Head over Heels (Tears for Fears song)

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"Head over Heels"
TFF Head Over Heels.jpg
Single by Tears for Fears
from the album Songs from the Big Chair
B-side"When in Love with a Blind Man"
GenreNew wave[1]
  • 5:01 (album version)
  • 3:51 (radio edit)
  • 4:14 (7" version)
Producer(s)Chris Hughes
Tears for Fears singles chronology
"Everybody Wants to Rule the World"
"Head over Heels"
"Suffer the Children"

"Head over Heels" is a song by British new wave band Tears for Fears. It was the band's tenth single release in the United Kingdom (the fourth taken from their second LP, Songs from the Big Chair) and eighth UK Top 40 hit, peaking at No. 12 in July 1985. In the United States, it was the third single from the album and continued the band's run of hits there, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. A limited edition four-leaf-clover-shaped picture disc was issued for the single's release in the UK. The song was also an international success, reaching the Top 40 in several countries.


"Head over Heels" had been developed nearly two years prior as part of a segue with the song "Broken", which was previously a stand-alone B-side to the 1983 "Pale Shelter" single. As the two songs share the same piano/synth motif, "Head over Heels" eventually came to be sandwiched in between two bookend parts of "Broken" in live performances. This placement carried over to the final track listing of the Big Chair LP, with a studio recording of "Broken" preceding "Head over Heels" and a live reprise of "Broken" (recorded at the concert, which was released on the "In My Mind's Eye" VHS) following it.

The song features Roland Orzabal on lead vocals, with Curt Smith singing a couple of lines in the background during the second verse.


It is basically a romantic love song and one of the most simple tracks that Tears for Fears have ever recorded. It is a romance song that goes a bit perverse at the end.

Song versions[edit]

"Head over Heels" has seen only three official remixes since its release.

The 12" version was titled the "Preacher Mix" and is an extended remix of the entire "Broken/Head Over Heels/Broken" medley. The mix was done by producer Chris Hughes and features an unusual spoken word intro in which Roland Orzabal recites lyrics from the song "I Believe" in the style of a preacher. This mix contains the only released studio recording of the "Broken" reprise (the version on the Songs from the Big Chair album is a live recording). The sung vocals from the album version of "Broken" are completely absent, as is the lead guitar line.

The 7" remix was done by David Bascombe and notably ends in a cold stop after the "time flies" lyric, instead of the segue into the reprise of "Broken" found on the album.

There is also a unique radio-only version that was issued on a double A-side single featuring the regular single mix on the other side. This was issued to radio stations for promotion only and has the catalog number IDEDJ 10. The radio mix is noticeably different from the regular single version in that it omits the flanging effects from the drum fill after the second chorus and the closing "time flies" vocals. Whereas the regular single credits the remix to Dave Bascombe, the radio version simply credits Chris Hughes as producer. This version of the single does not include "When in Love with a Blind Man" and has blue-coloured injection molded labels.


"When in Love with a Blind Man" is a short song that served as the B-side to the "Head over Heels" single. It features bassist Curt Smith on vocals and features a synthesized shakuhachi flute, a popular musical motif for pop music in the 1980s.

This song predates a track called 'The Working Hour' from the Big Chair album. The motif is identical; it's something Ian (Stanley) came up with which I later put melody and lyrics to. It was recorded in The Wool Hall and was the b-side to 'Head over Heels'.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Head over Heels", filmed in June 1985, was the fourth Tears for Fears clip directed by music video producer Nigel Dick. A lighthearted video in comparison to the band's other promos, it is centred on Roland Orzabal's attempts to get the attention of a librarian (Joan Densmore), while a variety of characters (many played by the rest of the band), including a chimpanzee wearing a Red Sox jersey, engage in shenanigans in the library. The final scene shows Orzabal and the librarian as an older married couple. The video was filmed at the Emmanuel College Library in Toronto, Canada.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

An edited version of "Head over Heels" is featured in the 2001 film Donnie Darko.[3] According to director Richard Kelly on the DVD commentary, the scene in which the song was used was written and choreographed specifically with the song in mind. British singer and songwriter Leona Lewis sampled "Head over Heels" for her song "Favourite Scar", included on her third studio album, Glassheart (2012).

Formats and track listings[edit]

7": Mercury / IDEA10 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Head over Heels" (Remix) – 4:14
  2. "When in Love with a Blind Man" – 2:22
  • Also released as a 10" single (IDEA1010) and as a four-leaf clover shaped picture disc (IDPIC10)

12": Mercury / IDEA1012 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Broken/Head over Heels/Broken" (Preacher Mix) – 7:53
  2. "Head over Heels" (Remix) – 4:14
  3. "When in Love with a Blind Man" – 2:22

CDV: Mercury / 080 062-2 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Head over Heels" (Remix) – 4:14
  2. "Sea Song" – 3:52
  3. "The Working Hour" – 6:27
  4. "Mothers Talk" (U.S. remix) – 4:14
  5. "Head over Heels" (video)

Chart performance[edit]


  1. ^ Iwasaki, Scott (26 April 1996). "Orzabal, Tears for Fears plan May 2 show at Abravanel Hall". Deseret News. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  2. ^ "About Us". Victoria University. Retrieved 19 May 2016. The music video, “Head over Heels” by the English band Tears for Fears was filmed in Emmanuel library in June 1985.
  3. ^ "Donnie Darko [Original Soundtrack & Score] – Head over Heels, song". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  4. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 306. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
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  11. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Tears For Fears – Head Over Heels" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  12. ^ "Charts.nz – Tears For Fears – Head Over Heels". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  13. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  14. ^ a b c d "Tears for Fears – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  15. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending NOVEMBER 9, 1985". Archived from the original on 1 October 2012.. Cash Box.
  16. ^ "RPM's Top 100 Singles of 1985". RPM. Vol. 43 no. 16. 28 December 1985. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  17. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1985". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  18. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1985". Archived from the original on 1 October 2012.. Cash Box.