Tears for Fears – Shout

First Hit #1: August 3, 1985

Shout is dance music for unhappy people. That’s not an insult, but it’s a reflection of the dark synths and slightly miserable lyrics, which are slightly incongruous lyrics for a song that demands you shout and let it all out during the chorus. But it does establish a good groove, it’s actually really easy to dance to, and in spite of its mechanical breakdown and emphasis on atmosphere and lyrics that trend towards the miserable, it is actually a song that allows for a release of joy, whether through movement or responding to the demands to shout.

Dance music for unhappy people, it’s genius.

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One Response to Tears for Fears – Shout

  1. RBerman says:

    The band name “Tears for Fears” reflects their adherence to the fringe belief of “primal scream” therapy, which basically turns screaming into a stress release. The song “Shout” is the manifesto of their belief in this treatment. So basically it’s a song about psychiatry. Harry Nilsson totally ruined his awesome voice in a drug-addled screaming match with John Lennon, so maybe “Shout shout let it all out” is not the smartest choice for a musician. Not that musicians are known for their great lifestyle choices.

    Musically, a great example of industrial New Wave, full of clinks and clanks, and fairly slow for a dance tune. I fully expected this song and “Everybody Rules the World” to be, justly, the songs TFF were known for thirty years later, but recently their early track “Mad World” has made a surprise resurgence due to a dirgelike piano cover originally by Gary Jules and Michael Andrews, featured in numerous soundtracks and then itself covered by Adele. That song contains worrisome sentiments like, “The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had.” Maybe screaming isn’t such a bad alternative on second thought.

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