Songs from the Big Chair is the second studio album by English pop rock band Tears for Fears, released on 25 February 1985 by Phonogram Records. The album peaked at number two in the UK and at number one in the US and Canada, becoming a multi-platinum seller in all three countries. It also reached number one in Germany and the Netherlands and Top 10 positions in various other countries including Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand and Italy. It spawned the international hit singles "Mothers Talk", "Shout", "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", "Head over Heels", and "I Believe". It remains their best-selling album to date.
Originally, the album was to be titled The Working Hour, but Roland Orzabal fought to change it to Songs from the Big Chair, which was derived from the 1976 television film Sybil about a woman with multiple personality disorder who only feels safe when she is sitting in her analyst's "big chair". A mostly-instrumental track called "The Big Chair" (which includes dialogue samples from the film) was released as the B-side of "Shout" in 1984, it was not included on the album.
Songs from the Big Chair received critical acclaim. In his review, critic Barry McIlheney of Melody Maker stated that "none of you should really be too surprised that Tears for Fears have made such an excellent album", calling it "an album that fully justifies the rather sneering, told-you-so looks adopted by Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal on the sleeve", before concluding, "An awful lot of people will, of course, go on and on about overcoats, The Lotus Eaters and an alleged lack of depth."
|Released||25 February 1985|
|Studio||The Wool Hall (Beckington, Somerset, England)|
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