Sunday, December 10, 2017

"Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears

#1 Alert!
Song#:  2248
Date:  03/16/1985
Debut:  70
Peak:  1 (2 weeks)
Weeks:  24
Genre:  Rock, Pop

Pop Bits:  This duo made a big splash in their UK homeland with their debut album The Hurting. It would reach #1 and spawn three Top 10 singles. In the US, their indie new wave sound didn't fully catch on with both the album and a single ("Change") only reaching #73 on their respective charts. Back in the UK, the duo recorded a new song that would introduce a new, more commercial-leaning sound. "Mothers Talk" would be issued nearly six-months ahead of their second album, Songs from the Big Chair, and it would reach #14. Then things really broke wide for them with their next single, the UK #1 "Shout." With big results posting in the UK, it was time to get the US involved. However, instead of issuing the UK hit  "Shout," it was decided that this track would be released as the first single. It seemed to be a wise move as the song slowly caught on and eventually made its way to the top of the Pop chart. It would also hit #1 at Dance, #2 AC, and #2 Rock.

ReduxReview:  Anyone who listened to or was a fan of The Hurting certainly got a surprise with Songs from the Big Chair. While I think the duo retained their basic style, Songs was a definite stab at big commercial pop/rock, which was certainly a change from the more indie-style new wave synthpop found on Hurting. For me, it was a big improvement. Although I did like a few songs on Hurting, overall I didn't connect with it. However, I did like the grander sound on Songs and the tracks were far more commercial and catchy. This first single was a perfect example. From the opening licks to the steady groove to the memorable chorus, there was no way this was going to miss. I know some folks hate it when a more indie style band goes for commercial success, but in the case of Tears for Fears, I think it was the right path and it paid off handsomely for them.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The duo re-recorded this song in 1986 as "Everybody Wants to Run the World." It was done as a benefit single for the sports-themed African famine relief effort Sports Aid. It was issued as a single and reached #5 on the UK chart. There were many exhibition sporting events held for the Sports Aid charity and the final event was a 10k run called "Race Against Time." The race was organized in 274 cities around the world and all the races were ran at the exact same time on May 25, 1986. It still remains the biggest organized sporting event that has ever taken place.  2) Singer/songwriter Lorde recorded a version of this song for the "inspired by" soundtrack to the film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It reached #27 on the Hot Rock Songs chart in 2014.


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