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Interview

In Their Own Words: Tears For Fears on the story of The Seeds of Love

New interviews from SDE editor, Paul Sinclair

Finally out today is the reissue of Tears For Fears‘ 1989 album The Seeds of Love. Back in 2015, I had the pleasure and privilege of interviewing all the major players involved in the album and, from those conversations, built the ‘story’ of the album using only the words of the band, producers, co-writers and collaborators. This features in the booklet that comes with the 4CD+blu-ray super deluxe edition of The Seeds of Love, but below is an exclusive extract, giving you a flavour of quite how candid all the participants were and offering the most detailed picture to date of what when on behind the scenes and why the album took so long to make….

Sowing the seeds of The Seeds of Love


Roland Orzabal: In a sense, the germ of Seeds of Love was the moment in August 1985 when I heard Oleta Adams playing at the piano with a bass player and a drummer in Kansas. That really was the point at which I realised how sick I was of what we were doing. This was our second trip across America playing the same set with the Revox [tape machine] on stage and there was this woman I’d never heard of singing in a bar in a hotel – admittedly with her own select audience.

Curt Smith: We sat there and listened to her whole set and we thought ‘why can’t we get back to enjoying it that much?’ because she obviously had a connection to what she was doing, which was more than the connection that we had to what we were doing at that time. This is talking about touring, not about making music. We didn’t speak to her that night. We just remembered her name.

Oleta Adams:  I knew they were there, but I was used to a lot of very well known artists coming in to listen, so my thing was not to bother them, just let them be. They’d like to be entertained, or rest or whatever, so I didn’t bother to approach them. I was singing my heart out. John said ‘Tears For Fears are here’ and I thought ‘That’s nice. What’s a British pop group going to do for me!’ [laughs].  I received a phone call [two years later in autumn 1987] and Roland started telling me what he had experienced that evening. At that time they told me they had written a song called ‘Woman in Chains’ and they wanted me to bring that kind of feeling to the song. I thought ‘Well, that’s nice – that’s really nice. Sure, why not…’ and when I hung up I expected not to hear from them again…


Nicky Holland co-wrote five songs on The Seeds of Love

A new writing partnership with Nicky Holland


Roland: We certainly didn’t have a clue when we first started. There was no master plan or else the whole album would’ve been much easier and quicker to complete.

Nicky Holland [pianist and songwriter]: The first thing I’d done with Roland, creatively, was a version of Robert Wyatt’s ‘Sea Song’, which was the B-side for ‘I Believe’, and we did that in L.A. in the middle of the Songs From The Big Chair tour.  We got to soundcheck one day and no one else was there. Roland just went up to the mic and sang, ‘In my head there is a mirror…’ He’d had some experience where he’d overheard people talking about him the night before. So he had four lines of lyrics and this melody, and I was sitting at the piano, and just started… we just started vamping and figuring things out. So it started like that.

Chris Hughes [producer of Songs From The Big Chair]: Ian Stanley had been Roland’s compadre, if you will, when we were doing the Songs album. He was the guy Roland would turn to, to ask for extra chords or check on something, and Ian was quite supportive of that. I don’t know quite where that relationship went wrong, but it did. And I just think Nicky turned up and she was fantastically helpful. Roland got a lot of confidence from her. They’d sit and jam, and she’s a fantastic piano player, anyway. The two of them would just hang out and have writing sessions.

Curt: Roland first bought a flat in the West End somewhere before he moved up to Belsize Park, later. I remember it was a top floor flat and he bought this very expensive red grand piano – which I think he still has – that they had to crane into the building. It had to go in the window in the top floor. I think that’s where the majority of the initial writing got done. I remember going to visit that apartment quite a few times with him and Nicky and sitting around this big red piano. But I was still living in Bath, so I’d come up to London to see how things were going.

Roland: I would walk across to Nicky’s flat, which was a walk away from where we were living and we came up with ‘Advice for the Young at Heart’ – her chords. We thought, ‘Wow, this is really good,’ at least the original demo sounded very promising. It didn’t sound like the way it ended up – it was a lot simpler.  Curt came along and he would listen and was fairly excited by the new direction but I don’t think the record company were


Clive Langer (right) and Alan Winstanley (left) at work in the 1980s

Aborted Langer and Winstanley sessions


Dave Bates [A&R man] : I think it was Roland who wanted to bring in Langer and Winstanley, although it could have been me because I’d worked with them on The Teardrop Explodes, and they did other things for me as well. Obviously, they were hugely successful.

Roland: We’d always been fans of Clive Langer from the Madness days and Robert Wyatt with ‘Shipbuilding’ as well as the Elvis Costello album, Punch the Clock.

Alan Winstanley [producer]: I remember saying about a high-hat pattern, ‘maybe we could just double it up in the chorus’, something that would have taken – if it was a real drummer playing it – one take, but because we were doing it all programmed on a Fairlight – it was not stuff that Clive and I were familiar with. You know, we never worked on any of that. We’ve always worked with real bands and then suddenly I’m saying to him, “Well, you can programme that high hat to double up on the choruses?” and it took like four hours! Clive and I were pulling our hair out.

Clive Langer [producer]:  I was working with them for about two months or two and a half months or something and going to their houses and like listening to the same song over and over again and I think I pushed it into a more jazzy, freer space and they liked things a bit more structured where they know every note that’s going on, whereas I’m a bit looser. So when we did our first rough mix, they baulked and then lost confidence in us.

Dave Bates: Roland decided it wasn’t working. There just wasn’t the spark and it was not the thing he was looking for.

Dave Bascombe [engineer & co-producer]: A lot of artists are pretty headstrong and know what they want, but they go off with producers because they think they want something else. In fact they find they don’t really want that input – it’s always a battle.

Curt: The problem when you’re working with producers is that you may like every record they’ve made, but you don’t know how much of that comes from the producer and how much comes from the artist. When you go into a studio with these people, you may love their work, but it doesn’t mean it translates to working with you.

 
Producer Chris Hughes pictured in 2018

Chris Hughes: Should I Stay Or Should I Go?


Roland: After Langer and Winstanley, the move was to try and get the Big Chair team back in, Ian, Bascombe, Chris Hughes…

Dave Bates: Chris Hughes was brought back in and he ended up shaping a lot of the songs for The Seeds of Love album.

Curt: Chris came back partly due to record company pressure and our own comfort level with him, even though we were trying to get away from that! I was around quite a bit during this period. I’d rented a flat near Roland’s house in Belsize Park, in England’s Lane. I was there every day and at weekends I’d drive back to Bath. It was later on when I was going through a divorce that I was around less, but that was when we were working on our own in the Townhouse [studio].

Chris Hughes: I left after about 10 months or so. I came back [later] and heard other things and made comments and was involved in other bits and pieces. I think we hit a place of, not disagreement, but not working together well, where it was very productive.

Curt: Chris is Mr. Pragmatist. If you hear things differently, he’s happy to step away from it. It’s not an easy thing to do but he doesn’t take it personally. We’re still friends to this day. We managed to convince the record label that we didn’t need a producer. And also we had Dave Bascombe, although not that he’s a producer, as such, he does get a co-producer credit. He was the record company’s ears, I think.

Dave Bascombe: I’d say my role was collaboration in trying to get where we’re both trying to go rather than me trying to steer them somewhere that I thought it should go. Engineers are often credited as co-producers, especially if you put in the hours! I was never going to be saying, ‘This isn’t good enough,’ that wasn’t my role.

‘Get Oleta’ and Woman in Chains


Roland:  We’d be trying to do guitar on ‘Woman in Chains’ and I don’t even know why, because it was all there anyway, but Chris Hughes quoted some example from Fleetwood Mac or something, I don’t know. I was getting very frustrated, he was getting very frustrated and I had to choose between hitting him over the head with my guitar or walking out, so I walked out. I said to Curt the next day I’m not working with him again. This would have been November 1987. By this time we knew it was a duet because I was singing the girlie parts. I said to Curt ‘let’s fly back to Kansas and meet Oleta’ and we flew in November or December to Kansas, without a producer.

Curt: We both flew on Concorde, if I remember correctly, to New York and then took a plane to Kansas and went to see her. We invited her to come to England and sing on our record. I think if we hadn’t gone to see her she wouldn’t have thought it was real. I think maybe she thought that someone was playing a joke on her at that point.

Oleta Adams: They specifically came over to see me and they spent three or four days with me. During the daytime they’d come over to my house and we’d talk, sit at the piano and play songs for each other. They’d tell me how they got together. You know, I was aware of them because everybody had heard ‘Shout’ and ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’. And when I had to play my gigs, they came to the gigs with me and sat there. I had already scheduled that next year – in 1988 – to go on a piano bar tour of Scandinavia. So I would spend six months touring, a month here, a month there – in Malmo, Stockholm, Oslo – to play piano bar. So before I went there I stopped off to do the recording at the top of the year [January] and recorded for one month with Tears For Fears.

Roland: So we got her in and we had Manu Katche on drums and Pino Palladino on bass and started playing live. That was really when the album kicked off, it was really getting Oleta involved. It’s almost like every album needs a key person and one to unlock it. Maybe Ian Stanley did that in Big Chair, I don’t know. It was incredible; those live sessions were magical.

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Christer Leidolph

I have just a few minor complaints about this fantastic SDE…

I miss some words about the making of the B-Sides…
Always in the past is listet as Orzabal/Stanley, so it might be composed before 1988, but it sounds like Townhouse-Recording with Session Musicians.

The Mastering is too hefty for my taste and when you listen to Tears Roll down, you get served a heavy clipping in the second half. So I stick to the Saturnine-CD-Version.

The 2nd Disc “The Sun” lists as Tracks 10+11 Johnny Panic in 2 Mixes, but track 11 is another Version of Sowing the seeds of love.

Everyone might want something else included into those kind of boxsets…I could have done well without some of the Single Mixes, instead more Townhouse Sessions and early Versions of Album- and B-Side-Tracks like Swords and Knives and Standing on the corner.
But it’s hard to satisfy everone. Commercially, it’s clear to focus on the Single-Tracks.

But all in all, an interesting sight into the making of my favourite 80s Album.
Big thanks to all involved…fantastic!

Agree with your points, but Disc 11 Track 2 is not Sowing the Seeds of Love. It is the 2nd Fluke mix of “Johnny Panic”, which (essentially the b-side of the single) is more of a dub mix & is also intercut with bits from “Sowing the Seeds of Love”. The tracklisting is correct.

Neil

Somebody has probably has asked this before and i’m not sure if there was an answer but is there is a reason that the spoken intro at the beginning of Always In The Past is missing on the box set ?

Milosz

I love that The Seeds of Love Super Deluxe edition is essentially 5 different versions of the album that we have been given. It’s not just a regular album and a bunch of bonus tracks, but instead on every disc we get to hear a new, interesting and different version of the album. That’s why it will always be an entertaining listen, not something gathering dust on the shelf like many other boxes.

Also, the new stereo remaster of the album is very good indeed. I always liked the original master, but the new one is even better. Now the record is shining as if a new ray of light has touched upon it. Also bass is tighter.

Thanks everyone involved for awesome job on giving those records a whole new life!

Christopher Aud

The 5.1 mix is beautiful and it’s an absolute wonder that it was able to be done at all given all of the source material. Great job Paul for seeing this through.

Alcor

Love the box set! A minor side-note: the back of the box lists Rythm of Life – demo as Rythm of Love – demo.

Juerie

I think the big A(mazain) screwed it again. Pre-ordered it on amazon Gernany at day one. Today i revieved an email, that thenbox eill be shipped around end of November, beginning of December. I am pretty sure, that sometimes in between, they will cancel the orders.

All the shops, that had them in stock for a good price are sold out now.

Carlos Valenzuela

After enjoying the boxset for a few days, I can now conclude the completeness of the work of compiling and restoring a material that allows us to study the creative era extensively.
I would also like very much that Paul Sinclair, who has worked so hard on the project, would fill in the information that is sorely missed about the demos and different versions of each song. So much variety is overwhelming and it may be difficult to identify well each alternate take or edit of each song.
In any case, in my case it has made it possible to learn more about and appreciate songs like “Badman’s Song” or “Year Of The Knife” that did not get the treatment of a global single at the time.
I join in the congratulations for putting this great product on the market.

Don

I’ve been waiting for this for years and it does not disappoint. I listened to the whole set in order over the weekend and was thrilled. It’s so good!

One request, Paul: in the liner notes for the SFTBC set you had a very helpful “Guide to the Bonus Tracks.” It was invaluable! Would you consider posting a similar “Guide” for SOL here on your blog? It would be great to hear an explanation of the differences between the single and album versions of “Advice,” for example, or to know who remixed “Year of the Knife” (thankfully you answered that one above), or to read about how Fluke remixed “Johnny Panic.” Or even a bit about the b-sides and how they were recorded. This was fantastic information in the SFTBC set and I’d love to see something similar here.

Congratulations on an amazing box! I will be listening to this for weeks to come.

Toast

There’s a little info about each of the B-Sides (and the Fluke remix) in the Saturnine, Martial and Lunatic comp CD from 96, although I agree it would have been good to know where / when in the Seeds of Love recording process they fit, who played what and if any were ever in the running to be in the original album tracklisting. Other than that small aside it’s a perfect box set!

DJ Salinger

The box set is great, Paul. As expected, really.

The interviews get under the skin of an otherwise well-worn story and shed new light on the intricacies of that infamously long gestation. TFF caught between push and pull factors – the push of seeking a simpler, more organic approach, and the inexorable pull of neurotic perfectionism. It reminds me all over again why ‘Tipping Point’ still isn’t with us.

Having listened to the demos and jams, I still feel the final product was worth the long trudge for those involved. Decades later, it’s still a wonderful way to spend an hour (or thereabouts). They really don’t make ’em like that anymore.

Rich Ayton

Hi Paul.
So, I’ve just finished listening to the box-set while reading the full booklet (more like a book!) version of the above interview. A great box set musically (obviously) and thanks Paul for a great piece of writing recounting all those interviews – a really great read. The big question I have now Paul is….. Are you aware of any plans for an Elemental box set? I think it’s such an underrated album. Songs like Break it down Again and Goodnight Song are up there with anything on Seeds of Love as great pop songs.

Curtis Smith

It’s a pity ‘The Hurting’ didn’t get the 5.1 surround treatment like SFTBC and TSOL. I understand, at the time the record company didn’t think commercially it will do well as SFTBC.

Seeing that ‘The Hurting’ deluxe box was reprinted and reissued, do you know Paul, if the sales of the deluxe edition were the same as the others?

Maybe a 5.1 mix could be created and sold in a card sleeve so it could be inserted into ‘The Hurting’ deluxe box.

Jason

Great interviews. Great album. Re-listened again last night, first time in probably a decade. It holds up really well, even the parts Curt thinks are less favorable. I will take on from Oleta’s final comment by saying yes, they have great voices and music, so it is such a shame there is not more music from them since the reunion 16 years ago. Glad Suede didn’t follow that model. Would love them to actually release that rumored album for years now…sssslllloooooowwwww ;-)

Great work Paul! Biggest US indie store distributor still waiting on the box sets but the 2CD and vinyl editions are out there…probably just product chain interruption. There are more people waiting for these…

Simon A

Received my super deluxe version of Seeds of Love from SDE on Friday (well packaged!) and have been listening to it and reading the booklet all weekend. Loving both the music and words. A couple of questions for those that might know. What is the story behind the “fake live” intro to Year of the Knife? Other than Manu Katche and Pino Palladino who was in the band for the Townhouse Jam sessions?

David Steel

Like the bit in book when curt says to Collins I’ll put a couple of days aside and phill says I’ll have it done before tea phill is a great drummer selling England by the pound is way before my time but i think it’s brilliant and phills drumming is great

mike

Paul, its a great set to hear finally, the Townhouse Jams are certainly the highlight for me. Any idea who mixed ‘The Mix’ of Year Of The Knife please? Very of its time mix with the Soul II Soul / go-go swing groove.

mike

Cheers Paul, I never would have guessed!

Marxisn't

The surprise being that this sounds like it was being fashioned for a 12″ single mix… But with Chris Hughes at the helm this appears to be an earlier considered mix or a remix for the album.

Marxisn't

Very interesting… I guess the fallout with Chris Hughes wasn’t that bad? … I think he’s always been a good sounding board for the band. Obviously Roland was getting more studio competent, adept and confident in his own abilities hence the self production with Dave Bascombe. The box set really does strip back the layers and show that every fader has a performance of worth. Thanks again Paul.

Steve K

Also very interesting is that it has different lyrics

The second verse is now (may not be 100% accurate):
Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Or New (?), Fit for a Bride
Such a case of simple faith, become a perfect crime

Previous verse 2 is now verse 2

Part of the song feels like it was re-sung as well, maybe to fit the music?

Steve K

That should say previous verse 2 is now verse 3

Simon Watkin

I’m guessing one of surprises that Paul promised is the telephone ringing in the background as the demo of Famous Last Words starts. A lovely moment.

Richard A Shepherd

Can any TFF expert listeners confirm this:

The 12“inch version/full version of Sowing The Seeds Of Love is the same as –

Sowing The Seeds Of Love (Wen’s Overnight Mix) from

https://www.discogs.com/Tears-For-Fears-The-Best-Of-Remixes/release/283152
and why is it called Wen’s overnight version?
and who is Wen?
and where is he/she so they can tell us all about it?

Thanks for the Deluxe Box Paul et al

Mike Vinnicombe

Out of interest, how many of the vinyl picture discs were produced?

Marc R.

A timeless album, which neither sounds like the 80s or the 90s if you ask me. Just timeless in a good way.
I heard that they are struggling once more to find the right producers for the new album – is it so difficult ? Why don`t they just produce another timeless record like this one ? Roland could produce a good timeless record himself anyway – I liked Elemental and Raoul as much as Seeds and I seem to remember they were produced in his studio ?
In contrast, I was very disappointed by I love you but I`m lost and Stay – they tried to sound very modern but that just wasn`t what TFF should sound like, if you ask me. Just get it on, make it timeless, and everybody will be happy !

Ross Baker

The whole booklet is tremendous, wonderful work as ever. However, one thing I’m wondering after reading it is – how come there’s no mention of any of the b-sides? The five additional tracks are all incredibly different to the main album (as was the case with previous TFF albums) and I’d really love to know about how they came about, who played what and just why they’re so different to the album. The very electronic approach contrasts dramatically with the album which makes them notable in itself.

Electric Sydney

Very nice work Paul, when there’s care put into a project it really shows and is much appreciated. They should have given you a songwriting credit as a thank you!

Make it stop.

Incredible post. I know you were involed with the reissue remasters –
This is a masterclass of info

Enjoyed that very much over a coffee. Thank you

It beats never ending reputitious brothers Gallagher and Bono plaguing the front cover of Q magazine. It became embarassing. Who wants to look at Bono’s nasal hair in high def month after month? And the CGI on Noel and Liam became an insult to ones intelligence.
Then they had the gaul to release Special Editions to remind us of Noel and fu*kin’ Bono CGI’d cover shots. I have 90% of the Q back catalouge, and will never part from them never the less.

Mojo being the polar opposite. There is a gap in the market.. thoughts anyone.

I could go on.

Thanks for a great post SDE

Looks like Paul Heaton (who was absolutley slayed by Q over the yeasrs) has shoved it right up them by easing the financial woes of the Q staff if even for a day or two.

John MC cann

He bought himself a q award!

Marxisn't

Thanks Paul got it today… Picked up from the PO today as I wasn’t in friday. Great packaging and an excellent box set. Oh and thanks for all your contributions, keeping the interest up and the pressure on. I didn’t think it was going to be released a year back

PaulC

Thanks Paul, ordered from you and received promptly, good packaging too. This is my desert island album, played regularly in the past thirty odd years and never gets boring, still have my original vinyl from its release, really looking forward to getting into this and exploring its development. I guess the only disappointment, if you can call it that, is the lack of a tour recording with the band they had at the time, shame but it won’t affect it too much, superb box set.

Kauwgompie

For US residents, Amazon.com dropped the price to $51. Best price by far, especially if you are a Prime member and pay no shipping.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089HXV7PQ?tag=sdepcwus-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1

Kauwgompie

Gone…

Steve K

There’s another seller..$55 + $3.99 shipping.

Ken

The Tour programme shows they had constructed a very accomplished band for the Seeds Tour.It is,therefore,a little disappointing they could not locate a decent audio recording of one of the Seeds Tour shows.I would really have enjoyed hearing what the live intepretations were like.Some live arrangements might have been different to the recorded versions,so it is shame none are included.

John Peace

We all know of one show that would have been able to be included: The abbreviated set at Knebworth 90. Why on earth was this not included?

Steve K

There is a soundboard from Cleveland, Ohio floating out there…I was just listening to it today.

Ken, while I lament the absence of live material, you can find quite a bit on YouTube. And the touring band – despite or because of the tensions? – was the best TFF ever had (RIP Jimmy Copley). They got into some really sick jams on some tracks, a lot of the older material was rearranged quite heavily. Also, Oleta got her solo spot and TFF did their first live cover version (usually “All You Need Is Love” with some new lyrics by Roland that mention “Raoul and the Kings of Spain”!, but at least once they played “Let It Be” instead).

Steve K

I still have my original tour program, saw them at the Forum in Los Angeles.

Darren Royle

Hi Paul,

I ordered the 4 Disc Version from the SDE shop as soon as I got the email, without even looking at the tracklisting. I may have been one of the first to order it and it arrived yesterday.

First of all Paul, Thank You, I’ve not started to read the booklet yet, just the snippets from your post above.

I was 15 when Songs From The Big Chair came out and became an avid TFF fan and a bit of an obssesive, posters on the walls, buying up 12″ singles etc, so waited and waited what seemed like forever for them to release what would be The Seeds of Love.

I think the back story to the album, which was described in a great article at the time in Q Magazine, and the labour of love, makes this whole enterprise of releasing the deluxe edition more than worthwhile and it’s great to read from the main players the trials and tribulations they went through to get it made.

I bought this on Cassette when it originally came out and have never bought the CD copy until now, so haven’t listened to the whole album in over 15 years, but at the time I played it to death, so I’m looking forward to a bit of quiet time at home and will listen all over again.

Again, many thanks Paul and I know you are always quick to point out that lots of other people were involved in bringing this together and these things are always a team effort, so contratulations to all involved.

Frédéric Delannoy

Why add Advice For The Young At Heart – Italian Radio Edit.. It’s just horrible!

It adds nothing to the experience. Absolutely unnecessary. Leaving it off might have made space for the Full Version of the title track (not sure about the timings, but something else could’ve maybe been swapped), a more essential track IMO. And yes I’m aware that the version on disc 3 has no fade at all, but it’s an unfinished mix, so not quite the same.

mike

I dont have very tutored ears but the Canadian Single Version of the very fabulous Year Of The Knife sounds more like a different take in the early section than a different mix but I am probably wrong! Lovely box set though, I havent got past disc 2 yet. That Italian Radio Edit of Advice is savage!

Michael

I would like to hear the Advice For The Young At Heart demo. That’s my favourite of the 3 songs from the album I have heard. Will listen to Badman’s Song now after the recommendation. Can someone please tell me which of which of the singles from their first 3 albums Curt Smith sang? Thank you.

Darren Royle

From The Hurting – Mad World, Pale Shelter, Change, The Prisoner
From Songs From The Big Chair – Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Listen
From The Seeds Of Love – Advice For The Young At Heart

Mark S

Didn’t they shared lead vocals on The Hurting title track so 4.5 really?

Steve K

What’s interesting is that arguably 4 of their most popular tracks, Mad World, Change, Pale Shelter and Everybody Wants to Rule the World were all sung by Curt.

AndreasL

“kick out the Style, bring back the Jam” – I always took this as a dig at Paul Weller! Anybody else?

Steve K

I believe it was either a dig or just showing their preference for the Jam vs SC.

Andy B

Paul, I have a question for you. I was looking at the single of ‘Famous Last Words’ on Discogs. The B-side is ‘Mothers’s Talk’ (U.S Remix). I assumed this to be the later 1986 recording released in North America. However the notes for this release state, ”The US Remix of Mothers Talk is not the original 1986 mix but a new remix from 1990 that sounds noticeably different. Because it was never flagged as such, it has been often used erroneously on CDs”.
Do you know anything about this different version? Did it appear on the ‘Songs From The Big Chair’ boxset and I didn’t notice? Are these notes incorrect? Or is this indeed a new mix and therefore maybe should have appeared on the ‘Seeds Of Love’ boxset as it was released during this time period?

By the way, I received the ‘Seeds Of Love’ boxset yesterday. A fantastic release that I’m looking forward to exploring. Thanks for your brilliant input into this release.

Robert Plunkett

You’ve opened a can of worms there Andy but TFF fan Julian (JulesRules) provided this helpful summary regarding Mothers Talk (USA remix)

– original “US Remix”: Released in 1986. Re-recorded with saxophone, a completely different part replacing the string samples and a bit slower. Both Roland and Curt said that it is their preferred version. Original 1986 Mix is available on “Shout: Very Best of” and “The Millennium Collection”. Also on the 1988 CD-Video for Head Over Heels.

– “US Remix – Video Version”: Starting with a “ballady” vocal/keyboard verse (“It’s not that you’re not good enough…”), otherwise same mix as the regular US Remix, so basically just an extended version of that. CD debut on the 2014 deluxe of SFTBC. Soundtrack to the 3rd video clip.

– 1990 “US Remix”: A remix from 1990, first released on the b-side of the 1990 single “Famous Last Words”. Same recording but extra reverb, percussion brought up in the mix (or added?) & drums much less punchy. Other differences are found in the vocal mix, and the fadeout is shorter. Simply called “US Remix” on the 1999 remaster and 2014 deluxe edition of SFTBC, as well as “Gold” and other comps.

– “Alternate US Remix”: Another mix of the same recording. This has very punchy drums, female background vocals more audible, no saxophone, and additional guitar and vocal parts. Simply labeled as “US Remix” on the 2006 deluxe of SFTBC and “Alternate US Remix” (which lacks the short, very quiet four-second percussion intro that’s on the 2006 CD) on the 2014 box set.

Kauwgompie

Wow Robert, thanks for that. I have to admit that the TFF remixes are often extremely suddle. I did not realize all of this. Well done.

Andy B

Thanks for that Robert. That really does explain things.

Simon

Very informative . Thanks a lot

Aubrey

Congratulations Paul! An epic and definitive piece of work that will stand the test of time. You should be very proud.

Aubrey

Ha! I do remember Personal Jesus played A LOT… (and weren’t R.E.M. everywhere too…?). I’m foggier on STSOL but from previous comments you’ve made that have left me going “Oh, yeah…” I think your memory is sharper than mine!

Steve K

I still remember hearing SOTSOL for the first time while driving up the eastern coast of Oahu, Maui in a convertible mustang with the top down…could not wait to get home to the mainland US to get the single.

MüllerMüller

Where is the 12“inch version/full version of Sowing The Seeds Of Love??
Is it in the alternate mix on disc 3 ??

I don’t think it has the odd guitar solo though! As I’ve mentioned before, there probably are enough rare/odd TFF tracks by now to fill a separate CD, aimed at completists like me.

rob streetman

…any chance you could put together a list of them sometime for those of us who might like to (at least try to) chase them down?

MüllerMüller

Thank you!

Kauwgompie

Great read. Can’t wait for the box to arrive!

just jake

Paul, thank you so much for your time and effort in helping bring this super deluxe edition to fruition …at last…and thank you also for your fantastic service in your store and the strong packaging for this set. It puts other retailers to shame.
It arrived at lunchtime today and i have been listening with my headphones on ever since.

i look forward to using your store again in the near future.

Mauro

paul, a photo card lim. ed. signed by the band to join the booklet on the box!!!

Adam Anderson

Hi Paul– are there any plans to make the full interviews with band and participants as a standalone booklet at some stage for those that may not have the box set version?
It would be a nice addition to an already worthy collection of booklets featuring other artists ie Kate Bush, Roxy Music, Paul McCartney etc etc

Mauro

This interview on booklet and limited superdeluxe edition whit card signed by the band!!!

Ernie

Mine is coming early next week & can’t wait to give it a blast, for the first time in a very long time. “Woman in chains” is one of my favourites & I might have to risk annoying the neighbours to hear that in its true glory. Well done Paul, great interview!

Mark S

Lost interest in Tears For Fears after SFTBC and whilst I appreciate many of you love this album I don’t like it at all, The Hurting and then SFTBC was their best work in my opinion.

The Vienna Deluxe addition is fantastic by the way and the 24/96 LPCM Steven Wilson mix sounds fantastic. Right we need Duran Duran’s first album done in exactly the same way please followed by Rio.

Mark S

Edition not addition – oops

Darren Gardner

Mine arrived today…it’s a beautiful box set…time to relax in a dark room with headphones on!

David Steel

Got the box set today usually go to the gym on the way home but not today had to see if it had come like a little kid at Xmas brilliant paul great job great read hope the vinyl comes tomorrow love the look of the gatefold

For every question answered in the liner notes, a gazilion new ones pop up – there really needs to be a whole book about the making of this album!

Year of the Knife was supposed to OPEN the album???

I can understand putting Sowing the Seeds of Love first, but Year of the Knife always sounded like a fine “ending” with Famous Last Words as its natural epilogue. Hard to imagine the ending sequence any differently. With the amount of space on the Blu-Ray, I’d have welcomed those alternate track orders / album masters…

Steve K

It really should have been the opener IMO.

Luke

Thanks Paul for this interview plus the good looking boxset. Just arrived today! This reminds me of that other big one you were involved :Songs From The Big Chair. Which I also enjoy since … ;-)

Dave H

Thanks Paul, interesting read. It could have been an extra on the blu-ray if it was filmed.

Pino’s bass playing is quite distinctive sounding during the 80’s with his work with Paul Young and Gary Numan, The only other bassist at the time, I can think of who sounded similar is the late Mick Karn of Japan. It kind of make sense now with what was going on in Curt’s life that there was no friction getting a bass player in to help out.

I’ve only ever seen Pino playing with The Who live and his playing is completely different to his sliding fretless playing of the 80’s.

The first time I went to see TFF was for the Seeds tour at Wembley Arena. The second time was last year in Liverpool, I didn’t think they’ll be nearly 30 years apart.

Scott G

If there has been one album I have always wanted in surround it is this. And it does not disappoint – surround mix, 24bit 48kHz 5.1 DTS MA HD and LPCM, is superb.

The BR 2 Stereo mixes are 16bit 48kHz.

BUT the original Bob Ludwig 1989 remaster must be at least 6db quieter than the Andrew Walters 2015 remaster. Ok, so someone with the correct equipment would have to confirm but if you change sound sources from SW 5.1 to AW stereo that sound ok but go from AW stereo to BL stereo, my goodness the drop in volume is so noticeable that I wonder if that is actually a fault.

Stu

If you compare the wav graphic for both mixes, the Bob Ludwig mix, the volume levels is up and down throughout each track. The 2015 mix is more level throughout giving it a louder sounding mix.

That’s a bit of a salty reply Paul… the graphs and numbers just confirm what you yourself on occasion have firmly criticized on this very site – the audible leveling out of dynamics. There simply was no need for making an album like this 6 dB louder and it’s not what I would consider a good remaster (although of course, it could always be worse!).

Yes, we do get the original mastering on the Blu-Ray Disc but only for the original album. “Tears Roll Down” is twice as loud compared to the 1999 remaster! There was no reason for that, and it’s disappointing given that Andrew Walter did a commendable job with “Songs from the Big Chair”, and given how much care has otherwise gone into this set.

If we get any future TFF releases, I’d prefer them to be mastered by Andy Pearce, who did a much more reasonable job on the remaster of Oleta Adams’ “Circle of One” 2 CD deluxe.

Stephen dC

Oh, it is a thing of beauty.

Rob

My copy arrived yesterday. I’ve read through the wonderful booklet which is fantastic. I haven’t gotten to any of the CDs yet. I did however give a listen to Steven Wilson’s incredible 5.1 mix. Kudos, of course, to Steven. But also I have to say big ‘thank you’ to you, Paul. A while back you mentioned that you were instrumental in Universal issuing the 5.1 mix on Blu-ray instead of DVD. This album is such a sonic masterpiece that it really needed to be issued in the highest quality possible. So many labels go with the lower quality of the DVD (like the Fleetwood Mac 5.1 mixes). Wilson’s surround mix is a revelation. It gave me the same goose-bumps that I got when I first heard this masterpiece 31 years ago. So again Paul, thank you so much for encouraging Universal to do the right thing here. It is greatly appreciated.

Scott G

Puzzled by what you mean. The same 5.1 sound track will be the same whether on Blu-ray or DVD .
I have Rumours 5.1 on DVD Audio and it is a superb 5.1 mix.

Dave H

Scott, I think what Rob is trying to get at is whether the sonics is compressed or lossless rather than the actual 5.1 mix.

All movie DVD’s use a compressed Dolby Digital or DTS format. Basically, there isn’t enough space (8.5gb) to use a wav (pcm) file, the same type of file as found on a CD. A surround file (6 channels) uses 3 times more space than a stereo (2 channels) mix.

The DD or DTS file is used instead as it is compressed to save space. This means the sound quality isn’t as good as a file that isn’t compressed like wav.

Since blu-rays have more space (50gb) much larger audio files can be used without any compression using wav (pcm), DTS-HD etc. This means the highest audio sound quality can be heard.

The recent Rolling Stones Steel Wheels concert is on blu-ray not for the picture quality but it has a great sounding stereo and 5.1 surround mix, one of the best live recordings I’ve heard of theirs.

However, the DVD-Audio format can play like a standard DVD-Video but also can play a lossless file called ‘Advanced Resolution’. Unfortunately, you need a special DVD or blu-ray player to play these files. Recent Sony blu-ray players can now play SACD and DVD-Audio formats.

I can’t remember if the Ultravox Vienna reissue is going to be a DVD-Audio or DVD-Video release.

Mathew Lauren

H

That was a great (quick) “down and dirty” explanation without getting in the weeds.

Kudos

+1

Scott G, there is a difference between DVD-V and DVD-A. DVD-A uses a different codec (MLP) that can produce lossless 5.1 surround, DVD-V can’t. Some surround mixes have only been released on normal DVD-V discs, and that means compromises (e.g. Dolby or AAC compression). I’m not sure about the Fleetwood Mac releases.

However, DVD-A never really caught on as a pure audio format, and not every normal DVD player can read the lossless 5.1 (PC drives can, but you need software like foobar2000). It also seems to cost more licensing than normal DVD(-V).

Mathew Lauren

Well said.

Isn’t that the irony of it all? Most audio-codec licensing fees (per disc) cost more than the actual physical disc!

Mark S

To be clear 24/96 LPCM on Blu-ray is identical to 24/96 LPCM on DVD-A absolutely no difference what so ever

Scott G

Sorry Paul don’t want to highjack your website as a forum but I feel I should reply.

@ Mark S. Thank you. My point exactly.

. Thank you for your information. Did I mention DVD-V? No. Not all DVD-As use the MLP codec.
H. Thank you for the information. Blu-ray is not preferred over DVD-A because of capacity limitations per se. Many of the Blu-ray Audio releases are on that format because all Blu-ray players will play Blu-ray Audio disk. Sadly not all DVD players will play the DVD-Audio format. The DVD format evolved more slowly and the idea of using it for Hi-Res DVD Audio was not considered till later and required enhancements to the audio components. When Blu-ray came along all the format and audio design standards were there from the beginning.

To all surround fans if they can purchase or borrow a copy of Rumours on DVD-A if your disk player can play it. Highly recommended.

James Auman

Btw, I’m one of the few folks with DVD-Audio in my car. I want to play this 5.1 mix in the car so bad but bluray format doesn’t play. I don’t suppose owners of the box set have a way to transfer that mix to DVD-Audio disc? I have a way to author DVD-Audio discs but I don’t have a clue how to copy the mix on the bluray to a dvd-r disc, or if we are even allowed to. Don’t want to break any rules here.

The CD sounds amazing, btw. This is the pinnacle of SDE releases, imo. Cheers indeed!

Stu

James,
I have Sony DVD / SACD player in the car so to listen to surround music in other formats, I have to create my own DVD-r’s to play in the car.

I use DVDfab which has been mentioned before from other folk to create an mpeg file that the DVD player can read.

Timm Davison

I am looking forward to this, arriving today! Having just finished delving into both Hurting and Big Chair, really looking forward to absorbing this SDE on what is shaping up to be a wet weekend! As always, I expect some well curated material from you, Paul.