“Head Over Heels” by Tears For Fears (1985)

Tears For Fears is a textbook example of an act that made incredible singles, but their album tracks are uniformly…well, not bad. But significantly weaker by comparison. They were scorching in the summer of 1985, thanks to a trio of fantastic singles. We’ve discussed “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”earlier (damn, almost a year ago to the day!), “Shout” will be covered much later (hopefully by the end of 2020!) and then there’s the outlier-“Head Over Heels”. It’s the outlier because it’s the only ballad of the three, and it’s also the only one of the three songs that didn’t top the U.S. chart. It might be my favorite of the three (although the thought of seriously trying to pick between the three gives me major anxiety because they’re all so good.)

Things I love about “Head Over Heels”: Roland Orzabal floating into falsetto at the end of every couplet, that memorable piano intro, Orzabal’s voice (and the instrumentation) getting lost into a swirl of echo following the second chorus. Curt Smith singing a countermelody to Orzabal’s lead in the second verse. The “la-la-la-la-la” singalong chant towards the end, the plaintive “time fuh-liiiiiiiiiiieeees” that ends the song, and the video! Set in a library! Pages flying everywhere! Successful flirtation with a librarian (spoiler alert)! It’s all so weird and so ’80s and I fall in love every time I hear/watch it.

(for your information: there are strangely only two “Head Over Heels” in my library. The other one is the 1984 hit by The Go-Go’s. It’s my favorite song of theirs, but I gave it a 4-star rating. Just couldn’t justify a perfect rating in my weird head.)

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