Mad World – Tears for Fears

Tears For Fears - Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith

Year: 1982
Artist: Tears for Fears
Album: Mad World
Other Hits: Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Shout, Head Over Heels,
Break It Down Again, Pale Shelter, Change, Mothers Talk, Call Me Mellow

Tears for Fears are the English pop rock duo formed in the early 1980s by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith. Both were schoolmates from Bath, England. I was in grade school when I first heard their songs. I must admit, I didn’t like them a bit… their songs were full of angst, anger, shout, and madness…I remember hating this duo for topping the charts but there’s something in their music that with repeated listening will kind of’ grow in you and fit you like a glove and there’s nothing left for you to do but give in and succumb to their tunes and lyrics. After all, they are the pioneer for the new wave sounds they were initially associated with the new wave synthesizer bands of the early 1980s but later branched out into mainstream rock and pop, which led to international chart success.

They first formed a band called History of Headaches, a moniker which was then changed to Tears for Fears. The band’s name was inspired by Primal Therapy, developed by the American psychologist Arthur Janov, which gained tremendous publicity after John Lennon became Janov’s patient in 1970. In Prisoners of Pain (1980) Janov suggested tears as a replacement for fears.

After a decade, Orzabal and Smith had a bitter split in the early 1990s. Although Orzabal continued to work as Tears for Fears after he and Smith parted ways, the subsequent TFF albums Elemental (1993) are solo works by him. In Sept 11, in the U.S. he and Smith reconciled and released new Tears for Fears album together the 2004`s Everybody Loves a Happy Ending

Mad World – Written by Roland Orzabal and sung by bassist Curt Smith were recognized again in recent years after Gary Jules` cover version of the song Mad World became the Christmas #1 single in the UK in 2003. It is taken from the soundtrack of the film Donnie Darko. Also, Adam Lambert – finished as the runner-up on the eighth season of American Idol for his Top 8 performance, he sang the 2001 Michael Andrews and Gary Jules arrangement of “Mad World”. Because the show had exceeded its time slot, only Cowell gave a critique, which he did by simply giving Lambert a standing ovation. During the results next night, the other judges agreed that a standing ovation was the best critique of Lambert’s performance.

First ever concert in Singapore Resorts World Sentosa Convention Center – May 4, 2010 I had goose bumps watching them live – their music just takes you back in specific time… how the world used to be …who were your friends, what’s your life like, what you used to be doing been doing at that age … and you probably thinking watching them live is not going to happen….NOT! (That’s the goose bumps for)

“Lyrically the song is pretty loose. It throws together a lot of different images to paint a picture without saying anything specific about the world.”—Roland Orzabal

“It’s very much a voyeur’s song. It’s looking out at a mad world from the eyes of a teenager”.—Curt Smith