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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC ALBUM WITH FANTASTIC RE-MASTERING & EXTRA TRACKS
The original album 'Songs From The Big Chair' features the worldwide smash hits 'Shout', 'Everybody Want To Rule The World' (No.1 in the USA, No.2 in the UK) and 'Head Over Heels'. However, it was only eight-track long and didn't fully showcast Roland Orzabal amazing talent at writing meaningful and out-of-the-mainstream compositions. The extra tracks on this re-release...
Published on 1 Mar 2004 by Film Buff

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars five star album tacky deluxe version
songs from the big chair is still one of the best 80's albums, it sold millions and when you listen to it you can see why. Shout, Everybody wants to rule the world, Head over heals, every track could be a single, and in fact nearly every track was. The problem with this set is not the music, but the mistake's in the track listing the package no longer having the plastic...
Published on 17 Jun 2012 by Mr. R. G. Prizeman


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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC ALBUM WITH FANTASTIC RE-MASTERING & EXTRA TRACKS, 1 Mar 2004
By 
This review is from: Songs From The Big Chair (Audio CD)
The original album 'Songs From The Big Chair' features the worldwide smash hits 'Shout', 'Everybody Want To Rule The World' (No.1 in the USA, No.2 in the UK) and 'Head Over Heels'. However, it was only eight-track long and didn't fully showcast Roland Orzabal amazing talent at writing meaningful and out-of-the-mainstream compositions. The extra tracks on this re-release of 'Songs From The Big Chair' paints a better picture of what the duo was about. All the extra tracks were available on the b-sides of the singles when they first came on vinyl. Most can also be found on the brilliant Tears For Fears collection of b-sides 'Saturnine Martial and Lunatic' album.
If you don't own a Tears For Fears album this is the one to get. Overall it's a good blend of pop chart hits and soundtrack quality b-sides. And the mind-addictive 'Shout' will have you muttering the lyrics to yourself for weeks.
In terms of production, this re-mastered collection is amazingly well 're-mastered'. The sound that comes through my hi-fi system is crip and clean, and at least twice better than the original album version. It worth noting that Chris Hughes was the producer of the original album, and he is also involved in the re-mastering of this new collection -- the result is one of the best re-mastered albums in my collection.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Eighties Weren't So Bad After All, 20 Mar 2004
This review is from: Songs From The Big Chair (Audio CD)
Circa March 1985 an issue of a magazine called Electronics and Music Maker featured Tears for Fears on the cover and prompted me to investigate them. Twenty years on the use of TFF material in 'Donnie Darko' prompted me to revisit their albums. Strangely, like a lot of recently released 80s albums (Rio, Don't Stand Me Down, Porcupine), this is a lot better than I remember it being. The album strikes a neat balance between fast dance orientated tracks, pop songs, and slower numbers. Standout tracks are the relentless Shout, Everybody Wants To Rule The World', 'Mother's Talk', the gorgeous melody and understated grandeur of 'I Believe', and the sheer pop bliss of 'Head Over Heels'. This is the sound of an adventurous band that wasn't given credit at the time for its achievements. Much like OMD, TFF suffered in the cool stakes for reasons other than the music - bad hair/incessantly namechecking Arthur Janov's 'The Primal Scream' in the case of TFF and bad dancing/attire in the case of OMD. These days where some new bands seem unable to function without visibly referencing the past it's refreshing to hear music that wasn't afraid of sounding modern and wasn't concerned about some foggy notion of retro authenticity. This issue is rounded off with a goodly number of, somewhat inessential, bonus tracks. I quite like 'The Marauders' though, the tinkly bonk synth sounds and burbling bass bringing to mind a Radiophonic Workshop with some of the kinks ironed out.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the very VERY best from the eighties!, 27 Dec 2004
By 
Tim Burness (Brighton, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Songs From The Big Chair (Audio CD)
Artistically and commercially brilliant. An album for my all-time Top Ten, including ALL artists and ALL genres of music. Over the last 25 years, few artists with substantial emotional depth and intelligence have managed to achieve mainstream international success. Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith did just that with "Songs From The Big Chair".
From the cathartic chant of opener "Shout" (still great for leaping around to at home!), to the ridiculously catchy massive hit "Everybody Wants To Rule The World", to the jazz crooning of "I Believe", every track has quality and substance. The standard of musicianship is exceptional, and a wide range of styles are embraced. Raw emotional power, lyrics that dig deep into psychological suffering but which are still somehow uplifting (even if it's not always clear what they are actually about), and great tunes. The sheer craftmanship shines throughout.
Tears For Fears made some excellent music both before and after this album, but it was with this one that all the ingredients really came together as a whole. Masterful. Thank you Roland and Curt.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A 5 star album, but a 4 star release ..., 30 May 2008
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Mr. P. G. Taylor (UK) - See all my reviews
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Already owning quite a bit of TFF stuff (inc the remastered/extra tracks release of Songs From The Big Chair from 1999 and the B Sides album Saturnine, Martial & Lunatic) i wasnt to sure whether it would be worth owning this as well, but i succummbed in the end. If you already have the two previous albums i mentioned, then you have around 75-80% of this album covered by those two, however, this album features a few mentionable tracks not available anywhere else, inc the Urban Mix of "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" (which features in its mix some elements used in the re-release for Sport Aid - see further on in my review) and the proper 7" vinyl version of "Mothers Talk" (featuring the slightly diff drum and bass), plus a few other previously unavailable 12" versions. This 2CD set (an import as well) is nicely packaged with artwork concurrent from the original relase period, and a nice booklet with some notes about the album. Sound quality is very good. The only reason i give this 4 stars really is because i would have thought they could have included the Sport Aid version of "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" (known as "Everybody Wants To Run The World") which i dont think is available on and previous CD releases at this time, and which i still have on vinyl in 7" and 12" formats. The same with the standard 12" mix of EWTRTW, which again, i dont think is on any other CD release. Infact, they could have easily dropped a few tracks from this release, such as "The Way You Are" which is not really from this period, and probably belongs more with The Hurting period, and the 7" version of Everybody Wants To Rule The World which is essentially the album version.
All in all a nice purchase, but you'll have to decide if its worth another 15 (current Amazon price) if you already have the earlier stuff; much better value if you dont !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The monumental second album, 17 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Songs From The Big Chair (Audio CD)
Back in 1985, two years between a first and second album was considered an awful long time, but this second album from TFF was well worth the wait. Taking them into a new, slightly more mature direction than their debut album The Hurting, Songs From The Big Chair became their biggest selling album worldwide, spawning five hit singles, and achieved that much sought-after combination of critical acclaim and commercial appeal. The hits you will probably already know if you were around at the time, such was their popularity that year, but there are other lesser known gems on the album such as The Working Hour and particularly the dramatic final track, Listen, which fuses operatic vocals with piano and swirling synths to end the album with climactic effect. Many years on, the album still retains great appeal, although you cannot help but be pulled back to the mid 1980's when you hear any of it's massively successful hit singles. The only problem I had with the album back then was that it only had eight tracks on it. The remastered version of the CD now contains several extra tracks (mostly B-sides of the singles) that make this much better value for money. Despite it's somewhat pretentious title (clumsily inspired by a film about a woman with multiple personality disorder), this album is certainly the most accessible of their work, tending not to dwell too much on the doom laden, darker aspects of the first album. Despite it's huge commercial appeal, it was still intelligent and thought provoking (as is most TFF material). Although this particular TFF fan doesn't think it's quite the best album in their catalogue, it can be described as nothing less than "brilliant" and should take it's place within every avid music collector's collection. Recommended.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Songs From The Big Chair, 3 Dec 2009
By 
Elaine Robertson (Australia) - See all my reviews
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This is a brilliant cd from the 80's and still holds it own in the year 2009. It never dates and is always great to listen to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Albums of the 1980s, 21 Dec 2011
By 
Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Songs From The Big Chair (Audio CD)
This is a review of the remastered CD with additional tracks. I was there in 1985 as a twenty-year-old fan who considered - and still considers - this to be one of the best albums of the decade. There are no duff tracks, and the hits `Shout', `Everybody Wants to Rule the World', and `Head over Heels' are each worthy of five stars on their own.

The generous sleevenotes give further background information to the origins and development of "that difficult second album." I cannot say that I understand the gist of all the lyrics on the album, but they are sung with great conviction. Concepts about mothers and about the nature of belief are prominent. These were also present in thirst first album, but now the tracks themselves are given space to grow and mature.

As well as the brilliant production and superlative arrangements, the duo and their producer Chris Hughes showed imagination as well in their track-listing. It was a good decision to open side two with a ballad, for instance, and the return of `Broken' at the end of `Head over Heels' is like the recapitulation of a symphonic movement. The eighth and last track brings the set to an unexpectedly confident conclusion.

With reference to the extras, these largely comprise the early building blocks of many of the tracks, as well as a couple of remixes. None of these bonus tracks are particularly worthy in themselves.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars five star album tacky deluxe version, 17 Jun 2012
By 
Mr. R. G. Prizeman "Dickie 1" (croydon UK) - See all my reviews
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songs from the big chair is still one of the best 80's albums, it sold millions and when you listen to it you can see why. Shout, Everybody wants to rule the world, Head over heals, every track could be a single, and in fact nearly every track was. The problem with this set is not the music, but the mistake's in the track listing the package no longer having the plastic sleeve, but the deluxe label stuck on the paper sleeve, which you now have to take off to get at the CD, and once removed it damages the box, not very nice when you are shelling out full price for this set. I note that due to complaints Universal have gone back to the plastic slip case (I just wish this was). On the second disc track 4 was meant to be everybody wants to run the world the sports relief single, but due to a mix up this the same version of everybody wants to rule the world as disc one appears. On the plus side the re-master is very good keeping sonic sound levels at a good level not ruining the quality by turning everything up. This is a timeless album and I personally feel this version should be pulled and re issued correctly giving the fan and listener the quality album they should be getting for a deluxe version. On a final note it would have been nice to have had a DVD of the videos, but from the leaflet inside that's available else where.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing value, 23 July 2006
By 
R. John "greedoe" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Having originally been released as an 8 track album, it's amazing and a testament to the power of remixes and b-side that Big Chair now commands a release worthy of 2CDs!

The pinnacles of the Tears catalogue gets an amazingly strenous workout here, adding rarities and unreleased material to the already burgeoning catalogue of vinyl only tracks. Hardest track to find? Maybe the Piano Version of Working Hour or the edit of Shout. Nice to see that I Believe (A Soulful Re-Recording) is getting a much needed airing as well.

This is an awesome collection for anyone with even a passing fancy for the band.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably The Best Album Of The 80`s, 23 Dec 2006
This review is from: Songs From The Big Chair (Audio CD)
This album had a huge impact on the music scene apon its release in the early part of the 80`s. The 1st single "Shout" was simply an audio assault of the ears with its relentless build up. All the while having you singing along before leaping around playing air guitar. The big single was "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" This is for me imho one of the greatest ever pop songs. Certainly it takes its place alongside The Police "Every Breath You Take". The great thing about this album is how good the songs really are. It was the 2 singles that pulled you in but the rest of the album floored you. Brilliantly crafted songs with intelligent lyrics, catchy melodies, outstanding musicianship, crisp production & lots of little nuances that kept you interested as a listener. Its also worth noting that this album had a big crossover of fans from Rock fans to outright pop fans, everybody rated this album. The tracks speak for themselves & you`ll be hard pressed to come up with a favourite, there all that good. "Shout" "Everybody...." "The Working Hour" "I Believe" "Head Over Heals" "Listen" all outstanding & beyond any doubt some of the finest songs written not just in the 80`s but in any decade. If you are a music fan who believes in real musicians who write & play there own instruments then this album is a must buy. If you want to hear one of the greatest ever albums then this is a must buy. You now also get some bonus tracks as well. My only gripe with the bonus tracks is the excellent "Pharaohs" that was the B side of "Everybody Wants..." is not included here. It is available on TFF Collection also available at Amazon, but it should have been included here. "Marauders" is the one stand out track here from the bonus tracks. An album that in many ways is still unsupassed. No serious record collection should be without it.
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Songs From The Big Chair by Tears For Fears (Audio CD - 1999)
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