60 ALBUMS @ 60 : #47


The Hurting – Tears For Fears (1983)

This is an album that wouldn’t have been considered for the shortlist until more recent times.

As I mentioned in September 2021, which was the previous occasion that I wrote about The Hurting, I hadn’t given much thought to Tears For Fears since the mid-80s, such was my dislike for the album Songs From The Big Chair (1985) and the awful singles that were lifted from it.

The abrupt change came courtesy of me spotting, and deciding to buy, a reasonably second-hand vinyl copy of the 1983 debut album.  It had been a record I had bought and enjoyed back in the day, but that had been missing from the collection for as long as I can remember – most likely loaned out and not returned.

It proved to be a very interesting, intriguing and ultimately enjoyable experience to listen to The Hurting in its entirety after a considerable period of time.  I certainly had forgotten that it was an album in which very serious, difficult and often uncomfortably personal subject matters were covered.  As I wrote in that piece in September 2021, given that so many debut albums often feature material drawn from personal circumstances, you have to wonder what sort of fucked up life had been endured by songwriter Roland Orzabal, who was just 21 years old when these songs were recorded.

The Hurting went to #1 in the UK, with its success driven in the main by the three singles lifted from it, all of which went Top 5 and led to Tears For Fears becoming mainstays on Top of The Pops and pin-ups within the pages of Smash Hits.

mp3: Tears For Fears – Mad World

Mad World is a deceptively brilliant song.   A tune that demands you get up and dance, but with a lyric that is all about depression, isolation and helplessness. It’s a single that, on reflection, I should have found space for in the 45 45s at 45 rundown in 2008 – the problem was that I had completely dismissed the group as near-worthless on the basis of the second album.

I’d like to think that having The Hurting take its deserved place in the 60 @ 60 rundown goes some way to making up for that oversight.


5 thoughts on “60 ALBUMS @ 60 : #47

  1. This is an LP that I have never owned, well… not properly. Digital doesn’t count, does it?

    A pal bought it when it was released and I remember that I really took to it and would often borrow it. Several years ago, in a pique of nostalgia, I bought the download and have barely listened to it – a common problem for me with digital music.

    I always found the art work (UK), combined with title to be powerful.

    I didn’t care of the second LP and liked the third LP even less.

  2. I haven’t listened to this in decades- will give it another go- somehow the Gary Jules cover of ‘mad world’ seems to be the definitive version in my fading memory

  3. I wore my Hurting cassette OUT. I loved that album so much. I too remember the abject disappointment of Songs from the Big Chair, coupled with enragement as it went on to chart domination in the US. The result for me was that I completely wrote them off. I don’t think I’ve listened to the entire album all the way through since 1986. This is as good an excuse as any. Looking forward to it!

  4. +1 on the “loved the debut” but hated the follow-up. I have the original CD, the 1993 remaster and the 2013 box set and listen to one of them monthly depending on location (car, work or house). Never bought any version of the SfBC and cringe when I hear anything (esp. Shout). Recently attended a wedding and the DJ played Change and Pale Shelter which was such a welcome change to the usual dreck.

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