Engineer Dave Bascombe on Tears For Fears’ Songs From The Big Chair

Photo © Mike Prior

Tears For Fears‘ 1985 album Songs From The Big Chair is reissued today as a super deluxe edition box set. As part of SDE’s ongoing TFF coverage we present a brand new interview with the man who engineered that album, Dave Bascombe.

Bascombe was there, in the room, helping to shape the sound of the album and those enormous hits like ‘Shout’ and ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’. Read on as Dave lets us into a few secrets regarding who played on what and what those sessions were actually like…

SDE: Roland says he was keen to break this Chris Hughes / Ross Cullum ‘axis’[Chris and Ross had produced/engineered The Hurting]

DB: Looking back now, I was Roland’s ally because when you got down to the nitty-gritty, I agreed with Roland a lot of the time. Obviously Chris [Hughes] was steering us in this commercial direction, which I wasn’t that keen on and I don’t think Roland really was, but it really was an axis. I don’t think [keyboard player] Ian Stanley was involved in the first album, but he kind of took Ross’ place, certainly him and Chris would pushing Roland all the time and of course people push back against that sort of thing. But you have to acknowledge with ‘Shout’ and ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ that worked really well. Curt was more into the overview of things, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of really, because the process is bloody boring… but his contributions were really good, as I’ve always said.

SDE: How were you approached, originally? 

DB: I’d done a few jobs for Max Hole, who was Chris’ manager, he was head of A&R at WEA, I think. So I’d done a few things for him, which had gone quite well, and Tears For Fears ended up in Trident Studios without an engineer. I think they’d just got back with Chris, and I don’t know how the conversation had gone, in terms of not wanting Ross Cullum there, but obviously no provision had been made, because I got a call from Max saying, “Are you doing anything today? Because Tears For Fears need an engineer.” So that was a no-brainer, so literally I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. So I went up there and we started working on ‘Mothers Talk’, working on the version they’d already recorded. 

SDE: Yes, because they’d recorded that first version with Jeremy Green. That had followed the single ‘The Way You Are’ which it sounds like no one was particularly happy with.

DB: You could tell that first version of ‘Mothers Talk’ came out of the same place as ‘The Way You Are’. ‘The Way You Are’ is basically like Japan, isn’t it? I quite like it, actually. But I remember at the time, seeing them do it on Top of the Pops and thinking “wow, this is really weird.” Brave! Anyway, Chris is really good and it needed him to steer ‘Mothers Talk’ back in a vaguely more poppy direction… not as much as the American version we did later, but I don’t know how much work they’d done on that song with Chris before I started. It might have been the first day, I just don’t know. Anyway, we were in the studio with Alan Moulder as the tape op., I do remember. 

SDE: ‘Mothers Talk’ used a Drumulator, I believe. Tell me about that, what does a Drumulator actually do?

DB: Back then it was so primitive. To change sounds on any device, like the LinnDrum you’d have to physically take the chips out you’d get some other chips and put them in. But what the Drumulator had was these rock chips, that we think were taken from [Led Zeppelin’s] ‘When The Levee Breaks’, but I’m not absolutely sure. We used them in ‘Shout’ eventually but we also used them in the break on ‘Mothers Talk’. So it had lots of lo-fi rock character, but it was only in the drum break on ‘Mothers Talk’, the rest of its all LinnDrum and parts we made ourselves.

SDE: Roland has a problem with ‘Mothers Talk’, I think he prefers the American version

DB: I hate that version, and much prefer the original. It’s more to the original vision on the album version, while that US version is just a bastard attempt to have a hit in America. 

SDE: The original 12-inch mixes of ‘Mothers Talk’ are impressive. To me they almost define the sound of Songs From The Big Chair.

DB: It does, yeah. But the rest of the album felt like a separate thing to me, from that, because when we finished ‘Mothers Talk’ I didn’t hear from them for weeks and weeks. And I really thought, they’ve gone somewhere else and they’ve got someone else in. 

SDE: Possibly that coincided with this month off that Roland had to write. There weren’t enough songs – there aren’t many songs on the album, anyway – but he took three or four weeks off to write songs, and came up with bits of ‘Shout’, bits of ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’…

DB: That’s right. It’s unimaginable isn’t it, what the album would be like without those songs. And at that stage ‘Listen’ was probably only a vague possibility… but it was similar with The Seeds of Love. Chris said “you haven’t got enough songs” and Roland went away and wrote some more and came up with ‘Woman in Chains’ and ‘Sowing The Seeds of Love’! 

SDE: Roland can often talk quite negatively, especially regarding The Hurting era, about endless debates about the music, and how the songs should sound and develop, but with Songs From The Big Chair it seems that everything Chris Hughes and Ian Stanley suggested was inspired…

DB: No, they were really on it. But there was still this torturous process; I’d never been involved in anything like it, where everything would be debated. And mixing as well, something would take four days to mix. It wouldn’t be mixing, it would be a half-hour discussion at every little point. I remember once with one of these interminable discussions, and I would be asleep over the newspaper [laughs] or whatever… twiddling my thumbs, and eventually in frustration I just pressed ‘play’ and just did what I thought we should do and everyone looked and went “Hmm, that’s alright, isn’t it?” Moments like that happened a few times, and usually Roland would be happy. I was in tune with Roland on day-to-day stuff. We had the same kind of outlook on sounds and the like. I certainly didn’t have the vision that Chris and Ian had, but I was probably on Roland’s ‘team’ and I think he appreciated that. 

SDE: With ‘Shout’ I know that Roland was deeply impressed with how Ian and Chris developed that.

DB: Yes, I wasn’t there for that. That was the demo, they did a big long demo and that was when I wasn’t really sure what was going on. That happened quite a few times. With ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’, they were off doing a video and we did Neil [Taylor’s] solo on the end, while they weren’t there and Roland came back and said, to all of us,  “wow, I’m amazed you managed to get a good sound without me!” [laughs]. 

SDE: There must have been a fair amount of excitement in the studio about how good these songs were?

DB: Not really… I don’t think so. I don’t know if you do feel that. It didn’t take as long as the next album, but it was still a drawn out process. It was quite a methodical process, but I quite like that. 

SDE: Roland seemed relatively happy to go with the flow, to a degree, with this album. More guitars, and embracing a more commercial outlook. He didn’t put his foot down and say “I want to do The Hurting part 2”

DB: I think inherently he did [want to do a Hurting part 2] and so did I, which may be another reason why I was on his team. We did have some discussions and I do remember Chris saying “this album is going to make you an international star” and Roland saying “I don’t want to be an international star, I just want to be doing what we’re doing in England.” But he could see the way it was going and he wasn’t going to fight it, because he could see the results were great. I think if it had been a real artistic sell-out and compromise, then he would have fought back, but he hadn’t yet got to that point where during the Songs tour he got sick of playing live to tape machines. That hadn’t happened yet. He was still in the zeitgeist of what was going on – okay, it wasn’t The Hurting part 2, but it was still incredibly modern and relevant. And while it wasn’t necessarily where he would have gone himself, he was prepared to be carried along.

SDE: Post The Hurting Roland seemed to thrive bouncing off of other people and co-writing much more

DB:  Yeah, but basically ‘Shout’ was still his own song…yes there was a huge amount of embellishment going on, but basically those were his songs. I much prefer it when he’s doing that because it’s HIM. Same with ‘Sowing The Seeds of Love’ and ‘Woman in Chains’ – highlights off The Seeds of Love which weren’t co-written. I wish he would go back to writing by himself. Obviously it’s a lot easier writing with someone else; everyone likes someone to bounce off, especially when you’ve got a bit of pressure on. 

SDE: What do you remember about the construction of ‘Broken/Head Over Heels/Broken (live)’?

DB: To be honest much of that was done before I got there, I think. I seem to remember Chris wasn’t that keen on ‘Broken’ being on there at all, but we obviously needed it. It works as an intro to ‘Head Over Heels’ very nicely. I don’t know who came up with the concept of the live version at the end, but again, that works well. ‘Head Over Heels’ was done as far as the arrangement goes, when I got there. I know we went through a few attempts with real drums. We tried Manny [Elias], and it didn’t really work and eventually we ended up just programming the drums.  

SDE: Roland wanted real drums on the first album, but clearly rather embraced more programmed sounds on Songs From The Big Chair. Maybe ‘The Working Hour’ is the exception, where Manny even gets a songwriting credit…

DB: That’s a fantastic part Manny wrote for that. We tried using him on that…. live Manny is great, but it needed something extra in the studio, so that’s why we got Jerry Marotta in. Although Manny is actually playing the drums on the intro – on Jerry’s kit! When the song comes in, it edits to Jerry playing. So the whole intro section with Ian’s piano there are some drum fills and Manny’s feel was much better than Jerry’s for that. I have to say, I loved the way we mixed and matched things, same with the sax on ‘The Working Hour’. I can’t remember what order we did it in, but Mel Collins, who’s a brilliant sax player, he came in and did the melodic lines for the beginning and the end, and then we asked him to do some freeform soloing and it just didn’t work, I think he wasn’t used to doing it, and so then Will [Gregory] came in and vice versa. So there’s two sax players on that track. 

SDE: So Jerry plays on most of a song that Manny got a songwriting credit for his drumming contribution. That’s somewhat ironic. 

DB: Yeah. The whole bulk of ‘The Working Hour’ is Jerry playing Manny’s part. I don’t think Manny was that pleased about it, but there you go.

SDE: ‘Listen’ was originally an Ian Stanley demo and Roland says it was torturous trying to recreate that in the studio…

DB: I don’t remember it being that bad, because we were developing it as we went along. I think the demo was quite crude. We did spend ages doing those synth drums that come in at one point. It was Chris’ idea to put that bend in the melodic line, which was primitive programming on midi. Chris had got what I think was the first midi sequencer ever, on an old BBC micro, which we used extensively. It’s a fantastic last track, being so lush and quite dreamy. I have to day the running order is incredibly good on the album. It really, really helps. I remember it was Ian’s idea to put ‘The Working Hour’ second, because we were really struggling with what should go second. On the face of it, that’s an odd choice, because it’s more of a ‘side two’ track, if you like, and I always thought maybe it was because he wrote that beginning section and he wanted it further up the album [laughs], but I think it’s an inspired choice, anyway. The whole thing hangs together so well and it really is a fantastic journey.

SDE: The record company rather milked the album for singles, didn’t it? ‘I Believe’ was the fifth single in the UK from an eight-track album.

DB: That version for the single was based on a live recording we did out in L.A. It’s dedicated to Robert Wyatt and his wife rang up and said ‘it’s all very well dedicating it to him, but why don’t you make him some fucking money”. So that’s why they did ‘A Sea Song’ on the B-side of that single, which is just absolutely one of the best songs ever.

SDE: When you listen back to Songs From The Big Chair now do you think about working in the studio or all subsequent success?

DB: I’ve got great memories of those days actually. Very anal-retentive memories of everything in those years. That was such a massive thing for me, obviously. But I can remember so much detail about it and it does take me back very much to what my life was like at that stage. And the great thing about it was we were the same kind of age, we’d be hanging out. I was basically staying at Curt’s most of the time. 

SDE: The studio at Ian Stanley’s place in Bath sounds like a homely set-up

DB: Very much. They liked to work comfortably, and why not? Probably as a reaction to the hours they were doing on The Hurting in a costly environment, this was a much more relaxed process, in that sense. It was very civilised. That’s the best way to put it. Discussions could get a bit fraught, but we’d have nice meals, sometime’s we’d eat at Ian’s. We were doing sensible hours and it was relaxed, methodical and focussed. And if there was a technical job to do, I was left to get on with it – they weren’t hanging over me. 

SDE: Was [A&R man] Dave Bates around a lot?

DB: He popped in a bit, yeah. Quite a bit. Chris was dealing with him directly – I wouldn’t say he was ‘hands on’ but Dave would pop down.

SDE: What impact did Songs From The Big Chair have on your professional life?

DB: It was huge. It was a spinball to everything, really. It lead to working with Depeche Mode on Music For The Masses [Bascombe produced that album] because Dave Gahan had heard ‘Shout’. I met my wife while making it and I actually had a connection with Bath because my Grandparents had lived there and I’d been there for Christmas and family dos in the 1970s when it was a bit of a grim place, full of old people, as far as I was concerned! I hadn’t been there for a few years after they died, but to go back there working with cool, young people was fantastic and I had a great, great time.

Thanks to Dave Bascombe who was talking to Paul Sinclair for SDE.

This interview features in the SDE booklet How Songs From The Big Chair Ruled The World, along with the recent interview with Roland Orzabal, an SDE track-by-track commentary, and more. You can order exclusively via this link or using the button below (these are now in stock and ready to ship).

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Songs From The Big Chair - vinyl picture disc


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Songs From The Big Chair - super deluxe box set


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The Hurting - super deluxe edition box set


Tears For Fears / The Hurting four-disc box set

CD 1 – The Hurting

  1. The Hurting
  2. Mad World
  3. Pale Shelter (You Don’t Give Me Love)
  4. Ideas As Opiates
  5. Memories Fade
  6. Suffer The Children
  7. Watch Me Bleed
  8. Change
  9. The Prisoner
  10. Start Of The Breakdown

CD 2 – B-sides and Remixes

  1. Suffer The Children (7″ Version)
  2. Pale Shelter (You Don’t Give Me Love)
  3. The Prisoner (B-side)
  4. Ideas As Opiates (B-side)
  5. Change (New Version)
  6. Suffer The Children (Remix)
  7. Pale Shelter (You Don’t Give Me Love) (Extended Version)
  8. Mad World (World Remix)
  9. Change (Extended Version)
  10. Pale Shelter (Extended Version)
  11. Suffer The Children (Instrumental)
  12. Change (7″ Edit)
  13. Wino (B-Side)
  14. The Conflict (B-Side)
  15. We Are Broken (B-Side)
  16. Suffer The Children (Promo CD Version)

CD 3 – Live Sessions

Peel Session 01.09.1982

  • 1. Ideas As Opiates
  • 2. Suffer The Children
  • 3. The Prisoner
  • 4. The Hurting

Jensen Session 20.10.1982

  • 5. Memories Fade
  • 6. The Prisoner
  • 7. The Start Of The Breakdown
  • 8. The Hurting

From ‘The Way You Are’ single

  • 9. Start Of The Breakdown (Live)
  • 10. Change (Live)

CD 4 – DVD – In My Mind’s Eye – Live At Hammersmith Odeon

  1. Start Of The Breakdown
  2. Mothers Talk
  3. Pale Shelter
  4. The Working Hour
  5. The Prisoner
  6. Ideas As Opiates
  7. Mad World
  8. We Are Broken
  9. Head Over Heels
  10. Suffer The Children
  11. The Hurting
  12. Memories Fade
  13. Change

Songs From The Big Chair – 4CD+DVD super deluxe edition

DISC ONE – Album with special cassette-only bonus tracks recreated

01. SHOUT : 6:31
04. MOTHERS TALK : 5:04
05. I BELIEVE : 4:54
06. BROKEN : 2:38
07. HEAD OVER HEELS : 5:02
08. LISTEN : 6:54

Bonus tracks

09. THE BIG CHAIR : 3:20
11. THE MARAUDERS : 4:13
13. THE CONFLICT : 4:02
14. THE WORKING HOUR – Piano Version : 2:08
15. PHARAOHS : 03:42
17. SEA SONG : 3:51

DISC TWO – Edited Songs From The Big Chair

01. THE WAY YOU ARE : 4:49
02. MOTHERS TALK – Single Version : 3:53
03. SHOUT – Single Version : 5:58
04. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Single Version : 4:14
05. HEAD OVER HEELS – Remix : 4:15
06. I BELIEVE (A Soulful Re-Recording) : 4:39
08. THE WAY YOU ARE – Short Version : 4:21
09. MOTHERS TALK – U.S. Remix : 4:14
10. SHOUT – U.S. Single Version : 4:51
11. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RUN THE WORLD – Running Version : 4:30
12. HEAD OVER HEELS – Radio Version : 4.20
13. MOTHERS TALK – Video Version : 4:14
14. SHOUT – Short Version : 4:03
15. LISTEN – Clean Intro : 6:52

DISC THREE – Remixed Songs From The Big Chair (exclusive to box)

01. THE WAY YOU ARE – Extended Version : 7:37
02. MOTHERS TALK – Extended Version : 6:18
03. SHOUT – Extended Remix Version : 7:40
04. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Extended Version : 5:40
05. BROKEN / HEAD OVER HEELS / BROKEN – Preacher Mix : 8:00
06. MOTHERS TALK – Beat Of The Drum Mix : 8:54
07. SHOUT – U.S. Remix : 8:02
09. MOTHERS TALK – U.S. Remix alternate : 4:12
10. SHOUT – Dub : 6:49
11. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Instrumental : 4:21
12. SHOUT – Acappella : 5:02

DISC FOUR – Unreleased Songs From The Big Chair (exclusive to box)

01. HEAD OVER HEELS : 4:14 Richard Skinner Session
02. THE WORKING HOUR : 6:06 Richard Skinner Session
03. BROKEN : 3:19 Richard Skinner Session
04. MOTHERS TALK : 4:05 Live At Massey Hall
05. BROKEN / HEAD OVER HEELS : 5:01 Live At Massey Hall
06. MEMORIES FADE : 6:50 Live At Massey Hall
07. THE WORKING HOUR : 7:31 Live At Massey Hall
08. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD : 4:19 Live At Massey Hall
09. SHOUT : 7:50 Live At Massey Hall
10. MOTHERS TALK – Early Mix / Instrumental : 4:39
11. THE WAY YOU ARE – Early Mix : 4:25
12. BROKEN – Early Mix : 5:38
13. SHOUT – Early Mix : 5:08
14. EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Alternate Single Version: 4.20


5.1 and Stereo mix

SHOUT : 6:32
I BELIEVE : 4:54
BROKEN : 2:38
LISTEN : 6:49



01. SCENES FROM THE BIG CHAIR – Documentary : 1:14:43

03. THE WAY YOU ARE – Music Video : 3:57
04. MOTHERS TALK – Alternative UK Video : 4:00
05..MOTHERS TALK – Music Video : 4.49
06. SHOUT – Music Video : 6:31
08. HEAD OVER HEELS – Music Video : 4:26
09. I BELIEVE – Music Video : 4:45
10. MOTHERS TALK – US Mix – Music Video : 4:52
BBC TV Appearances

03. THE WAY YOU ARE : 4:11 Top Of The Pops
04. MOTHERS TALK : 3:48 Top Of The Pops
05. MOTHERS TALK : 3:51 Top Of The Pops
06. SHOUT : 4:20 Top Of The Pops
10. THE WORKING HOUR : 4:28 Wogan

SuperDeluxeEdition.com helps fans around the world discover physical music and discuss releases. To keep the site free, SDE participates in various affiliate programs, including Amazon and earns from qualifying purchases.


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Paul, thanks so much for my first purchase from your store! I could not get both boxes in the day and now all is well.We all wish more artists would reissue these pricey box sets. As an added bonus check out the new Sorry song Right Round The Clock. Anyone who loves TFF will enjoy the tribute.

Jason M

The Hurting only $31.82 USA Amazon. And it is the Box Set!

Joshua P. Durr

I own both boxsets and it is great reading interviews with people involved with both albums. Thanks for publishing this interview

Like a lot of TFF fans we are crossing everything we can that The Seeds Of Love will also get the deluxe treatment on the same level as the The Hurting & Songs From The Big Chair


My February pre-order for the Big Chair box set was delivered by Amazon today so its looking like these will be fulfilled OK


Love the massey hall live disc

Tony walton

Got my 2 tears for fears box sets today from hmv…they were due friday but better late than never….

Craig Hedges

Ordered SFTBC box from amazon when the reissue was announced. Was supposed to be delivered today, just got an email to say it’s been delayed for 2 weeks. Not surprised and obviously there’s more important things to worry about. I think Amazon have stopped non essential items from going to their warehouses so this could impact a lot of peoples orders

Richard Lamberti

Hi Paul,

Have all the box sets and booklet ordered from the SDE shop been sent out yet? I see some people are saying they’ve received theirs, but I’ve not even received an email yet telling me they’re on their way. My order number is SSD17390.


Richard Lamberti

Hi Paul,

Thank you. Received my 2 box sets today from the SDE shop, together with the SFTBC booklet. All superbly packaged and looks beautiful, and the booklet is amazing. With the current situation I may actually have time to listen to and watch everything in the boxes over the coming weeks – so I suppose there’s always an upside!

Thanks again Paul for this – great stuff – and can’t wait for the Seeds of Love box later in the year!


Patrick Hamtiaux

I am surprised that Burning Shed has not been mentioned as a source to get the SDBS for both TFF albums. I ordered The Hurting from there and it is on its way. Price was £33.33 plus shipping to Canada.

Craig Hedges

Long rambling comment alert!

Really enjoying the interviews and the Classic album programme but it’s left me asking a question which I’d wondered about for sometime.

Who were Tears for fears?

The public image has mostly been Curt and Roland, all the publicity photos and Hurting videos only featured the two of them, But for live and TV performances there would be Ian and Manny as well.

When ‘Mad world’ was released in 1982 Curt was perceived to be the lead singer and he would go on to sing on the next few singles, Roland was just guitar player. I didn’t hear ‘The Hurting’ album until years later so I wasn’t aware at the time that Roland sang as well.

I remember when I heard ‘Mothers Talk’ on the radio for the first time and thinking “who’s that singing” and being really surprised to see Roland when they were on the TV. Same with ‘Shout’, “why isn’t Curt singing, has something happened to his voice”. Even though I liked both records I thought “This isn’t the Tears for Fears I was used to”. Imagine if Duran Duran released Wild Boys and Andy Taylor was singing!

So when I heard ‘….rule the world’ the first time I loved it immediately. Curt was singing again, it wasn’t that I didn’t like Roland’s voice it was that I associated Curt’s voice with the name Tears for fears. After that Curt’s voice was heard less and less and I suppose I got used to Roland being the de-facto singer.

By this point Ian and Manny were now appearing prominently in most of the video like full time members of the band as well as in all the TV appearance and live performances but the general image was still given that Tears for Fears was just Curt and Roland.

Now from the programme and interviews it appears that Curt had very little to do with the making of the album and Chris Hughes and Ian Stanley were really the ones that shaped the songs, or bits of songs into the final product. So the Tears for fears I liked between 1982 to 1985 weren’t really the two chaps fronting the name.

Roland seems not to be happy with a great deal from this period. It’s a bit of a shock to hear the artist of songs that become an important part of your life dismiss them but it explains why the subsequent albums were very different as the actual people behind The Hurting and Songs weren’t there from Seeds on onwards. I love ‘The Way you are’ and I’d rather hear that than any tracks off the ‘Seeds of Love’ album, am I wrong to think that?

Has it ever been discussed why they didn’t take part on the Band aid single. At the time they were probably the biggest act on the mercury label which was part of the company that distributed ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’ Also I’ve heard that they basically split up the day before they were supposed to appear at Live Aid, had they appeared I think their career would have been completely different but then again if they’d then achieved the post Live Aid status that U2 did it’s unlikely they would’ve coped and would have fallen apart away.

Although I’ve been eagerly waiting for their new album it won’t be the early 80s version of Tears for Fears, ‘Happy Ending’ had it’s moments but if I was going to put on a Tears for fears album, it’s unlikely to be that one.

Larry Davis

Actually, they ARE on the Band Aid single…how?? “the Hurting” the song, the opening drums were sampled/slowed down for the beginning of the track…you didn’t know that?? I almost ordered the SDTBC box again, just in case my order never gets sent at all…no email or anything but no collection of funds and arrival date of March 27…don’t want to be shut out again…

Craig Hedges

I did know that thanks Larry, I nearly mentioned it but left it out as I’d already gone on a bit and I think it’s common knowledge. Midge Ure used the slowed down samples from the start of The Hurting, it wasn’t disclosed until a 10th anniversary radio programme what they were, I don’t think TFF knew back in ‘84.
But they weren’t physically there that weekend, shame they didn’t get to do the lines “Here’s to you/them”

Neil McL

In Bob Geldolf’s autobiography he really wanted TFF for band aid as they were about the biggest band in the world at the time. They told him the band was falling apart he told Roland and Curt to turn up and do acoustic in that case he said they refused. He tore them apart in the press for this, and to make up for it they did ‘Everybody Wants To Run The World’ for Sport Aid. Another interesting story is that he thought Big Country had split up, and that’s why they weren’t invited on the bill and only ended up at the end


Seeds of love is a brilliant album with brilliant musicians manu katche on drums for instance instead of drum machines


Just to say got the booklet yesterday. Devoured it last night. Excellent as always Paul.

Jos Leene

Great read. But… why do you, in the body copy at the end of the piece, refer to the book as: When Songs From The Big Chair… But on the cover picture (shown near the end) it clearly says: How Song From The Big Chair…?

Is the picture an older Mock-Up or the body copy in error :)

But obviously all of the above take nothing away from the great inside and dedication with what you do. So much is clear. Regards.

Alan B

Just got an estimated delivery date email for the 2 boxsets I pre ordered on Feb 13 – April 3rd to May 3rd. Amazon speak for never.

Richard Cosgrove

My Hurting box set has been cancelled by Amazon.

Mark Porter

Hi Rich,
Have you managed to get one from elsewhere?
Banquet records announced a delay and Paul here at SDE tweeted a few more had arrived with him, so I leapt on one, but Banquet missed my 2 cancellation emails.
24 hours later had potentially 2 copies on the way!


Got my copy of Songs From The Big Chair box set and the truly excellent accompanying booklet yesterday morning all the way from the SDE Shop. As I said an absolutely fantastic booklet which I highly recommend to all TFF fans. It starts with a brief history of TFF leading up to the making of Songs… , a track by track annotation, the two big interviews with Roland Orzabal and Dave Bascome (as featured on this here website), and a look at what happened next. All beautifully put together with a lovely glossy cover. The whole thing absolutely reeks of the highest quality throughout. Blood well done to Paul Sinclair!
Feeling sorry for those who have been let down by Amazon though… very poor service.


Another great interview and read Paul! Depeche’s ‘Never Let Me Down’ is definitely inspired by ‘Shout’, big anthem album opener and great concert closer.

BTW synthtopia.com is reporting that Record Store Day is postponed until June 20.



Great interview; its very interesting to read about the history and the people involved.

For some reason I’ve never been into this release; I’ve got every CD version of The Hurting including the original box set (~CAD$55 if I recall) and still listen to it a few times a month. I’ve had a few offers for my box set on Discogs but never entertained the thought. I agree with other’s comments re: pressing more when the demand is there — it does’t make economic sense when you can lower the per unit cost. I’ve read that some contractual agreements limit the units / box config (the two Domino “G Stands for Go-Betweens” sets being the prime example. I wish I could buy just the CDs in the sets as I own the rest). ARGH

Larry Davis

I ordered mine on Feb 13 & it was reissued today BUT my order was still not dispatched & money not collected…but yet it says it will arrive on March 23…hmmm…were they out when I pre-ordered & should not have been able to preorder?? No idea what is happening…

Rare Glam

I have the impression Amazon UK are sourcing stuff from overseas Amazon stations. Ok, when you get a decent price reduction, it usually is that the item is coming from an overseas Amazon. The Cureation Blu-Ray / CD set for instance, said ‘in stock’ on UK Amazon when I ordered it for the £33 reduced price and it was – in Germany! It has been sent to me from Koln I’ve just been emailed this morning. However, when it’s a pre-order for a not yet released title it seems odd that would be the case. I pre-ordered Simple Minds ‘Street Fighting Years’ box set the day it was listed, via Prime and it was sent from Italy, three days after the release date (and the day before Italy put the ‘closed’ sign up across the whole country). I’m glad to have it of course but why did it have to come from abroad, it’s not an import after all? I think that might be why people are getting availability dates of a couple of weeks in the future on some offers, even when they are pre-release orders. I’m not complaining but it would be useful to know this at the time.


I got a copy of the SFTBC box in HMV at Meadowhall today for £50.
There were at least half dozen copies in if you can get there.


Went and git one myself today, thanks Richard. Not too happy at having to pay £50 but at least secured a copy! I’ve ordered a copy of the hurting whilst there, let’s see if they can get some. The staff indicated they were due some in but the stock hadn’t arrived? Let’s see, but left amazon on order just in case….


Bath HMV had four or five on the shelf when I went in there Weds (price £49.99). No sign of the Hurting to be seen, though.

Bath was blissfully deserted and I virtually had every shop I went in to myself!


Ordered both my box sets on amazon on 13th of feb and they turn round this morning and say they are not avaliable! went to hmv coventry and got a copy and they have 2 copies of the hurting coming in next week which i have put a tenner on! Cancelled my order on anazon and my prime membership!!!!


Paul, is the Jeremy Green version of ‘Mothers Talk’ included in the box set? What track is that?


Can we ask why please? Thank you.


For those panicking, Songs from the big chair is showing as ‘in stock’ at http://www.juno.co.uk (a shop I use a lot) & http://www.recordstore.co.uk.


It’s amazing reading all the comments from people who can’t order these box-sets. It’s been obvious that these sets are very popular for 2 years judging by the after market prices.

What on earth is the record industry doing ? There’s a willing market ready to spend cash on physical product, and the industry can’t oblige when it gets the chance ? Very peculiar.

I’ve mentioned before on this forum that a brief look on the second hand Discogs market could be the inspiration that the industry needs – Peel Sessions / Red Guitars / Fripp and The League Of Gentlemen / Joan Armatrading’s Back To The Night….. the list goes on and on, and they do sell for silly prices second hand, so why not beat the market with product people want to pay for ?

Mark Wardle

The uDiscover store seems to be selling them still – they’re £45.99 but still mentions availability


Just checked Amazon UK and US and both are showing it available to order again. Grabbing while the grabbing is good.

Shawn C.

Paul, great interview, very interesting. Thanks for posting it.


Congratulations Paul!! Fantastic interview!!


By the way Paul, any comment or clue about that “blind period” just after SFTBC and the abandon recordings before the release of TSOL?

Eric Generic

Brilliant interview, possibly the best yet. Dave really talks good sense, or maybe it’s just because I agree with everything he says!



Well, this morning checked my amazon order, telling me that it’ll be delivered by 8pm today…checked for an update and now it says awaiting delivery date as not sure when in stock! Not impressed…..


Martin, the SFTBC Deluxe box set is in stock at recordstore.co.uk at £45.99 + post and they have The Hurting box set as back in stock soon, though if it will turn up is another matter. They also have the pic disc in stock as well. banquetrecords.com have both for sale but their website isn’t always up to date but they are a great shop, just give them a ring, good luck.


I can’t believe a company like Amazon are struggling to source these copies of a new release from Universal. They must be the biggest seller of music in the UK right now and it doesn’t seem t9 add up to me. Can anyone explain how this can happen?


I’m with Dave on the US version of Mothers Talk. The US remix of Shout was inferior, too, but it was always the one added to previous deluxe versions of SFtBC much to my chagrin. British band, British remixes, please!

Saying that, though, the Beat of the Drum remix of Mothers Talk was bleedin’ awful.

Chris Squires

Thrilled that Dave has backed up what a few of us said last year about “The Way you Are”. There was a lot of love for that track and it always reminded me of Japan / Steve Jansen. Glad to not be proved a cloth eared nincompoop.


I’m looking at the links you posted, but I can’t find any deluxe reissue ! Only some German sellers seem to sell them ! Nothing on Amazon itself ! A reissue of a reissue out of print the first day of release ? I’m reading there are issues even to those who preordered it a month ago ! I know TFF reissues are quite controversial, but this is insane ! And it’s all even more upsetting considering the passion, the efforts and the time you’re spending on interviewing those who worked on them ! Can’t imagine what’ll happen with the 3rd reissue, coming later this year !
And prices ? Way different from the ones posted here !
What a mess !


I really don’t know why Mercury couldn’t print more copies ! They reissued the reissue because they knew the demand was high and they print a few copies ?
Maybe we have to wait the reissue of the reissue of the reissue after 2025…
Btw, amazing work, Paul ! You’re doing so much for TFF !

Sean Hewitt

Just received your booklet! It’s great!

Sean Hewitt

All this Tears For Fears coverage has been great. On the basis of it I ordered the SFTBC box last month from Amazon. This morning – the day I should have received it – I received instead an email from Amazon: “ We’re still trying to obtain the item(s) which you ordered on February 13 2020…”.

I take it that I’m never going to receive it. Any ideals where I can still get a copy?

Sean Hewitt

Thanks, Paul. I’ll keep an eye on the site.


great interview paul,

always interesting to hear thoughts from the people
that worked on this album. i’m looking forward to
the printed booklet, and will hopefully get it soon.


David Wishart

Excellent as usual. Thanks for taking the time to make these interviews happen. In America, I wasn’t really exposed to The Way You Are nor the first version of Mothers Talk. This “mid-period” TFF before SFTBC is particularly interesting to me, and I like both songs.