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TFF is a British duo consisting of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith that was apparently named for a primal therapy technique. They formed in 1981, and like a lot of 1980's pop bands, they haven't had much success since the 1990's; in fact, for all intents and purposes they broke up in 1992. They reformed in 2001 (contrary to certain reports in the media, the renewed attention to their music due to "Head Over Heels" and a cover of "Mad World" being used in Donnie Darko was not the cause of this) and put out a new album in 2004.
This band's three most famous songs come from their 1985 album Songs from the Big Chair. At least, these are the three songs that you hear on the radio and in "best of the 80's" compilation albums as of February 19, 2010:
- "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"
- "Head over Heels"
Of course, many fans over at their Last.FM page would have you believe otherwise.
To be fair, the guys did release two other albums. First there was The Hurting in 1983, which sounds more like an angst-ridden Depeche Mode album; this is where the single "Mad World" came from, which later got a more popular cover version by Gary Jules that was used on the Donnie Darko soundtrack. Second was The Seeds of Love in 1989, which was a lot more experimental and rockier than the previous albums, though it did spawn a couple of hits ("Sowing the Seeds of Love" and "Woman in Chains"). After their breakup, Roland Orzabal would release much of his solo work under the band's name.
- 1983 - The Hurting
- 1985 - Songs from the Big Chair
- 1989 - The Seeds of Love
- 1992 - Tears Roll Down*
- 1993 - Elemental**
- 1995 - Raoul and the Kings of Spain**
- 1996 - Saturnine Martial & Lunatic***
- 2004 - Everybody Loves a Happy Ending
* is a greatest hits album, which includes the single "Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down)", which only appears on compilations and which is the first song Orzabal recorded as Tears for Fears without Smith.
** denotes album recorded without Smith.
*** is a rarities collection spanning from 1983 to 1993.
Shout...shout...let it all out. These are the tropes I could do without:
- Bishonen, Ambiguously Gay: What these two guys also looked like.
- Downer Ending: The Seeds of Love ends with "Famous Last Words", which is pure Tear Jerker. (Considering that it's about a couple perishing in each others during nuclear holocaust, it'd pretty much have to be).
- Eighties Hair: And again...!
- Last of His Kind: Roland Orzabal, for whatever reason, wanted to keep the band alive so much that, during the 1990's, almost all of his solo work would be released under the band's name. "Tomcats Screaming Outside", which he made in 2001, was his only album that he released under his name.
- Protest Song: "Shout" is a bit of a meta example; the lyrics themselves don't actually protest anything in particular, but they encourage protest.
- Putting the Band Back Together: They got back together in 2001 apparently on a whim and made an album in 2004. They're currently on tour.
- Shout-Out: The band name is a reference to primal therapy. Also, in Shout, they take this trope literally.
- Take Over the World: Everybody Wants to Rule the World.
- The Man Is Sticking It to the Man: "Shout" is apparently all about this, given the times in which the song was released.