Album #550 – Songs from the Big Chair

Album #550

Songs from the Big Chair is the best pop album I have heard so far from the 80’s.I first listened to the album in full while driving home from a vacation to the Maritimes a few years ago. I flew most of the way but, the trip always requires a four hour drive to Thunder Bay. I don’t mind this at all. I could choose to fly to TBay but, I love the drive because I get to listen to albums in full through my car’s CD player. Yes, I still have CDs. That and the fact that its summer and perfect weather for a road trip.  I decided to bring this album along and as I was heading back home, Songs from the Big Chair was the first album I chose to listen to. It couldn’t have reflected my mood more. Sad, gloomy but also uplifting. Those were the emotions that I was feeling that day. Listening to it, made things more bearable.  All the tracks on this release are accessible, like all good pop music, and yet there is a deeper meaning to these songs. Tears for Fears burst onto the scene in 1982-83 with their debut album, The Hurting. That album was a huge success in the UK but, failed to crossover to North America and beyond. Songs from the Big Chair did just that and more. In fact, this album was so successful that the group had to take a long break from music. The follow-up to Songs from the Big Chair, Sowing the Seeds of Love, was released 4 years later. But, its no surprise considering what this group was all about. Songs from the Big Chair talks more about human nature in its 41 minutes than its contemporaries. And yet, the album is just as accessible as Madonna and Michael Jackson’s music.  If anything, Songs from the Big Chair was ahead of its time. At the core are songs about life and its ups and downs. It doesn’t hide anything. These songs are brutally honest and even the 80’s production does not change that. In the early 90’s, the explosion of alternative rock and “grunge” would also have songwriting that was raw, honest and unabashedly real. It’s too bad that more pop music couldn’t be like this. Highlights: every track is AWESOME!!! Overall, I give Songs from the Big Chair, 8 out of 5.

Next: Brothers In Arms by Dire Straits

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