Shout (Tears for Fears song)
|Single by Tears for Fears|
|from the album Songs from the Big Chair|
|B-side||"The Big Chair"|
|Released||19 November 1984|
|Studio||The Wool Hall (Beckington, England)|
|Tears for Fears singles chronology|
"Shout" is a song by English pop/rock band Tears for Fears, released as the second single from their second studio album, Songs from the Big Chair (1985), on 19 November 1984. Roland Orzabal is the lead singer on the track. The single became the group's 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; also topping the Cash Box chart. "Shout" became one of the most successful songs of 1985, eventually reaching No. 1 in multiple countries. It is regarded as one of the most recognizable songs from the mid-eighties, and is recognized by Chris True of AllMusic as a "Tears for Fears signature moment".
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 synth bass solo and a vocal-sounding synth riff. The song even has a lengthy guitar solo, unusual for Tears for Fears.
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
This section needs additional citations for verification. (August 2015)
"Shout" is by far the most abundantly remixed song in the Tears for Fears catalog, with at least 15 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.
In addition to the 12-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" 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
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, as well as in a studio 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 North America due to its heavy airplay on the music video channel MTV.
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
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||100,000^|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Gold||10,000*|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||250,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000*|
* Sales figures based on certification alone.
*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 various artists including:
- Live, 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".
- A cover of "Shout" was included on the self-titled debut album by Scandroid. An official music video was released on 19 November 2016.
- Scottish electronic musician and producer Grum created a rework of the song using lyrics from "Shout" into an electro-trance mix.
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.
- List of Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles of 1985
- List of Cash Box Top 100 number-one singles of 1985
- List of Dutch Top 40 number-one singles of 1985
- List of European number-one hits of 1985
- List of number-one dance singles of 1985 (U.S.)
- List of number-one hits of 1985 (Germany)
- List of number-one singles in Australia during the 1980s
- List of number-one singles of 1985 (Canada)
- List of number-one singles from the 1980s (New Zealand)
- List of number-one singles of the 1980s (Switzerland)
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