More Tears Than Fears: News

TFF SONGS FTBC
Songs from the Big Chair (1985). One of pop’s greatest statements.

Ugh.  I was just looking up Tears for Fears news to find out if the release date of the new album had been announced.  I had thought it would have come out last year, and, admittedly, I was a bit frustrated and surprised when it didn’t.  To this day, Tears for Fears remains not just a favorite band, but certainly my favorite proggy pop or poppy prog band.

Here’s the “ugh.”

I had no idea that Roland Orzabal’s wife, Caroline, passed away last year.

Roland, you don’t know me in the least, but I am so, so sorry for your loss.  I knew that something had happened when the tour got cancelled, but I’d assumed nothing as drastic and horrible as losing a family member.

Caroline had been a major part of Roland’s life and his music as his wife and best friend since the early 1980s.  They married in 1982.

The Express and Star (Andy Richardson, January 13, 2018) writes:

Roland is finding his way into the day. He’s tired. Yesterday was a big day, a tough day. Though he’s still grieving Caroline – and how could he not, they were happily entwined for all of their adult lives, she was his rock – he’s trying to stay in the moment, rather than slip into the past.

Now, of course, my worries about no new TFF album in 2017 seem nothing short of absurd.  Our condolences, Roland.  May Caroline rest safely and happily in the embrace of eternity.

My Best of 2017???

Let me just state from the outset that I love that Chris had the gumption to post his favorites albums of the year already.  We’re not even in December, Chris!  Love it.

So, just as an experiment, I checked my player’s settings and calculated the albums I listened to the most.  While I can’t claim this to be a fair statement of what I think the best of the year was–after all, some albums, such as Glass Hammer’s UNTOLD TALES.  It’s only had a month to compete against some albums that have had 11 months.  Still, it’s a marker.

Additionally, because my player calculates the number of plays for the year total, it registers all albums in my collections, not just those that came out in 2017.  So, by the number, folks, by the numbers—the ten most played albums in the Birzer house for the last 11 months.

No. 10 most played of 2017:

Glass Hammer Untold

 

Continue reading “My Best of 2017???”

Lunatics United: A Partial and Subjective Guide to the Singles of Tears for Fears

TEARS_FOR_FEARS_FLIP-421478
The first TFF b-side compilation, 1991.

Though best known in the prog community for their actual albums–such as SONGS FROM THE BIG CHAIR or EVERYBODY LOVES A HAPPY ENDING–Tears for Fears is also the master of the single.  Perhaps this is an artifact of the innumerable remixes of the 1980s, the decade of their origins, or, perhaps, the ideas of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith just never stop and cannot be contained by an album. Looking over their history as a band and as individuals, I think I’ll choose the latter explanation.  Throughout the band’s thirty-four year career, amazingly enough, Tears for Fears has only released six studio albums.  In that same period, though, the band has released dozens of singles, each different in style, theme, and genre.  While their albums tend toward the progressive pop of PET SOUNDS by the Beach Boys or SKYLARKING by XTC, their singles range all over the place, traversing and, at moments, transcending, both space and time.

One can, however, effectively divide the singles into three types: covers; rock and pop cinematic outbursts; and prog and electronica experimentalism.  The band has released these in a variety of forms: box sets; cd singles; one compilation album; and as bonus tracks.

Continue reading “Lunatics United: A Partial and Subjective Guide to the Singles of Tears for Fears”

I Love You But I’m Lost: New Tears for Fears

ruletheworld
The new greatest hits compilation from Tears for Fears.  Available November 10, 2017, from Mercury Records.

As I’ve had the opportunity to argue many times over on Progarchy, Tears for Fears is my favorite pop band, and I consider Roland Orzabal the greatest living writer of pop music. Huge claims, I know.  But, then again, I’m from Kansas, and I’m a Birzer.  If I didn’t speak with apparent hyperbole, my brain and soul might just very well explode.

My feelings toward TFF have been with me since I first heard SONGS FROM THE BIG CHAIR, 32 years ago.  If my convictions about TFF and Orzabal have wavered, I’ve not been aware of such.

Seeing them live has only further convinced me in my claims.

The new single–while, to me, surprising in the direction taken–does nothing to alter my previous claims.  Now available on iTunes, the new single is the first music the band has released since the 2014 Record Day exclusive EP of three covers, READY BOYS AND GIRLS?  Before that, the band had released two new songs as bonus tracks on its 2005 live album, SECRET WORLD.

The new single is a rather direct pop-dance single, with rave-like keyboards, high-pitched vocals, and an anthemic refrain.

For those of us hoping for a brand new album, we’re a bit disappointed, as the new single comes with a new greatest hits package, RULE THE WORLD.  A second new single, “Stay,” also appears on RULE THE WORLD (itself, available on November 10, 2017, from Mercury Records).

Let’s hope and pray that the rumored album, THE TIPPING POINT, is still forthcoming.