Tears for Fears

Scenes from the Big Chair

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One of the biggest albums of the '80s was Tears for Fears' number-one smash Songs from the Big Chair. The 1985 release -- just the second album from vocalist/guitarist Roland Orzabal, vocalist/bass guitarist Curt Smith, keyboardist/vocalist Ian Stanley, and drummer Manny Elias -- sold more than five million copies in the United States and yielded two equally classic chart-topping singles in "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" and "Shout." This peak period in the British quartet's history is chronicled on the 2006 DVD documentary Scenes from the Big Chair. It was originally released on VHS in 1985, but the DVD reissue bonuses include an exclusive 35-minute interview with Songs from the Big Chair producer Chris Hughes (drummer for Adam & the Ants) and six music videos (although some of the videos are already part of the documentary). This documentary, directed by Nigel Dick and filmed on Tears for Fears' tour of England, Germany, the United States, and Canada in 1984 and 1985, is a basic yet entertaining mix of interviews, live performances and behind-the-scenes footage of life on the road, soundchecks, television appearances, video shoots, and photo sessions. (The biggest drawback is occasionally abrupt editing, especially when performances are interrupted by interview snippets.) It's easy to tell that the band was on the verge of exploding worldwide. The evidence comes during rousing performances of "Shout," "Broken," "Memories Fade," "The Hurting," "The Working Hour," and "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" shot at the jam-packed Massey Hall in Toronto on May 30 and 31, 1985. Hughes' revealing interview was filmed in March 2005, and he shares his memories of the creation of each song on Songs from the Big Chair. Although the band had gained confidence and experience in the studio after 1983's The Hurting, Hughes recalls how he heard incredibly promising pieces of music that he had to convince certain members, such as Orzabal, to develop -- sometimes by getting the other members and even their wives to speak up. This was the case with "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," for example. The video extras on this DVD include "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," "Shout," "Mothers Talk," "Mothers Talk (U.S. Remix)," "Head Over Heels," and "I Believe." [The 1985 ten-track version was re-released on CD.]

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