The core membership of Tears For Fears is a British duo consisting of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, although plenty of other musicians have been involved in the project throughout the years, many as named members of the band. The band, which was named for a primal therapy technique, formed in 1981, and like a lot of 1980's pop bands, they haven't had much success since the 1990's; in fact, Smith left the band in 1992, making the band essentially [[IAmTheBand Orzabal's solo project]]. Smith rejoined in 2001 (contrary to certain reports in the media, the renewed attention to their music due to "Head Over Heels" and a cover of "Mad World" being used in ''{{Donnie Darko}}'' was not the cause of this) and Tears For Fears put out a new album in 2004.

This band's three most famous songs come from their 1985 album ''Songs from the Big Chair''. At least, these are the three songs that you hear on the radio all the time and in "best of the 80's" compilation albums as of February 19, 2010:
* "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"
* "Shout"
* "Head over Heels"
Of course, many fans over at their [[http://www.last.fm/music/Tears+for+Fears Last.FM page]] would have you believe otherwise. That said, these are far from the band's only songs to get radio airplay.

To be fair, Orzabal and Smith did release three other albums. First there was ''The Hurting'' in 1983, which sounds more like an angst-ridden DepecheMode album; this is where the single "Mad World" came from, which later got a [[CoveredUp more popular cover version]] by Gary Jules that was used on the ''DonnieDarko'' soundtrack. Second was the aforementioned ''Songs From The Big Chair''. ''The Seeds of Love'' came about in 1989, and was a lot more experimental, psychedelic and rockier than the previous albums, though it did spawn a couple of hits ("Sowing the Seeds of Love" and "Woman in Chains"). After their breakup, Roland Orzabal would release [[IAmTheBand two essentially solo albums]] under the band's name, before Smith rejoined the band and they released the reunion album ''Everybody Loves a Happy Ending'', which picked up where ''Seeds'' left off.

Orzabal and Smith are currently in the studio recording new material, which Orzabal has described as darker and more dramatic, describing one song as "a combination of Music/{{Portishead}} and Music/{{Queen}}". The band recently released a [[CoverVersion cover]] of Music/ArcadeFire's "Ready to Start" on [=SoundCloud=].

[[IThoughtItMeant Do not confuse with]] the trope TearsOfFear.

Core discography:
* 1983 - ''The Hurting''
* 1985 - ''Songs from the Big Chair''
* 1989 - ''The Seeds of Love''
* 1992 - ''Tears Roll Down''*
* 1993 - ''Elemental''**
* 1995 - ''Raoul and the Kings of Spain''**
* 1996 - ''Saturnine Martial & Lunatic''***
* 2004 - ''Everybody Loves a Happy Ending''

[=*=] is a greatest hits album, which includes the single "Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down)", which only appears on compilations and which is the first song Orzabal recorded as Tears for Fears without Smith.

[=**=] denotes album recorded without Smith.

[=***=] is a rarities collection spanning from 1983 to 1993.

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!!Shout...shout...let it all out. These are the tropes I could do without:
* ApocalypseHow[=/=]WorldWarIII: "Famous Last Words" describes a planetary class 3. WordOfGod says it's a nuclear holocaust.
* ArcWords: The phrase "The sun and the moon, the wind and the rain" appears in no less than three different songs on ''The Seeds of Love''.
** These things are also displayed on the cover. This was the working title for the album but changed because of the popularity of the single "Sowing the Seeds of Love".
* BabiesMakeEverythingBetter: Both Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal have credited the birth of their children as the main reason they calmed down. With kids to care for, music became less of a pressure and stressor.
--> '''Curt Smith:''' “You have something at home that’s far bigger and far more important than any of this business crap. The upbringing of my two daughters is far more important than any Tears For Fears record. Now making music is more enjoyable because it’s a release and a joy. That’s the way it should be.”
* BaroquePop: On ''The Seeds of Love'' and ''Everybody Loves a Happy Ending''
* CallBack[=/=]CallForward: These are scattered throughout their lyrics. For example, "Advice for the Young at Heart" refers to the previous album's "The Working Hour", while "Badman's Song" makes a lyrical reference to the following song, "Sowing the Seeds of Love". The song title "Secret World" also appears in "Advice for the Young at Heart", three albums earlier, although it's more likely the former is a reference to the latter than the other way around.
* CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase:
** ''Raoul and the Kings of Spain''
** "Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams"
* CoverVersion: The band has covered Music/DavidBowie's "Ashes to Ashes" and Robert Wyatt's "Sea Song". The band's own "Mad World" was later CoveredUp by Gary Jules.
** In 2013, they covered Arcade Fire's "Ready To Start" and Hot Chip's "(And I Was a) Boy from School" and released them on Soundcloud as a trial run for new material. They were quite well received.
** More recently, they vetoed the inclusion of the B-Side "Saxophones as Opiates" from the reissue of ''The Hurting'', just because they thought it was cheesy. They did include the B-Side "Wino" which had never been on CD before, though a large part of the reason was the record company forgot about the "Suffer the Children" single.
* DownerEnding: ''The Seeds of Love'' ends with "Famous Last Words", which is pure TearJerker. (Considering that it's about a couple perishing in each other's arms during a nuclear holocaust, it'd pretty much have to be).
* EightiesHair: And again...!
** Baby mullets, rat tails and curls, oh my!
* {{Goth}}: The album ''The Hurting'' has a significant gothic influence, as does the period B-side "The Conflict".
* {{Homage}}:
** WordOfGod admits that "Sowing the Seeds of Love" and "Schrödinger's Cat" are both pastiches of "[[Music/TheBeatles I Am the Walrus]]" (Orzabal also notes that the piano break on "Schrödinger" is "reminiscent of [Thunderclap Newman's] 'Something in the Air'"). These were far from the only [[Music/TheBeatles Beatles]] pastiches the group recorded; large parts of ''The Seeds of Love'' and ''Everybody Loves a Happy Ending'' bear clear Beatles influence (although maybe not quite this clear). "Everybody Loves a Happy Ending" and "Who Killed Tangerine?" could almost be lost Beatles tracks, for example.
** "Music/BrianWilson Said", as might be expected from the title, is a Music/TheBeachBoys pastiche (it also alludes to Music/VanMorrison's track "Jackie Wilson Said", which appears on ''Saint Dominic's Preview'', though if there is any other Morrison influence on the track, it's oblique at most).
** With "Lord of Karma", Orzabal says the group were "trying to get somewhere between the Music/HappyMondays and Music/JimiHendrix's 'Crosstown Traffic'".
** "I Believe" is such a clear Robert Wyatt homage that the band covered his track "Sea Song" for the B-side. The album's liner notes further lampshaded it by stating "Dedicated to Robert Wyatt (if he's listening)", referencing the song "Dedicated to You But You Weren't Listening" by Music/SoftMachine, which Wyatt was previously a member of.
** Orzabal admitted that he was listening to Music/ArtOfNoise when "Empire Building" was recorded.
* IAmTheBand: Orzabal is the only well-known band member on ''Elemental'' and ''Raoul and the Kings of Spain''. "Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down)", which was a minor (at least compared to the three songs listed in the band bio) hit, also falls under this trope.
* InTheStyleOf: "Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams" is essentially the lyrics of "Sowing the Seeds of Love" rapped over the chord pattern of "Shout" in a trip-hop style with "a Music/TalkingHeads-style chorus".
* LastOfHisKind: Roland Orzabal, for whatever reason, wanted to keep the band alive so much that, during the 1990's, almost all of his solo work [[IAmTheBand would be released under the band's name]]. ''Tomcats Screaming Outside'', which he made in 2001, was his only album that he released under his name.
* LoudnessWar: ''Everybody Loves a Happy Ending'', as well as all their remasters. Fans were justifiably annoyed about the brickwalling of ''The Hurting'' reissue because it included many tracks that were on CD for the first time, but it turns out the band wanted them mastered that way. Averted by the original releases of the early albums; the original release of ''The Seeds of Love'', for example, is [=DR13=]. Probably a case of KeepCirculatingTheTapes.
* TheManIsStickingItToTheMan: "Shout" is apparently all about this, given the times in which the song was released.
* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: On some of their albums. See the description for ''The Seeds of Love'' in NewSoundAlbum below for one example.
* NewSoundAlbum: Basically all of them.
** ''Songs from the Big Chair'' expanded the original album's synth-pop template with influence from jazz and electronica (as well as a Robert Wyatt-style ballad in "I Believe").
** ''The Seeds of Love'' took influence from [[TheSeventies '70s]] ProgressiveRock and [[TheSixties '60s]] [[PsychedelicRock psychedelia]], particularly Music/TheBeatles. It also upped the jazz influence and threw in some world, new age, and gospel music influence for good measure.
** ''Elemental'' had a more slick modern sound with a more cinematic scope.
** ''Raoul and the Kings of Spain'' was a ConceptAlbum about Orzabal's Spanish heritage and incorporated a lot of influence from flamenco and other styles (although this was not present on every track).
** ''Everybody Loves a Happy Ending'' went back to the psychedelia-influenced sound of ''The Seeds of Love'', but was in general substantially brighter and more modern.
* ProtestSong:
** "Shout" is a bit of a meta example; the lyrics themselves don't actually protest anything in particular, but they encourage protest.
** Played straighter on some other songs, such as "Sowing the Seeds of Love", which is an attack on the [[MargaretThatcher Thatcher]] government. On the same album "Woman in Chains" protests patriarchy, "Famous Last Words" could be interpreted as protesting nuclear war, and "Standing on the Corner of the Third World" attacks globalisation. Maybe.
* PuttingTheBandBackTogether: They got back together in 2001 apparently on a whim and made an album in 2004. They're currently on tour.
* {{Sampling}}:
** "The Body Wah" is constructed around a sample of a woman describing "a well-known female politician" with the words, "Because she has power, she has personality".
** "Elemental" is constructed around a sample of a guitar using the wah-wah pedal from the band's own "Lord of Karma".
** "Empire Building" is constructed around a two-second sample of an early Music/SimpleMinds track "Today I Died Again". Intentionally or not, the title can be seen as both a reference to the album "Today" was on (''Empires and Dance'') and the fact that the song is built from the sample.
** The dialogue in "The Big Chair" is sampled from the film ''Film/{{Sybil}}'', which inspired it.
* ScienceIsBad: "Schrödinger's Cat" and "Deja Vu & the Sins of Science".
* ShoutOut:
** The band name is a reference to primal therapy. Also, in ''Shout'', they take this trope [[LiteralMinded literally]].
** "The Big Chair" (which also inspired the title ''Songs from the Big Chair'', although it does not appear on the original album) is inspired by the film ''{{Film/Sybil}}'' and [[{{Sampling}} samples]] it.
** "Empire Building" is inspired by ''Film/BreakerMorant'', a film about the SecondBoerWar.
** "Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams", a trip-hop [[MusicalPastiche remake]] of "Sowing the Seeds of Love" and "Shout" (with what Orzabal describes as "a Music/TalkingHeads-style chorus"), derives its title from a book by Creator/SylviaPlath.
** "Dog's a Best Friend's Dog" contains a reference to ''Theatre/WaitingForGodot''. It may or may not be mispronounced depending on whether Beckett intended the name to be pronounced as in French (accounts apparently differ, but since the play itself was written in French, it's likely, in which case Orzabal did mispronounce it).
** "Don't Drink the Water" drops in a reference to Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
** "Out Of Control" (a bonus track available only on the UK release of "Everybody Loves A Happy Ending") also references Frida Kahlo.
* SiameseTwinSong: On "Songs from the Big Chair", the sixth track, "Broken", segues directly into the seventh track, "Head over Heels", which itself segues directly into a reprise of "Broken".
* SpecialGuest:
** Music/PhilCollins plays the drums on "Woman in Chains".
** Legendary trumpeter and world musician Jon Hassell plays on "Standing on the Corner of the Third World".
** Oleta Adams sings guest vocals on "Woman in Chains", "Badman's Song", and "Me and My Big Ideas", as well as some live versions of "I Believe" (see ''Going to California'' for one example). She also plays piano on "Badman's Song" and "Standing on the Corner of the Third World". Orzabal and Smith are basically responsible for discovering her.
** Information on most of the band members apart from Orzabal and Smith can be found [[http://www.memoriesfade.com/band/4related.html here]], although it looks like it hasn't been updated since shortly after the release of ''Everybody Loves a Happy Ending''.
* TakeOverTheWorld: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Everybody Wants to Rule the World]].
* TakeThat:
** "Badman's Song" is this to some members of the band who were criticising Orzabal, whilst staying in a hotel room next to his. They thought he couldn't hear them, but the walls were thin.
** Perhaps as a TakeThat at Curt Smith, the cover of the "Break It Down Again" single features Orzabal holding a bunch of wilted sunflowers. The previous album ''The Seeds of Love'' and singles associated with it feature sunflowers. It could be said that the wilted sunflowers are a reference to the end of his friendship with Curt.
** "Fish Out of Water" from ''Elemental'' is a Take That at Curt Smith, who later [[AnswerSong responded]] with "Sun King," from his ''Mayfield'' album.
** "Sowing the Seeds of Love" is a TakeThat at the UsefulNotes/MargaretThatcher government.
* UncommonTime:
** "Tears Roll Down" is mostly in 7/8. One of the riffs from this song reappears in "Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down)" for brief periods, but it's used as a polyrhythm and the song is in 4/4.
** The chorus of "Ladybird" jumps all over the place (if you're wondering, the exact pattern is two bars of 5/8, one bar of 9/8, two bars of 5/8, then one bar of 6/8). The rest of the song is in standard 6/8.
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