Happy Birthday Roland Orzabal.

Waist High favorite Roland Orzabal's first band Graduate was formed with teenage friend Curt Smith and drew on the major influences of the time, including The Jam and Elvis Costello. By 1981 Orzabal and Smith wanted to focus on emulating other artists, including Talking Heads and Brian Eno. They departed from Graduate and formed a band called The History of Headaches, a moniker which was quickly changed to Tears For Fears.

Tears for Fears were signed to Phonogram Records in 1981. Their first single as Tears for Fears, "Suffer the Children," was released in November 1981, followed by the first edition of "Pale Shelter" in March 1982. The success came with their third single "Mad World," which hit #3 in the UK in December 1982. Their first album, The Hurting, was released in March 1983.

The album showcased synthesizer-based songs with lyrics reflecting Orzabal's bitter childhood and upbringing. The Hurting can be considered TFF's only true concept album, as references to emotional distress and primal therapy are found in nearly every song. The album itself charted at #1 in the UK - where it had a lengthy run - and yielded the international hit singles "Mad World," "Change," and a re-recorded "Pale Shelter."

In 1985 Orzabal and Smith left their preoccupation with pop psychology behind and turned their attention to the global politics of the Reagan-Thatcher era. The album that resulted, Songs from the Big Chair, was a massive success on both sides of the Atlantic and yielded the hit singles "Mothers Talk," "Shout," (#1 in the U.S.) "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," (the biggest UK hit at #2 and another #1 in the U.S.) "Head Over Heels," and "I Believe."

It was 1989 before the group released its third album, The Seeds of Love, after which, Orzabal and Smith had an extremely acrimonious falling out. The split was ultimately blamed on Orzabal's intricate but frustrating approach to production and Smith's distaste for the pop music world. Smith had also been deeply affected by the breakdown of his marriage.

In 1993, Orzabal recorded the album Elemental together with longtime co-collaborator Alan Griffiths, and released it under the Tears for Fears moniker. Despite being regarded by some faithful as "an album without Smith," many found the album to be an enjoyable blend of good songwriting and creative sampling. The singles "Cold," "Elemental," "Goodnight Song," and "Break It Down Again," had some chart success on both sides of the Atlantic.

Orzabal and Griffiths released another Tears for Fears album in 1995, the Waist High favorite Raoul and the Kings of Spain, a more quiet and contemplative work that showed a new Latin musical influence.

Orzabal reteamed with Griffiths and recorded the album Tomcats Screaming Outside, released on Eagle Records as a solo project, under his own name. The album had the unfortunate coincidence to be released on Sept. 11, 2001.

In 2001 also, routine paperwork obligations led to Orzabal and Smith's first conversation in over a decade. The two patched up their differences and Orzabal flew to Smith's home in Los Angeles for what they assumed would be a hesitant attempt at songwriting. The ensuing album, Everybody Loves a Happy Ending was released in 2004.

The legacy of Tears For Fears re-emerged with some surprise when a haunting piano cover of their debut hit "Mad World," performed by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules, reached the coveted UK Number 1 spot for Christmas 2003.

Despite chart-topping success in the USA, Tears For Fears had yet to reach the top spot in their native country, and the cover marked "their" first Number 1.

Material: wikipedia.org