Universal Music's 20th Century Masters budget-line CD series was smartly expanded in 2004 to include budget DVDs featuring a handful of an artist's music videos. 20th Century Masters -- The DVD Collection: The Best of Tears for Fears compiles five of the finest clips from the British duo of vocalist/guitarist Roland Orzabal and vocalist/bassist Curt Smith. Tears for Fears dominated 1985 with the number one album Songs from the Big Chair and its massive hit singles and videos. Orzabal and Smith's intelligent, often densely layered music translated fairly well into the growing medium of music video. "Shout" -- one of the first music videos shot in widescreen (or "letterbox") format -- takes place mostly in breathtaking outdoor settings, but with stark soundstage lip-synch/performance footage coming in about midway. Why the soundstage is filled with children crowding around the band toward the end is a head-scratcher, however. The breezy, atmospheric "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" is set primarily in a desert with Smith driving a convertible, but brief shots of a house, glider, two dancing men, and dirt-bike racing don't make sense at all. The simplest explanation? It's a 1985 music video! "Mother's Talk (US Remix)" takes place in a suburban home; the highlights are the color schemes and cinematography. "Head Over Heels" has Orzabal courting a beautiful blonde librarian; it includes some impressive touches including cards shooting out of a card-catalog drawer, but the video would work better without weird scenes of an Orthodox Jewish man and a monkey wearing a Boston Red Sox baseball jersey. The overall psychedelic feel and animated imagery in the gorgeous "Sowing the Seeds of Love" directly relates to the Sgt. Pepper's-era Beatles influence on 1989's lush masterpiece The Seeds of Love. This DVD will reignite interest in Tears for Fears' past and the reunion album set for 2004.
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AllMusic Review by Bret Adams