Music Monday: Tears For Fears “The Hurting” Turns 38

tears for fears
The debut album by Tears For Fears, released on March 7, 1983

It was the spring of 1983. Modern and alternative music was kicking into full gear with bands like Duran Duran, U2, The Smiths and R.E.M. And then came on the scene a band from England – a duo even – that changed what would be a breakthrough in the song construction of modern music. Out of the ashes of Graduate – their first band – Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal were Tears For Fears. And their debut album “The Hurting” came out to what were mixed reviews. Some liked it, others were perplexed by the gloom theme of the songs. But for this music fan, I enjoyed it a lot.

Track Listing

  1. “The Hurting”
  2. “Mad World”
  3. “Pale Shelter”
  4. “Ideas as Opiates”
  5. “Memories Fade”
  6. “Suffer the Children”
  7. “Watch Me Bleed”
  8. “Change”
  9. “The Prisoner”
  10. “Start of the Breakdown”

Breakdown

Admittingly, these songs do have a central theme: childhood trauma and the life long effects of it. Every song and lyric addresses this very topic. In Mad World, the line “the dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had” points toward wanting an escape from the trauma. With “Suffer The Children” the line “Just talk to him/’cause he knows in his heart you won’t be home soon” has the despondent feeling of abandonment. In what has long been my favorite song on this album “Change” the line “Where does the end of me/Become the start of you?” asks a very important question of where one’s importance in life is. And the album closer “Start Of The Breakdown” ends with the cries of a child wanting to be heard and known.

The building of the songs, the melodies, the synths, the guitar. These 10 songs really tell a story. And while it’s not an upbeat subject matter, this album really plays so very well 38 years later and each song holds up musically on so many levels.

Tell us your thoughts on this album below in the comments.

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