Tears for Fears

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Composed by Chris Hughes / Ian Stanley / Roland Orzabal

Song Review by

"Everybody Wants To Rule the World" sounds like an entirely different band than the mopey British duo that recorded 1983's pretty but pained The Hurting. It's big, and anthemic, and it sounds, for lack of a better descriptive term, American. Clearly, this song was designed for one main purpose: to crack the US charts in a big way, which it in fact did. Opening with a pealing guitar curlicue (and featuring not one but two hard-rocking guitar solos), the song dismisses the band's weedy synth-pop roots in favor of a more muscular sound. The middle eight could come out of a Def Leppard song! Lyrically, the first album's obsessions with Arthur Janov's primal scream therapy are jettisoned in favor of a more elliptical set of concerns. Frankly, the lyrics don't come together particularly well, but they sound good, and the chorus is a terrific singalong. This is one of the best pure chart pop singles of 1985.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Sure Thing/Decades Collection 1980s 1984
Various Artists
Metro Goldwyn Mayer 4:13
Songs from the Big Chair 1985 Virgin EMI
Scenes from the Big Chair 1985 Pioneer
Music for the Miracle 1986
Various Artists
Epic
Moonstruck/Decades Collection 1980s 1987
Various Artists
Metro Goldwyn Mayer 4:13
When Harry Met Sally/Decades Collection 1980s 1989
Various Artists
Metro Goldwyn Mayer 4:13
Knebworth: The Album 1990
Various Artists
Polydor 4:49
No Image 1991 Red Phantom 4:26
Tears Roll Down: Greatest Hits 1982-1992 1992 EV Classics
Peter's Friends 1993
Original Soundtrack
Epic 4:07
Pop & Wave, Vol. 1 1993
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:56
Top Gear [Concept] 1994
Various Artists
Concept 4:08
Start: The Best of British Rock 1994
Various Artists
Dino Entertainment 4:09
Power and the Glory 1994
Various Artists
Polygram 4:06
Sounds of the Eighties: 1985 1994
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:12
Romy & Michele's High School Reunion 1997
Original Soundtrack
Hollywood 4:12
Double Feature: Romy & Michele's/More Romy & Michele's 1997
Original Soundtrack
Hollywood 4:12
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Polydor
Roots of Rock: New Wave 1998
Various Artists
Universal Special Products / Rebound Records 4:10
Number Ones: The 80's 1998
Various Artists
Simitar Distribution 4:08
Chart Toppers: Modern Rock Hits of the 80s, Vol. 2 1998
Various Artists
Priority Records / Priority 4:11
Eighties Mix [Import] 1998
Various Artists
Import 4:08
Soft Rock Classics [Crimson] 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 4:12
Totally Awesome 80's [Razor & Tie] 1998
Various Artists
Razor & Tie
Now: 1985 [2 CD] 1999
Various Artists
Virgin/EMI 3:34
Pure 80's 1999
Various Artists
Polygram / Universal Distribution 4:07
Sounds of the Eighties 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:11
Sounds of the Eighties: 80's Pop Classics 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:11
Relax!: The Ultimate 80's Mix, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Polygram 3:45
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Realm Records 3:48
Let It Rock 1985 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 4:14
No Image 2000
Various Artists
WEA International
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of Tears for Fears 2000 Mercury / Def Jam / Island / Universal Strategic Marketing 4:11
Number One 80's 2000
Various Artists
PolyGram 4:07
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of the '80s 2000
Various Artists
Hip-O 4:13
#1 Hits 1985-1989 2000
Various Artists
GNP/Crescendo 4:09
Classic Rock 80's 2000
Various Artists
Trans World 4:06
San Francisco 49ers: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Alphabet City 4:03
No Image 2001 Mercury / Universal 4:10
Universal Masters Collection 2001 Mercury 4:08
The Working Hour: An Introduction to Tears for Fears 2001 Universal Distribution 4:12
I Want My 80's Box 2001
Various Artists
Hip-O 4:12
Cosmic Grooves: Leo 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 4:13
Shout: The Very Best of Tears for Fears 2001 Mercury / Def Jam / Island / Island/Def Jam / Universal 4:08
The Best of Tears for Fears 2001 Mercury 4:08
Music of the Year: 1985 2001
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 4:12
Monster '80s, Vol. 2 2002
Various Artists
Razor & Tie 4:13
The 80's, Vol. 2 2002
Various Artists
Warner Bros. 4:13
Sedated in the Eighties, Vol. 6 2002
Various Artists
The Right Stuff / Capitol 4:13
Sounds of the Eighties: Classic '80s 2002
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:10
Live at Knebworth, Pts. 1-3 [DVD] 2002
Various Artists
Eagle Eye/Pioneer
Songs to Make You Feel Good: 40 Uplifting Classics 2002
Various Artists
Avanti Records
The Best of Remixes 2002 Universal International 6:06
Friends Reunited: 42 Classroom Classics from the 80's 2003
Various Artists
Universal International 4:10
Casey Kasem Presents: America's Top Ten - The 80's New Wave 2003
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 4:11
Noevir CM Hits/International 2003
Various Artists
Toshiba EMI
Oldies But Goodies: Real 80's New Wave, Vol. 1 2003
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 4:12
Ultimate Collection 2003 Universal Distribution 4:12
Classic 80's Universal Masters Collection 2004
Various Artists
Universal 4:11
Time 100, Vol. 2: 1980-1999 2004
Various Artists
Weasel 4:09
20th Century Masters - The DVD Collection: The Best of Tears for Fears 2004 Mercury/Chronicles
80's, Vol. 1 [Bonus DVD] 2004
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:13
Friends Reunited: Music of the Year 1985 2004
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 4:12
Capital Gold: Just Great Songs 2004
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
20th Century Masters - DVD Collection: Alternative 80's 2004
Various Artists
Hip-O
Top '80s, Vol. 2 2004
Various Artists
Universal International 4:09
Beer Time!: Music for Your Happy & Relaxing Holidays 2005
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Music for Dad 2005
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 4:11
Chronicles: The Hurting/Songs from the Big Chair/The Seeds of Love 2005 Island / Mercury 4:12
Very Best of FM Lovearth 2005 2005
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Sony/Columbia
12"/80s: Pop 2006
Various Artists
UMVD 5:49
'80s Gold 2006
Various Artists
Hip-O 4:13
Secret World 2006 XIII Bis Recordings
No Image 2006 Mercury
#1 Hits of the 80's [2006 Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 4:10
Pure '80s: #1s 2006
Various Artists
Hip-O 4:13
Colour Collection 2006 Universal Distribution / Universal/Mercury 4:08
Gold 2006 Hip-O / Universal Music 4:12
80s Movie Hits 2006
Various Artists
Somerset 4:12
'80s Dance Gold 2006
Various Artists
Hip-O 5:40
No Image 2006 Disky
#1 Rock and Roll Hits 2006
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 4:10
The Greatest Classic Rock Hits of All Time 2006
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 4:10
Disky Friends Reunited 1985 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:12
Number 1's: '80s Pop 2007
Various Artists
Hip-O 4:14
Essential Songs: Spring Collection 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:09
Gold Collection: The Videos 2007 Mercury / Universal Music
Plugged into Summer [Circuit City Exclusive] 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:13
Club 80s [Universal] 2007
Various Artists
UMVD 4:06
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Rhino 4:07
Now That's What I Call the 80s [3 CD] 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:07
Las 101 Canciones del Cine 2007
Various Artists
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Farol
Now That's What I Call the 80s 2008
Various Artists
RCA / Sony BMG / Universal Distribution / Zomba / Sony Music Distribution 4:06
The 80s Collection 2008
Various Artists
Brunswick 4:12
Here and Now: The Very Best of the 80s 2008
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 4:07
Trailblazers of 80's New Wave 2008
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 4:13
100 Hits: Drive Time 2008
Various Artists
100 Hits 4:09
No Image 2008
Various Artists
ABC Music
Classic 2009 Mercury Records / Spectrum Music / UMC (Universal Catalogue) / Universal Distribution 4:08
Hits for Kids: Songs for the Car 2009
Various Artists
Karussell / Universal 4:06
No Image 2009
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:14
Middle Men [Original Soundtrack] 2010
Original Soundtrack
ABKCO Records 4:08
Mad World: The Collection 2010 Spectrum Music 4:09
Live at Knebworth 2010
Various Artists
Eagle Rock 4:49
Greatest Ever! Eighties Hits: The Definitive Collection 2011
Various Artists
Union Square Music 4:11
The Ultimate Collection: 80s Pop - 100 Hits 2011
Various Artists
Ultimate 4:06
80's in Concert [Music Brokers] 2011
Various Artists
Music Brokers 4:24
The Playlist: 80s New Year's Party 2012
Various Artists
Universal TV Campaign Division 4:12
Everybody Wants to Rule the World: The Collection 2013 Spectrum Audio / Spectrum Music 4:09
Latest & Greatest Running Songs 2013
Various Artists
Union Square 4:01
Greatest Ever!: Eighties: The Definitive Collection [2014] 2014
Various Artists
Greatest Ever 4:09
Now: 25 Top Hits of the 1980's 2014
Various Artists
Universal 4:11
Greatest Ever! Driving Songs [Union Square Music] 2015
Various Artists
Greatest Ever
No Image 2016
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:06
100% Rolling Stone
Various Artists
Frequency Records
20 #1’s: Pop
Various Artists
Universal 4:11
No Image
Various Artists
Strategic Marketing 4:07
80's Vol. 1
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
BRIT Awards Decades: '80s
Various Artists
Rhino 4:12
No Image
Various Artists
Chanel
Classic '80s [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino
Dos Décadas Dance: 1980-1986
Various Artists
Beggars Banquet
Everybody Wants to Rule the World [DVD] Universal International
Happy & Glorious
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 4:13
I Am Working Out
Various Artists
Universal Music 4:06
No Image
Various Artists
The '80s [Sony]
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:07
No Image
Various Artists
The Power of the '80s
Various Artists
UMOD 4:12
Throwback 1980's
Various Artists
Allegro / Somerset 4:08
Top of the Pops: 1985-1989
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 4:13
No Image
Various Artists
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