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Tears For Fears|The Seeds Of Love

The Seeds Of Love

Tears For Fears

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Along with the mega-platinum Songs from the Big Chair, The Seeds of Love rendered Tears for Fears one of the '80s most successful pop groups. The album was created during a profound period of catharsis. Curt Smith was going through a divorce while Roland Orzabal was in primal therapy. Musically, it's their most sophisticated outing, and it should be: It took four years, four producers, and over a million pounds to complete. The duo sought to distance themselves from the synth pop of their earlier records in favor of a more organic approach using live musicians. Included in this all-star cast are Kate St. John, Jon Hassell, Robbie Macintosh, and Ian Stanley. Orzabal began writing in 1985 with touring keyboardist Nicky Holland and continued in London in 1986. Their collaboration netted half the album's tracks, including "Bad Man's Song." Due to outside pressures, Smith's only co-writing credit is the soaring title track, though he played, sang, and advised on all charts and mixes. The album's Muse is American vocalist/pianist Oleta Adams. Orzabal caught her set in a hotel bar in 1985 and asked her two years later to duet on the transcendent album-opener "Woman in Chains." It set the tone for the entire proceeding. (The glorious drumming on the cut is by Phil Collins.) Adams also contributed gospel vocals to "Bad Man's Song," which features a Holland piano intro strongly suggestive of Weather Report's "Birdland." The presence of drummer Manu Katche and bassist Pino Palladino underscores it. The production chart for "Sowing the Seeds of Love" borrows heavily from the Beatles' "I Am the Walrus," but ends up as a spiritual, sociopolitical anthem in its own sonic universe. Smith's devastatingly beautiful refrain and the brief, seemingly errant entrance of an operatic soprano and a choir, frame the panoramic horns, strings, and Fairlight orchestrations, resulting in one of the duo's most enduring songs. On "Advice for the Young at Heart," Smith's and Holland's vocals entwine in a melody grounded in blue-eyed soul, jazz, and elegant pop that recalls the Style Council. Hassell's fourth world trumpet introduces the lithe "Standing on the Corner of the Third World," clearing the way for a melody that melds Bacharach-esque pop to folk, rock, and chamber jazz, with riveting singing from Smith and Orzabal. "Swords and Knives" melds squalling prog rock guitar (a la Robert Fripp) to Afro-Latin polyrhythms and orchestral arrangements woven through psych-pop overtones. The rave-up rocker "Year of the Knife" is loaded with effects. Its siren-like strings provide ballast for ripping, multi-tracked guitars, samples, atmospherics, punchy drums, and a soul revue chorus. Closer "Famous Last Words" opens with ambient sounds and a lone piano as Orzabal delivers a love song about mortality. Simon Phillips' drumming propels wafting strings and a chorale, before they're stripped away at close. Thanks to the duo's uncompromising stubbornness, expansive creative vision, and Dave Bascombe's final production, The Seeds of Love has dated better than either of its predecessors and is inarguably Tears for Fears' masterpiece.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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The Seeds Of Love

Tears For Fears

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1
Woman In Chains
00:06:30

Neil Taylor, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Curle, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Curt Smith, Producer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Phil Collins, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - BOB CLEARMOUNTAIN, Mixer, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - STEVE CHASE, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROLAND ORZABAL, Producer, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Drum Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Oleta Adams, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - DAVID BASCOMBE, Producer - Tears For Fears, MainArtist - Heidi Cannavo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1989 Mercury Records Limited, Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music Group, Inc.

2
Bad Man's Song
00:08:32

Nicky Holland, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Lee Curle, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie McIntosh, Guitar, Steel Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Curt Smith, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - BOB CLEARMOUNTAIN, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - STEVE CHASE, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tessa Niles, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Carol Kenyon, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - ROLAND ORZABAL, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Drum Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Manu Katche, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Oleta Adams, Keyboards, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - DAVID BASCOMBE, Producer - Carol Steele, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Tears For Fears, Producer, MainArtist - Simon Clark, Hammond Organ, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Heidi Cannavo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1989 Mercury Records Limited, Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

3
Sowing The Seeds Of Love
00:06:16

Lee Curle, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Curt Smith, Producer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ian Stanley, Producer, Hammond Organ, AssociatedPerformer - STEVE CHASE, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Hughes, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - ROLAND ORZABAL, Producer, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Drum Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Richard Niles, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - DAVID BASCOMBE, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tears For Fears, MainArtist - Heidi Cannavo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Raoul’s Fairlight, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1989 Mercury Records Limited, Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music Group, Inc

4
Advice For The Young At Heart
00:04:50

Nicky Holland, Keyboards, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Maggie Ryder, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Curt Smith, Producer, Bass Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - ROLAND ORZABAL, Producer, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Drum Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - DAVID BASCOMBE, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tears For Fears, MainArtist - Simon Clark, Hammond Organ, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1989 Mercury Records Limited, Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

5
Standing On The Corner Of The Third World
00:05:30

Lee Curle, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Curt Smith, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - STEVE CHASE, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Pino Palladino, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Tessa Niles, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Carol Kenyon, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - ROLAND ORZABAL, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Drum Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Manu Katche, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Oleta Adams, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - DAVID BASCOMBE, Producer - Jon Hassell, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Carol Steele, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Tears For Fears, Producer, MainArtist - Simon Clark, Hammond Organ, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Heidi Cannavo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Hope-Evans, Harmonica, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1989 Mercury Records Limited

6
Swords And Knives
00:06:12

Nicky Holland, Piano, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Lee Curle, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Curt Smith, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - STEVE CHASE, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tessa Niles, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - ROLAND ORZABAL, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Drum Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - DAVID BASCOMBE, Producer - Tears For Fears, Producer, MainArtist - Kate St. John, Oboe, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Heidi Cannavo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1989 Mercury Records Limited, Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

7
Year Of The Knife
00:07:08

Nicky Holland, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Neil Taylor, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Curle, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robbie McIntosh, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Curt Smith, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - BOB CLEARMOUNTAIN, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - STEVE CHASE, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tessa Niles, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Carol Kenyon, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - ROLAND ORZABAL, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Drum Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Andy Caine, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - DAVID BASCOMBE, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Dolette McDonald, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Tears For Fears, Producer, MainArtist - Simon Clark, Hammond Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Heidi Cannavo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1989 Mercury Records Limited

8
Famous Last Words
00:04:24

Nicky Holland, Piano, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Lee Curle, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Curt Smith, Producer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - STEVE CHASE, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROLAND ORZABAL, Producer, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Drum Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - DAVID BASCOMBE, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jon Hassell, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Tears For Fears, MainArtist - Heidi Cannavo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1989 Mercury Records Limited, Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

9
Tears Roll Down
00:03:16

Lee Curle, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Curt Smith, Producer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - STEVE CHASE, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROLAND ORZABAL, Producer, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Drum Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - DAVID BASCOMBE, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Tears For Fears, MainArtist - Heidi Cannavo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1989 Mercury Records Limited

10
Always In The Past
00:04:38

Nicky Holland, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Maggie Ryder, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Curle, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Curt Smith, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Stanley, ComposerLyricist - STEVE CHASE, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROLAND ORZABAL, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Drum Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - DAVID BASCOMBE, Producer - Tears For Fears, Producer, MainArtist - Heidi Cannavo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1989 Mercury Records Limited

11
Music For Tables
00:03:32

Lee Curle, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Curt Smith, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - STEVE CHASE, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROLAND ORZABAL, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Drum Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - DAVID BASCOMBE, Producer - Tears For Fears, Producer, MainArtist - Heidi Cannavo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1990 Mercury Records Limited

12
Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams
00:04:17

Lee Curle, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Curt Smith, Producer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - STEVE CHASE, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - ROLAND ORZABAL, Producer, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Drum Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - DAVID BASCOMBE, Producer - Tears For Fears, MainArtist - Heidi Cannavo, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1990 Mercury Records Limited

Album Description

Along with the mega-platinum Songs from the Big Chair, The Seeds of Love rendered Tears for Fears one of the '80s most successful pop groups. The album was created during a profound period of catharsis. Curt Smith was going through a divorce while Roland Orzabal was in primal therapy. Musically, it's their most sophisticated outing, and it should be: It took four years, four producers, and over a million pounds to complete. The duo sought to distance themselves from the synth pop of their earlier records in favor of a more organic approach using live musicians. Included in this all-star cast are Kate St. John, Jon Hassell, Robbie Macintosh, and Ian Stanley. Orzabal began writing in 1985 with touring keyboardist Nicky Holland and continued in London in 1986. Their collaboration netted half the album's tracks, including "Bad Man's Song." Due to outside pressures, Smith's only co-writing credit is the soaring title track, though he played, sang, and advised on all charts and mixes. The album's Muse is American vocalist/pianist Oleta Adams. Orzabal caught her set in a hotel bar in 1985 and asked her two years later to duet on the transcendent album-opener "Woman in Chains." It set the tone for the entire proceeding. (The glorious drumming on the cut is by Phil Collins.) Adams also contributed gospel vocals to "Bad Man's Song," which features a Holland piano intro strongly suggestive of Weather Report's "Birdland." The presence of drummer Manu Katche and bassist Pino Palladino underscores it. The production chart for "Sowing the Seeds of Love" borrows heavily from the Beatles' "I Am the Walrus," but ends up as a spiritual, sociopolitical anthem in its own sonic universe. Smith's devastatingly beautiful refrain and the brief, seemingly errant entrance of an operatic soprano and a choir, frame the panoramic horns, strings, and Fairlight orchestrations, resulting in one of the duo's most enduring songs. On "Advice for the Young at Heart," Smith's and Holland's vocals entwine in a melody grounded in blue-eyed soul, jazz, and elegant pop that recalls the Style Council. Hassell's fourth world trumpet introduces the lithe "Standing on the Corner of the Third World," clearing the way for a melody that melds Bacharach-esque pop to folk, rock, and chamber jazz, with riveting singing from Smith and Orzabal. "Swords and Knives" melds squalling prog rock guitar (a la Robert Fripp) to Afro-Latin polyrhythms and orchestral arrangements woven through psych-pop overtones. The rave-up rocker "Year of the Knife" is loaded with effects. Its siren-like strings provide ballast for ripping, multi-tracked guitars, samples, atmospherics, punchy drums, and a soul revue chorus. Closer "Famous Last Words" opens with ambient sounds and a lone piano as Orzabal delivers a love song about mortality. Simon Phillips' drumming propels wafting strings and a chorale, before they're stripped away at close. Thanks to the duo's uncompromising stubbornness, expansive creative vision, and Dave Bascombe's final production, The Seeds of Love has dated better than either of its predecessors and is inarguably Tears for Fears' masterpiece.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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