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The Hurting (Remastered)

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iTunes Review

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Tears for Fears’ debut album, The Hurting, it's been reissued in three different editions. All editions include a carefully remastered version of the album, overseen by band leaders Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith at London's Abbey Road Studios. The deluxe edition includes alternate versions of half of the album (largely recorded at keyboardist Ian Stanley’s eight-track studio), b-sides, and remixes. The super-deluxe edition includes all of the above and several live Peel Session radio performances that show Tears for Fears' competency in the live arena. Each edition features the sound of a unique young band coming together to address the heavy issues of transition. In this case, it's from childhood to adulthood, as experienced by Orzabal through the work of Arthur Janov (whose studies also gave the band its name). The group—for which Orzabal and Smith were the public faces—was keenly aware that a new decade was dawning, and it translated its songs from acoustic guitar to the world of drum machines and synth patches. 

Customer Reviews

Exciting highs, a few dull lows

This impressively strong debut resonated with me when it was released, and still holds up, for the most part. While not as consistent or epic as "Songs From the Big Chair," the ideas here are the genesis for many other TFF themes, but in a more raw form. It starts off with the naïve "The Hurting," full of electronic doodles, a decidedly British take on moping, and lyrics straight out of "The Primal Scream." We understand immediately that these two lads have had painful childhoods. However, the next two songs buzz into high goth-pop drama, layered with shimmering guitars, unbridled youthful introspection, and keening vocals by Curt Smith, the stronger singer of the pair. "Mad World" and "Pale Shelter" are the highlights of side one -- I can still only conceive of this album in its pre-CD form. More psychological meanderings follow with "Ideas as Opiates," while the pain of youth brackets the end of side one and the beginning of side two. "Change," the absolute gem of this recording, embraces sonic textures and ethereal vocals. However, it is essentially a cheery lament over an infectious tune. "The Prisoner" is a TFF experiment, and not a particularly interesting one, the kind of idea they eventually came to express on single b-sides (where they work best). "Start of the Breakdown" is the end of the beginning, delivered in plaintive tones, but not hopeless sounding. Is this the start of the breakdown? The band suggests perhaps not.


This is, no kidding, the best album I have ever heard in my life. Tears for Fears is the epitomy of Alternative

My favorite of Russ F.

This is my favorite tears for fears album hands down. They were more unique soundin less radio freindly on this one. The songs I love change,the hurting.


Formed: 1981 in Bath, Somerset, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Tears for Fears were always more ambitious than the average synth pop group. From the beginning, the duo of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith were tackling big subjects -- their very name derived from Arthur Janov's primal scream therapy, and his theories were evident throughout their debut, The Hurting. Driven by catchy, infectious synth pop, The Hurting became a big hit in their native England, setting the stage for international stardom with their second album, 1985's Songs from the Big Chair. On...
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