"Head over Heels": the story of the great 80s hit by Tears for Fears

Basically, "Head over Heels" is a romantic love tune and one of the simplest tracks ever recorded by the band!

"Head over Heels" is about the great hit Tears for Fears

"Head over Heels" - the famous song of the group Tears for Fears. Written Roland Orzabal and Kurt Smith for their second studio album, this great track was the fourth from the mentioned record and the duo's tenth single in England! It is worth adding that it also quickly became an international hit ... As for the States, the song only continued the series of hits there, reaching the third line in the Billboard Hot 100! What is the idea of the song, as well as curious details related to the video - first things first...


Tears For Fears
Tears For Fears

"Head Over Heels" originated a couple of years earlier than the group's popularity in the United States. IN 1982 Tears for Fears released a single "Pale Shelter" with a song Broken as a b-side. When the band included "Broken" in their live set, the song started to develop! And most importantly, the distinctive piano part took on a life of its own... The song was intended as a transition to "Broken": it ended up sandwiched between two parts of the track during the duo's live performances...

lyrics, meaning

Tears for Fears
Tears for Fears

Essentially, "Head over Heels" is a romantic love tune and one of the simplest tracks the band has ever recorded. However, at the end she becomes slightly perverted ...

Music video

Tears for Fears: Roland Orzabal (left) and Kurt Smith (right)
Tears for Fears: Roland Orzabal (left) and Kurt Smith (right)

Filmed in the same year, the clip shows us Roland Orzabala, who struggles to get the attention of a young and very attractive librarian, while supporting characters (including a funny chimpanzee in a T-shirt Red Sox) from time to time flash in the background! Filming took place in the college library. Emmanuel in Toronto. As of 2021, the clip has scored almost 60 million views (and this is just 8 years...)

Music video on "Head Over Heels" was filmed Nigel Dick, who later became the director of the video Britney Spears to a hit song "Baby One More Time"! Orzabal gave Dick an idea which was to meet a beautiful girl in the library and grow old with her... Sounds very romantic, doesn't it? Roland also suggested a lot of very random images: there is even a tribute to the film in the clip "Ghostbusters” (namely, in the scene where Orzabal pulls out the drawer of the catalog of cards, and the cards fly apart ...)

Success in America

Tears for Fears: Kurt Smith (left) and Roland Orzabal (right)
Tears for Fears: Kurt Smith (left) and Roland Orzabal (right) 1982

Song "Head Over Heels" further strengthened the place Tears for Fears on the new wave stage! During this period, the group was at the height of its career. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" and "Shout" became number one hits in the States, and the album Songs From the Big Chair sold over 8 million copies worldwide... Despite the fact that Tears for Fears had already been successful in their homeland, the record marked their breakthrough in America!

“This is the other side of the wave. We were just very lucky: we made something accessible, but modern, extraordinary ... I mean, I don’t think it was anything special, but for America and Americans, it was. So we were very popular and very fashionable there!” Orzabal commented.

As the band's star in the US grew brighter, performances Tears for Fears got wider and wider.

“The gigs just got bigger and bigger,” Orzabal recalled, “and we ended up playing up to 17,000 people in Los Angeles with helicopters and fireworks and stuff!”

Interesting Facts

  • At the beginning of the 2000s, a modified version of the song sounded in the tape "Donnie Darko": according to the director himself, the scene in which it was used was written specifically for this composition!

  • As for the album, Songs from the Big Chair took its name from the American television series 1976 of the year "Sybil", in which the protagonist, who suffers from mental problems related to child abuse, seeks refuge in her therapist's "big chair". By the way: The series was based on a controversial book about a woman who was supposed to have 16 different personalities! Later Orzabal and Smith stated that they chose the title ("Songs from the Big Chair") because the songs on the album are so varied that they all seem to have different personalities!
  • There are two versions of this song. The shorter one ends with a cold stop. The longer version is known as the "preacher's version" because it begins with Orzabal reciting the words from their song "I Believe"like he's giving a sermon...

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