Curt Smith - vocals, bass, keyboards; Roland Orzabal - vocals, guitar, keyboards; Manny Elias - drums, programming; Phil Palmer - guitar; Ian Stanley - keyboards
Tears for Fears, the British synth pop duo featuring Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, were enjoying life at the top of the pop charts when they made this live recording for the King Biscuit Flower Hour in June of 1985. Their successful sophomore album, Songs from the Big Chair, had just been released and it was on the promotional tour that they played this lively set in London, England.
Orzabal and Smith were childhood friends who both came from broken homes and discovered music together, giving their group a name inspired by psychologist Arthur Janov's "Primal Scream Therapy" (the controversial therapy publicized by John & Yoko Lennon after the breakup of The Beatles). Many of their songs were based on Janov's writings, which generated relevant lyrics and themes for the angst-ridden MTV generation.
This show contains the strongest material from their debut album, The Hurting, as well as new material off their recent release, which was riding up the charts at the time. This concert is a testament to the new wave aesthetic embodied by Tears for Fears in the mid-'80s, and this is a showcase set of the band at near perfection. Orzabal and Smith were already press darlings in the U.K., deeply embraced by BBC 1 radio, so the audience is receptive to them and is familiar with the material here.
It was this second album, Songs from the Big Chair, and the strength of two hit singles, "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" and "Shout," that catapulted the duo to international rock star status. Tears for Fears continued to make albums for another few years, but after their third album Smith departed, leaving Orzabal the task of carrying on alone with the band name. Neither saw any great commercial success while apart from each other. In 2004, they reunited to record a comeback album, the appropriately titled Everybody Loves a Happy Ending.