The Hurting

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The Hurting
The Hurting orig.jpg
Standard cover art, originally used for the "Suffer the Children" single
Studio album by Tears for Fears
Released 7 March 1983
Recorded 1982–1983 The Wool Hall, Beckington, Bath, Somerset
Genre New wave, dark wave, synthpop
Length 41:39
Label Mercury/Phonogram
Producer Chris Hughes, Ross Cullum
Tears for Fears chronology
The Hurting
(1983)
Songs from the Big Chair
(1985)Songs from the Big Chair1985
International cover art
Cover art for earlier international editions, originally used for the "Mad World" single
Cover art for earlier international editions, originally used for the "Mad World" single
Singles from The Hurting
  1. "Suffer the Children"
    Released: 30 October 1981 (original release)
  2. "Pale Shelter (You Don't Give Me Love)"
    Released: 9 April 1982 (original release)
  3. "Mad World"
    Released: 20 September 1982
  4. "Change"
    Released: 24 January 1983
  5. "Pale Shelter"
    Released: 18 April 1983
  6. "Suffer the Children"
    Released: 19 August 1985 (re-release)
  7. "Pale Shelter (You Don't Give Me Love)"
    Released: 26 August 1985 (re-release)

The Hurting is the debut studio album by the British rock/pop band Tears for Fears. It was released on 7 March 1983, and peaked at No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart in its second week of release. The album was certified Gold by the BPI within three weeks of release, and reached Platinum status in January 1985.

The album contains Tears For Fears' first three hit singles – "Mad World", "Change", and "Pale Shelter" – all of which reached the Top 5 in the UK. It also contains a new version of the band's first single, "Suffer the Children", which had originally been released in 1981.

The album was remastered and reissued in 1999, and included four remixes as bonus tracks and an extensive booklet with liner notes about the album's creation. A 30th Anniversary reissue was released on 21 October 2013, in both double-CD and deluxe 4-disc boxed set editions.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[2]
Mojo4/5 stars[3]
PopMatters8/10[4]
Q4/5 stars[5]
Record Collector4/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[7]
Smash Hits8/10[8]

Contemporary reviews of the album were mixed. In the NME Gavin Martin was critical, stating that "this record and others like it are a terrible, useless sort of art that makes self pity and futility a commercial proposition", and that "Tears for Fears and their listeners sound like they've given up completely, retreating from the practical world into a fantasy". He described the album's music as "just the sort of doom laden dross you'd expect from the lyrics: rehashed and reheated hollow doom with a bit of Ultravox here, diluted Joy Division poured everywhere, and the title track sounding suspiciously like one of the old pompous outfits with a welter of mellotrons – Barclay James Harvest per chance?"[9] Melody Maker's Steve Sutherland felt that "Tears for Fears's pop primal therapy tends to luxuriate in the attention it attracts, sounds ironically happy to wallow inspirationally instead of seeking exorcism". However, he observed that "the Tears for Fears formula – to translate childhood traumas into adult romance with Freudian fanaticism – is ludicrously laboured but, crucially, their lyrical lethargy is salvaged by what really sells them; their structural invention... sensibly, their suffering's usually controlled to sound smooth", and that this was the strength of the record: "The success of The Hurting lies in its lack of friction, in its safety and, for all their claims that coping with relationships has been warped beyond their ken, Tears for Fears have contrived an assured masterpiece of seduction".[10] In the US David Fricke of Rolling Stone said that "Tears for Fears stand out among the current crop of identikit synth-pop groups by virtue of their resourceful, stylish songwriting and fetching rhythmic sway. Granted, the adolescent angst and bleak, pained romanticism of singer-instrumentalists Curt Smith and Roland Orzabel [sic] sometimes come off as an adequate imitation of Joy Division, at best. But for every lapse into sackcloth-and-ashes anguish on The Hurting, the duo's debut album, there is a heady, danceable pop tune like "Change"... Tears for Fears may be too concerned with their own petty traumas, but it is a testimony to their refined pop instincts that they manage to produce this much pleasure from the pain."[7]

Legacy[edit]

Later, retrospective reviews regarded the album more highly. Reviewing the 1999 reissue for Q, Andrew Collins said, "Despite its occasional bum note, The Hurting remains a landmark work... a highly emotional pop record, at its simplest".[5] Bruce Eder of AllMusic noted that the album's success was due to "its makers' ability to package an unpleasant subject – the psychologically wretched family histories of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith – in an attractive and sellable musical format" and said "the work is sometimes uncomfortably personal, but musically compelling enough to bring it back across the decades".[1]

For the 30th anniversary edition in 2013, Danny Eccleston of Mojo pondered, "Has there ever been a more thoroughly miserable mainstream pop album than The Hurting?... Even when it is uptempo it is sombre, and at its most musically adventurous, in the cavernous minimalism of "Ideas as Opiates" and gnarly dissonances of "The Prisoner", it's almost unbearably bereft... But in essence, it was pop."[3] Tom Byford of Record Collector summarised the album as "a surfeit of complex ideas reflecting troubled upbringings married with immediate, infectious, hummable tunes".[6] John Bergstrom of PopMatters said that "at times, the unflinching approach works to the album's detriment, as Orzabal's songwriting skirts cliché and the obtuse, teenage poetry that some critics seized on at the time of The Hurting's release... But part of the brilliance of Hurting is that such histrionic moments are so seldom. Rather, time after time, as rendered by Orzabal and co-vocalist Curt Smith, the words connect at gut level and in sincere fashion." Calling the record "simply one of the strongest, most fully-realized albums of the early-to-mid-1980s", Bergstrom noted its influence on later acts such as Trent Reznor, Smashing Pumpkins and Arcade Fire, and concluded, "The albums that prove to be special, influential, and groundbreaking in their own time, and then in subsequent eras as well, are far and few between. Thirty years on, there is little doubt where The Hurting stands."[4]

Track listing[edit]

Original release[edit]

All tracks written by Roland Orzabal, except "The Way You Are" written by Orzabal, Curt Smith, Ian Stanley, and Manny Elias.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."The Hurting"4:20
2."Mad World"3:35
3."Pale Shelter"4:34
4."Ideas as Opiates"3:46
5."Memories Fade"5:08
Side two
No.TitleLength
6."Suffer the Children"3:53
7."Watch Me Bleed"4:18
8."Change"4:15
9."The Prisoner"2:55
10."Start of the Breakdown"5:00
Cassette only bonus track
No.TitleLength
11."Change" (New Version)4:36
1999 remastered and expanded
No.TitleLength
11."Pale Shelter (Long Version)†"7:09
12."The Way You Are (Extended)††"7:43
13."Mad World (World Remix)"3:42
14."Change (Extended Version)"6:00

Notes

  • † – The 1999 remastered version of the album incorrectly credits Curt Smith as co-writer and Mike Howlett as producer of "Pale Shelter" (Long Version). As confirmed on the original releases, Smith did not write any of the tracks for The Hurting and this version of "Pale Shelter" is actually the 1983 12" extended version of the song, which was produced by Chris Hughes and Ross Cullum. Howlett produced the original 1982 version.
  • †† – "The Way You Are" was originally a non-album track, though the 12" version was included on the remastered version of The Hurting in 1999.

2013 30th anniversary editions[edit]

Two deluxe editions of the album were released on 21 October 2013. One is a double CD comprising CDs 1 & 2 (as below), and the other is a 4-disc boxed set comprising CDs 1–3 and a DVD (as below), a book containing interviews, a new essay from Paul Sinclair about the album, a replica of a 1983 tour programme, a discography and photos. The first 500 pre-orders from the Universal Music online store also included a vinyl 7" single of "Change" in a rare earlier picture sleeve.

Notes

  • † – Track 4, labeled as "Ideas As Opiates (Alternate Version)", was intended to be the first version of the song (originally released as the B-Side to "Mad World") but was mistakenly replaced by a previously unreleased version of the album track.[11]
  • †† – Track 15, although labeled as "We Are Broken", is actually "Broken Revisited" which is a slightly extended version of the original track and was first included as a bonus track on the limited edition cassette of Songs from the Big Chair in 1985 and later included on the 1999 remastered edition and 2006 deluxe edition of the same album.

Personnel[edit]

Tears For Fears

Additional personnel

Charts[edit]

Album

Chart (1983) Peak
position
Australian Albums (Kent Music Report)[12] 15
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[13] 7
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[14] 30
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[15] 15
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[16] 16
UK Albums (OCC)[17] 1
US Billboard 200[18] 73

30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

Chart (2013) Position
UK 85

Singles

Year Single Chart Position
1982 "Mad World" UK Singles Chart 3
1983 "Change" UK Singles Chart 4
US Billboard Mainstream Rock 22
US Billboard Pop Singles 73
"Pale Shelter" UK Singles Chart 5

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[19] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[20] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[21] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Eder, Bruce. "The Hurting – Tears for Fears". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  3. ^ a b Eccleston, Danny (December 2013). "Carry on screaming". Mojo. No. 241. p. 96.
  4. ^ a b Bergstrom, John (22 October 2013). "Tears for Fears: The Hurting (30th Anniversary Edition)". PopMatters. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b Collins, Andrew (July 1999). "Primal Screamers". Q. No. 154. pp. 130–31.
  6. ^ a b Byford, Tom (December 2013). "Tears For Fears – The Hurting". Record Collector. No. 421. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  7. ^ a b Fricke, David (7 July 1983). "Tears for Fears – The Hurting". Rolling Stone. No. 399. p. 55. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  8. ^ Dellar, Fred (17 March 1983). "Tears for Fears: The Hurting". Smash Hits. London. 5 (6): 30.
  9. ^ Martin, Gavin (12 March 1983). "Pseud's Cul de Sac". NME. p. 33.
  10. ^ Sutherland, Steve (12 March 1983). "Suffering Children". Melody Maker. p. 27.
  11. ^ https://www.discogs.com/Tears-For-Fears-The-Hurting/release/5014648
  12. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St. Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 306. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  13. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 6256a". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Tears for Fears – The Hurting" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Tears for Fears – The Hurting" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Tears for Fears – The Hurting". Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  17. ^ "Tears for Fears | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Tears for Fears Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  19. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Tears for Fears – The Hurting". Music Canada.
  20. ^ "British album certifications – Tears for Fears – The Hurting". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type The Hurting in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  21. ^ "American album certifications – Tears for Fears – The Hurting". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.