Why Does Everyone Hate Tears For Fears?

Back in the day I was a punk rock guy. My friends and I used to listen to Black Flag, Minor Threat, The Misfits…all that type. We also liked some metal like Motorhead and Black Sabbath and Led Zep, too. Loud, fast stuff, right? But we prided ourselves on “thinking outside the box” and we’d spin some Smokey Robinson or Robert Johnson every now and then, as well. Aside from all that, one of my favorite bands back in the day was Tears for Fears. I always thought “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Head over Heels” were great tunes, but when I played them for my friends they’d all say, “this crap sucks” and would quickly label it “wuss rock” that needed to be rejected since it not only was lame but was also played on the radio and MTV.

Ok, fine. Those were punks and metalheads. But, as I grew older, I found that most people just had this visceral reaction to TFF. It was always, “Man, that band sucks!” I bought a DVD of one of their concerts last week and played it for Mrs. kidneyfailure. She was also of the opinion that they “suck” (where she learned that term I have no idea). I played some of their songs (among other artists) while lecturing on “music” to some of my students and it was just negative across the board: “horrible,” “awful,” “the singer sounds like a girl.”

Is it just a case of differing tastes, me personally having bad taste, or Tears for Fears really sucking? I’m leaning towards the first two.

They did sell 8 mil in the US, so obviously somebody liked them…

Head over Heels was one of my favorite songs in the 80’s, and I still love it. So I guess it was me.

I’ve liked all of their singles. “Everybody wants to Rule the World” can be heard various places, including the theme music to Dennis Miller’s old TV show.

I can’t say that I’ve ever heard of anyone hating them actually. Different strokes I guess.

I love Tears For Fears. They are men who make music that’s emotionally rich, which always seems to create mockery and derision amongst people who aren’t their fan base. There is definitely an expectation that men shouldn’t be overly emotional. I find that’s almost always what’s going on when someone refers to a band as “wuss music”. How many female performers or bands do we hear that about?

I love “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” partly because it’s a great song, but mainly because when I hear it it always reminds me of Real Genius and thinking of that movie always brings a smile to my face.

Show the Mrs Real Genius without telling her a TFF song is in it.

TFF are super 80s sounding and I mean that in the worst way possible.

Can’t say I’ve heard much hate for them myself, and they certainly still get plenty of play on Sirius’ ‘First Wave’ channel. If people do hate them, I can only think that it has something to do with overexposure, coupled with maybe a rejection of anything that sounds overly precious and glossily produced. IMO, however, they were a brilliant singles band, and I like just about everything I’ve heard by them.

Restricted range. The people who generally share your tastes don’t like TFF. That’s a long way from “everyone.”

I’ve listened to their music with plenty of kinds of people (“Head Over Heels” is the first song I suggest whenever someone asks me to sugges a good song they might not have heard) and have never had any good reactions. Even my mom hated them (and my mom loves everything). Seeing as how I can only base my educated guess on the experiences I personally have had (that everyone…ok, almost everyone…there have been one or two people I have encountered who liked them…didn’t like them), I therefore deduce that “everyone” hates them. Should I have said “why does everyone around me hate tears for fears” instead? Would’ve made for a long subject title.

That having been said, I think it was nailed up there above: they made really emotional, cathartic music (“Shout” obviously) and got savaged as “wusses” for it. Pretty lame.

Fucked if I know.

They had their moment. They’ve been off my radar for about 20 years, though.

I think it’s because Johnny hates jazz.

I remember not liking them back in the 1980s and I’m really not interested in hearing them again. Just struck me as uninteresting.

They did complex, brilliantly orchestrated songs at a time when the music industry was going back to simplicity and “authenticness.” That seems to have gotten them the same reputation as 70s progressive rock bands who were undermined by punk. They (all of them) featured great musicianship, but I have to admit they could get too pretentious for words. Great musicianship is never to tossed aside lightly, even so.

I don’t understand why some people get so het up about complex rock music but it’s a constant thread in rock history.

Not everybody hates them though. I once got into a bizarre argument here with a fervent fan who took objection to my calling TFF less great than The Beatles even though I used the word brilliant to describe them in that thread too. Not mentioning any names. :slight_smile:

I recommend Tears Roll Down (Greatest Hits 82–92), which covers the first three albums plus some singles. If people don’t respond to the showcase they gave Oleta Adams in “Woman in Chains,” then write them off.

Great band. Their material stood up to use many years later, look how Mad World did. Curt Smith is still a great singer and some of his solo stuff is interesting. I always thought that Roland Orzabal was vastly underrated as a guitarist, he had great taste.

I expected a better response from the likes of you, sir.

And I mean it in the BEST way possible! The 80s were the resurgence of the singles band, which sacrificed all artistic merit to be Top of the Pops for a single week. TFF exemplified this, though A Flock of Seagulls gave it its name, A Flock of Haircuts.

My favorite Pop is from France in the 60s, where EVERY SINGLE SONG WAS COMPLETELY DISPOSABLE! Y’know, like all Eurovision contenders. In one ear and out the other and not pausing for a nanosecond to make an impression.

Okay, it’s pink noise, but it drowns out the voices. :eek:

ETA: That I don’t speak French adds to the “pink noise” part.

How about thrown with great force?

I didn’t buy their albums, but I liked TFF. Mothers’ Talk as well as the songs already mentioned. FWIW, I like Black Sabbath and Zeppelin too. That’s probably mitigated by the fact that I liked Duran Duran, but whatever.

Probably the self-appointed critics are focusing on their later, mellower stuff. Play them their debut and see if their minds open a crack.

And is the poster who penned post #10 the real deal I wonder…?

I am a little surprised that the opening number from their 2nd album was never used to help sell a certain American clotheswasher detergent tho:

“Shout, Shout
Get them all out
These are the stains I can do without…”

Great song tho.

[Last edit I promise mods]