Everybody Wants to Rule the World

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"Everybody Wants to Rule the World"
One of cover arts for UK editions
Single by Tears for Fears
from the album Songs from the Big Chair
B-side "Pharaohs"
Released 22 March 1985
Format 7", 10", 12"
Recorded 1984
Genre New wave
Length 4:11
Label Phonogram Records (UK)
Mercury Records (US)
Vertigo Records (Canada)
Writer(s) Roland Orzabal, Ian Stanley, Chris Hughes
Producer(s) Chris Hughes
Tears for Fears singles chronology
"Shout"
(1984)
"Everybody Wants to Rule the World"
(1985)
"Head over Heels"
(1985)
Music sample

"Everybody Wants to Rule the World" is a song by English band Tears for Fears. Originally released in the UK on 22 March 1985,[1] it was the band's ninth single release in the United Kingdom (the third from their second LP: Songs from the Big Chair) and seventh UK Top 30 chart hit, peaking at number two in April 1985. In the US, it was the lead single from the album and gave the band their first Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit on 8 June 1985, remaining there for two weeks. It also reached number one on both the Hot Dance Club Play and Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales charts in the US. The song has since become the pinnacle of Tears for Fears' chart success.

In 1986, the song won "Best Single" at the Brit Awards. Band member and co-writer Roland Orzabal argued that the song deserved to win the Ivor Novello International Hit of the Year award, claiming that the winner—"19" by Paul Hardcastle—was not an actual song, but only a "dialogue collage".[2]

Background[edit]

"Everybody Wants to Rule the World" was somewhat of an afterthought during the recording of Songs from the Big Chair. According to Roland Orzabal, he initially regarded the song as a lightweight that would not fit with the rest of the album. It was producer Chris Hughes who convinced him to try recording it, in a calculated effort to cross over into American chart success.

It was written and recorded in two weeks and was the final track to be added to the Songs from the Big Chair album. The shuffle beat was alien to our normal way of doing things. It was jolly rather than square and rigid in the manner of 'Shout', but it continued the process of becoming more extrovert.

As was the case with the three hit singles from Tears for Fears' debut LP The Hurting, the song featured bassist Curt Smith on lead vocals.

Composition[edit]

"Everybody Wants to Rule the World" is a new wave song,[3] set in the key of D major with a 12
8
time signature
and a tempo of 112 beats per minute.[4]

Remixes and use in media[edit]

"Everybody Wants to Rule the World" has seen relatively few remixes. Extended, instrumental, and "urban mix" versions were done by producer Chris Hughes for inclusion on the single's various 7" and 12" releases. The only other remix of note was one done by electronica act The Chosen Few, included on the 2004 reissue of the greatest hits compilation Tears Roll Down (Greatest Hits 82–92). No official radio edits or alternate 7" versions of the song have been issued. A version labeled as the 7" version is included on the 2006 remaster of Songs from the Big Chair, but is actually the album version (the album's liner notes show the track as "Everybody Wants to Run the World", but this song was not included).

The song was later partially re-recorded with a new lyric and released as "Everybody Wants to Run the World" for the 1986 Sport Aid fund-raising campaign, once again reaching the UK Top 5.

  • The song was used as the theme song for the Dennis Miller HBO show Dennis Miller (1994-2002) with Dennis Miller playing pool with one ball painted to look like planet Earth.
  • A portion of the original song version plays during the closing credits of Martha Coolidge's 1985 comedy film Real Genius.

The song also features in the musical American Psycho.

The song was also featured in the beginning of 2005 film Sky High, in a cover by Christian Burns.

In 2008, the song was also featured open-world video game Saints Row 2.

B-side[edit]

"Pharaohs" is an instrumental that served as the B-side to the "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" single. The only voice heard is a recording of BBC Radio announcer Brian Perkins reading the Shipping Forecast for the sea lanes around the United Kingdom (see below). The title of the song is a play on the name of the Faroe Islands ("Faroes"), one of the places referenced in the forecast. This is one of the few songs in the Tears for Fears catalogue on which founding member Curt Smith shares a writing credit. The song has since been included in the B-sides and rarities collection Saturnine Martial & Lunatic as well as the remastered and deluxe edition reissues of Songs from the Big Chair. "Pharaohs" is also included on the Groove Armada compilation album Back to Mine.

No matter how horrifying the conditions may really be, the voice reading the shipping forecast is deliberately calm and relaxed. Recorded at the Wool Hall for the b-side of 'Everybody' in a calm and relaxed way.

"Pharaohs" shipping forecast read by Brian Perkins (BBC Radio 4, c. 1984):

"There are warnings of gales in Viking, Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Fisher, Dover, Wight, Portland, Plymouth, Finisterre, Sole, Lundy, Fastnet, Shannon, Rockall, Malin, Hebrides, Bailey, Fair Isle, Faroes and Southeast Iceland.
The general synopsis at one eight double-O: low just north of Viking, nine double-seven, moving steadily east-northeast.
Low 300 miles south of Iceland. Atlantic low forming, moving steadily northeast.
A ridge of high pressure has swayed between North and South Utsire. The area forecast for the next twenty-four hours. Viking, Forties, Cromarty, Forth."

Music video[edit]

The promotional clip for "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", filmed in early 1985, was the third Tears for Fears clip directed by famed music video producer Nigel Dick. It features Curt Smith driving an antique Austin-Healey 3000 sports car around various Southern California locales, including Salton Sea and Cabazon. Interspersed with these clips are shots of the full band performing the song in a London studio. Along with the clip for "Shout", the "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" video had a big hand in helping break Tears for Fears in America, due to its heavy amount of play on music video pioneer MTV.

Track listings[edit]

The single was released on a wide variety of formats in the United Kingdom, including a standard 7", a 7" double pack, two separate 12" versions, and a 10" single.

7": Mercury / IDEA9 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (4:10)
  2. "Pharaohs" (3:42)

2x7": Mercury / IDEA99 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (4:10)
  2. "Pharaohs" (3:42)
  1. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World [Urban Mix]" (6:06)
  2. "Interview Excerpt" (7:30)

10": Mercury / IDEA910 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (4:10)
  2. "Pharaohs" (3:42)

12": Mercury / IDEA912 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World [Extended Version]" (5:43)
  2. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (4:10)
  3. "Pharaohs" (3:42)

12": Mercury / IDER912 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World [Urban Mix]" (6:06)
  2. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World [Instrumental]" (4:26)

Charts and certifications[edit]

Order of precedence
Preceded by
"Crazy for You" by Madonna
Canadian CHUM number-one single
18 May 1985 – 25 May 1985 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Everything She Wants" by Wham!
Preceded by
"Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds
Canadian RPM Top Singles number-one single
8 June 1985 (1 week)
Preceded by
"Axel F" by Harold Faltermeyer
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary number-one single
6 July 1985 – 13 July 1985 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Never Surrender" by Corey Hart
Preceded by
"We Are the World" by USA for Africa
New Zealand number-one single
9 June 1985 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"That Ole Devil Called Love" by Alison Moyet
Preceded by
"Fresh" by Kool & the Gang
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
11 May 1985 – 18 May 1985 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Do You Wanna Get Away" by Shannon
Preceded by
"Everything She Wants" by Wham!
US Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
8 June 1985 – 15 June 1985 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Heaven" by Bryan Adams
US Cash Box number-one single
8 June 1985 – 15 June 1985 (2 weeks)

Cover versions[edit]

Lorde version[edit]

New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde recorded a cover of the song for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack in addition to the Epix promo for the premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.[36] The cover was produced by Michael A. Levine and Lucas Cantor and was later used in the cinematic trailer of Assassin's Creed Unity at E3 2014,[37] promos for the new network BBC First,[38] the 2014 ABC show How to Get Away with Murder, and a Season 4 promo of Showtime show Homeland, as well as the trailer for the 2014 film Dracula Untold.[39] Her cover appeared on the New Zealand Singles Chart at number 14.[40] It reached number 53 in Australia,[38] number 65 in the UK,[41] number 93 in France,[42] and number 27 on the US Hot Rock Songs.[43]

Chart (2013–2014) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[38] 53
France (SNEP)[42] 93
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[40] 14
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[41] 65
US Billboard Hot Rock Songs[43] 27

Other cover versions[edit]

  • Mojo Jojo from the Powerpuff Girls franchise performed his own cover of the song.
  • Australian jazz singer Frank Bennett performed a lush big-band arrangement of the song on his 1998 album Cash Landing.
  • American rapper Nas sampled elements from the song on the single "Rule" featuring Amerie on his 2002 album Stillmatic.
  • A version by Clare and the Reasons begins with chords played by a string quintet.
  • Jazz trio The Bad Plus covered the song for their 2007 album Prog.
  • In 2007, Patti Smith covered the song for her album Twelve.
  • In 2011, Relient K covered the song for their cover album, Is for Karaoke.
  • In 2011, Australian artist Andy Bull covered the song for Australian radio station Triple J in their Like a Version segment.
  • Also in 2011, American singer Anthony David covered the song on his album As Above So Below.
  • In 2012, the "pop punk" girl band Care Bears on Fire released a cover version of the song which is much different from the original. This version was featured during the credits of the "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" episode of the HBO series True Blood.
  • In 2012, the song was sung in the Glee episode "Makeover" by Darren Criss (as his character Blaine Anderson).
  • In 2013, the song was covered again for the video game BioShock Infinite, this time as a light Noël Coward-style early 1900's piano-and-vocals tune, albeit also half the length of the original. The original Tears for Fears version can be heard briefly during a scene early in the game.
  • In 2013, Atomic Tom released a cover version of the song with video.
  • In 2014, singer-songwriter Mike Viola will release a cover version of the song on the multi-artist compilation album Here Comes The Reign Again: The Second British Invasion.[44]
  • Fingerstyle guitar player Andy McKee performs an acoustic arrangement of the song which appears on his 2010 album Joyland and gained great response on YouTube receiving over 1.2 million views.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Melody Maker (London, England: IPC Media): 3. 16 March 1985. 
  2. ^ Egan, Sean. Tears for Fears Songs From the Big Chair CD insert, 1999
  3. ^ Matheson, Whitney (24 April 2014). "My favorite '80s New Wave song is ...". USA Today. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "Everybody Wants To Rule the World By Tears for Fears – Digital Sheet Music". BMG Rights Management. Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "1985 – Tears For Fears' ‘Songs From The Big Chair’ Hits #1". RTTNews. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media) 97 (23): 70. 8 June 1985. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  7. ^ "Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Ultratop.be – Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  9. ^ (Dutch) "Everybody Wants To Rule The World – TEARS FOR FEARS". Top 30. Retrieved 16 July 2014. "Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 2" 
  10. ^ CHART NUMBER 1483 – Saturday, May 25, 1985 at the Wayback Machine (archived 7 November 2006). CHUM. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  11. ^ "RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  12. ^ "RPM Top Singles." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  13. ^ "Lescharts.com – Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  15. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  16. ^ a b (Italian) "I singoli più venduti del 1985". Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Tears For Fears - Everybody Wants to Rule the World search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  18. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  19. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  20. ^ (Polish) "EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD – Tears For Fears". LP3. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (T)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  22. ^ "Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  23. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  24. ^ a b c d e "Tears for Fears – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  25. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending JUNE 8, 1985 at the Wayback Machine (archived 17 September 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  26. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  27. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten 1985". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  28. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 43, No. 16, December 28 1985". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  29. ^ (Dutch) "Single Top 100 over 1985" (PDF). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  30. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1985". Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  31. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1985". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  32. ^ The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1985 at the Wayback Machine (archived 1 October 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  33. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Tears for Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World". Music Canada. 
  34. ^ Scapolo, Dean (2007). The Complete New Zealand Music Charts: 1966–2006. Wellington: Dean Scapolo and Maurienne House. ISBN 978-1877443-00-8. 
  35. ^ "British single certifications – Tears for Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Everybody Wants to Rule the World in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  36. ^ Ehrlich, Brenna (30 September 2013). "Is Lorde's 'Catching Fire' Track An 80's Cover?". MTV News. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  37. ^ "Assassin's Creed Unity trailer". 3 News (MediaWorks New Zealand). 12 June 2014. Archived from the original on 14 June 2014. 
  38. ^ a b c "The ARIA Report" (1273). Australian Recording Industry Association. Pandora Archive. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  39. ^ Ellwood, Gregory (27 June 2014). "'Dracula Untold's new trailer needs a Lorde cover to rule the world". HitFix. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  40. ^ a b "Charts.org.nz – Lorde – Everybody Wants To Rule The World". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  41. ^ a b "Lorde" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  42. ^ a b "Lescharts.com – Lorde – Everybody Wants To Rule The World" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  43. ^ a b "Various Artists – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  44. ^ Curry, Andrew. "Here Comes The Reign Again: The Second British Invasion". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 

External links[edit]