Primal scream

“The Hurting” is the first album by the duo of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith and released at a time when synth pop breakthrough. No wonder their first album was going to be a synth pop album. After releasing a few singles since 1981 the album was finally released in 1983.
Pale Shelter - single cover
The concepts of the album are psychological traumas of childhood and their long term effects, something with which both musicians were more than familiar. The name of the band was based on the primal (scream) therapy by Arthur Janov to scream, cry and hit things to express yourself to get rid of your childhood traumas.
The Primal Scream by Arthur Janov - book cover
They were not the first to dedicate music to this therapy of Janov. John Lennon had covered similar themes on John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band. “Pale Shelter” and “Suffer The Children” are about children and their inaccessible parents. In concept it could be considered to be about pshychology in the life of children. That’s exactly what the cover of the album illustrates. The single “The Way You Are” was released as an exclusive single at the end of 1983.

Their Janov inspired quest continues on their next album "Songs From The Big Chair" particulary in "Shout", Let it all out, These are the things I can do without, Come on.
The Way You Are - single cover
In 1976 there was a TV movie broadcasted by NBC called “Sybil” based on the book by Flora Rheta Schreiber. It’s about a woman with multiple personality disorder who only feels safe when sitting in her analyst’s “big chair”. It was the inspiration for the title of the second album by Tears for Fears called “Songs From The Big Chair” released in 1985. Most of the songs are like their first album based on the “primal scream” therapy as well as other psychological situations of people. The album reached #1 in the US and #2 in the UK. It was their commercial breakthrough without a doubt after which they took a long break.
I Believe - single cover
“Mothers Talk” is probably one of the best anti-nuclear songs, inspired by Raymond Briggs’ "When The Wind Blows". The beat of the drum is the fear of the dark. “Head Over Heels” is for me one their best and most emotional songs they ever made although not the biggest selling single from the album.

In the year 2000 the hit cover version of 'Mad World' by Michael Andrews featuring Gary Jules from the movie "Donnie Darko" hit the charts and proves the songs were strong and usable for recycling.

The first 2 albums of Tears for fears are ultimately their best ones.
The Hurting
The Hurting / Mad World / Pale Shelter / Ideas As Opiates / Memories Fade / Suffer The Children / Watch Me Bleed / Change / The Prisoner / Start Of The Breakdown
Songs From The Big Chair
Shout / The Working Hour / Everybody Wants To Rule The World / Mothers Talk / I Believe / Broken / Head Over Heels / Broken (live) / Listen
Change - video
Mothers Talk - video

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