Last Words is probably my favourite 13 minutes of music ever. Bring on the long awaited SDE!

  44. MüllerMüller says:

    Hallo Paul – great interview – thank you! Is it from 2019, or 2015 ?
    Canˋt wait for the box since you tell us the seeds story…….

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      This was part of a very long series of interviews I conducted in 2015 for the album reissue. If/when the box set eventually comes out there will be this kind of detail for every track plus a lot more.

      • Wayne Klein says:

        Looking forward to this when it is released. Thanks for posting the interview excerpt. It’s my second favorite album by them.

  45. John Archbell says:

    Wow! Fantastic stuff Paul!

    Sowing The Seeds is my ultimate album of 1989, ranking in my all time Top Ten of eighties albums, alongside Frankie’s Welcome To The Pleasuredome and A-Ha’s Scoundrel Days.

    My juices are flowing in anticipation of what the boxset will ‘unearth’.

    Cannot wait!!

  46. Bjarne Laastad says:

    Hoping (dreaming) that the 9 minute “masterpiece” version of the song could get a finished mix and be included in the deluxe box…. Loved the fact that the tempo was set by “Piggy in the middle”!

  47. Mike the Fish says:

    The 12″ of Sowing… is actually a bit longer. Something like 20 secs at the end.

  48. Stuart K says:

    Thanks for sharing this Paul, I really can’t believe it was 30 years ago, I remember being desperate to get this single when it came out and bought it on all the formats, the 3″ sunflower box single is my favourite.
    I guess this is from when you worked on the Seeds of Love box set, I can’t believe that the record company has not pulled their fingers out on this especially with the success of the recent concerts in the UK. A sorry state of affairs! Let’s hope this and new music reach us at some point…..

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Your assumption is correct. I interviewed them all for the unreleased box and this is a snippet from those conversations.

  49. Bjarne Laastad says:

    An amazing track! The 80’s “Good Vibrations”! Great read, Paul!

  50. Rak says:

    Thanks for this great interview, Paul.
    Like many of the others you’ve done, it enhances interest in music that many of us already know well.

    I remember seeing the “I love a sunflower” grafitti in white paint on the wall just off Haverstock Hill in London. I always thought somebody wrote it beacuse it was a lyric in “Sowing the seeds of love”. Just taken 30 years to find out the true story. Live and learn.

  51. Wayne C says:

    My Fav group and more than likely their best album in my opinion. The Jazz , Pop and Rock crossovers on that album are superb. A totally definitive work that sounds as fresh today as it did when I bought it years ago. Badman’s Song which I saw live at York Races and in Cheshire in the Forest concert a few weeks back still makes my hairs stand on end and it did live. Tremendous stuff. If you haven’t heard it which I doubt you need to!.

  52. Isaías says:

    Hummmm……
    What it seems to put a TFF comment about a single released thirty years ago?

    Seeds Of Love box set finally?? :-)
    It remains to be seen still !!!!!!!
    Let’s wait some more… :-(

  53. Ralf says:

    One of my top 10 albums of all time.
    Woman in chains probably my favourite song ever.
    I’m hoping for news of the SDE every day.
    Saw them live for the first time a few weeks ago and they were amazing.

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