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Tears For Fears celebrate 35 years of ‘Songs’ with Classic Albums doc

Tears For Fears Classic Album documentary to be shown on BBC 4 on Friday 14th February 2020

Tears For Fears have made a ‘Classic Albums’ documentary about their second long-player, 1985’s Songs From The Big Chair and the film will be broadcast in the UK this week, on Friday 14 February.

The album, which is 35 years old on 25 February, introduced virtually every corner of the globe to Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, thanks to its enormous success driven primarily by the chart-toppers ‘Shout’ and ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’.

The documentary explores the record in detail, with Roland and Curt discussing the songs (sometimes together!) and producer and engineer Chris Hughes and Dave Bascombe chatting over the mixing desk, breaking them down the compositions in the time-honoured ‘Classic Album’ fashion. Other contributions come from co-writer Ian Stanley and A&R man Dave Bates.

The hour long programme will be shown in the UK at 21.30 GMT this Friday (14th) on BBC Four, and I’m pleased to say that SDE will be live tweeting during the broadcast, so I hope you’ll follow on twitter and join in the fun and banter! There will be some more TFF announcements this week, so stay tuned to SDE for the inside track.

79 responses to Tears For Fears celebrate 35 years of ‘Songs’ with Classic Albums doc

  1. Steven Campbell says:

    Watched the documentary on Saturday night. Was interesting but like someone else said there was a little bit too much concentration the previous album The Hurting as the usual way those classic albums programmes are done they focus on the album in question plus I have to admit I think Roland came across as being a bit full of himself which didn’t help!

    • Chris Squires says:

      Mind you, nothing worse than fake humility. Plus it was a pretty good piece of work.
      You are right, there was a bit of focus on the Hurting album but I found that good. You have to know the context of what came before. If you don’t know where you’ve been, you won’t know where you are (or something like that).

  2. JohnW says:

    absolutely loved it, love their music and always have but always wonderful to see all the work that goes on in the background and a wonderful demonstration just how great the musicianship is….great program…could watch it all over again.

  3. Fred Holmes says:

    what a great piece of television – highlighting a great recording. Wish it was a part of the DVD with the box set.

  4. mike says:

    Great documentary, could have watched hours more. Sure they’ve sold some units this evening!

  5. StephendC says:

    Rather disappointing in a way.

    Too much time spent on The Hurting and not the album itself ie, Broken and the Broken/Head Over Heals/Broken Suite. How the bassline to Waterfront ended up in Everybody Wants To Rule The World.

    Still, better than nothing and at least recognised as a classic.
    [sorry Paul, I don’t have or understand Twitter]

  6. Reed says:

    Not following this part of the story: “The documentary explores the record in detail, with Roland and Curt discussing the songs (sometimes together!)”

    Is there trouble in paradise between the two?

  7. Steve says:

    Hey Paul,
    Any way of finding out if this cool TFF Documentary will be shown in the USA anytime soon for us American fans who can’t access BBC-4 TV ?

  8. Brandon C. Moses says:

    I won’t be able to watch on television, because I’m in the US, but I would be sure glad to tweet. Happy Success Tears for Fear!

  9. Iva Ugewon says:

    I Hope someone uploads this to YouTube

  10. Daniel Lalla says:

    I doubt the existing SDEs will be reissued
    Seeds of Love SDE seems like a no brainer, just a question of when…
    The album is so densely produced (soooooo much production) that a detailed remix will be hard. Steven Wilson is the best for any of this. As usual… The album is so heavy /rich that it would be nice to see a 24/96 mix
    There are some songs that would benefit from ‘dissection’ into 5.1 possibly (Year of the Knife springs to mind… it’s already almost a ‘live’ song and the vocals, guitar bits, backing vocals, monster drums could be spread ALL OVER the place in a surround mix. It would be mind-blowing. My most under-rated song from that album.

    SECRET WISH (which won’t happen): a chronological and complete 12″/7″ singles collection each with booklets/photos of all the original artwork/covers and all versions.. Those B-sides and alternate versions are so awesome it should happen…

  11. Jules(Rules) says:

    I still have to get used to Roland’s beard!

  12. Danny C. says:

    Thanks Paul. I for one am excited about any news.

  13. Wayne Klein says:

    Just give us Seeds of Love deluxe guys. What’s the hold up?

  14. JackC says:

    Other than non album songs recorded during the Seeds of Love sessions what else do people want from a box set? The few remixes and Santa Barbara concert DVD are easy to get so…???

    • Nick Jackson says:

      ah, the Steven Wilson 5.1 mix for starters!

    • Jules(Rules) says:

      “Easy to get” is debatable in some cases. And for somebody who has not bought the 2006 Scenes DVD but the SFTBC box set it’s kinda annoying to have to re-buy the Scenes documentary and the Chris Hughes interview just to get the live concert…

  15. wesley mc dowell says:

    The Announcement ! Curt and Roland to sneak new album out under the Johnny Panic or Manfish alias and see if anybody notices while cracking on with full re-releases of all their best sellers !!! Stranger things have happened .

  16. Ken says:

    TFF are one of the slowest bands I’ve ever seen to literally do anything. Anybody know why they always change plans, or delay their plans,or just get stuck in some indecision cul-de-sac?

    Also The Way You Are(especially the c.8min 12inch version) follow-up single after the Hurting LP had done its course happens to be my favourite TFF tune yet Curt and Roland seem to really hate it and never perform it at any live performances.Anybody know why they dislike and literally disown this really fab tune? The 12in version of it is tagged onto the end of my re-issued Hurting CD that I often play and I have really got to like this long version of the song(especially the percussion and classic kind of TFF style that’s never really present in any of their newer material) just a much as the LP itself!

    • Chris Squires says:

      About three or four years ago on another Tears for Fears thread there was a discussion and quite a few people said that “The Way you are” was one of their favourite tracks too.

      For me it is so reminiscent of Steve Jansen’s drumming and that middle / late period Japan.
      I can’t listen to that 7.40 remix without thinking the instrumental would have fitted between Quiet Life and Polaroids quite nicely.

      No idea why they dislike it, I think it’s rather terrific.

    • Phil Morris says:

      I’m guessing you’re not a Peter Gabriel fan… [Or insert your own less-than-prolific/unpredictable/contrary act of choice.]

    • Reikor says:

      They have performed The Way You Are live on stage:

      https://youtu.be/sCxO3E8IBmQ

    • Matthew Sparkes says:

      Regarding ‘the way you are’ I read that they constructed the piece in a ‘cut and paste’ way rather than just writing a song and building on that in a traditional fashion. Overall the process and finished work was disappointing to them. Shame, as for any other band it would be a brilliant song.

    • Craig says:

      I take it you aren’t a Neil Young fan either. He literally wrote the book on this behavior.

  17. Mr. Ska '57 says:

    Back in the 90s when my daughter was 7 this LP seemed to resonate with her and her little buddies, especially ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World.’

  18. Robert van Dam says:

    I hope that they will make an announcement of the SDE for “The Seeds Of Love”. I have been waiting for this one for a long time …

  19. Gisabun says:

    I haven’t seen a new Classic Albums release on DVD [or BR] in a long time….

  20. eogan says:

    It makes me feel old to realize that in September we were as far removed from Everybody Loves a Happy Ending (by its US release date) as ELaHE itself was from The Seeds of Love, which seemed an eternity. While I’m so glad it happened at all, as it was by far my favorite album of the year and a stunning example of flawless reunion album execution (I’m looking at you, Duran Duran), I had such high hopes that the ELaHE reunion would be more durable, and produce much more studio output than has turned out to be the case. Clearly misplaced optimism on my part, as all we’ve gotten these past 15 years is three covers and four new songs (and one of those a recycled Curt solo track). :^(

  21. MARK LEVY says:

    We haven’t got Lennon and McCartney anymore but we still have Roland and Curt.

  22. James Barker says:

    Seeds Of Love Box Set! It has to come out this year surely?! New album next year, the boys have had a rough couple of years so a break with a reissue makes sense, some nostalgia and then back to the new album. Their last studio album was amazing and the live album too!

  23. paul says:

    please let the announcements include

    1.seeds boset
    2. new album
    3. tour

  24. John Phillips says:

    I hope it gets a US release.

    • Tonk says:

      Eagle Rock generally have licensed all the Classic Albums/BBC docs for DVD/BR release, so in all probability the answer will be . . maybe!

  25. Kauwgompie says:

    If they are celebrating the 35th anniversary of Songs From The Big Chair, I doubt they will be announcing the release of the Sowing SDE….probably the re-release of the Songs From The Big Chair and The Hurting SDE’s.

  26. Dan S says:

    Paul, do you know if this particular Classic Albums show will be getting an expanded DVD release in line with other shows? I’m always impressed with their calibre.

  27. Tom m hans says:

    A SDE from Elemental. Lol.

  28. Larry Davis says:

    Hmmmm…just got off my double cruise to some TFF news…hanging on for that darn Seeds box & Tipping Point… BUT I never did get that Songs From The Big Chair box as it went out of print quickly and couldn’t find copies less than 100 bucks, so I can finally get it for a non ripoff price…as for the Hurting box, I have it BUT if it is redone with a DVD of both the concert and 3 vidclips of Pale Shelter, Mad World & Change, I’ll stick with the one I have already…and I will get the DVD of that doc as well…

  29. Charles K. says:

    Two remixes? Could it be that The Hurting box will be augmented with a 5.1 mix missing from the original release for its rerelease? That and the Seeds box would be my dream releases though I could imagine some anger if so from those who got The Hurting box the first time ’round.

  30. Chris says:

    Given that Steven Wilson also tweeted recently that there would be news soon on two never before released classic album mixes, my hopes are raised for an announcement on Seeds……

    • Keef says:

      Didn’t SW say that these remixes were coming out on vinyl for record store day? He also said in the past that he did NOT do a stereo remix of Seeds because the original mix was perfection, so if he only did a 5.1, ergo it can’t be one of the 2.

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        He did actually do a stereo remix of Seeds but doesn’t want it released because in Steven’s mind there’s literally no point since the original can’t be bettered.

        • Paula Smith says:

          I totally agree with that decision, this album is a masterpiece.

          • SimonP says:

            So he thought the stereo mix was already perfect but remixed it anyway? That seems like a waste of time for a man who always says he doesn’t have any spare time!

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            You’re not understanding the process. To get the 5.1 mix done, first he creates a stereo mix and then uses that as the platform to do the 5.1 mix.

  31. Marxisn't says:

    With them pair…. Any news is good news. Unless they fall out in the meantime!

  32. Andy Woolford says:

    If its the Seeds of Love Boxset just imagine the Artwork. Any other news would just be amazing. The guys have been super quiet since the tour so surely something must have been going on

  33. Remon says:

    Interesting docu. My guess on the announcement…. Blu-Ray for Songs From The Big Chair 2014. It was out-of-print for a while now and would seem logical to coincide with this broadcast.

    Seeds deserves a Blu-Ray too (5.1 is ready) but this might get its own slot somewhere in future. I have given up on the box.

  34. Joel Ivins says:

    Wootyhoot woot woot woot!!!…am hoping for the seeds of love extravaganza!!!

  35. Gary Hunter says:

    Roland in his usual good mood on your pic Paul :)

    I wait with interest your news about releases.

  36. Nuno Bento says:

    The announcement better be the release of the Seeds box or The Tipping Point. If it’s the fu**ing reissue of the previously released boxes, I give up on the band completely.

  37. Jon says:

    They are reissues the boxsets of The Hurting and Songs From the Big Chair, it was announced elsewhere this AM. I hope it’s more then that. Keeping fingers crossed!

    • SimonP says:

      Source?

      I wonder if they’ll get folk to re-purchase the Hurting by adding the proper version of We Are Broken finally?!

  38. Joe Atari says:

    “There will be some more TFF announcements this week, so stay tuned to SDE for the inside track.”

    1. Seeds Of Love Box Set
    2. New Album

    ???

  39. Olov says:

    More TFF announcements?
    Finally! Yay!
    SOL-box would be great.
    A new album – even greater.

  40. Isaías says:

    I prefer not to write a word about it. I promised to myself not even think about TFF until what was suppose to put out years ago comes, IF IT COMES SOME DAY.

  41. Dave H says:

    and if you stay tuned to BBC4 ’til midnight, you can watch a rebroadcast of their BBC Radio 2 concert from 2017.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09kt4rp

  42. Marc K. says:

    I hope this news contains the re-release of Sowing The Seeds of Love on vinyl. My original copy has a nasty scratch and I can’t seem to find a decent second hand replacement. Bring on a nice remaster on 180 grams (black) vinyl. (Or coloured vinyl for the normal black vinyl price)

  43. Ross Munro says:

    Any idea if there will be a DVD/Blu-ray release of the documentary?

  44. Philip Wilson says:

    If at least 250 comments don’t say the announcement is “Seeds of Love Super Deluxe Edition” I will be very disappointed!

  45. Darren Linklater says:

    This looks good Paul. Looking forward to watching the documentary.

    Could the announcement this week be the one we have been waiting for…….

  46. Craig Hedges says:

    Wow! Compulsive viewing. Love these programmes especially the bits at the mixing desk where they break down the tracks. Hope there’s plenty of Fairlight.

  47. mike says:

    Thank heavens for new announcements!

  48. Stephen says:

    Can’t wait. That’s valentines sorted, cheaper than a meal out and flowers

  49. Andrew says:

    I bet it’s that Songs From The Big Chair and The Hurting superdeluxe editions are being reissued in March, right?

  50. Trash says:

    Excellent news – the Classic album series is usually very interesting even for albums that one doesn’t know so well (or like that much) – its just fascinating hearing how albums come together and it’s especially intriguing hearing individual tracks solo-ed on the missing desk.
    The main thing that always strikes me is when they turn down all the instruments so that you can only hear the vocals – often they sound…. underwhelming…

    Really looking forward to this.
    Many thanks for the heads up Paul! I would have missed this otherwise.

    • DonnieBiscuits says:

      Regarding the vocals I think with Roland you would hear how strong his vocals are….I always think that Curt’s voice is sweet but a bit weedy.

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