Saturday, September 6, 2014

the seeds of love

Tears for Fears opened hearts and minds with the expansive organic sound of this soulful and sophisticated labor of love.  The massive success of their second album had left the band in a quandary over what direction they wanted to pursue next.  Roland Orzabal reveals:  "After we recorded 'Songs From The Big Chair', all around us there was a desire to recreate it. Everybody except me and Curt felt we were on to a good thing. I couldn't see it that way. I believe that to create you have to destroy. It's painful and it's difficult but it's the only way I can work...A lot of it was programmed on synthesisers and drum machines. There was no fluidity or expression.  After two or three months it was driving me mad because I was waking up to the limits of our own music - it had become a straight jacket."

After ten months of recording with producers Clive Langer, Alan Winstanley, and then Chris Hughes; the band decided to start over and produce the new album themselves.  Engineer Dave Bascombe would co-produce the sessions that took place over another seventeen months.  The duo went back to Kansas City where they had seen Oleta Adams performing at a hotel bar and asked her to take part in the new sessions, which became more focused on jamming and musical interplay.  At the same time, Orzabal built a studio at his home in Chalk Farm, London.  

Curt Smith considers:   "We just wanted to do something more musically expressive.  You can't do that by using machines. You need to get a bunch of players in and work them.  ... As a band, we came from the programmed pop era of the early '80s and we had inherited a sense of structure that permeated almost all our music. The way we were working was becoming too sterile. We wanted to do something more colourful, something that sounded big and warm. You cannot get that from machines. You only get that with real musicians and real players."

'The Seeds of Love' features Roland Orzabal on guitars, lead vocals, keyboards, and Fairlight programming;  Curt Smith on bass and vocals;   with Manu Katché, Chris Hughes, Phil Collins, and Simon Phillips on drums;  Pino Palladino on bass;  Simon Clark, Nicky Holland, Ian Stanley, and Oleta Adams on piano and keyboards;  Robbie McIntosh, Neil Taylor, and Randy Jacobs on guitar;  Carole Steele and Luís Jardim on percussion;   Jon Hassell on trumpet;  Peter Hope-Evans on harmonica;  Suzie Katayama on cello;  orchestral arrangements by Richard Niles;  and  Oleta Adams, Tessa Niles, Carol Kenyon, Nicky Holland, Dollette McDonald, Andy Caine, and Maggie Ryder on vocals and backing vocals.  

'The Seeds of Love' sprouted to number eighteen in Australia;  fourteen in Norway;  thirteen in Austria;  eight in Switzerland and the US;  seven in the Netherlands;  five in Canada, Germany, Sweden, and Italy;  four in New Zealand;  three in France;  and made its debut at number one in the UK.

The pseudo-psychedelic centerpiece of the album "Sowing the Seeds of Love" became a worldwide smash hit, going to number eighteen in France, thirteen in Australia, eleven in Germany, five in the UK, four in Ireland and New Zealand, three in the Netherlands, two in Italy and the US, and number one in Canada.  Orzabal says:  "I wrote it on the back of the last general election.  I was angry and a bit upset that Thatcher had got re-elected and I wanted to write a protest song, but I didn't want to write a protest song that was angry and bitter and full of resentment 'cause that puts people off I wanted to write a song that was sweet but also sour...When it was alright to sing 'All you need is love'. There was a time when it was okay to be idealistic or, dare I say it, spiritual. I wanted to jog everyone's memory."

Tears for Fears Sowing the Seeds of Love by Celtiemama

Sowing The Seeds Of Love By Tears For Fears. from OreOne on Vimeo.

"Advice for the Young at Heart"  features Curt Smith on lead vocals

"Woman in Chains"

'The Seeds of Love'
full album:

1. "Woman in Chains"   Roland Orzabal 6:30
2. "Badman's Song"   Orzabal, Nicky Holland 8:32
3. "Sowing the Seeds of Love"   Orzabal, Curt Smith 6:19
4. "Advice for the Young at Heart"   Orzabal, Holland 4:54
5. "Standing on the Corner of the Third World"  Orzabal 5:30
6. "Swords and Knives"   Orzabal, Holland 6:20
7. "Year of the Knife"   Orzabal, Holland 7:01
8. "Famous Last Words"   Orzabal, Holland 4:25

b-side bonus tracks
9. "Tears Roll Down" (B-side to "Sowing The Seeds Of Love") Orzabal, Dave Bascombe 3:16
10. "Always in the Past"  (B-side to "Woman in Chains") Orzabal, Ian Stanley 4:38
11. "Music for Tables" (B-side to "Advice for the Young at Heart") Orzabal 3:32
12. "Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams" (additional B-side to "Advice for the Young at Heart") Orzabal 4:17

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