The ‘80s: Tears For Fears’ ‘The Seeds Of Love’

The year was 1989, the last year of a decade that went extremely well for the group Tears For Fears. Just six years earlier, the British duo released their debut album The Hurting, which included the tunes “Mad World” and “Pale Shelter.” In 1985, they released their international smash Songs From The Big Chair, which contained the singles “Shout,”“Head Over Heels,”and “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.”

Their third album, The Seeds of Love, was somewhat of a musical transition for the group.  Gone were the pre-programmed sounds of the previous two albums and in their place were Beatles-styled musical imagery, jazz influences, and a different approach to songwriting and recording. The result was a much more organic and colorful mix of jazz, pop, and psychedelica that hit the top 10 on the pop chart and shot to #1 in the U.K.

seeds of love_tears for fearsThe first single, “Sowing The Seeds Of Love,” peaked at #2 on the pop chart in the states and #5 in the U.K., as well as hitting the top 10 on the mainstream rock tracks chart and topping the modern rock tracks chart. The music video for the single won two MTV Music Video Awards, one for Best Breakthrough Video the other for Best Special Effects. The tune “Advice For The Young At Heat”” didn’t make much of a splash on the pop chart, but with its mellow, jazzy melodies and instrumentation, it didn’t do too badly on the adult contemporary chart where it peaked at #24.

The single “Woman In Chains” barely made the Top 40 on the pop chart, but the intoxicating and climactic tune featured Phil Collins on drums and more notably, singer Oleta Adams, who the band discovered while on tour in the U.S. Adams was performing in a hotel bar in Kansas City, Missouri and a couple of years later, she got a call to join the band as a pianist and vocalist. Of course, she would later go on to launch a successful solo career with her Grammy Award- nominated album Circle of One which featured her hit cover of Brenda Russell’s “Get Here.”

—Montrose Cunningham

Montrose Cunningham is a Dallas, Texas-based, independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado, with a Master of Science degree in Marketing. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughters, sometimes at the same time. Purchase his release Inertia at, follow him on Twitter @MontroseC and check out his blog, Daddy Rock Star.

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