‘Shout’: Tears For Fears Let It All Out With A Song From The Big Chair

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The opening track from Songs From The Big Chair was making its big entrance for Tears For Fears on December 1, 1984. The band debuted on the UK singles chart with “Shout,” which became their fourth Top 5 hit in two years and went on to top the Billboard Hot 100.

The irresistibly catchy song was written by the band’s Roland Orzabal with Ian Stanley, also a member of Tears For Fears during the 1980s, and was produced by Chris Hughes, who produced the whole of the massively successful Big Chair album. “Shout” may have been a singalong, but like much of TFF’s material, it contained a serious message, inspired by the duo’s adherence to the teachings of American psychologist Arthur Janov and his primal scream psychotherapy

The group had made their UK singles chart debut two years earlier with “Mad World,” which hit No.3 and was swiftly followed by the No.4 success “Change” (both of them certified silver) and the No.5 “Pale Shelter.” But “Shout” was the sound of a band who were now truly ready for their big international expansion.

Five million US sales

Even though Big Chair “only” reached No.2 in Britain, whereas its 1983 predecessor The Hurting topped the chart, the new album easily outsold Tears For Fears’ debut, going triple platinum. In the US, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” was a No.1 single before “Shout” repeated the feat — in the UK, the hits arrived the other way around — and by July 1985, the album was starting an aggregate run of five weeks atop the Billboard 200, on its way to five million sales there.

Listen to the 80s Classic Hits playlist.

Tears For Fears’ role in the so-called “Second British Invasion” of America was assured. Big Chair spent no fewer than 83 weeks on the Billboard album chart, and 81 in the UK. The popularity of “Shout” and the rest of Tears For Fears’ hit catalog was reemphasized by the late 2017 arrival of the new compilation Rule The World, which debuted in the Top 15 of the UK chart and featured two new songs.

Buy or stream “Shout” on Songs From The Big Chair.

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