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Reissue Theory: Tears for Fears, “Big Ideas: The Singles 1982-1993”

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Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we focus on notable albums and the reissues they may someday see. In honor of a recent milestone for one of the ’80s’ best synthpop bands, we present the idea of something their catalogue doesn’t have but could totally need: a box set.

Our friends at Slicing Up Eyeballs reminded us yesterday that March 7, 1983 was the day that Phonogram Records (and Mercury in the U.S.) released The Hurting, the debut album by British synth-rockers Tears for Fears. Anchored by singer/guitarist Roland Orzabal and singer/bassist Curt Smith, a pair of boyhood friends from the small English town of Bath, TFF would gain major worldwide success by the middle of the decade and enjoy a brief, deserved critical resurgence in the early 2000s for their early hits, as utilized in film and television projects.

The TFF catalogue has been generally well served on CD in the past decade or so. In 1996, after Orzabal (who had parted ways with Smith in the early ’90s) left Mercury for Epic, their parent company PolyGram issued a great B-sides compilation, Saturnine Martial and Lunatic; three years later, the Orzabal/Smith albums – The HurtingSongs from the Big Chair (1985) and The Seeds of Love (1989) – were remastered and expanded. Big Chair received a double-disc expansion in 2006, and the sole Epic album, 1995’s Raoul and the Kings of Spain, received a great expansion by Cherry Pop Records in 2009. (That’s not even counting the many compilations released by Polygram and later Universal Music Group.)

But one catalogue accolade has eluded them for years: a proper, career-spanning box set.

According to music business history, there was almost such an anthology, to have been released around 2005 or so. For whatever reason, that set was chopped down and released that year as part of Hip-O Records’ double-disc Gold series. At this point, with only 1993’s Elemental (the first Orzabal-only album) being the sole TFF LP to not receive a remaster or expansion, a box set would be the only way to finally net those elusive non-LP tracks and mixes that have yet to appear on CD.

And there are still quite a few, mostly deriving from the year leading up to The Hurting‘s release. In that year, the band would release alternative single versions of that album’s “Suffer the Children” and “Pale Shelter” – the latter of which was produced by Mike Howlett. Nothing off those first two singles – including dance remixes and B-sides (an acoustic oddity, “Wino,” backed “Suffer” while an early version of album track “The Prisoner” was on the B-side of “Pale Shelter”) – has ever found its way to CD. The band’s first hit, the Top 5 “Mad World” (later a hit for Gary Jules on the soundtrack to Donnie Darko in 2001), has unique B-sides as well, in the form of alternate versions of album cut “Ideas as Opiates.”

While a vast majority of the A- and B-sides from “Mad World” through the rest of the ’80s ended up on either reissues or compilations, there are still a few oddities to go around. Such notable cuts include “Everybody Wants to Run the World,” a remixed version of the iconic hit for Bob Geldof’s Sport Aid charity in 1986, and remixes of B-side “Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams,” released anonymously in 1991 to minor dance chart success. (The A-side “Unstable Mix” appeared on Saturnine Martial and Lunatic.)

There’s one solution to collate absolutely all of these tracks in one fell swoop: a singles box set, not unlike sets for Duran Duran, The Clash or others. We’ve envisioned Big Ideas: The Singles 1982-1993, covering the band’s entire single output for Phonogram/Mercury. (The title derives from the vanity catalogue numbers given to TFF singles by Phonogram, Fontana and Mercury Records, preceded with “IDEA.”) Were Universal to combine single reissues with unique B-sides, the set could take 21 discs, all packaged in replicas of the original picture sleeves and with a simple but effective booklet of liner notes. (Orzabal and Smith have gone on at length in previous reissues about the crafting of most of these songs; a new essay would not be necessary.)

With box sets increasingly angling towards “complete” or “collectible” trends, all it would take is some support from band and label to make such a set a reality.

Tears for Fears, Big Ideas: The Singles 1982-1993 (Mercury/UMe)

Disc 1: Suffer the Children (Phonogram IDEA 1/112, 1982) **

  1. Suffer the Children (Single Version)
  2. Wino
  3. Suffer the Children (Remix) *
  4. Suffer the Children (Instrumental) *

Disc 2: Pale Shelter (You Don’t Give Me Love) (Phonogram IDEA 2/212, 1982) **

  1. Pale Shelter (You Don’t Give Me Love)
  2. The Prisoner (Single Version)
  3. Pale Shelter (You Don’t Give Me Love) (Extended Version) *

Disc 3: Mad World (Phonogram IDEA 3/312 and double 7″ IDEA 33, 1982)

  1. Mad World (Single Version)
  2. Ideas As Opiates (Single Version) **
  3. Mad World (World Remix) (double 7″ B-side – Phonogram IDEA 33, 1982)
  4. Saxophones As Opiates * **

Disc 4: Change (Phonogram IDEA 4/412, 1983)

  1. Change (Edit)
  2. The Conflict
  3. Change (Extended Version) *
  4. Change (New Version) * **

Disc 5: Pale Shelter (Phonogram IDEA 5/512, 1983)

  1. Pale Shelter (Edit)
  2. We Are Broken
  3. Pale Shelter (Extended Version) *

Note: “We Are Broken” was released on CD with reissues of Songs from the Big Chair as “Broken Revisited,” with an extended intro. “Pale Shelter (Extended Version)” was released on the 1999 reissue of The Hurting with an extended intro.

Disc 6: The Way You Are (Phonogram IDEA 6/612 and double 7″ S6, 1983)

  1. The Way You Are
  2. The Marauders
  3. The Way You Are (Extended Version) *
  4. Change (Live in Oxford) (double 7″ A-side – Phonogram IDEA S6, 1983) **
  5. Start of the Breakdown (Live in Oxford) (double 7″ B-side – Phonogram IDEA S6, 1983) **

Disc 7: Mothers Talk (Phonogram 7/712 and special 12″ R712, 1984)

  1. Mothers Talk (Single Version)
  2. Empire Building
  3. Mothers Talk (Extended Version) * **
  4. Mothers Talk (Beat of the Drum Mix) (12″ A-side – Phonogram IDEA R712, 1984)
  5. Mothers Talk (U.S. Remix) (single A-side – Mercury 884 638-7 (U.S.), 1986)

Disc 8: Shout (Phonogram IDEA 8/812, 1984)

  1. Shout (Single Version)
  2. The Big Chair
  3. Shout (Extended Version) **
  4. Shout (U.S. Single Version) (single A-side – Mercury 880 294-7 (U.S.), 1985)
  5. Shout (U.S. Remix) (12″ A-side – Mercury 880 929-1 (U.S.), 1985) **

Disc 9: Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Phonogram IDEA 9/912, 1985)

  1. Everybody Wants to Rule the World
  2. Pharoahs
  3. Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Extended Version) *
  4. Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Urban Mix) (12″ A-side – Phonogram IDEA R912, 1985)
  5. Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Instrumental) (12″ B-side – Phonogram IDEA R912, 1985) **
  6. Everybody Wants to Run the World (single A-side – Phonogram RACE 1, 1986) **
  7. Everybody Wants to Run the World (Running Version) (single B-side – Phonogram RACE 1, 1986) **

Disc 10: Head Over Heels (Phonogram IDEA 10/1012, 1985)

  1. Head Over Heels (David Bascombe 7″ Mix)
  2. When in Love with a Blind Man
  3. Broken/Head Over Heels (The Preacher Mix) *

Disc 11: I Believe (Phonogram IDEA 11/1112, 1985)

  1. I Believe (A Soulful Re-Recording)
  2. Sea Song
  3. Shout (Dub Version) *

Disc 12: Sowing the Seeds of Love (Fontana IDEA 12/1212, 1989)

  1. Sowing the Seeds of Love (Single Version)
  2. Tears Roll Down
  3. Sowing the Seeds of Love (Full Version) *
  4. Sowing the Seeds of Love (Radio Edit) (promo CD single – Phonogram IDCDJ22, 1989)

Disc 13: Woman in Chains (Fontana IDEA 13/1312, 1989 and IDEA 18/1812, 1992)

  1. Woman in Chains (Single Version)
  2. Always in the Past
  3. My Life in the Suicide Ranks *
  4. Woman in Chains (Instrumental) *
  5. Ghost Papa (from CD single – Phonogram IDCD 18, 1992)

Disc 14: Advice for the Young at Heart (Fontana IDEA 14/1412, 1990)

  1. Advice for the Young at Heart (Single Version)
  2. Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams
  3. Music for Tables *
  4. Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams (Instrumental) (from CD single IDCD 14, 1990)

Disc 15: Famous Last Words (Fontana IDCD 15, 1990)

  1. Famous Last Words (7″ Edit)
  2. Mothers Talk (U.S. Remix)
  3. Listen (from Songs from the Big Chair – Phonogram, 1985)

Disc 16: Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams (Fontana PANIC 112, 1991)

  1. Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams (Unstable Mix)
  2. Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams (Shock Mix)

Disc 17: Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down) (Fontana IDEA 17/1712, 1992)

  1. Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down)
  2. The Body Wah
  3. Lord of Karma *

Disc 18: Break It Down Again (Mercury IDEA/IDCD 18, 1993)

  1. Break It Down Again
  2. Bloodletting Go
  3. Schrodinger’s Cat *
  4. Break It Down Again (Karaoke Version) *

Disc 19: Cold (Mercury IDEA/IDCD 19, 1993)

  1. Cold
  2. New Star
  3. Deja-Vu and the Sins of Science *
  4. Cold (Radio Edit) (from promotional CD single – Phonogram COLD 1, 1993)

Disc 20: Goodnight Song (Mercury IDCD 20, 1993)

  1. Goodnight Song
  2. Dog’s a Best Friend’s Dog (from Elemental – Phonogram, 1993)
  3. Gas Giants (from Elemental – Phonogram, 1993)
  4. Goodnight Song (Radio Version) (from promotional CD single – Phonogram TFF-DJ-1, 1993)
  5. Elemental (Sons of August Mix) (from French CD single – Phonogram 862 976-2, 1993)

Disc 21: Elemental (Mercury 858 499-2 (U.S.), 1994)

  1. Elemental (U.S. Radio Edit)
  2. Dog’s a Best Friend’s Dog (Live at Wembley)
  3. Elemental (Live at Wembley)

* indicates extra track for 12″ or CD single
** indicates track previously unreleased on CD

Written by Mike Duquette

March 8, 2012 at 11:19

16 Responses

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  1. Love this post…Love the idea!!!


    March 8, 2012 at 11:51

  2. I think this is a great idea, and while I’d love to add tracks to it, I think you’ve done a great job of capturing them all. I’m amazed that all of The Hurting singles’ tracks haven’t appeared on CD yet. You know, I’d even settle for the stuff-them-all-on-a-few-discs approach.


    March 8, 2012 at 12:06

  3. Love TFF; I’d be all over a set like this!

    Although not released on their original singles, there are a few extra mixes that appeared on the rather dodgy 2005 2CD reissue of the “Tears Roll Down” compilation:

    “Change (Joe Negro Punkdisco Mix)”
    “Mad World (Afterlife Remix)”
    “Everybody Wants to Rule the World (The Chosen Few Remix)”
    “Shout (Skylark 12″ Extended Club Mix)”
    “Shout (Jakatta Thrilled-Out Mix)”
    “Woman in Chains (Jakatta Awakened Mix)”-Radio Edit

    A few of the other tracks listed as “remixes” on this compilation were just previously released b-sides.

    And as I’ve said here before, it would be nice to get a 2CD deluxe edition of “Seeds of Love.”


    March 8, 2012 at 13:06

  4. I’d certainly buy this! There was also an “A Capella” mix of “Shout” that was issued on an Ameircan promo 12″ by Mercury back in 1985. It would be nice to see that one released on CD as well.


    March 8, 2012 at 15:23

  5. Great article once again Mike

    and you’ll find that acapella mix, along with many others, on the excellent M80 Soundtrack site. It ain’t for audiophiles that place, but it has been consistently been posting some great stuff for ages..


    March 8, 2012 at 19:21

  6. “Change [new version]” from the canadian 12″ (1983, SOVX2322) is significantly longer than in other countries (5’10” vs 4’33”)

    A demo of “Suffer the Children” is available on a promo sampler of the first album (1989, TFFCD83).

    A longer version of “Mothers Talk [Beat of the Drum mix]” of Mothers Talk (9’18” instead of 8’54”) has been spoted on an acetate.

    “Shout [extended version]” is 8’17” instead of 7’35” on the MFSL version (UDCD730, 1998)

    As stated by Rob, “Shout [acapella]” is from a US promo 12″ (1985, PRO366-1)

    A promo 12″ (PRO 393-1, 1985) includes:
    Broken/Head over Heels/Broken (live at Massey Hall) (7’30”)
    Head over Heels (live at Massey Hall) (4’15”)

    A promo 12″ was issued in Canada in 1986 (DJV173):
    Memories Fade (live at Massey Hall) (4’54”),
    Everybody Wants to Rule the World (live at Massey Hall) (4’03”),
    Broken/Head Over Heels (live at Massey Hall) (6’50”)

    “Woman in Chains [instrumental]” was 5’07” in the UK and 6’30” in the US !

    “Mothers Talk (US remix)” appears twice on your list…

    And one has to be careful regarding the source of the tracks, for example “Everybody Wants to Rule the World [Urban Mix]” on the CDV is 5’20” instead of the regular 5’52″…


    March 8, 2012 at 22:31

    • Re: “Mother’s Talk [US Remix]” appearing on the list twice… that’s because there are two very different mixes that are both labeled the “US Remix.”


      March 9, 2012 at 09:50

      • Woo! Thank you Don, I sure didn’t know that… I have to listen to that asap!


        March 10, 2012 at 05:16

      • So, I checked and indeed the US Remixes of “Mother’s Talk” from the 1999 Expanded Edition of “Songs from the Big Chair” and the 2006 Deluxe edition are different (I even labelled them as such on my iTunes library!).

        But I wonder which is which? I guess one comes from the 1986 US single and the other one come from the 1990 “Famous Last Words” single… If anyone can help me with that, thank you very much. 🙂


        March 11, 2012 at 07:28

  7. It’s strange but although I’m a big TFF fan – as my precedent post shows :), I would not be very excited by this box set… Most of the tracks are already easily available on CD and I’m not into “single edits”. The early b-sides were often not even songs per se… If I can understand the need of a Duran Duran singles box set, I’m more dubious regarding a TFF one…

    I’m pretty sure all I’m interested in would fill a single CD… And it would include Roland’s live rendition of Creep!

    And a Cherry Pop reissue of Curt Smith’s Soul on Board, including the B-sides of its two singles 😀


    March 8, 2012 at 22:46

  8. Wow. Nice to be surrounded by some die-hard fans here.
    To be sure – a box set would be nice from the duo. I’m not sure about the completest arrangement, as I just think that’s too many discs to deal with (and the card sleeves most likely used are a pain to read!)

    I would much rather see a more in-depth look at some of the tracks – you’ve already mentioned the development of Broken (from b-side, to live recording, to album track), but a few others go alongside – “When In Love With A Blind Man” was the composition that eventually became “The Working Hour” (listen to the chord structure). That composition got it’s nod and closure through the fourth single from THE SEEDS OF LOVE in “Advice For The Young At Heart” with the line “Working Hour is over”.

    “Mothers Talk” and it’s history is a mess, as it was first released as a single in the UK as a stop-gap ahead of the “Songs From The Big Chair” release, then again in the US as the 4th single from that album – therefore the additional mixes/b-sides (and the video version that everyone loved musically, but has never been released officially on disc).

    Several versions of the “Urban Mix” of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” have been released over different singles, so much so – that even the 2cd reissue of BIG CHAIR had some of the tracks incorrectly marked.

    “Shout’s far superior UK remix has aways been ignored on CD, in favor of the drum-and-bass preview of the US Remix (see “Seeds Of Love” single.). If you are really creative you can build a 20+ minute “Shout” symphony (each remix, acapella, and dub mix end the way the next begins…)

    And I go on and on – Thanks to everyone above for letting me in on a few tracks I was unaware of (the live Massey Hall recordings – most likely the same sourced for the SCENES FROM THE BIG CHAIR video – are big on my list now…BTW if you are lucky to get a foreign version of said DVD – GOING TO CALIFORNIA, the live video from the SEEDS OF LOVE tour is included as a bonus feature)

    I was so depressed when I heard the remastered mix of SEEDS OF LOVE a few years back – it muted the dramatic portions of the disc for more overall volume, just wasn’t the same. Still for having all the b-sides on one disc thereafter – ok as a back-up. What I’d really love to see is a republishing of the small book that went along with this album – if it’s anything like what the tour-book from the SEEDS tour was – I’m in.

    As for Mr. Orzabal’s solo stint as TFF, about half of each of those albums are right on- the rest seem like filling the space (ironically – the b-sides from this time are fantastic “New Star” even became a single in it’s own right via a soundtrack tie-in). He hit a great run of songs on his solo TOMCATS SCREAMING OUTSIDE, but everyone missed that in the wake of 9/11. Mr. Smith’s Soul On Board is great 1990s pop – mostly sounding like Martin Page’s solo work (he’s all over the album). Not to say it’s bad, but pretty clear Mr. Smith didn’t want anything to do with the project – he’s there, but not THERE.

    When the duo reunited, they even went through label hell again with the closing of Arista – but that’s another story (and EVERYBODY LOVES A HAPPY ENDING was so worth the wait!).

    Todd R.

    March 9, 2012 at 10:27

  9. Regarding the many mixes of “Mothers Talk,” there are indeed two unique versions of the “U.S. Remix.” The one that appeared on the original single (Mercury 884 638-7) is the one included as a bonus track on the single-disc expansion of “Songs from the Big Chair” in ’99 (Mercury 314 558 106-2). I’ve read reports that the stereo channels were reversed, but I don’t have the original 45 to back this up.

    The mix on the 2-disc deluxe “Big Chair,” however (Mercury/UMe B0006691-02), is almost entirely different. There’s a three-second, barely-audible rhythmic figure that “counts off” the track, the sax parts are dialed out entirely; extra background vocals abound on the second chorus and verse, the guitars pan a bit differently with different effects. I presume someone pulled the wrong tape when compiling the bonus disc, but more treats for TFF fans!

    (None of this, of course, counts the version in the video, which is the standard 45/U.S. mix with an extended vocal/keyboard intro…)

    Mike Duquette

    March 12, 2012 at 00:09

  10. It is indeed great to see that there are still some die-hard TFF fans like myself still out there – and knowledgeable collectors at that!

    For me, a set like this would be a dream come true, but in light of the many releases of SFTBC, particularly the 2006 2-disc deluxe edition, I think it would be more realistic to hope for a 2-disc expanded deluxe edition of ‘The Hurting’. To get all of those missing gems compiled onto one comprehensive edition would be amazing!

    In addition to the tracks from IDEA 1 – 6 mentioned above, I have a few more suggestions to complete the set:

    The Hurting (Peel Session 14/08/82) 3:44
    Suffer The Children (Peel Session 14/08/82) 3:54
    Ideas As Opiates (Peel Session 14/08/82) 3:42
    The Prisoner (Peel Session 14/08/82) 2:48

    Also, just a few comments on the 1998 remastering of SFTBC by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab. To date it is still the only CD release of the album which has the correct stereo channels with respect to the original vinyl (album and singles). The original Mercury release, the 1999 and 2006 remasters, and even first-pressing Japanese imports and the pressing included in the Japanese ‘Collusion’ box set all have the stereo channels reversed on the tracks from the album proper! The highly compressed Jon Astley remaster from ’99 goes the extra mile and has the channels reversed on all the bonus tracks as well.

    Also, as mentioned by Megatof above, the extended mix of ‘Shout’ included on the MFSL release is the full-length unedited 8:17 version (complete with a rough fade out/fade in/fade out ending) which was evidently the source tape which was edited to render the standard 7:35 UK mix.

    Lastly – for the completists – for some unknown reason the version of ‘Head Over Heels’ on the MFSL disc is a full 22 seconds longer than the standard album version before seguing into ‘Broken (Live)’.


    June 13, 2012 at 23:47

  11. Does anybody know where I can find the version of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” that is featured in the Songs From The Big Chair DVD? I’m referring to the instrumental version that appears once or twice in the DVD and features the synth/horn lines in the verses. Let me know if you have any info.


    Justin Perkins

    September 19, 2012 at 11:27

    • I don’t believe that this instrumental has yet been released on CD. I have an HQ vinyl rip (320 mbps. mp3) of it if you are interested.


      September 24, 2012 at 10:09

      • Hi, thanks for the info. That would be much appreciated if you could send a link to download the mp3 version. My address is:

        justincarlperkins (at) gmail dot com


        Justin Perkins

        September 24, 2012 at 10:14

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