Lack of ‘Happy Ending’ contributed to Tears For Fears management split

Tears For Fears / Everybody Loves A Happy Ending on streaming services
Tears for Fears in 2004 promoting Everybody Loves A Happy Ending

Tears For Fears have told SuperDeluxeEdition how the failure to release their 2005 album Everybody Loves A Happy Ending on streaming services was partially behind the duo’s decision to change their management.

Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith recently joined the father-and-son management team Irving and Jeff Azoff, whose firm Full Stop also manage Harry Styles, Mark Ronson and the Eagles.

Everybody Loves A Happy Ending suddenly appeared on streaming services last weekend (November 20). Orzabal revealed how the album’s previous inaccessibility on streaming services was a source of frustration for the band.

Orzabal and Smith are working on a new album together in New York, where Smith lives. Of the duo’s plans, Orzabal said: “There was a plan to start releasing new tracks this year. But that didn’t emerge, as it felt like it was one too many tasks for our then-management to actually put out. Everybody Loves A Happy Ending wasn’t even on Spotify – that was another task we asked them to do, which was apparently one task too many. We asked them to get …Happy Ending on streaming, but it wasn’t there. So we’ve changed management.”

The appearance of Everybody Loves A Happy Ending on streaming services is a positive sign and fans will hope that an expanded deluxe edition of the album might form part of the band’s long-running reissue campaign. The Hurting and Songs From The Big Chair were re-released in 2013 and 2014 respectively and were followed this October by the long-delayed reissue of 1989’s The Seeds Of Love. The first release under Full Stop’s management, the five-disc edition reached number 13 in the UK album chart. Orzabal said: “Changing management was a big deal, of course. It felt like getting the box set for The Seeds Of Love finally done was the first thing that needed to happen.”

Smith and Orzabal own the copyright on Everybody Loves A Happy Ending, which is credited to “TFF UK” on Spotify. The album’s British release in March 2005 on Gut Records was six months after it came out in the US on New Door in September 2004. It had been recorded for Arista, who dropped the duo before its release. The album has never been released on vinyl, bar promo copies pressed on red vinyl for Arista, which are so rare it’s never come up for sale on Discogs. That should now change, though it’s thought that Tears For Fears’ new album – their first since Everybody Loves A Happy Ending – will be released first in 2021.

Orzabal and Smith are writing the new album together. Writing sessions with a new generation of songwriters, including Bastille singer Dan Smith, resulted in two new songs on 2017 compilation Rule The World: The Greatest Hits. Orzabal told the current issue of Classic Pop: “We were trying to get a hit single by working in the modern sense – writing with a lot of young hit songwriters. It led to us making an album which didn’t really sound like a Tears For Fears album. I’d say about half it will see the light of day. It sounded like a lot of other people, but not us. So having got a lot of uptempo short songs, we’re going back and putting the art back into it. We’ll end up with more of a balanced album than we’d initially delivered, that’s for sure.”

Listen to Everybody Loves A Happy Ending on Spotify

The Seeds of Love box set is now all but out of print. We have sold out on the SDE shop and it’s mostly unavailable elsewhere. Grab one if you see some availability.

The Seeds of Love
– 4CD+blu-ray box set


01. Woman In Chains: 6:31
02. Badman’s Song: 8:32
03. Sowing The Seeds Of Love: 6:19
04. Advice For The Young At Heart: 4:50
05. Standing On The Corner Of The Third World: 5:33
06. Swords And Knives: 6:12
07. Year Of The Knife: 7:08
08. Famous Last Words: 4:26


01. Sowing The Seeds Of Love – 7″ Version: 5:43
02. Tears Roll Down: 3:16
03. Woman In Chains – 7” Version: 5:28
04. Always In The Past: 4:38
05. My Life In The Suicide Ranks: 4:32
06. Woman In Chains – Instrumental: 6:30
07. Advice For The Young At Heart – 7” Version: 4:49
08. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams Instrumental: 4:18
09. Music For Tables: 3:32
10. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams Mix One: 6:22
11. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams Mix Two: 5:55
12. Sowing The Seeds Of Love – US Radio Edit: 4:04
13. Woman In Chains – US Radio Edit 1: 4:42
14. Advice For The Young At Heart – Italian Radio Edit: 3:40
15. Year Of The Knife – Canadian Single Version: 5:40
16. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams: 4:17


01. Year Of The Knife – Overture: 1:47
02. Year Of The Knife – Early Mix – Instrumental: 8:50
03. Sowing The Seeds Of Love – Alternate Mix: 7:22
04. Tears Roll Down – Alternate Mix: 4:07
05. Year Of The Knife – Steve Chase 7″ Remix: 4.29
06. Badman’s Song – Early Mix: 7:56
07. Advice For The Young At Heart – Instrumental: 4:56
08. Year Of The Knife – The Mix: 06:55
09. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams – Mix One Edit: 3:43
10. Sowing The Seeds Of Love – Early Mix – Instrumental: 5.55
11. Woman In Chains – US Radio Edit 2: 4:19
12. Year Of The Knife – Canadian Single Version – Instrumental: 5:40
13. Famous Last Words – French Radio Edit: 3:07
14. Woman In Chains – Reprise: 6:39


01. Rhythm Of Life – Demo: 5:12
02. Advice For The Young At Heart – Demo: 4:52
03. Swords And Knives – Demo: 3:51
04. Famous Last Words – Demo: 4:12
05. Sowing The Seeds Of Love – Demo – Instrumental: 6:06
06. Badman’s Song – Langer / Winstanley Version – Instrumental: 7:30
07. Woman In Chains – Townhouse Jam: 7:06
08. Broken – Townhouse Jam: 1:37 Tears For Fears
09. Rhythm Of Life – Townhouse Jam: 3:09
10. Badman’s Song – Townhouse Jam: 8:17
11. Badman’s Song – Reprise – Townhouse Jam: 2:50
12. Standing On The Corner Of The Third World – Townhouse Jam: 9:09


Steven Wilson 5.1 MIX

01. Woman In Chains: 6:30
02. Badman’s Song: 8:32
03. Sowing The Seeds Of Love: 6:19
04. Advice For The Young At Heart: 4:55
05. Standing On The Corner Of The Third World: 5:33
06. Swords And Knives: 6:20
07. Year Of The Knife: 6:55
08. Famous Last Words: 4:11

Original Album Mix (Bob Ludwig 1989 mastering)

01. Woman In Chains: 6:31 (Original album master)
02. Badman’s Song: 8:32 (Original album master)
03. Sowing The Seeds Of Love: 6:19 (Original album master)
04. Advice For The Young At Heart: 4:50 (Original album master)
05. Standing On The Corner Of The Third World: 5:33 (Original album master)
06. Swords And Knives: 6:12 (Original album master)
07. Year Of The Knife: 7:08 (Original album master)
08. Famous Last Words: 4:26 (Original album master)

New remaster (by Andrew Walter at Abbey Road)

01. Woman In Chains: 6:30 (New remaster)
02. Badman’s Song: 8:32 (New remaster)
03. Sowing The Seeds Of Love: 6:19  (New remaster)
04. Advice For The Young At Heart: 4:55 (New remaster)
05. Standing On The Corner Of The Third World: 5:33 (New remaster)
06. Swords And Knives: 6:20 (New remaster)
07. Year Of The Knife: 6:55  (New remaster)
08. Famous Last Words: 4:11 (New remaster)

The Seeds of Love vinyl LP remaster (same tracks on picture disc)

Side 1
01. Woman In Chains: 6:31
02. Badman’s Song: 8:32
03. Sowing The Seeds Of Love: 6:19
04. Advice For The Young At Heart: 4:50

Side 2
01. Standing On The Corner Of The Third World: 5:33
02. Swords And Knives: 6:12
03. Year Of The Knife: 7:08
04. Famous Last Words: 4:26

The Seeds of Love 2CD deluxe


01. Woman In Chains: 6:31
02. Badman’s Song: 8:32
03. Sowing The Seeds Of Love: 6:19
04. Advice For The Young At Heart: 4:50
05. Standing On The Corner Of The Third World: 5:33
06. Swords And Knives: 6:12
07. Year Of The Knife: 7:08
08. Famous Last Words: 4:26


01. Sowing The Seeds Of Love – 7" Version: 5:43
02. Tears Roll Down: 3:16
03. Woman In Chains – 7” Version: 5:28
04. Always In The Past: 4:38
05. My Life In The Suicide Ranks: 4:32
06. Woman In Chains – Instrumental: 6:30
07. Advice For The Young At Heart – 7” Version: 4:49
08. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams Instrumental: 4:18
09. Music For Tables: 3:32
10. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams Mix One: 6:22
11. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams Mix Two: 5:55
12. Sowing The Seeds Of Love – US Radio Edit: 4:04
13. Woman In Chains – US Radio Edit 1: 4:42
14. Advice For The Young At Heart – Italian Radio Edit: 3:40
15. Year Of The Knife – Canadian Single Version: 5:40
16. Johnny Panic And The Bible Of Dreams: 4:17

The Seeds of Love single CD remaster


01. Woman In Chains: 6:31
02. Badman’s Song: 8:32
03. Sowing The Seeds Of Love: 6:19
04. Advice For The Young At Heart: 4:50
05. Standing On The Corner Of The Third World: 5:33
06. Swords And Knives: 6:12
07. Year Of The Knife: 7:08
08. Famous Last Words: 4:26



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Richard Lloyd

I loved “Everybody Loves A Happy Ending” – it’s arguably as good as or better than the “Seeds of Love” album, IMHO. The UK CD got a couple of bonus tracks (“Pullin’ A Cloud” and “Out Of Control”) and also had slightly different cover artwork (white background instead of blue and less curtains) compared to the US CD.

It is indeed weird that the UK Spotify version at https://open.spotify.com/album/5In5TZiJN1cs0LumP4Oquq even says “(C) 2004 TFF UK” at the bottom, but has the US CD artwork and the US CD 12 tracks (no bonus ones)! I’d love to see a deluxe box set edition of the album – it’s at least as worthy of it, even if it didn’t spawn any big hits like “Seeds of Love” did.


Steven Wilson said that he likes the album :-)))

Neil Kelly

Hold on a minute shouldn’t the headline here be ‘Tears for fears to finally get the follow-up to “Everybody loves a happy ending”, out in 2021’?

I’d all but given up on new material after the album failed to materialise and there current dislike for each other came out too!

Can’t even remember when it was due May 2018 or May 2019? Can’t wait for the new album personally!!

SDE Hall of Fame

Not really, since they’ve been saying the new album will be out ‘this year’ for ages. The management change is a factual thing that actually happened :)

Wayne C

Does this potentially mean we can expect a vinyl release of this album anytime soon?, would like to think they can sort this out and get the product out to the fans. It’s one of the missing links in my TFT vinyl collection also would be great for “Tomcats” and “Raoul” (one of their best pieces for me) to get the same treatment.


Come on guys 15 years old to lay an album? Seriously? Prince is missing in the music industry he was a real artist enthusiast by his art … I remain a big fan of TFF but I do not expect anything from this band.

John MC cann

Try being a blue Nile fan


I’m a fan of Michel Polnareff too.. It’s enough


Exactly as was/is still the case with the video in the Thin Lizzy – Rock Legends thread, whatever video is at the top of this TFF thread has a black screen and states: “! VIDEO UNAVAILABLE. This Video is not available.” It must be a Euro/US territories thing if it plays fine in the UK and won’t in the US, as you stated about the Lizzy video. Odd…


I’m not seeing the video either (I’m in Europe).

I’ve also noticed that only comment of mine on this article was published. Paul, was there anything specific that was unacceptable about those comments or are you simply too busy? Just wondering because I’ve obviously posted my share of critical opinions recently but I thought there was nothing contentious about what I said here.

SDE Hall of Fame

No just got missed… I’ve published them now. Apologies.

Marc R

I don`t like Roland`s statements here at all.
Why go for a possible hit single ? They should be way beyond that.
The two new songs were really disappointing as well. Even Roland`s voice
was disappointing. 30 years ago they were so brave releasing sth like The Seeds Of Love
when there was so much pressure. Now there`s no pressure at all and they just wanted to
record radio-friendly 3,5 minute songs ? I always liked Roland`s music best when he was experimenting the most, e.g. on Tomcats Screaming Outside. Come on guys, be brave, do what you want to do, and not what some record company tells you to do. You are not dependent on a certain record company any more ! And Roland himself is a fantastic producer anyway. No need to look for other / younger guys.


Did you read the rest of the article, the bit that says they realised it didn’t sound like them and they’re now working on new material that is more suitable to their style.


You’re right Tomcats is a great album; yet it sadly barely sold a cracker. I feel with the new management they’ll probably be pushed even more toward more modern sounding (click track, plug ins that everyone else uses) records. I hope to god I am wrong!


Here’s what I have gathered together on the new album so far…


Agree that Roland is a great producer, by the way.

rolando Carrera

I love you but I’m lost rules .. it sounds a bit like
FOSTER THE PEOPLE .. it could be a bigger single if
TFF gets a decent promoter behind them. I swear this is the most unlucky band ever. Roland’s amazing solo album TOMCATS SCREAMING OUTSIDE ( weir title) was released on 9/11 .. obviously like most things that week it was forgotten. Check out from that album, HEY ANDY, Ticket to the world, and Hypnoculture. Enjoy !


Well, the new management just seem to be guys who stump for Ticketmaster and Madison Square Garden corporation, according to the news on them. But whatever. I just hope TFF finally get that new album done… and I will be glad if they don’t just chase hits with collaborators that they got fixed up with the whole time. Having more reissues would also be welcomed. And print more of the Seeds of Love box sometime soon, while you are at it guys…


I think the new tracks on Rule The World were pretty average tbh. There was a feeling of somewhat chasing it rather than exploration… Which is where the great stuff comes from. I think the best way is to please yourself and do your best. You know The Seeds of Love resold because it still stands up after all these years. Happy Ending in retrospect just isn’t as cohesive although The Devil and Secret World still stand up, but the rest is mainly a case of incomplete songwriting in the construction department.


This is why Depeche Mode were always the better 80s synth pop band. They aren’t chasing radio hits or touring the same old songs for decades.


That’s a comment that totally oversimplifies both bands. Needless to say I don’t agree at all.


Not trying to start and argument but Depeche Mode just can’t touch TFF. They’re great, but not quite that great.


The never-ending woes of TFF. Every album has had some kind of drama connected to it. They’ve been working on this one since 2013 and it’s still not here. The Channel Tunnel took less time to make!

I actually liked “I Love You But I’m Lost” from the (unnecessary) 2017 greatest hits album, but the Curt Smith-penned “Stay” was pretty awful. He’s just not a songwriter and never was. Yes, he’s *contributed* to a few great TFF tracks over the years, but as a primary songwriter he just can’t cut it. If the new album was filled with weak material like that, I’d rather it never got released. Indulging Smith’s attempts at songwriting like this would just water down the TFF brand, which has always been anchored around Orzabal’s songwriting talents. Back in the 80s, Smith was happy enough to be the pretty pop star and let Orzabal just get on with the creative side of things. They were playing to their strengths and it’s an arrangement that made them hugely successful. I suppose now he’s pushing 60 and no longer the pin-up he was, Smith is desperate to be taken more seriously. It’s an ego problem that could cost them both dearly – just like it did 30 years ago.

Larry Davis

The Gospel According To Bush?!?!? Haha…well what about The Red Shoes?? That album felt very commercial, working with a ton of other unrelated artists…possibly trying for a hit…felt like a label intervention to a point, but it still worked…sorta…I liked it…as for TFF, how do you feel about Curt’s work in the 90s…Soul On Board & the band Mayfield?? I thought both were quite good but I do agree, artistically, Roland is the one in the driver’s seat in TFF, although Advice For The Young at Heart is one of many highlights on Seeds, even if the main person on that track is really Nicky Holland…

Chris Squires

I take it that part of the response was to me below Larry, somehow ended up under a no doubt confused Stevie.

Absolutely agree with what you say. The Red Shoes is my least favourite album. It’s also the only album (or at least the greatest offender) where I felt Kate was chasing something.

Trying to fit in with the market rather than deliberately positioning outside the norms and have everybody come to you. It can define many artists at this stage of their career.
It’s amazing how many people call “The Hounds of Love” her most commercial album, well yes and no. Nothing about it was designed to be commercial, the “hits” on side a could have sunk like a stone because they are so weirdly unique. The market (and history) has been kind and bent towards them. It sounds odd I know but “commercial” bent around them, rather than the other way round. And that’s before we get to The Ninth wave on side two.

Not sure any artist in their 50s or 60s even with a solid career 30 years behind them can do that now. They can make their own music OR they can try and fit in but they won’t / can’t make the market come to them.

To use a wonderful Cricket toss analogy…. Kate is a bat first girl. Get the runs on the board and don’t chase. I hope that wonderfully baffles you Larry as an American. You can of course come back with a batting average analogy of your own and we won’t have a clue. But I think Kate would be .345 to .350 girl. Something like Shoeless Joe.

As a final point, nothing says struggling for inspiration (to me) more than a metric fuck-tonne of guest stars.


I find that comment about writing for a hit single really quant, very 80s mentality. Who really gives a hoot about singles anymore, when LadBaby tops the charts twice. Glad they are focussing again on a good album, which is where it’s at. Lots of formats please but dont go McCartney on us.

Chris Squires

Again with the Kate Bush…. Sorry.
The gospel according to Bush…….
Only make albums that please yourself. Then just hope that others like it too. If you start trying to make albums specifically aimed at pleasing one group or other it invariably pleases no one.


I was underwhelmed by the two new tracks on the latest greatest hits release. Hope the new Blu. Is better than those tracks.

Jeff Fedge

Quite a fascinating article, and comments. Both on Seeds box selling out almost immediately and the Happy Ending mastering/stream availability.

When an album is badly mastered so loud that it’s harsh and distorted, I will just avoid listening to it even if I love the album itself, like in the case of Haim’s Days Are Gone from 2013. The CD sounds so abrasive – yet the properly mastered vinyl sounds great.

James Hartman

I have both the UK and US pressings of “Happy Ending” and the two are like night and day – the UK CD is horrible IMHO, and I can’t stand to listen to it. The US CD is light years better.

Your mileage may vary, offer not available in all states/territories.


Perhaps TFF should consider releasing an EP of their effort with the young hipsters and keep moving along on the new LP? Wouldn’t that be juicy fun for us fans?

Larry Davis

First off, there is a copy of the Seeds box at the Brooklyn Rough Trade just sitting on a rack, looking for a home…been there since it was released…any takers, go get it…secondly, good about future TFF SDEs, like ELAHE…I heard it was originally on Arista…wonder what happened with Clive & it’s journey from label to label?? Also Curt has always lived in NY after leaving the UK, could be wrong…and as for new material & album, so the Tipping Point is not coming out as originally planned?? Writing with newer younger writers to be contemporary & try for a hit is usually a bad idea although I understand why many try…to bridge generations & not sound out of touch…always best to be yourself…as for the recent Madonna albums, I thought Rebel Heart, honestly, objectively, was one of her best works, and the sprawl worked in her favour, but I never heard the demos or original track sequence…I thought it was strange the booklet had nothing but photos, so I went on the Wikipedia page and it was a load of info and text, so complex in it’s genesis that my brain briefly farted, haha…but as for another pressing of all 3 boxsets of TFF I do not see happening…they gave us all another shot to get them, which was unlikely in the first place…missing out this time I think is no fault of the label really…

Lynn Mathews

Curt & family lives in Sherman Oaks, Ca. He’s been there for years. Unless he sold the house & uprooted his fam to move back to NY. He has 1 daughter at college there though. Roland I’d now engaged to a young lady from the UK. Doubt if he & her relocated perm to NYC. For years & years they’ve been saying the new album would be out the next year & next.

SDE Hall of Fame

I think Roland may have accidentally said New York to John, hence the confusion.

Stephen dC

I am just happy that Roland & Curt appear to be talking to each other again. That wasn’t the case a couple of years ago at their Nottingham gig.

Though thoroughly professional and fantastic, it can’t have been easy.

Here’s to many happy endings.

[And don’t bother with a ‘hit’, the charts are so overrun with rubbish it’s hard to see how quality can get through. Make albums you love]

PS My best school mate and I offered to run their fan club back in 1982 but were declined. It was probably wise.

Wax Monster X

Maddy is trying desperately to appeal to a demographic that thinks of her as a has been grandma. Sad.
I loved ELAHE and was very pleased when they played all the best tracks live a couple of years ago here in PHX. Of course no one else knew the songs, as it seemed all the 40/50 somethings were just waiting for Shout. Ugh. But made me real happy, Didn’t think I would ever hear Secret live .

Secret World is one of the few that survived the endless ELAHE tour, so to speak. At the gig in Bruchsal it was received with pretty much the same amount of cheers as all the other songs, and I saw and heard a lot of people sing along with it. Suffice to say, the audience definitely knew TFF beyond the hits.

mark leaning

I can’t wait for the new stuff. It’s been too long


So true!


So if we don’t get a red vinyl release of everybody loves a happy ending in the next 12 months as well as a vinyl release of RATKOS then they are still missing the boat


Do you know if they have any plans to re-release the Hurting/SFTBC box sets? Would love to complete the collection.


i want the same, here in the US.


I’ve been a fan since 1985, and I’ve listened to all the albums over and over. But I have to say, the three SDEs have really made me appreciate the music even more. Reading the booklets, then listening to the demos and jams, and then enjoying each album from beginning to end… Wow. The first three TFF albums are just amazing. I find myself loving them more with each listen.

Here’s hoping the SDEs keep coming… I’d love to hear the DNA of “Elemental” and “Happy Ending”.

Andrew M

Oh Paul. Was that headline deliberate? Certainly piqued my interest! :D

Mark A.

Mercifully, I just received, perhaps, one of SDE’s last copies of the ‘Seeds’ box yesterday here in L.A.! Thank you, Paul! I had placed an order in late September at the U.S. Deep Discounts site yet they were never able to fulfill the order & ultimately, cancelled it. Figured I’d had great fortune ordering the 2 other TFF sets through you that I might as well try again. Sure enough, one week since I’d placed my SDE order, here it sits: safe & sound and sounding GRAND! Thanks again!

SDE Hall of Fame

You’re welcome. Great to hear!

Mike Morris

My preorder was cacelled from importcds.com earler this week. Now appears very hard to find without forking over $40 or more over my original order. At least it’s on Spotify.


This is good news. Sounds like there will be more good TFF news in the not so distant future. SDE’s of “Elemental”, “King Raoul” and of course “Everybody Loves….” and of course a new album.


I doubt anything will happen to “Raoul”, as it’s owned by Sony and they are notoriously bad at reissues. The 2009 reissue from Cherry Red with all the b-sides bar “Creep” might be the best we got.

Hopefully this doesn’t preclude releasing live recordings from that tour. Even without Curt, this was a superb band. The 1996 live versions of songs like Elemental, Mr. Pessimist, Don’t Drink the Waters & others are just amazing.


Curt lives in Los, Angeles, isn’t it?

Paul Kent

All good news here, then: new, sympathetic management; Smith/Orzabal writing sessions; possible future SDEs… happy endings all round!


I think what hey need to do is be true to themselves – write stuff that comes from the heart or don’t do it – they don’t need to – they should only release material if they truly believe in it – they have nothing to prove. The idea of hit singles at this point – they should look at their peer group – nobody is having them – top 10 charting albums yes, hit singles, nope.


Can they please handle meeting the demand for the Seeds box set before moving on? Still haven’t received it at the largest indie store distributor in the US over a month past release date. My shop alone has a list of 5 people still being patient enough to wait for it…

Michael E.

Is the new version of “Everybody loves…” on Streaming services remastered? The CD is terrible compressed….

SDE Hall of Fame

Doubt it.

It is the US mastering, which is not nearly as bad as what happened to the European CD – that was a travesty.

I think what happened was that Stephen Marcussen did the original mastering, quite loud as is his “style”, for the US release. The band approved this.

Then somebody decided that for the European release, this was not loud enough – and completely overdid it! Sadly this is the version with the two bonus tracks, so those are still missing from Spotify if I’m not mistaken.

I went through some of the sonic problems of the European CD here – at the time I didn’t know that the four songs on the “Gold” compilation are simply taken from the superior US mastering.


Derek Langsford

I went back and listened to my European copy of ELAHE, which didn’t impress me that much when I got it, but maybe its because of the mastering. It hurts to listen to it at reasonable volumes. Just ordered a US copy so I hope I can take another listen to it at a more reasonable volume and appreciate it more.

Brickwalling a recording is such a disservice. The Soft Cell boxed set, which had a great track selection, was all but ruined by the brickwalled sound across all discs but most of the attention was on the faulty DVD. Have not seen any discussion about the brickwalling travesty and the role of Barry Grint at Alchemy Mastering.


That was interesting comment from Roland Smith about working with the young song writers & trying to get a hit single. I bought a couple of the Madonna’s records MDNA & Rebel Heart. They both sound completely disjointed & just looking for the hits. And neither stands up.
It is supposedly or least was how much of the chart music is created. Song writing camps where they try & create hits.

I suppose it sometimes works the Jessie Ware whose album sounds good. Same writers lots of different producers. But otherwise I prefer stuff like Sufjan Stevens who produces himself.


I think Madonna’s Rebel Heart would have sounded less disjointed if she had been able to go with the original release plan, which was a double-album where each disc was themed (I think the plan was one disc that was “Rebel” and one disc that was “Heart” if what I have read was correct). The massive leak months before the album was set to come out made her ditch that approach completely, and she also went back in a remixed a bunch of the tracks, sometimes radically. If you go back to the demos that leaked, it’s pretty easy to divide them into two groups that play quite well together without all the (rather jarring) shifts in sounds and styles that makes the official release of the record seem a bit jarring. I think having so much of the record dumped onto the internet before she was done with it made her lose her nerve in many ways, and the end result (though I still more or less like the album much better than MDNA) was an album that sounded like a grab bag that bordered on desperation, rather than a cohesive whole.

All that is to say, if the original idea is to produce a cohesive album, I think it can still be done, even with multiple collaborators. Maybe the pursuit of a “hit” is futile in the current youth-obsessed environment where “old” artists are completely disregarded by radio, but a great album could still come out of it if the artist’s vision is strong and they have a good executive producer or play a large role in the production themselves. I have faith in TFF to be able to create an excellent album from their vision, even if they have multiple people assisting in the process.