Tears for Fears Back to Rule World

By | October 8, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Shout it on out: Tears for Fears is back.

After reuniting for a weekend benefit, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, the original Tears for Fears, are heading back to the studio to record their first album together in more than a decade.

The duo performed together for the first time in years at this past weekend’s Andre Agassi’s Grand Slam for Children Benefit in Las Vegas. By Monday, Arista Records President and CEO Antonio “L.A. Reid” had announced that the newly reformed band had signed with the label and will release a new album this spring.

A 2004 is also rumored to be in the works, but there’s been no confirmation from the band’s new label.

Though both members continued recording individually, the original Tears for Fears has been mothballed since 1989’s platinum-selling Seeds of Love. Until this weekend, Orzabel and Smith last performed together June 30, 1990 at a Knebworth charity concert; by the following year, Smith had split to pursue solo projects. He released Souls on Board two years later and eventually formed a new band, Mayfield, whose 1998 self-titled debut came out on his own Zerodisc Records.

Prefaced by the 1992 greatest hits disc Tears Roll Down, Orzabal continued recording under the Tears name, releasing two underperforming albums, Elemental (1993) and Raoul and the Kings of Spain (1995). Orzabal wrapped up the final “Tears” tour in South America in August of 1996. In 2001, Orzabal released a solo disc, Tomcats Screaming Outside.

Originally calling themselves Graduate, schoolmates Orzabel and Smith scored a minor hit in their native Britain with “Elvis Should Play Ska.” In 1981 they adopted the Tears for Fears moniker, taking the name from the primal therapy teachings of Arthur Janov. Their debut album, The Hurting, followed in 1982 with three Top 5 U.K. singles: “Mad World,” “Change,” and “Pale Shelter.”

This success set up the group for worldwide fame with their 1985 follow-up, Songs from the Big Chair. The disc landed consecutive chart-topping U.S. hits “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Shout,” as well as the Top 5 “Head Over Heels.” The album itself topped the Billboard sales charts for five weeks and sold over 5 million copies.

After a long break, Orzabal and Smith released their last album together, The Seeds of Love, in 1989. The lead single “Sowing the Seeds of Love” hit number two in the States and number five in the U.K., and the album itself topped the U.K. sales charts.

In 2001, the pair reportedly started writing songs together again, but they hadn’t performed together or announced a new label contract until just recently. At present, the newly reformed Tears for Fears is recording tracks (rumored song titles include “Closest Thing to Heaven” and “Killing With Kindness”) for the forthcoming album, which according to fansites, is tentatively titled, appropriately enough, Everyone Loves a Happy Ending.

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