Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Okay, so we’re stuck in the 80s for another day… call it a distraction from the challenge I’ve told you about, with me not wanting to let go of summer. It’s real, folks, I tell ya…

Anyway, today’s selection reminds me of summer. The most powerful memory I have of hearing Tears for Fears was in summer, at a friend’s place. We had met up there to have lunch, and I was helping him with some backyard chore. We ate while starting to listen to the album Songs from the Big Chair, but then went outside and all the windows and doors were closed so that we couldn’t hear any of it! It was 1985, and the record had just come out. It opens with the magnificent, almost arena-rock-styled anthem, “Shout.” The whole album is superb, just fantastic.

Everyone I knew was excited about the record, having waited two years since the release of their stunning debut release, The Hurting; that album contains the song “Mad World,” of which a compellingly dark cover was included in the film Donnie Darko, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. That song was also covered and posted on Twitter a few days ago by Brandi Carlile (please see my post on her song “The Joke”). Carlile’s version of “Mad World” is spellbinding. (I always get stuck on the line, “…went to school and I was very nervous / no one knew me…”) Her post ends with the statement, “It’s a mad world, but we’re in this together. Vote.” Wow. If America can stay immune to all the disinformation and relentless lying until after the voting, the future can be bright, for the whole world. So Carlile’s admonition is an important one. But I digress…

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” has a slightly similar feel to yesterday’s song by Modern English, “I Melt with You” in that it’s got an upbeat vibe. Tears for Fears’ two first albums were blockbusters that I remember dominating the limited platforms music had at the time (basically radio). I’m not sure how popular the later ones, The Seeds of Love and Elemental were, but by the time of the latter one, I wasn’t paying super-active attention. I have all four of those albums, though didn’t keep up with the band after that. 

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the official video for the song from the Tears for Fears YouTube channel. Remember to click “thumbs up” if you liked the performance.

And, here’s a live performance video of the song, a Spotify presentation. (I bite my lip a bit as I share it, as I do not care for music streaming services; their corporate greed means artists earn only hundredths or thousandths of a cent per play, which is just wrong. That’s why, like Guy Garvey, I too will ‘bang the drum’ for buying music, so that when you buy their music, musicians can afford to make more music.

Tears for Fears co-frontperson Roland Orzabal describes at the beginning of the video how the song was originally titled, “Everybody Wants to Go to War,” though after a while they could see that the perspective, lyrics and title needed to change. See? Change is possible.

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