Arriving Feb. 25, 2022 via Concord Records
√ Band shares new single and video ‘The Tipping Point’
On Thursday, the legendary duo Tears For Fears announced the forthcoming release of their first new studio album in nearly two decades, “The Tipping Point.”
Arriving Feb. 25, 2022, via Concord Records, “The Tipping Point” is a song cycle reflecting many of the personal and professional tipping points the pair – and the world – has faced throughout the past 17 years.
Asked why make a new album now, Roland Orzabal says, “Before everything went so right with this album, everything first had to go wrong. It took years, but something happens when we put our heads together. We’ve got this balance, this push-me-pull-you thing – and it works really well.”
Curt Smith agrees: “If that balance doesn’t work on a Tears For Fears album, the whole thing just doesn’t work. To put it in simple terms, a Tears For Fears record and what people perceive to be the sound of Tears For Fears – is the stuff we can both agree on.”
Despite their many hits and 30 million albums sold, the band started making this new record by committee with some of today’s hit songwriters at the behest of their previous management. Before long, this reluctant attempt at compromise failed.
Orzabal explains, “Eventually, that pressure and tension divided us not just from our management, but from one another, too.”
The band switched to new management, who raved over the five tracks the band members could both agree on.
Orzabal continues, “Suddenly, for the first time in a long time, we felt like we had someone in our corner who understood what we were trying to do. We felt like we had somebody on our side. It was the first time in a long time that we decided – we have to do this.”
Joining Orzabal and Smith on the album is their longtime collaborator Charlton Pettus along with producers and songwriters Sacha Skarbek and Florian Reutter.
“When you’ve known each other as long as we have, and have worked together as long as we have, there’s a bond there that becomes familial. So, it’s different from a friendship,” Smith says. “And it’s different from a marriage. It’s literally like that’s your brother. It’s the kind of bond that you can’t really break. It can fall apart at times. You separate for periods, which I also think is healthy, really. But in the end, we always seem to find each other again.”
Alongside this announcement TFF also released their first single and the title track, “The Tipping Point.” Written by Orzabal and guitarist, writer and producer Pettus and co-produced by the band, Skarbek and Reutter, the explosive yet intimate track is filled to the brim with emotion. Inspired by a personal tipping point in Orzabal’s own life, this song captures the grief of watching someone you love lose their long-standing battle with disease.
The accompanying visual, directed by the famed Matt Mahurin (Joni Mitchell, U2, Metallica), depicts the subtle and poetic portrait of imbalance. Watch the video below.
Tears For Fears were one of the most iconic bands of the ’80s, selling over 30 million albums worldwide with singles such as “Shout,” “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” “Mad World,” “Sowing The Seeds Of Love,” and “Woman In Chains” acknowledged as classics.
“The Tipping Point” is the band’s first album since their reunion effort, “Everybody Loves A Happy Ending,” in 2004. Since then, the band has toured extensively, including a sold-out U.K. arena tour. In 2017, TFF released “Rule The World,” a best-of compilation that returned the band to upper reaches of the album charts once more. Earlier this month, the band was honored with the Outstanding Song Collection Award at the 2021 Ivor Novello Awards.
Tears For Fears: Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal (Photo credit: Frank Ockenfels/courtesy of BB Gun Press)
‘The Tipping Point’ Track Listings
1. “No Small Thing”
2. “The Tipping Point”
3. “Long, Long, Long Time”
4. “Break The Man”
5. “My Demons”
6. “Rivers Of Mercy”
7. “Please Be Happy”
8. “Master Plan”
9. “End Of Night”
Additional tracks on the deluxe CD edition include:
11. “Let It All Evolve”
12. “Secret Location”
13. “Shame (Cry Heaven) ”
Tears For Fears – Orzabal (vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Smith (vocals, bass, keyboards) – formed in Bath, England, in 1981. With 30 million albums sold worldwide, performing to countless sold-out audiences, and winning various awards, the band represent an inimitable intersection of pop palatability, clever and cognizant lyricism, guitar bombast, and new wave innovation.
Their 1983 debut, “The Hurting,” yielded anthems such as “Mad World,” “Change” and “Pale Shelter,” reaching RIAA Gold status in the U.S. 1985’s “Songs from the Big Chair” became a watershed moment for the group and music at large. Boasting the signature BRIT Award-winning “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” “Shout,” “Head over Heels,” “Mothers Talk” and “I Believe (A Soulful Re-Recording),” it went quintuple-Platinum and No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200. Slant dubbed it one of “The Best Albums of the 1980s.” It was featured in the book “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die,” and Consequence of Sound awarded it a rare A+ rating in a 20-year retrospective.
1989’s “Seeds of Love” proved to be Orzabal and Smith’s last collaboration together until “Everybody Loves A Happy Ending” in 2004, which rekindled the creative fire between them. The band engaged in a three-year touring whirlwind across North America, Japan, South Korea, Manila and South America beginning in 2010.
2013 saw TFF return with their first recorded music in a decade: a cover of Arcade Fire’s “Ready to Start.” The band returned once more in 2017 with the “Rule The World” best-of collection, which once more catapulted the band back to the upper echelon of the U.K. album charts.
The duo’s DNA remains embedded within three generations of artists on both subtle and overt levels. Quietly casting a shadow over rock, hip-hop, electronic dance music, indie and beyond, Kanye West interpolated “Memories Fade” on “The Coldest Winter” from the seminal “808s & Heartbreak.” The Weeknd infused “Pale Shelter” into Starboy’s “Secrets.” David Guetta sampled “Change” for “Always.” Drake utilized “Ideas as Opiates” as the foundation for “Lust For Life.” Ally Brooke Hernandez, Adam Lambert and Gary Jules recorded popular covers of “Mad World.” Disturbed took on “Shout” – and that’s only to name a few. Lorde cut a haunting cover of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” for the soundtrack of the blockbuster “The Hunger Games – Catching Fire,” which Tears For Fears gleefully would use as intro music live and thus bring everything full circle.
Meanwhile, classic songs figure prominently everywhere from “The Wire” and “Donnie Darko” to “Straight Outta Compton” and “Mr. Robot.”
Long before they became a cultural cornerstone, Tears For Fears simply consisted of two school friends growing up in Bath, Somerset U.K.
With “The Tipping Point” and comprehensive touring plans on the horizon, Orzabal and Smith remain as loud as ever – while yet another generation gets ready to “Shout” with them all over again.