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Pale Shelter (1982) - Tears For Fears - All about the song "Humble Shelter" ...

A beautiful composition from the repertoire of the duet Tears For Fears...

The Pale Shelter Story (1982) – Tears For Fears

A bewitching melody, a slightly sad message, the pleasant sound of Kurt Smith... Everyone will recognize this composition, because at one time it was a fairly well-known hit. "Pale Shelter" is a melancholic creation of the British band Tears for Fears, which will be discussed today.

Song creation

The composition is dedicated to the theme of disappointment in relationships. On the threshold of the 2000s, in notes for the reissue of The Hurting, its direct author Roland Orzabal emphasizes:

“... This melody is a kind of ode to love. And now, it seems to me, it’s more about the relationship between children and parents than the love relationship of a guy with a girl ... "

"Pale Shelter" was written by Orzabal and performed by Kurt Smith in March 1982. At that time, the track became their second single. Unfortunately, the original version of "Humble Shelter" (You don't give me love...) didn't have much success... After the release, the song didn't enter any Hit Parade. However, over time, she made her way into the Top 20 of Canada! As for the native United Kingdom, it was only after the re-release in the mid-80s that the compositions were awarded the 73rd line in the national Top Chart.

The song was also re-released in 1983 as the third single (after "Mad World" and "Change") from The Hurting's debut LP.

How did it happen that Roland Orzabal wrote the composition and Kurt Smith performed it? In fact, the adoption of this decision was mutual. Often, when the question “which of the two performers will sing this or that song” was raised, it all came down to a specific timbre of the voice. Smith said in one of his interviews:

“... If it was a gentle song, then, as a rule, I performed it. If the composition required a stronger pressure, then definitely Roland! My voice has always been lighter, more melancholic… Roland could rather be described as a scream, an explosion! He expresses his feelings very loudly (Smith laughs)! Such are the differences in our voices. So even though "Humble Shelter" is a pop song, we wanted to make it more melancholic and softer, and that's why we chose my style!"

Interesting facts about "Pale Shelter"...

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

The title of the song is based on the 1941 drawing "Pale Shelter Scene" by British sculptor Henry Moore! Roland Orzabal later shared:

“I kept playing two chords for days and weeks, for hours on end! And then one wonderful morning I woke up and sang a whole melody, and then the words ... The next day I was leafing through an art book and came across a drawing by Henry Moore called "Pale Shelter Scene". Then I thought: God, the puzzle has come together!”

In 2013, "Pale Shelter" enjoyed great popularity thanks to the famous clothing store H&M: the boutique included the track in the advertisement of their new winter collection!

In 2016, Canadian artist The Weeknd sampled "Pale Shelter" in his song "Secrets".

It is curious that the re-recording of 1983 became the most popular and well-known version of the song today. Although both versions start with a sample playing backwards, there is one difference between them... The original version contains additional lines spoken by Orzabal, while on the album version they are replaced by a short piano solo. It was this version that was chosen as the third single from the debut album The Hurting (1983). By the way: the record took the fifth line in the British Top Chart!

Video clip

As for the video clip, it's gorgeous... The musical mini-movie, consisting of a series of events taking place in parallel to each other, was filmed by Steve Barron in 1983 in Los Angeles. Particularly noteworthy is the scene with a giant piece of iron on the airport runway, which emits steam, as well as with a girl and a live alligator swimming peacefully in the same pool ... In the final episode, a paper airplane flies right into Orzabal's eye! In a word - an interesting work, which is not a pity to see!

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