Founded after the dissolution of their first band, the mod -influenced Graduate , Tears for Fears was initially associated with the new wave synthesizer bands of the early s. Later, the band branched out into mainstream rock and pop and attained international chart success. After the release of their platinum-selling third album, The Seeds of Love , Smith and Orzabal had an acrimonious split in Orzabal retained the Tears for Fears name as a solo project, releasing the albums Elemental and Raoul and the Kings of Spain Orzabal and Smith reconciled in and released an album of new material, Everybody Loves a Happy Ending , in The duo have toured consistently since then.
Orzabal and Smith met as teenagers in Bath, Somerset, England. The duo became session musicians for the band Neon ,  where they first met future Tears For Fears drummer Manny Elias. The single just missed the top in the UK, but performed well in Spain and in Switzerland. They departed from Graduate and formed a band called History of Headaches, which they soon 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 As Tears for Fears, Orzabal and Smith intended to form the nucleus of the group and bring in surrounding musicians to help them complete the picture.
Around this time they met local musician Ian Stanley , who offered them free use of his home 8-track studio. Their first single, " Suffer the Children ", produced by David Lord , was released on that label in November , followed by the first edition of "Pale Shelter" produced by Mike Howlett in March , but neither releases were successful. The band achieved their first taste of success with their third single, " Mad World ", which reached No. For this album and the next , keyboardist and composer Ian Stanley and drummer Manny Elias were considered full band members, though Smith and Orzabal were still essentially the frontmen and public face[s] of the band.
The album, produced by Chris Hughes and Ross Cullum, showcased guitar- and synthesiser-based songs with lyrics reflecting Orzabal's bitter childhood and his interest in primal therapy. It also reached the top 20 in several other countries and yielded the international hit singles " Mad World " top 5 hit in South Africa , " Change " top 40 hit in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands , Poland and South Africa — their first single to reach the US Billboard Hot , and a re-recorded version of " Pale Shelter ".
All three of these singles reached the Top 5 in the UK. Towards the end of , the band released a new, slightly more experimental single, " The Way You Are ", intended as a stopgap while they worked on their second album. The single was a top hit in the UK, but did not come close to matching the success of their three previous hits, despite a national concert tour in December of that year captured on the In My Mind's Eye live video release. The single, which heavily featured sampling and programmed rhythms, was a departure from Tears for Fears' previous musical approach.
In early , they began working with a new producer, Jeremy Green, on their new single " Mothers Talk ". However, the band were ultimately unhappy with the results and so producer Chris Hughes was brought back into the fold and the "Mothers Talk" single re-produced for release in August A departure from their earlier works, the single became a top hit in the UK, but it was the follow-up single " Shout " released in the UK in November that was the real beginning of the band's international fame.
They did away with the predominantly synthpop feel of the first album, instead expanding into a more sophisticated sound that would become the band's stylistic hallmark. Anchored on the creative hub of Orzabal, Stanley and producer Hughes, the new Tears for Fears sound helped to propel Songs from the Big Chair into becoming one of the year's biggest sellers worldwide, eventually being certified triple platinum in the UK and quintuple platinum in the US where it remained the No. The album's title was inspired by the book and television miniseries Sybil , the chronicle of a woman with multiple personality disorder who sought refuge in her analyst's "big chair", Orzabal and Smith stating they felt each of the album's songs had a distinctive personality of its own.
The band had also recorded a track titled "The Big Chair", which was released as the B-side to "Shout" but was not included on the album. The album's success came in conjunction with the array of hit singles it yielded: "Mothers Talk" re-recorded yet again for its US release in , " Shout " No. Following the album's release, the band went on a world tour that lasted most of the year, playing notably at the Montreux Golden Rose Rock and Pop Festival in May However, on the morning of the historic event, it was announced that the band who had actually been billed to appear at the event before they had even agreed to do so had pulled out of the show.
They were replaced by blues rock group George Thorogood and the Destroyers , which has a strong Philadelphia-area following. The official reason given for their non-appearance was that two of their backing musicians, guitarist Andrew Saunders and saxophonist Will Gregory , had quit due to the expiration of their contract; they were replaced by Alan Griffiths on guitar and Josephine Wells on saxophone for the remaining bulk of the world tour.
In place of appearing, the band pledged to donate proceeds from their concerts played in Tokyo, Sydney, London and New York. As a further donation, the band also recorded a slightly rewritten version of one of their biggest hits and released it for the British fundraising initiative Sport Aid , a sister project of Band Aid in which people took part in running races of varying length and seriousness to raise more money for African famine relief projects. It was before the group released their third album, The Seeds of Love on which Ian Stanley appeared for the last time as a member of Tears for Fears , at a reported production cost of over a million pounds.
Moving from various studios and using various sets of producers over many months, the band ultimately decided to scrap the recordings and take the reins themselves with assistance from engineer Dave Bascombe. Much of the material was recorded in jam sessions and later edited down.
The length of the production impacted on the band's management company, who had financially over-extended themselves in other business matters and were hoping for an earlier release date to pay off their debts. The album retained the band's epic sound while showing increasing influences ranging from jazz and blues to the Beatles , the latter being evident on the hit single " Sowing the Seeds of Love "  The second single from the album was " Woman in Chains " a top 40 hit in the UK, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden and the US , on which Phil Collins played drums and Oleta Adams —whom Orzabal would later guide to a successful solo career—shared vocals.
The album was a worldwide success, entering the UK Albums Chart at no. The band set out on an extensive "Seeds of Love" world tour sponsored by Philips to start recovering the debt incurred. The band's show in Santa Barbara, California , in May would be captured on the Going to California live video as the singles " Advice for the Young at Heart " and " Famous Last Words " delivered modest chart success.
A page companion book, simply titled Tears for Fears — The Seeds of Love , was released by Virgin Books in and offered extensive insight from Orzabal, Holland and Adams into the songwriting and production process for the album, as well as the musical scores for each track and rare promotional photographs from the era. After The Seeds of Love , Orzabal and Smith had an acrimonious falling out and parted company in The split was blamed on Orzabal's intricate but frustrating approach to production and Smith's desire to slow down the pace of their work prior to the release of The Seeds of Love , Smith's marriage had also broken down.
Another factor in the break-up was the band's manager, Paul King, who declared bankruptcy in and was later convicted of fraud. The duo had signed to King's Outlaw Management Agency in and remained clients throughout the remainder of the decade the agency also operated the band's fan club, the Tears For Fears World Service, between and By the late s, the agency had run into serious debt and, after discrepancies were discovered in King's financial management, Orzabal became increasingly concerned that Smith was unwilling to drop King as their manager.
In , following fraudulent activities with his other businesses, King was prosecuted for fraud and imprisoned for three and a half years, as well as being disqualified from being a company director again for ten years. The single was released to promote the band's greatest hits collection Tears Roll Down Greatest Hits 82—92 , which featured every single to reach the Top 20, either in the UK or internationally, apart from the Sport Aid fundraiser.
The album peaked at no. The album was a commercial failure and Smith himself has said on numerous occasions that he despised it, alleging that he only made it to fulfill his recording contract.
In , he met local songwriter and producer Charlton Pettus. The two formed a self-described "organic" partnership, writing simple, melody-based songs and recording them at home on vintage analogue equipment.
The result was released in under the name Mayfield and a short US tour followed. In , Orzabal still under the name Tears for Fears released the album Elemental together with longtime collaborator Alan Griffiths. The album was a top 10 hit in the UK, France and Italy, and top 30 in several other countries. Although it charted considerably lower in the US than the previous two studio albums no.
The singles " Cold ", " Elemental " and " Goodnight Song " met with minor chart success in certain territories. The lyrics to "Cold" contained a scathing reference to the band's former manager, Paul King, in which Orzabal sings "King got caught with his fingers in the till. Where's your calculator — did you leave it in your will? This was a more contemplative work that delved into his own Spanish heritage and showcased a new Latin musical influence Raoul was originally the name Orzabal's parents wanted to give him, and is also the name of his own first son.
Orzabal stated that it was not a concept album but that there was a theme, namely that of familial relationships. The album was not a commercial success by Tears for Fears standards, though minor chart success came via the single release of the title track top 40 in the UK and to a lesser extent the single " God's Mistake ".
The release of the album had been delayed for nearly a year due to a last-minute label switch from Mercury to Epic part of Sony Music , and the ensuing confusion Mercury had already begun promotion did not help the album's chances either. Although the track listing for the album had been changed at the record company's request, Sony did not extend Tears for Fears' contract following the album's release.
A worldwide tour followed, including dates in Latin America, though Orzabal declined to tour his native UK this time except for a single show in London. The liner notes, written by Orzabal and Chris Hughes , gave fans an insight into the songwriting process as well as a rare glimpse of self-deprecating humour regarding the tracks they would rather forget.
In , Mercury Records released remastered editions of Tears for Fears' first three albums, including B-sides, remixes, and extended versions. Supervised by producer Chris Hughes, the remasters also included new liner notes for each album providing details and new insights into the music. Due to record company mergers and acquisitions in the late s, Tears for Fears' back catalogue was eventually placed into the Universal Music fold.
Whereas Tears for Fears' work had become guitar-based, Tomcats Screaming Outside showcased a predominantly electronic style. In , routine paperwork obligations led the duo to re-establish contact with each other after Orzabal signed a business document on Smith's behalf. The songwriting sessions included Charlton Pettus Smith's collaborator since the mids , and fourteen songs were written and recorded in less than six months. The ensuing album, Everybody Loves a Happy Ending , was scheduled for release on Arista Records in late , but a change in management at Arista prompted the band to opt out of their contract and switch to the New Door label a new offshoot of Universal Music , and delayed the release until September Two US tours followed, and the tour included an unrehearsed guest appearance by Oleta Adams at the Kansas City show for a performance of "Woman in Chains".
The song "Who Killed Tangerine? The promo video for the single was a colourful fantasy that featured Hollywood actress Brittany Murphy riding in a hot air balloon. In , the band began discussions with Universal Music for the release of a new comprehensive anthology of their work to date, including a new track titled "Floating Down the River". However, the subsequent release at least in the US was a compilation issued as part of Hip-O Records ' generic "Gold" series, a Universal subsidiary that specialises in budget-priced back catalogue compilations.
Titled Secret World — Live in Paris , it was released on the XIII Bis label in early and became a best-seller, with over 70, physical copies sold in addition to downloads. In , Songs from the Big Chair was re-issued again by Universal Music, this time as a 2-disc Deluxe Edition with additional B-sides and rarities added, expanding further than the remastered version. The release did not include the lyrics as the band had intended with the original release, but came with a page booklet including rare photographs and newly written liner notes.
The track set contained four sections, with the first disc containing the original album and various B-sides taken from the earlier remastered edition. It also included the rare piano version of "The Working Hour", which had previously only been available as a limited edition item. The second disc contained various 7" versions of the singles including the aforementioned "The Way You Are", the re-recording of "I Believe" and the US remix of "Mothers Talk" , followed by various 12" remixes from the era.
In August , the Raoul and the Kings of Spain album was also re-issued by Cherry Red Records , featuring seven bonus B-side tracks from the time of its original release. According to Orzabal, they have been producing more dark, dramatic pieces of music. It's just crazy," Orzabal stated. All three songs were recorded as "kick-start" projects as the band commenced work on their seventh studio album. In an interview on BBC Radio Devon in October , Orzabal stated that the band had now signed to Warner Music Group and that around five or six songs had so far been completed for the new album.
Deluxe Editions of the band's second album, Songs From The Big Chair , were released on 10 November including a 6-disc set that features various rarities and two DVDs one audio, one video. TV programme. In July , the band played their first live dates in the UK in over ten years: the Newmarket Nights festival at Newmarket Racecourse on 29 July,;  and a closing night headlining appearance at Camp Bestival at Lulworth Castle in Dorset on 31 July. The gigs marked the band's first UK festival appearances since Knebworth in The compilation was released by Universal Music on 10 November , and includes fourteen Top 40 hits from all six previous Tears For Fears albums along with two new tracks.
However, the tour was postponed to early due to unspecified health reasons.