Shout (Tears for Fears song)
|Single by Tears for Fears|
|from the album Songs from the Big Chair|
|B-side||"The Big Chair"|
|Tears for Fears singles chronology|
"Shout" is a song by the 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, 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. "Shout" is regarded as one of the most recognisable songs from the mid-eighties and is also recognised as the group's signature song.
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
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"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.
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" is an instrumental that served as the 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
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.
7-inch: Mercury / 880 294-7 (United States)
12-inch: Mercury / IDEA812 (United Kingdom) / 880 294-1 (Australia, Europe) / SOVX 2351 (Canada) / MIX 3080 (Mexico)
12-inch: Mercury / 880 929-1 (United States)
CDV: Mercury / 080 064-2 (United Kingdom)
Certifications and sales
*In addition to its Gold certification for 500,000 physical copies sold in the 1980s, "Shout" was awarded a second Gold award by the RIAA in 2012 for 500,000 digital copies sold.
"Shout" has been covered by the following artists:
- A live version by American alternative rock band Concrete Blonde, on their single "Mexican Moon" (1994).
- American metal band Disturbed on their debut album The Sickness (2000), where they also make a reference to Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby", under the title "Shout 2000."
- Alexis Jordan's "Shout Shout", found on her 2011 self-titled debut album, is based on "Shout".
- American gospel/hip hop artist Kirk Franklin sampled "Shout" in his song "Let It Go", from the album Hero (2005).
- The song was also sampled for Girl Talk's remix of the Grizzly Bear song "Knife", along with the Clipse song "Wamp Wamp (What It Do)".
- American singer Adam Lambert, who has already released a cover of Tears For Fears' "Mad World", covered the song on his tour through parts of Europe and Asia.
- Hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse covered the song, with slightly altered lyrics on their 2012 cover album Smothered, Covered & Chunked.
Shout for England
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. On 13 June, the track entered the UK Singles Chart at no. 1.
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