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Archive for the ‘Tears for Fears’ Category

Odd Budget Comps Coming Your Way from Universal

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Two unusual listings have appeared from Universal’s U.K. arm: budget-priced, double-disc compilations for ABC and Tears for Fears.

They’re certainly appealing to the collector of either band, but they sure are strange; the sets don’t have any cohesive order about them. They’re all singles, album cuts and some B-sides just sort of mixed up. Odd.

In any case, they might be fun if you haven’t purchased any deluxe editions or other sets with these tracks. So have a look after the jump for track lists and order links!

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 19, 2010 at 15:07

Reissue Theory: Tears for Fears, “Elemental”

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One of the hardest parts of being a reissue fan is waiting. Sometimes a project will get announced, then delayed or cancelled outright. Those long gaps between reissues can be irksome, particularly when the delay time fails to lead to any improvement or innovation in the packaging and presentation of a catalogue title.

Other times, though, the reason behind the lack of a reissue is simply that nobody thinks to re-release it. Take, for instance, one of the better bands of the 1980s – Tears for Fears. About a decade ago, Mercury treated the three classic TFF LPs (those fronted by both founding members, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith) to a digital remaster with a host of bonus tracks. Three other studio albums rest in the band’s discography: Elemental (1993) and Raoul and the Kings of Spain (1995) were the two TFF albums with only Orzabal at the helm, and latest effort Everybody Loves a Happy Ending (2004) reunited the duo to a receptive audience.

Happy Ending, due to its relative newness, probably won’t be due for a reissue anytime soon, but Raoul got a nice reissue last year from the Cherry Pop label – a reissue that did a good job of reintroducing perhaps the oddest album in the band’s catalogue. That just leaves Elemental as the only TFF LP having never received a reissue of any kind.

It’s a darn solid album – bolstered by some upbeat rockers like “Break It Down Again” and “Cold” – and like all TFF records, it had its fair share of B-side material that would complement a new reissue for sure. Perhaps someday, Cherry Pop (or someone else) will give Elemental the revisiting it deserves; until then, have a look at The Second Disc’s Reissue Theory treatment of the album after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 1, 2010 at 13:48

Back Tracks: Tears for Fears

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Not many people dig music from the 1980s. To a degree, I understand why. Sandwiched between the monstrous artistry of album-oriented rock bands of the ’70s and the mainstream-busting advances of grunge and rap in the ’90s, most of the music of the ’80s was characterized by an emphasis on image (i.e.: MTV) and artifice (why hire a drummer when you can buy a Linn LM-1?).

But a good song – whether it’s a hit or not – will transcend its labels and packaging and hopefully turn into something you’ll want to hear over and over again. I can think of no better example of this phenomenon than Tears for Fears.

I got pretty fiercely hooked on TFF in college – and who wouldn’t be, really? The group’s first three LPs – 1983’s The Hurting, 1985’s Songs from the Big Chair and 1989’s The Seeds of Love – are not only engaging for their songs, but for their evolution as well. The Hurting was a dark, New Wave type album heavy on introspection and psychoanalysis. This gave way to Big Chair, contextualized those themes on a bigger playing field, both lyrically (not just self against self, but self against others) and sonically (keyboards now mixed with heavier guitars and fresher drum sounds). The Seeds of Love would take that evolution even further (way more live instrumentation, more big-picture lyrics).

The group’s core members, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, would split up after Seeds, leaving Orzabal to carry the TFF moniker through a pair of good-but-not-great albums in the 1990s. But the duo would reconvene in the 2000s, releasing Everybody Loves a Happy Ending in 2004 and playing gigs here and there around the world.

Along the way, the band’s catalogue has seen its share of reissuing and remastering. If nothing else, the handling of the catalogue proves that Tears for Fears is much more than an ’80s synth-pop band – although for every catalogue title it seems there’s some material that could have been.

Now, in honor of Songs from the Big Chair, which was released a quarter-century ago today, The Second Disc presents a look back at the catalogue titles of Tears for Fears. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

February 25, 2010 at 13:29

Release Round-Up: In Case You Missed Them

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Here are a couple of catalogue release tidbits, one that I’m certain is fairly new and a few stragglers I’ve neglected to mention thus far:

  • Rhino has started taking pre-orders for The Prague Sessions, a new Peter, Paul and Mary compilation. The set features previously unreleased live versions of the folk group’s best-known songs, backed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Should be an interesting new way to hear these songs.
  • On March 23, Eagle Records is releasing Live at Knebworth, a two-disc live set originally released (as Knebworth: The Album on Polydor) in 1990. Recorded during a widely-celebrated concert to raise money for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and the Brit School Of Performing Arts, this title features live performances by Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, Status Quo, Elton John, Genesis, Tears for Fears and more.
  • Spandau Ballet fans, fire up your credit cards: two of the band’s records are getting expanded reissues, but as of now they only look to be U.K. imports. Journeys to Glory (1981) and Diamond (1982) will each come with a bonus disc packed with B-sides, remixes and previously unreleased live tracks. (Anyone else find it as funny as I do that the sets are arranged not unlike the Duran Duran remasters of late?) Have a look at the track list for both over here.
  • A previously reported release, the Legacy Edition of Elvis Presley’s On Stage, has been given a formal track list. The set combines the original On Stage live LP from1970 with four bonus tracks and adds an expanded version of Elvis in Person at the International Hotel, a live record released in 1969 as part of the set From Memphis to Vegas/From Vegas to Memphis. (The other half of that set, the studio album Back in Memphis, was reissued last year on the Legacy Edition of From Elvis in Memphis.)

Written by Mike Duquette

February 25, 2010 at 10:34

In With the Old: 2009 in Reissues

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Good evening and welcome to The Second Disc! Assuming you’ve taken a look at the page where I’ve explained this blog, I’d like to present a list of some of the best catalogue titles released to the public during the past year. This year was just as full of complaints about the demise of the music industry as ever (I guess part of this can be blamed on the general economic malaise gripping us all), but this really seemed to be a great year for reissues and box sets of all sorts.

Two notes before I begin. First, anyone who has befriended me on Facebook has possibly already read this list. I apologize for making you sit through it again. Second, and more importantly, a mini-disclaimer: my enthusiasm for reissues is well known to have manifested into an internship at Universal Music Enterprises, the catalog arm of Universal Music Group, as well as encounters with some great people who have done some killer work on catalog titles. Several of these titles were worked upon by people I have met. I will mark them with an asterisk, lest they be seen as mash notes from a fellow friend/fan/person eager to break into the catalog business. But trust me, I’d give high marks to these even if I didn’t know anyone associated with them.

Now, after the jump, my list – in no particular order but alphabetical: Read the rest of this entry »