Friday Video is on vacation this week. Of course, by the time you read this, I will be back from vacation, but still on vacation. Big, big car trip in my future, and when I think of being in the car for a long period of time, I think of driving music. And when I think of driving music, I immediately think of one band: Tears for Fears.
It’s still mind-boggling to think that Tears for Fears were one of the biggest bands of the ’80s. Not because they didn’t deserve it – because they absolutely did – but because they had nothing in common with the other big-name acts. In a world where every female between the ages of 15 and 30 dressed like Madonna and guys listened to Ratt, how did these two shy boys from Bath dominate the pop charts? It’s one of those rare happy accidents. Or perhaps it goes back to my original point, which is that Songs from the Big Chair is one of the greatest driving albums of all time. Three of the four songs from its first side hit the US charts (two of which went to #1), but it’s the non-hit “The Working Hour” that really gets us going. It’s not a particularly happy song – the band were frustrated with how they had become a machine, which is why Roland Orzabal says in the chorus “we are paid by those who learn by our mistakes” – but you’d be wise to keep the car on cruise control when the drums hit, or you’re likely to put the pedal to the floor. See you next week.