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"
Released 21 August 1989
Format 7", 12", CD single
Recorded 1987–1989
Genre Pop rock, psychedelic[citation needed]
Length 6:19 (album version)
5:48 (single edit)
Label Fontana Records
Writer(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. The song was used in the soundtrack of British movie "Greenfingers" (2001).[1]


The song is a pastiche of The Beatles and was produced in a style reminiscent of their late 1960s output.[2] 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 ("Politician granny with your high ideals, have you no idea how the majority feels?"), and make a reference to musician Paul Weller who had risen to fame in the 1970s as a left-wing political songwriter with his band The Jam before seemingly forsaking these ideals in the 1980s to make less political music with The Style Council ("Kick out the Style, bring back the Jam!") despite The Style Council being more overtly political than Weller's former band.

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").[3]

The song 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.[4]

The song could also be considered an inspiration for rap group Credit to the Nation's 1994 hit Sowing the Seeds of Hatred, although the lyrics were completely different.[5]

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.[6]


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 positions[edit]

Charts Peak
Australia (ARIA)[7] 13
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 17
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 11
Canada 30 Retail Singles (RPM)[10] 5
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[11] 1
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[12] 19
France (SNEP)[13] 18
Germany (Official German Charts)[14] 11
Ireland (IRMA)[15] 4
Italy (Musica e Dischi)[16] 2
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[17] 3
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[18] 4
Poland (LP3)[19] 6
Spain (AFYVE)[20] 8
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[21] 8
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[22] 11
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[23] 5
US Billboard Hot 100[24] 2
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary[24] 29
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales[24] 41
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[24] 4
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[24] 1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Greenfingers (2001) Soundtrack 
  2. ^ Stephen Holden (21 February 1990). "Disciples of the Beatles". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  3. ^ Thrills, Adrian (1990). Tears For Fears - The Seeds of Love. London, UK: Virgin Books. ISBN 0-86369-329-6. 
  4. ^ Atlantic 252 Tribute Site
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ MTV - Video Awards (1990)
  7. ^ " – Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds of Love". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ " – Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds of Love" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ " – Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds of Love" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Sowing the seeds of love in Canadian 30 Retail Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Sowing the seeds of love in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  12. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  13. ^ " – Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds of Love" (in French). Les classement single.
  14. ^ " – Tears for Fears Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  15. ^ Ireland charts
  16. ^ Italy charts
  17. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Tears for Fears search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  18. ^ " – Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds of Love". Top 40 Singles.
  19. ^ [2]
  20. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  21. ^ " – Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds of Love". Singles Top 100.
  22. ^ " – Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds of Love". Swiss Singles Chart.
  23. ^ UK charts(Link redirected to OCC website)
  24. ^ a b c d e "The Seeds of Love awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 

External links[edit]