on August 29, 2003
It's madness indeed when this album, one of the best debut's that I can recall, has been essentially relegated to early '80s obscurity. Even recently, it nearly killed me when I heard a remake of the song "Mad World" at the end of a Smallville episode, especially seeing as how a version that should have benefitted from 20 years of production advances was still so clearly inferior to the original.
This first collaboration between Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith is full of beautiful music and introspective lyrics. You can't listen to "Pale Shelter", "The Hurting" and "Mad World" without being permeated by Roland's angst. (he penned every song on the album) There's a darkness here that's never been so ably repeated on a subsequent TFF album, and the raw, unrefined talents of these two men is altogether frightening. Although eclipsed by the later commercial success of "Songs from the Big Chair", "Hurting" may indeed be the more ambitious and significant musical statement. I truly believe that were this album released today, it would be every bit as fresh and provocative as it was twenty years ago.
As for the remastering.....if the tempo has indeed been tampered with (which I had not noticed, but will now listen for) than its a criminal act. The bonus remixes of some great songs are always appreciated, but not entirely necessary. The real benefit comes from the added clarity, and being able to hear some subtleties of the recording that were unnoticeable on the older version. All told, "The Hurting" is an album that deserves to be remembered, and here's to hoping the rumored TFF reunion and new album comes to pass.
on May 22, 2003
There are a lot of people who write reviews of this disc because they are tears for fears fans. But I'm not. 'Head Over Heels' and 'Everybody Wants to Rule the World,' are the only songs after this album that even hint at the brilliance of this record for me.
The Hurting is great not just as a time capsule of the '80s - popular psychology's new wave musical moment. Each of these songs is an innovative pop wingding that showers the ears with perfect sound and exhilarating craftsmanship. I don't have the remastered version, but it would be a shame to tamper with these songs, because each of them (I have them on vinyl and on CD) is perfect just the way it is.
More than just a nostalgia piece for those who lived through the era (I heard many of the songs for the first time in 2000), this is one of the great overlooked pop records, sure to be canonized by loquacious music critics in the very near future.
on July 3, 2002
Tears for Fears was one of the best bands to come out of the 80's. There sound has not become old or tired over the years. They were light years lyrically ahead of their peers and it all started with this album. An extremely different direction lyrically even sonically then what was being played on modern radio at the time. Here you find an album that is based upon Primal Scream Therapy. I believe this to be part one of a trilogy based upon this therapy.
The album has kind of atmosphere a depressed aura about it. The album as a whole deals with the pain from the wounds we collect over the years and how they affect us as we age. This album would seem just a pointles wine session if it wasn't for the fact that it was actually part of the therapy to get better and deal with the throws of life. So actually this album is about recognizing the pain, the hurt and start of the healing process.
There really isn't any bad song on this album; all songs have something to say of meaning. The album plays songs that are catchy and poppy "Change",Watch Me Bleed". However there are sudden shifts were the band slows down about 3 notches from the previous song,such as "Ideas As Opiates" which may be hard for some people; and give the aappearance of a disjointed album. The best song on here is "Suffer the Children", a song that raises the question of single parenthood and why have kids if they are just going to be neglected.
This album is a very focused cohesive piece of art. Well worth the money, the bonus cuts are remixed versions of songs already on the album, so mostly there for the dedicated fan. Listen to this album and you wont believe its from the early 80's. A timeless classic.
on April 27, 2002
This is Tears For Fears debut album and what a debut. It primarily has that typical early 1980s New Wave to it except this album is far FAR above most of that ... 80s fluff and has far more poetic lyrics. The Hurting is dark and yet daytime sounding at the same time. Basically it has an apocolyptic feel lyrically as is shone on 'Start Of The Breakdown' and 'Mad World'.
The edition I'm reviewing is the remastered edition with four bonus tracks.
It's hard for me to explain the tracks in detail but I can say this CD is great and is a must have for any 80s lover like myself.
The term '... 80s fluff' I mentioned earlier does not necessarily mean I don't like 80s music. Contrarily I love 80s music. Just that I tend to enjoy some of the lesser known 80s hits.
Hurting is much lighter and less heavy than its successor 'Songs From The Big Chair' and is much more synth pop than 'The Seeds Of Love'. It seems strange that this album is from the same band who would eventually evolve from a synth-pop group into a more soul-rock sounding group with that 1989 masterpiece.
This Cd had little notice here in the US when it came out in 1983 but it did well in England. Tears For Fears would have two year to go before setting the charts on fire in 1984 with 'Shout' and again in 1985 with EWTRTW(The name is so long I sometimes don't feeling like typing out the whole name).
Unlike the bonus tracks in The Big Chair and Seeds Of Love the bonuc tracks while good kind of dissapointed me a smidgey bit. The World Remix of Mad World is dead identical to the original version except with a more echoing beat. This version is still good.
The other three are good to excellent. The Way You Are on here is extended to almost 8 minutes long. I love the extended versions of Pale Shelter and Change. The extended verison of Mad World has a less metallic beat and the beat is more flat. The version of Change is extended to six minutes for more listening pleasure.
My favorite track besides the bonus tracks is 'Start Of The Breakdown'. This song is like the blueprint of what was to come on The Big Chair and this song could have fit well on that album.
This CD is worth having if you love Tears For Fears but I would start with The Big Chair and The Seeds Of Love. Then I would get this one. Oh what the hell get all of TFFs albums.
on July 23, 2001
I first heard TFF via the Mad World video with Roland doing his "can't dance to save my life" routine at the end of a pier. I always thought it was strangely in tune with the muscial style so that didn't worry me.
This album contains IMHO the best TFF singles in Mad World, Pale Shelter and Change. Although the singles from the second were undoubtedly more successful worldwide, the blend of synth and acoustic guitar on this album raises it above SFTBC.
The booklet explains that the duo used their love of a pyschotherapist called Janov to shape the lyrical tone of their songs. Nearly 20 years later, I can see this theme running through the songs, but I was 15 when this came out and was only interested in synth music (I'm not a great lyrical analyser).
This album contains a few remixes, most OK, but also throws on non-album single The Way You Are. Curt seems to think that the intricate rhythms were just trying to be clever and that's why the song didn't have the success of those previous (albeit on second asking). The drum rhythms are very clear on the re-mastered CD, it's not the rhythms that are at fault here - it's just that the song is incredibly weak compared to everything-else on this CD.
on April 7, 2001
I had the vinyl version of this album and lamented not being able to listen to it (turntable deceased!). One of the most powerful albums ever made. Roland's writing and singing is raw and emotional. Curt brings just as much to the table on the songs that he sings (all songs written by Roland). If you liked "Songs From The Big Chair," you will be more than suprised by "The Hurting" (Tears For Fears' first offering). I liken this debut work to the first LP from U2, "Boy." There is so much unrefined talent that to polish the sound would be to do a disservice to the works. I remember hearing Tears For Fears on "The King Biscuit Flower Hour" just after this LP was released. I was mesmerized by their sound (even live!). It's a shame that they did not produce many more works similar to their first two LPs and eventually broke up (creative differences). At least we have this Gem to remind us how great a "young and hungry" group of musicians can truly be!
on October 3, 2000
'The Hurting' is Tears For Fears's first album, which first came out in the UK and went straight to the No.1 spot on the chart. When it was released in 1983, most pop music was trash and meaningless. Using their teenager experience and frustrations, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith came up with this amazingly depressing but essential album- by dealing with our angts and pains, we are ready to face the world. The strength of this album is its raw honesty and the amazingly emotional and convincing voice of both singers. Roland and Curt share the vocals on the songs, but it's virtually impossible to tell who sings what song. The added acoustic guitars give the album a different feel from the synth/electric guitar follow up album, 'Songs From The Big Chair'. Basically, if you're tired of listening to meaningless lyrics, and don't mind outdated drum loops, then get this album. The additional extended remixes are good for fans, and the only one which stands out, 'The Way You Are', is addictive, even though Roland originally dismissed it as a 'bunch of noises' rather than a song. 'The Way You Are' was written between 'The Hurting' and 'Songs From The Big Chair', when the duo had discovered synthesisers, reverb and Fairlight programming. A must for fans or anyone who hasn't recovered from their childhood traumas.
Another dynamite Blu ray Audio release. In case you are not up to date these are AUDIO ONLY Blu ray releases. With current blue rays you can have a transfer rate of 192/24 bit. This According to the team that remastered the Beatles Catalog said these are so perfect sounding to the source you can't hear the difference. These are flat tranfers from the original 2 track masters. Some come with 5.1 mixes (this one does not). Some people think these Blu ray Audio's are too loud. Remember these are the two tracks the way they should be heard. If your CD's sound quiter or softer it was not the mix but the limitations of the red book (CD) source.
I am not a huge fan of '80's music, even though I grew up then, but this is a diamond. Great song writing, good production and over all good performance by the musicians.
If you like '80's music or just great songs ( that do suffer from a little of that '80's sound) you might want to check this out.
on March 4, 2003
After not listening to this remarkable cd for a very long time, I was prompted to return to it again after recently running into Roland in New York. What a nice fellow he was and unfortunately I was too shy to tell him what a fan I am. No matter, now that I've heard the album again I can literally not believe how amazing it is even after all these years. I can recall listening to it over and over when it first came out and how it shaped my tastes in music forever. I'd never heard anything like it and don't think I have even since. Just a teenager at that time, the only music out there was so flat and pedestrian; I still can't figure out how TFF actually came to be in the first place. With deep and compelling lyrics and thouroughly melodic arrangements, The Hurting is one of the best albums ever, even today. It makes me melancholic and nostalgic to have yet another listen and be moved each and every time.
on April 10, 2002
All my childhood dreams, all my fears, all my growing
pains are gathered here. It was back in 1983, I was only 15,
I had many questions and no answers. These songs made me
realise I wasn't alone, I wasn't the only one being afraid.
There were other people trying to find their way out of this
Labyrinth. I was reliefed. I was trying to read between the lines, to find the meaning of life.It's silly you know, for
me as a young Greek to seek answers in songs written in a
language I hardly understood, but Roland & Curt dressed up
their lyrics with such intense & powerful music it was
almost breathtaking. It was a quest in an unknown territory,
full of challenge & danger.Nowadays, looking back, all I feel
is gratitude for all these special moments we spent together.
Thank you guys.