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            T E A R S    F O R    F E A R S

Formed 1982, Bath, England

Roland Orzabal - born Aug. 22, 1961, Havant, Eng. -  vocals, guitars.
Curt Smith - born June 24, 1961, Bath, - bassist, vocals.

The British pop duo Tears for Fears enjoyed their commercial breakthrough in 1985 with Songs from the Big Chair, an album of lush, literate songs that fused Beatlesesque melodies with techno-savvy arrangements. Having met as troubled adolescents, band members Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith wrote and sang about the importance of emotional self-awareness and self-expression. Some critics found their songs whiny or precious, but most praised their tender craftsmanship.

Orzabal and Smith became friends while growing up in Bath. Both were from broken homes, and Smith, whose parents had divorced when he was very young, had dabbled in vandalism and petty theft as an adolescent. Orzabal turned to reading instead, and eventually introduced Smith to the writings of psychotherapist Arthur Janov, whose "primal scream" theory stressed that adult neuroses tend to stem from parental abandonment in childhood and that direct confrontation with these early feelings of loss is emotionally vital. In their late teens Orzabal and Smith formed a power pop band called Graduate, but dissolved that outfit in the early Eighties and focused on exploring Janovís theories, which had also influenced John Lennon, in a musical context.

As Tears for Fears, Orzabal and Smith -- with some added help from ex-Graduate keyboardist Ian Stanley -- began writing songs and arranging them for synthesizers. A demo of a song called "Pale Shelter" won them a recording contract, and in 1983 their debut album, The Hurting was released, yielding three Top Five singles in the U.K. But Tearsí American breakthrough came with their sophomore effort: Songs from the Big Chair topped the pop albums chart here, and scored two #1 singles, "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" and "Shout," as well as the #3 hit "Head over Heels."

The band took a career risk by waiting four years before releasing a followup to Songs. The Seeds of Love reached #8 and yielded a #2 single, "Sowing the Seeds of Love." It also provided a showcase for guest vocalist and rising R&B artist Oleta Adams, who sang backup on the track "Woman in Chains," and whose sultry vocals contributed to the new tracksí warmer feel.

Four years again passed before another Tears for Fears studio album (a hits compilation came out in 1992); and since Smith left the act in the interim, 1993ís Elemental (#45) was essentially Roland Orzabalís solo debut. The album, which went gold, generated the single "Break It Down Again" (#25, 1993). That same year, Curt Smith released a solo album, Soul On Board. In 1994 Orzabal recorded another Tears for Fears LP, Raoul and the Kings of Spain, which was released in 1995.


1983 -- The Hurting (Mercury)
1985 -- Songs from the Big Chair
1989 -- The Seeds of Love
1992 -- Tears Roll Down (Greatest Hits Ď82-Ď92)
1993 -- ( - Smith) Elemental
1995 -- Raoul and the Kings of Spain
1995 -- Curt Smith solo:
1993 -- Soul On Board (Mercury)


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