The song Tears for Fears inspired by Don Henley

Tears for Fears were working on material for what would become their second album, 1985’s. Songs from the Big Chair. Indirectly, Don Henley provided an important source of inspiration.

As bassist and vocalist Curt Smith reveals, the band was in a familiar place, where their label was interfering with their creative process. “We were always under pressure and we thought it was a bit ridiculous,” he shares in a new interview on the Naked lunch podcast, which you can listen to below. “Because we don’t like being (under pressure) in the studio from the record company.”

Their first album,The injured person, helped launch them worldwide in 1983 – but sales in the United States were weaker than expected. “It was a cult hit here, a college hit, but it wasn’t a mainstream hit,” Smith says. “(As a result), we were constantly under pressure to do something more American that Americans could embrace. »

Smith and his partner, guitarist and singer Roland Orzabel, considered this suggestion while working on “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” a song Orzabel wrote with Ian Stanley and the album’s producer, Chris Hughes . “We asked ourselves: What is American? Driving songs,” Smith recalled. Driving songs are American. What’s a driving song that I know and love? “The Boys of Summer.” So “The Boys of Summer” was actually an influence for this.

LEARN MORE: When tears of fear were forced into a #1 smash

The drawling rhythm of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” has an airy feel and a lightness to the overall tone that is deceptively optimistic, given its subject matter. “It’s a great pop song, but it’s about everyone wanting to rule the world,” he emphasizes. “It’s another one of those songs where you can either listen to the lyrics or not bother. Either way, you’ll get something out of it, but lyrically it’s a bit darker than the song suggests.

Watch the Tears for Fears video for “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” gave Tears for Fears their second #1 single and remains a favorite track that is frequently heard on the radio today. “The simplicity of ‘Everybody’ is why it lasted so long,” Smith told hosts Phil Rosenthal and David Wild. “There are a limited number of parts to this song. It’s very small, compared to some of our songs, which now have anywhere from 48 to a hundred tracks — because you can have as many as you want now. We probably didn’t even use a 16-track mix on that one, but every part has a purpose.

Even Don Henley likes the song

The Eagles’ drummer and frontman apparently liked what they had done and eventually put “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” into his own solo set list. He began performing it in the early 2000s and during his 2016 tour he used it as an uplifting moment, expressing weariness with the “damn circus” of that year’s US elections. Subsequent concerts in 2017 further tightened the connection between “Everybody” and “The Boys of Summer”, with Henley playing both tracks consecutively.

Hear Tears for Fears’ Curt Smith on “Naked Lunch”

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Gallery credit: UCR Staff