From the Moderator: Some weeks ago, the fantastic show Tell Me More, which ran on NPR for several years, featured a segment titled “In Your Ear.” This particular episode from the 20th of February was replayed this summer and wow did it touch a nerve.
Over the past few months, at media conferences I’ve gotten into deep meaningful conversations about Tears for Fears with various attendees and media industry pals. Each person has told me amazing stories of where they were when they first heard them. Just this past Sunday, over dinner, an operations director told me she was 14 years old when she first saw TFF on MTV around 1983, the video for the song “Change” came on. “MTV was still very new at the time, ” she said. “It was the opening sound of the xylophone that drew me in. I was mesmerized by that song.” She also reminisced about enjoying Pale Shelter and couldn’t wait for Songs from the Big Chair. What an impact that album made…and on so many people including Bunji Garlin, a soca artist from Trinidad and Tabago.
(paraphrase) “There are so many things about that song. It just lifts my spirit. There’s serious nostalgia when I hear that song. My childhood days come back into play. I remember when my parents were still together, we were in the same household, whole atmosphere becomes something like dreamlike, I like to dream a lot so I constantly play that song.” ::Click here to listen to his words::
I can truly relate to this. Hearing Mr. Garlin speak so passionately about EWTRTW with the same visions that I have, of being a child with family, many new to the USA, still by my side, long before any of life’s realities challenged hopes and dreams. Everybody Wants to Rule the World, was my first introduction to Tears for Fears at age 5/6 (had just turned a year older, wasn’t even a month into it, a cold winter day on the way to school in my blue English pea coat with red lining listening to the car radio). When I heard Mr. Garlin speak with the same soul stirring memories, I fought back tears because that’s the story of so many in our huge fan circle. So many fans write, tweet, post and share their “why I love Tears for Fears” stories. A number of the reports sound like those of Mr. Garlin. When I speak to people, their recollection is reiterated with the same passion…that soul stirring vision. Gives me happy chills. So many say the band’s music “saved” them from very difficult times in their lives…even preventing some from taking their own lives.
Tears for Fears have countless extraordinary songs. From the chart toppers to the B-sides of Saturnine Martial Lunatic, not to mention both Roland and Curt’s solo work, all of this music gets “replay” time in excess. It’s not just on our digital devices but in our hearts and minds. It comforts us during the wildest times in our lives…the good moments, the bad, the hopeful.
Now, here we go happily again, by popular demand, a new Tears for Fears album to change our lives. It’s a grand addition to our life’s soundtrack. We will remember this moment for years to come. We will talk for years about how we were bracing for it, asking for it and all the interactions and days that led up to it. Hold on and hug each other tight because the magic of their music is about to flood us with new memories and excitement. So, “cheers” to the great mini-tour which starts next week, warm wishes for safe TSO anniversary and sincere hopes for everyone to have a chance to live in the majestic marvelousness that is Tears for Fears Live. Your soul will soar, that’s a promise!
Thanks for reading!
Big thanks to Michel Martin for her amazing show. It is certainly missed.
The Initial Release
On this day 11 years ago (11 September 2001), the beloved Roland Orzabal’s solo album Tomcats Screaming Outside was released. This was also a horrific day in world history as a force (origins still truly unknown) that brought destruction to the United States overshadowed a number of fantastic accomplishments that took place around this time. The world was unable to focus on anything else, many completely missed this release. May those who lost someone during the senseless game of politics find peace quickly…
Tears for Fears Everywhere We Go
Coincidently, this album’s lyrics and sentiment cushioned the signs of the times. Tears For Fears as a whole have remained not only in touch with “the people” but also ahead of their time. Carrying the band’s name alone, Roland’s impeccable esp slipped into later works. The albums were not only damn good but miraculously comforting for the events that were to come. Pop culture, technology and media in general began putting bits of Elemental in their productions i.e. The Real World on MTV -Boston & New Star in the movie Threesome…the list goes on. Roland was very much engaged and intertwined in society. Though subtle, “we saw him” and remained connected as much as possible…even through his supposed love of mucking around the kitchen.
From the Moderator -Andye’s notes:
I’m still unsure how on earth I missed the original release. I believe it was due to a distraction I had at the time, I was about to leave the country and had become quite focused on musicians from my immediate relatives’ culture —Cheb Mami, Cheb Khaled & Rachid Taha. I always wondered if any of these guys would collaborate with TFF the way Cheb Mami had with Sting. Anyway, I found the album 1 year and 1 month to the day of the initial release…at Best Buy on Cumberland Parkway in Smyrna Georgia just minutes from Atlanta. Every time I go into a music store I have to see if they’ve stocked Tears For Fears. I just have to. As always, I slowly scanned the O-P-Q-R-S-T aisle…and then…I saw it!! There was Roland Orzabal blurred out on the cover of a CD.I gasped loudly, snatched the album ( the last one mind you) and pressed it close to me, hiding it even… as if someone was going to knock me down and kill me for it. That was it for that afternoon. The rest of my day was spent listening to that album and trying to find out where on earth the fanclub had moved (I would live in a fan club HQ if I could). It was almost like finding a long lost friend at random and taking them out for tea. All I wanted to do was “catch up.”
It didn’t take me long to become attached to each song…and it brought me back to the TFF research table, eager to know the background of the songs, what sparked the one titled “Hey Andy” and what was next? 11 years later I’m still in awe of this album’s sound. It’s still way ahead of its time. Of every solo album produced by members of the band past and present, fans voted a year ago, on FB, that Tomcats Screaming Outside is by far the strongest of them all. “Leaps and bounds…” a few fans said.
Tomcats Appreciation Society
There is a Facebook Tomcats Screaming Outside group page made up of TFF fans (people who are supportive of both Roland & CURT). It discusses the lyrics and the album as if it were Shakespeare (because it is the next best thing, hands down). The group is moderated by Alisa of Wild World who collabs with Roland’s youngest brother Julian (aka **The Captain**). It is one of the many TFF topical discussion pages that truly focuses on the music of the band vs. how good they look physically. You won’t find gaggling-giggling girls and guys competing to post the next “hot photo of Roland & Curt” but instead an educated group of “thinkers” who hear more than just a song…they see a genius.
Release of TSO
Requests for this album to be re-released are not uncommon. Fans have agreed that they are willing to contribute money to the costs and a just under $300 was quickly collected 2 days before the start of the TFF 2012 tour. However, according to Traci Smith who is a member of the Tears for Fears Travelling Fan Team, $15,000 USD is the estimated cost of producing an album so we have a long way to go. The money that has been collected is held in an online banking account until the total funds have been raised. If anyone is serious about raising this money and presenting it to him, then, by all means speak up.
Ordering your copy
The album is available in what seems to be extremely limited quantities on Amazon and a few other places (note the profile associated with the Amazon page…) The album cost ranges from $10.99-$17.00 plus shipping, tax, etc. So, expect to pay $20 and it’s worth it…priceless even…so, don’t sell it!
There is a video from the album. Some say it is difficult to understand (even Roland himself admits he wasn’t sure the video had anything to do with the song); others “get it.” We recommend listening to the album 2-3 times, tattoo it on your soul then dive into the video. Doing it in reverse order will only cause confusion. It’s a powerful album, be careful with it…
Listen to the video below to get Mr. O’s perspective.
Fans worldwide LOVE & ADORE this album as if it were human…and in many ways it is. It is the extraordinary work of a genius. There’s no questioning that. Every year, on the anniversary of its initial release, Tears for Fears fans spend a moment or two listening to it in all its glory. There are no words to truly describe it…it’s just outstanding…a brilliant creation that can be enjoyed from start to finish. The fan appreciation continues this year with statements like the below coming in.
“The album represents what all albums aspire to, one complete listen from beginning to end. Brilliant.” -Robert M.
“This album is a true masterpiece. Every song creeps into my inner core. Thank you so much Roland for giving us some of the best music the human ear can absorb. Our hearts absorb it even more. Here’s to Tomcats Screaming Outside!” -Brandi Anne H.
“Pure Genius” -Carolyn H.
“I thank Roland for creating this wonderful album. He is a true gift from God.” -Sheila S.
**Videos are linked to fans’ YouTube pages and those who have been so gracious to promote this album on YouTube over the past few years. Special thanks to Brigitte for the outstanding contributions and montages to match the music.
Now, GO BUY THE ALBUM!! NOTHING LIKE REAL INTERE$T TO GET A RE-RELEASE!!!
Please Cutie Curt & Ravishing Rollie Sunshine, can we have another B-sides? Deep down we’re grateful they are singing “together” and prefer it that way…The solo works have been beyond enjoyable and TSO has certainly won its place with a gold medal in music. Our hope is that the band will release some if not all the b-sides from all of these albums (those that perhaps didn’t make it to SML) and just title it Our Hodgepodge Genius …and let us buy it. The amount of unheard tracks stashed away here and there is excruciating.
Let’s hope and pray for the best…if push comes to shove we’ll dress in various shades of blue, march peacefully to Bath and LA with money bags, occupying their local tea houses til they let us have it.
If you are hard-core TFF superfanatic that appreciates everything that comes from that family, their friends and relatives…and you’re wishful for new music, be sure to check out DelaQ (just do it, you’ll be pleased). Cheers!