Tears For Fears – Head Over Heels
You keep your distance with a system of touch
And gentle persuasion
I'm lost in admiration could I need you this much
Oh, you're wasting my time
You're just wasting time
The period leading up to the summer of 1985 was, as we have said so many times, probably the purest, most intense and creative period of all the 80s. Those artists Who were on the charts at that time, automatically entered the history of the 80s, even if it was perhaps their first hit or album. Of course, it was also a brilliant period for those who had already made albums, and would do more in the following years. For example, it was certainly a golden age for Tears for Fears, who two years after The Hurting had launched one of the most iconic albums of the entire decade, Songs from the Big Chair, in February. The album was driven by two big hits that anticipated it in the final part of 1984, Mothers talk and of course Shout.
In March, they release also the beautiful Everybody wants to rule the world, and so Tears for Fears were now omnipresent on radio and music video channels. On top of all this, on June 10, they released of this beautiful hit, Head over Heels, a song in my opinion a little underestimated, even if it entered the top ten around the world.
Of course, the music of Tears for Fears was not the repetitive pop of Stock Aitken and Waterman, and their own lyrics were not trivial at all, so they sometimes found themselves at a disadvantage compared to the classic songs my heart – your eyes – oh oh oh, with pastel pink videos, but I must say that rediscovering this song today and this video is really a great emotion.
In the album the song is preceded by Broken, a more rhythmic song with which it shares a keyboard riff and some verses. Probably Tears for Fears had conceived Head over heels as a variation of Broken, or perhaps an extension, the fact is that in their concerts the uninterrupted sequence Broken / Head over Heels / Broken became common, with this song inserted in the middle of the previous one. .
The song describes the protagonist’s sudden falling in love with a girl, with the plea not to break his heart. That said, it might seem like a trivial text, had it not been written by Roland Orzabal. Actually the text includes lines that are absolutely deep and ironic at the same time. The video helps us to contextualize the scene, as always.
We are in an apparently normal library (which in reality is in Toronto, Canada), but weird people appear. In fact, within seconds we see a guy full of books approaching, a rabbi, a handsome librarian girl with pure 80s-style glasses, a chimpanzee with a Red Sox shirt, and other unlikely characters. Another great song of the 80s had a video filmed in a library, do you remember which?
The gentleman loaded with books, Roland Orzabal of course, trudges up to the counter, where he begins to sing about his love for the librarian girl (a Canadian model who did not have a huge career, Joan Densmore). Behind her you can see Curt Smith, and in the video we can see also the other musicians playing with Tears for Fears, while the chimpanzee is probably the only serious person in the group. After a few scenes where the library disappears and we actually see the group playing, we arrive at the last frame, with sepia tones, in which we see Roland and the girl. now aged, in the house where they presumably spent their lives together. However, today’s Roland still seems less serious than the aged Roland we see in the video!
The video is made amusing with the ideas that Roland himself discussed with director Nigel Dick, not just the presence of characters such as the rabbi, the chimpanzee, or a guy with a gas mask, but also the ideas for some scenes that pay homage to other videos or films, like the cards that by themselves come out of the holder tray, exactly as we saw in one of the opening scenes of Ghostbusters, released a few months earlier.
In short, Head over heels is a song that has perhaps been less successful than others in the long career of Tears for Fears, but it remains a very pleasant little masterpiece in the history of this great group!
Tears for Fears on Wikipedia