Tears For Fears: The Hurting (30th Anniversary Edition) – album reviewTears For Fears – The Hurting (30th Anniversary Edition) (Universal Music Catalogue and Virgin / EMI) 

Cd+Dvd, Box Set

Out Now

With a career that has spanned three decades, Tears For Fears stand out as one of the most successful singer, song-writer and producer duos of the modern era. To celebrate this on Monday a bumper edition of their debut was released with the inevitable swathe of extra’s and add ons. So is it worth the hefty price-tag? Read on to find out.

I’ve always had a very personal connection with Tears For Fears. It was about the only thing my mother liked other than Motown, not that there’s anything wrong with that and, thanks to keyboardist Ian Stanley, they’re the reason I have my name. Even though this album was released four years before my birth it played an integral part in my early development as a lifelong devotee to the musical world.

Being the initial release of a band, one wouldn’t expect any kind of incredible success, more an establishment of ground for future releases, but due to the top three position of single ‘Mad World’ that was released a few months before the album, the band were skyrocketed to the top of the UK charts and sold enough units for the record to be marked as having Platinum status.

The incredible change during the 80s in Britain, tied with the sting of Thatcher’s reign, no doubt did wonders for making the bands gloomy, near-goth, brand of new wave an easy pill to swallow for a country needing some like-minded music for very dark times. This being said the album is in no way a political effort, with the focus being more on the tormented childhood of Roland Orzabal (the one with long hair) as the lyrical content is wholly based on themes of emotional distress and primal scream therapy.

The record was re-released in ’99 with the addition of four tracks and has once again been pushed into the light of day with this four disc collection. It features not only the original ten track album from ’83, but also a 16 track ‘B-Sides & Remixes’ disc, ten live sessions mostly taken from their Peel sessions and the BBC David Jenson sessions, as well as DVD ‘In My Mind’s Eye – live from the Hammersmith Odeon 1984’.

This is a must for any die-hard fans as it not only increases a Tears For Fears collectors stock exponentially, but also provides a multitude of hard to find rarities in one easily accessible bundle. However, for someone looking to familiarise themselves with The Hurting for the first time they may be better off searching local charity stores for a cheap copy as the 30th year collection is quite pricey, £33.99 on Amazon. Although the additional material is a must for hardcore fans of the band, a plethora of out-takes, remixes, and instrumental versions of the songs from the record might not be interesting to a listener just starting out on their Tears For Fears journey.

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Buy the box set from Amazon if you so wish.

Tears for Fears website can be found here. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

All words by Ian Critchley. More writing by Ian on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.

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