Sowing the Seeds of Love

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"Sowing The Seeds Of Love"
Single by Tears for Fears
from the album The Seeds of Love
B-side"Tears Roll Down"
Released21 August 1989
Format7", 12", CD single
GenrePop rock, psychedelic[citation needed]
Length6:19 (album version)
5:48 (single edit)
LabelFontana Records
Songwriter(s)Roland Orzabal, Curt Smith
Producer(s)Tears for Fears
Dave Bascombe
Tears for Fears singles chronology
"I Believe"
"Sowing The Seeds Of Love"
"Woman in Chains"

"Sowing the Seeds of Love" is a song by the British group Tears for Fears.

It was released as the first single from their 1989 album The Seeds of Love, and was a worldwide hit, reaching the top five in the UK, Canada (where it was #1), Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the US where it peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 (kept out from the top spot by Janet Jackson's "Miss You Much"), while topping the Modern Rock Tracks chart. The single also reached the Top 20 in numerous other countries.
Due to reaching #1 on the US Cash Box chart, this was technically the band's third US pop chart-topper (although it did not top the Billboard chart).


The song incorporates a number of musical styles and recording techniques, with a number of reviewers considering it a pastiche of The Beatles, produced in a style reminiscent of their late 1960s output.[1] It was written in June 1987, during the week of the UK General Election in which Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party won a third consecutive term in office. The election prompted Roland Orzabal, who comes from a working-class background, to take an interest in politics and socialism. At the time of its release, he considered this to be the most overtly political song that Tears For Fears had ever recorded. The lyrics refer to Thatcher's election win with "Politician granny with your high ideals, have you no idea how the majority feels?"

The song's title was inspired by a radio programme that Orzabal had heard at the time about a man who was putting together a collection of traditional English folk songs. One of the more obscure songs was called "The Seeds of Love" which he had learned about from a gardener called Mr. England (reflected in the lyric "Mr. England sowing the seeds of love").[2]

"Sowing the Seeds of Love" was the first song ever played on Atlantic 252, an Irish radio station broadcasting across most of the UK, which went live at 7am on 1 September 1989.[3]

The single was used in the soundtrack of British movie Greenfingers (2001).[4]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Jim Blashfield, who had already made acclaimed videos for Joni Mitchell ("Good Friends"), Paul Simon ("The Boy in the Bubble") and Michael Jackson ("Leave Me Alone"). The video won two awards at the MTV Music Video Awards: Best Breakthrough Video and Best Special Effects. It was also nominated in the "Best Group Video" and "Best Postmodern Video" categories.[5]


The single was released on multiple formats, including a 7" single, a 12" single, a 12" picture disc, a cassette single, and a CD Single.

Track listings[edit]

7" single (UK)

  1. Sowing the Seeds of Love (7" Version)
  2. Tears Roll Down

12"/CD single (UK)

  1. Sowing the Seeds of Love (Full Version)
  2. Tears Roll Down
  3. Shout (U.S. Remix)

CD single (US)

  1. Sowing the Seeds of Love (Full Version)
  2. Sowing the Seeds of Love (U.S. Radio Edit)

The B-side track "Tears Roll Down" is an early, mostly instrumental version of "Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down)" which was released as a single in 1992 and included on the band's Greatest Hits album of the same name.

Chart history[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stephen Holden (21 February 1990). "Disciples of the Beatles". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  2. ^ Thrills, Adrian (1990). Tears For Fears - The Seeds of Love. London, UK: Virgin Books. ISBN 0-86369-329-6.
  3. ^ Atlantic 252 Tribute Site
  4. ^ Greenfingers (2001) Soundtrack
  5. ^ MTV - Video Awards (1990)
  6. ^ " – Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds of Love". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  7. ^ " – Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds of Love" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  8. ^ " – Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds of Love" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  9. ^ "Sowing the seeds of love in Canadian 30 Retail Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  10. ^ "Sowing the seeds of love in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  11. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  12. ^ " – Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds of Love" (in French). Les classement single.
  13. ^ " – Tears for Fears Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  14. ^ Ireland charts
  15. ^ Italy charts
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Tears for Fears" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  17. ^ " – Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds of Love". Top 40 Singles.
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  20. ^ " – Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds of Love". Singles Top 100.
  21. ^ " – Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds of Love". Swiss Singles Chart.
  22. ^ UK charts(Link redirected to OCC website)
  23. ^ a b c d e "The Seeds of Love awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  24. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 51, No. 8, December 23, 1989". RPM. 23 December 1999. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1989/Top 100 Songs of 1989". Music Outfitters, Inc. Retrieved 2016-02-16.

External links[edit]