Tears for Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World

The year was 1985. My six month old self was probably getting down to some sick Mother Goose rhymes, totally oblivious to the English New Wave sound that was sweeping the domestic landscape. If only my parents had met at that Halloween party a decade earlier.

Charter members of the “second British invasion,” Tears for Fears dropped a musical bombshell with the release of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” from the band’s second LP Songs from The Big Chair. This mammoth tune, arguably the quintessential 80’s anthem, almost never saw the light of day. Considering it too light and at odds with the style of the rest of the album, co-founders Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith only added it to the mix in the waning weeks of recording. Little did they know this red-headed step child would become their first Billboard number 1, eclipsing the successes of their other little ditty “Shout”. And like any true classic, it’s seen its fair share of re-imaginings and covers from world class musicians, most recently from the haunting force known as Lorde. If acts are still being influenced thirty years later by a song that barely survived the cutting room floor, you know you’ve got a fine piece of musical triumph on your hands.

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