Top Artists – Tears for Fears

Tears For Fears – The Seeds Of Love

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  • A superb vintage UK copy of the band’s masterpiece – we guarantee the sound is dramatically bigger, richer, fuller, and livelier than any pressing you have ever heard, and on this record that is saying a LOT
  • A tough record to find in audiophile playing condition – copies without audible marks were not easy to come by
  • The band’s Magnum Opus, a Colossal Production to rival the greatest Prog, Psych and Art Rock recordings of all time (Whew!)
  • 4 stars: “Thanks to the duo’s uncompromising stubbornness, expansive creative vision, and Dave Bascombe’s final production, The Seeds of Love has dated better than either of its predecessors and is inarguably Tears for Fears’ masterpiece.”

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Tears For Fears – Songs From The Big Chair

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  • An outstanding early British pressing, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • Rich, spacious and lively, with an open, extended top end – this is the sound you want from Tears for Fears
  • More great songs than practically anything from the ’80s – Shout, Everybody Wants To Rule The World and Head Over Heels, just to name a few
  • 4 1/2 stars: “It is not only a commercial triumph, it is an artistic tour de force. And in the loping, percolating “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” Tears for Fears perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the mid-’80s while impossibly managing to also create a dreamy, timeless pop classic. Songs From the Big Chair is one of the finest statements of the decade.”

This is a CLASSIC in the Tears for Fears canon, probably the album most people regard as their best. I myself prefer Seeds of Love, which should take nothing away from Big Chair — both are exceptional productions from the ’80s no matter how you look at them.

SFTBC went to Number One on the charts for a reason. There’s really not a bad song on either side and mostly absolutely brilliant ones. (more…)

Tears for Fears – The Hurting

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  • This outstanding British pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • Classic tracks like Mad World, Pale Shelter, and Change have stood the test of time – they’re played in TFF’s concerts to this day (we saw them not that long ago)
  • Forget the dubby domestic pressings – with top quality Hot Stamper sound, this copy is sure to trounce anything you’ve ever heard
  • 4 1/2 stars: “…powerful pieces of music, beautifully executed in an almost minimalist style…an exquisite sonic painting sweeping the listener up in layers of pulsing synthesizers, acoustic guitar arpeggios, and sheets of electronic sound…”

Folks, take it from us, it is not every pressing that can manage to get rid of the digital harshness and congestion that so many copies suffer from, and then go on to open up its soundstage to be as wide, deep and tall a presentation as you will hear on this very copy.

When you have at your disposal a pressing like this one — notably richer, smoother and sweeter than many– the minor shortcomings of the recording will no longer interfere with your enjoyment of this groundbreaking music. (more…)

Letter of the Week – “[My wife] jumped out of her seat on the couch after the percussive intro to Shout was over and the song launched!!”

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom, 

I know you must have a TON of e-mail traffic to sort through but wanted to send accolades for the latest shipment of hot stampers from you! Simply incredible!!!!

I don’t know how you managed to get the TFF Big Chair LP to play SO clean because it looks atrocious! If I would have seen that in a used record store I would have put it back but when the stylus touched down, dead silent surface and throughout the whole record!! The sound is incredible as advertised !!! I played it for my wife who is enjoying these pressings with me and praises you after reading your descriptions. She jumped out of her seat on the couch after the percussive intro to Shout was over and the song launched!!

The Beatles Help album was also incredible! Compared to the MoFi I have it now sounds overly bright and goosed. The UK 1970’s press sounds more cohesive and even across the spectrum! That title was missing from my others of that same pressing era.

All the jackets that have come with the LP’s so far have been very nice! The TFF was crisp and new!

I am HOOKED on your hot stampers Tom !!!!! My system is up to reproducing these as you hear them and with the play grades you rate them at!

Hope your heat wave dies down soon too!

Thank you in advance for any info and looking forward to doing future business with you!

Tears For Fears / The Seeds Of Love – A Near Perfect Pop Masterpiece

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The band’s MAGNUM OPUS, a Colossus of Production to rival the greatest Prog, Psych and Art Rock recordings of all time. (Whew!)

When it comes to Genre Busting Rock I put this album right up at the top of the heap, along with several other landmark albums from the Seventies: Roxy Music’s first, The Original Soundtrack, Crime of the Century, Ambrosia’s first two releases, The Yes Album, Fragile, Dark Side of the Moon and a handful of others.

The Seeds Of Love is clearly the band’s masterpiece, and being able to hear it on a White Hot Stamper pressing is nothing short of a THRILL.

I have a long history with this style of Popular Music, stretching all the way back to the early ’70s. I grew up on Bowie, Roxy Music, 10cc, Eno, The Talking Heads, Ambrosia, Peter Gabriel, Supertramp, Yes, Zappa and others, individuals and bands that wanted to play rock music but felt shackled by the constraints of the conventional pop song. Nothing on Sowing the Seeds of Love fits the description of a Conventional Pop Song.

Which albums by The Beatles break all the rules? Side two of Abbey Road and the whole of The White Album, which is why both are Desert Island Discs for me. Can’t get enough of either one.

The Discovery of a Lifetime

When I discovered these arty rock bands in my early twenties I quickly became obsessed with them and remain so to this day.

My equipment was forced to evolve in order to be able to play the scores of challenging recordings issued by these groups and others in the ’70s. These albums informed not only my taste in music but the actual stereo I play that music on. I’ve had large dynamic speakers for the last four decades precisely because they do such a good job of bringing to life huge and powerful recordings such as these.

Tears For Fears on this and their previous album continue that tradition of big-as-life and just-as-difficult-to-reproduce records. God bless ’em for it.

Analog Sound

The sound of most copies is aggressive, hard, harsh and thin. What do you expect? The album is recorded digitally and direct metal mastered at Masterdisk. Most of us analog types put up with the limitations of the sound because we love the music, some of the most moving, brilliantly written and orchestrated psychedelic pop of the last thirty years. Imagine if the Beatles in their Sgt. Pepper/ Magical Mystery Tour phase kept going in that direction. They very well might have ended up in the neighborhood of Sowing the Seeds of Love.

But wait — the best pressings have smooth, sweet, analog richness and spaciousness I didn’t think was possible for this recording. The bass is full and punchy. When it really starts cooking, such as in the louder, more dynamic sections of Woman in Chains or the title cut, it doesn’t get harsh and abrasive like most copies. It’s got energy and life without making your ears bleed — if you have the system to play it.

Insanely Catchy Is Right

Along with Songs from the Big Chair, The Seeds of Love was part of a one-two artistic punch in the late ’80s that situated Tears for Fears as one of the decade’s more ambitious pop groups.

But at the time, Tears was more a platform for Roland Orzabal than a true band — Curt Smith is present only on the smash “Sowing the Seeds of Love” (his only co-writing credit), while Ian Stanley was replaced by Nicky Holland as a keyboardist and Orzabal’s songwriting partner.

Like their other albums, The Seeds of Love continues the concept of moving from hurting to healing to beginning anew (the hit “Sowing the Seeds of Love”) to growing apart. The songs feature expansive melodies instead of blatant hooks, and the sound is more grounded in soul and gospel on songs like “Woman in Chains,” the updated Philly-soul strain of “Advice for the Young at Heart” and “Badman’s Song.”

Orazabal’s passionate vocals are well matched by Oleta Adams’ fervent contributions. The group even dabbles in jazz on “Standing on the Corner of the Third World,” the fabulous “Swords and Knives,” and the slow-burning “Year of the Knife.” As for the title track, it manages to be insanely intricate as well as catchy.

Allmusic

Tears For Fears / Songs From The Big Chair – What to Listen For

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There is one quality that the best copies always have and that the worst copies always lack: Frequency Extension, especially on the top end.

When you get a copy like this one, with superb extension up top, the grit and edge on the highs almost disappears. You can test for that quality on side one very easily with the percussive opening to Shout. If the harmonics and air are present at the opening, you are very likely hearing a top quality copy.

Side one here has smooth, sweet, analog richness and spaciousness I didn’t think was possible for this recording. The bass is full and punchy. When it really starts cooking, like in the louder, more dynamic sections of Shout or Mothers Talk, it doesn’t get harsh and abrasive like practically every other copy I’ve heard. It’s got energy and life, and it gets loud when it needs to without making your ears bleed.

There is wonderful transparency and presence in the vocals, not to mention a really deep soundstage. This copy trounced nearly all of the other pressings we played in terms of bringing the music to life while still keeping the aggressiveness of the presentation under control.

A Classic

This is a CLASSIC in the Tears for Fears canon, probably the album most people regard as their best. I myself prefer Seeds of Love, which takes nothing away from Big Chair — it’s one of the top albums from the ’80s no matter how you look at it. It went to Number One on the charts for a reason. There’s really not a bad song on either side, and quite a few absolutely brilliant ones.

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