Shout (Tears for Fears song)

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TFF Shout.jpg
Single by Tears for Fears
from the album Songs from the Big Chair
B-side "The Big Chair"
  • 1984 (UK)
  • 4 June 1985 (USA)
Recorded 1984
Length 6:31 (album)
3:59 (single)
Producer(s) Chris Hughes
Tears for Fears singles chronology
"Mothers Talk"
"Everybody Wants to Rule the World"
"Mothers Talk"
"Everybody Wants to Rule the World"
Audio sample

"Shout" is a song by British band Tears for Fears, written by Roland Orzabal and Ian Stanley and sung by Orzabal (with Curt Smith duetting on the chorus). First released in the UK on 23 November 1984,[3] it was the band's eighth single release (the second taken from their second album Songs from the Big Chair) and sixth UK Top 40 hit, peaking at no. 4 in January 1985. In the US, it reached no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 3 August 1985 and remained there for three weeks. "Shout" would become one of the most successful songs of 1985, eventually reaching the Top Ten in 25 countries.[citation needed] "Shout" is regarded as one of the most recognisable songs from the mid-eighties and is also recognised as the group's signature song, along with "Everybody Wants to Rule the World".[4]


While Tears for Fears' previous single "Mothers Talk" had showcased a new, more extroverted songwriting style, "Shout" was completed with power chords, heavy percussion, a bass solo and female backing vocals. The song even features a lengthy guitar solo, something previously unheard of in Tears for Fears' music.

The song was written in my front room on just a small synthesizer and a drum machine. Initially I only had the chorus, which was very repetitive, like a mantra. I played it to Ian Stanley, our keyboardist, and Chris Hughes, the producer. I saw it as a good album track, but they were convinced it would be a hit around the world.

— Roland Orzabal

We were halfway through recording 'Mothers Talk' when Roland first played us a rough version of a new song he'd been working on. It was then very slow and very simple. I remember saying "this is so simple it should take about five minutes to record." Weeks later... We were halfway through recording 'Shout' when Roland had a birthday party. That evening I asked the four of them separately if they had any thoughts about sleeve notes for the record. Roland said "White text on black paper and say something about arguably the best offering yet." Curt said "You're probably the best person to make up some off the wall irrelevant drivel." Ian said "I don't like them, I'm not interested." Manny said "Did you know I used to play drums for 'Rocky Ricketts and The Jet Pilots of Jive?"

— Chris Hughes, from the "Shout" single sleeve notes


A lot of people think that 'Shout' is just another song about primal scream theory, continuing the themes of the first album. It is actually more concerned with political protest. It came out in 1984 when a lot of people were still worried about the aftermath of The Cold War and it was basically an encouragement to protest.

— Roland Orzabal

It concerns protest inasmuch as it encourages people not to do things without actually questioning them. People act without thinking because that's just the way things go in society. So it's a general song, about the way the public accepts any old grief which is thrown at them.

— Curt Smith[5]

Song versions[edit]

"Shout" is by far the most abundantly remixed song in the Tears for Fears catalog, with at least fifteen different versions of it having been officially released under the band's name.

As was commonplace during the 1980s, the original 12-inch vinyl single release featured an extended remix of the song. Three remixes by collaborators Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero later appeared on American releases of the single, including dub and a cappella versions. More recently, remixes have been done by notable DJs such as Jakatta, Fergie, Skylark and Beatchuggers. It was also remixed in the video game DJ Hero, where the song was mixed with Pjanoo.

In addition to the twelve-inch mixes, "Shout" also appeared in three different 7-inch versions. The original single version released in the UK and much of the rest of the world clocks in at 5:53 and is the same mix of the song found on the Songs from the Big Chair LP, albeit in an edited form. The version released in Germany and Japan is 4:51 in length and fades out during the guitar solo. Meanwhile, the final version released in America is specifically tailored for radio play at a concise 3:59 in length, featuring edits to the chorus and instrumental sections.

Release variations[edit]

In addition to the standard 7- and 12-inch releases, the "Shout" single was issued in two collectible formats in the UK: a limited edition 10-inch single and a 7-inch boxed pack featuring a 1985 Tears for Fears calendar. A similar limited edition 7-inch pack was released in Canada, this one featuring a 12-page booklet of band photos. In 1988, "Shout" was reissued on the short-lived CD Video format. The disc included two mixes of the title track, a remix of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", and the "Shout" music video.


"The Big Chair" was B-side to the "Shout" single. Though there are no lyrics, the track contains dialogue samples performed by actors Sally Field and William Prince from the 1976 television film Sybil, from which the song (and the album Songs from the Big Chair) takes its name. This is one of the few songs in the Tears for Fears catalogue on which bandmember Curt Smith shares a writing credit. The song has since been included in the band's B-sides and rarities collection Saturnine Martial & Lunatic (1996) as well as the remastered and deluxe edition reissues of Songs from the Big Chair.

This track was very much inspired by the film Sybil about a woman suffering from multiple personalities undergoing psychotherapy. The big chair in her therapist's office is the place Sybil feels safest to recount the horrors of her childhood.

— Roland Orzabal

Music video[edit]

The promotional video for "Shout", filmed in late 1984, was the second Tears for Fears video directed by famed music video producer Nigel Dick. It features footage of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith at Durdle Door in Dorset, England, as well as at a studio performance with the full band (including Ian Stanley and Manny Elias) performing the song amidst a crowd of family and friends. The video reportedly cost only £14,000 to produce. Along with the clip for "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", the "Shout" video had a big hand in helping establish Tears for Fears in America due to its heavy airplay on the music video channel MTV. Ironically, the band had at one time considered making a second video for the song's American single release, as the original was not considered MTV friendly.[citation needed]

Track listings[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

"Shout" has been covered by the following artists:

Shout for England[edit]

In 2010, "Shout" was used as the basis for an unofficial anthem of the England football team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The new version, performed by Shout for England featuring Dizzee Rascal and James Corden, utilises elements from the Tears For Fears song amid new verses written specifically for the 2010 World Cup. The track also samples "Grandma's Hands" by Bill Withers and was produced by Simon Cowell in association with TalkTalk. It was released on 9 June.[48] On 13 June, the track entered the UK Singles Chart at no. 1.[49]


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  13. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Shout". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Italy Top 20 Singles – Week Ending 20.04.85". Archived from the original on 16 April 2015. . World Charts.
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Tears for Fears - Shout search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  16. ^ " – Tears for Fears – Shout" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
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  19. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (T)". Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  20. ^ " – Tears for Fears – Shout". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
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  22. ^ "Archive Chart: 1985-01-26" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  23. ^ a b c d e "Songs From the Big Chair – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  24. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending AUGUST 10, 1985". Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. . Cash Box magazine.
  25. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 437. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  26. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1985" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  27. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 43, No. 16, December 28, 1985". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  28. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1985" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  29. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1985" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  30. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1985" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  31. ^ "End of Year Charts 1985". Recorded Music New Zealand. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  32. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1985". Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  33. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1985" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  34. ^ "Top 100 Singles". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications. 18 January 1986. p. 10. 
  35. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1985". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  36. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1985". Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. . Cash Box magazine.
  37. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Tears for Fears – Shout". Music Canada. 
  38. ^ "British single certifications – Tears for Fears – Shout". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Shout in the search field and then press Enter.
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  40. ^ DeLuca, Dan (3 November 1993). "Napolitano's Concrete Blonde Plays The Chestnut". Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  41. ^ Weingarten, Christopher (14 December 2009). "The 50 Worst Songs of the '00s, F2K No. 12: Disturbed, "Land of Confusion"". The Village Voice. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  42. ^ Gustafsson, Fredrik (12 March 2011). "Will Alexis Jordan Shout Her Way to the Top?". WelcheMusic. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  43. ^ Kawashima, Dale. "Kirk Franklin Continues Gospel Message With His Hero Album, and Launches Major U.S. Tour". Archived from the original on 12 April 2010. . SongwriterUniverse Magazine.
  44. ^ "Exclusive MP3: Grizzly Bear: "Knife (Girl Talk Remix)"". Archived from the original on 24 February 2009. . Pitchfork. 12 January 2007.
  45. ^ London Newsdesk (5 March 2013). "Adam Lambert covers Tears For Fears during Hong Kong concert". Pressparty. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  46. ^ Kangas, Chaz (28 August 2012). "Five Unexpected Cover Songs from the Insane Clown Posse". OC Weekly. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  47. ^ Beaudoin, Jedd (18 November 2016). "Scandroid – "Shout" (video) (premiere)". PopMatters. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  48. ^ "Shout (2010) – Dizzee Rascal – MP3 Downloads 7digital United Kingdom". 7digital. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  49. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100: 13 June 2010 – 19 June 2010". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 13 February 2016. 
Preceded by
"One More Night" by Phil Collins
Canadian CHUM number-one single
23 March 1985 – 30 March 1985 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Tears Are Not Enough" by Northern Lights
Canadian RPM number-one single
30 March 1985 – 6 April 1985 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Can't Fight This Feeling" by REO Speedwagon
Preceded by
"Solid" by Ashford & Simpson
New Zealand number-one single
31 March 1985 – 7 April 1985 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"We Are the World" by USA for Africa
Preceded by
"One Night in Bangkok" by Murray Head
Australian number-one single
25 March 1985 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"I Should Have Known Better" by Jim Diamond
Single Top 100 number-one single
2 February 1985 – 2 March 1985 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Ik meen 't" by André Hazes
Eurochart Hot 100 number-one single
9 March 1985 – 23 March 1985 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"You're My Heart, You're My Soul" by Modern Talking
German number-one single
4 February 1985 – 25 February 1985 (4 weeks)
Swiss number-one single
24 February 1985 – 3 March 1985 (2 weeks)
Preceded by
"Do What You Do" by Jermaine Jackson
Belgian Ultratop 50 Flanders number-one single
2 March 1985 – 16 March 1985 (3 weeks)
Preceded by
"Easy Lover" by Philip Bailey and Phil Collins
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
23 February 1985 – 9 March 1985 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"This Is Not America"
by David Bowie and Pat Metheny Group
Preceded by
"Everytime You Go Away" by Paul Young
US Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
3 August 1985 – 17 August 1985 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News
US Cash Box number-one single
10 August 1985 – 17 August 1985 (2 weeks)
Preceded by
"Freeway of Love" by Aretha Franklin
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
24 August 1985 – 31 August 1985 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Trapped" by Colonel Abrams