Together in school bands at 13, vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Roland Orzabal
and vocalist/bassist Curt Smith first recorded with white Ska band Graduate (1980's Acting My Age). They then became a duo, dubbed Tears For Fears in homage to primal scream therapist Arthur Janov
's book Prisoners Of Pain. Their breaktroughs were 'Mad World
' (1982) and 'Change' (1983). The Hurting
(1983) then hit UK No.1, staying on the chart for 65 weeks.
Two years of globe-striding ensued, triggered by the anthemic US No. 1 hits 'Shout' and 'Everybody Wants To Rule The World'. Songs From The Big Chair (1985) - which was inspired by Sybil, a TV drama-documentary about multiple personalities - swept to US No. 1/UK No. 2. After their debilitating world tour and a 1986 revamp of their greatest hit as 'Everybody Wants To Run The World' to raise funds for African famine relief, they took a lengthy recess. It would prove their undoing.
While torn between longing for sponteneity and obsession with detail, they spent more than two years on 1989's The Seeds Of Love (UK No. 1, but only US No. 8). Their Beatle-esque 'Sowing The Seeds Of Love' and soulful 'Women In Chains' (featuring Oleta Adams, the singer/pianist they had spotted playing a Kansas City hotel bar) were hits, but their time had passed.
In 1991, Smith left. Later, 1992's hits set Tears Roll Down did well, but Orzabel, still trading as Tears For Fears, saw his fortunes wane through Elemental (1993) and Raoul And The Kings Of Spain (1995). The latter album appeared on Epic after a dispute with Mercury - who parted with Smith, too, after Soul On Board failed in 1993. Smith then released a follow-up on his own label, Zerodisc, under the guise of Mayfield (1998), the name a product of the ghastly pun, 'Curt is Mayfield'.
RubenAzarja says re Tears for Fears: My God, did I hate their music!
PS: See Also: Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams, a pseudonym for the group, but one which I have ignored, because I know nothing about them.