As the distance from Tears For Fears‘ hugely successful second album Songs From The Big Chair grew ever greater, both their fans and industry-watchers wondered whether they’d left it too long.
Rumours of the expense of the new production, said to be near £1 million, were accompanied by stories of abandoned sessions, creative uncertainty and huge delays. By the last months of the ’80s, it had been over four years since their worldwide breakthrough. Could Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith still deliver?
Early sessions with in-demand producers Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley (Madness, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Elvis Costello et al) were abandoned. So were later recordings with Chris Hughes, before the renewed positivity of TFF’s work with Dave Bascombe came up trumps. The Seeds Of Love was released on 25 September 1989 and, on 7 October, went straight to No. 1.
The success was all the more sweet because, for all the multi-platinum success of Big Chair, it never made the top of the UK chart, spending an aggregate three weeks at No. 2. The Seeds Of Love didn’t go on to enjoy the chart longevity of its predecessor, but still cruised into the top ten in the US and around much of Europe.
This time, the new material had been introduced by the first single ‘Sowing The Seeds Of Love,’ an Orzabal-Smith composition with a strong flavour of psychedelic, Beatles-influenced pop. The album offered a wide range of styles, including the delicate opening track ‘Woman In Chains,’ which featured drums by Phil Collins and introduced the exquisite vocal talents of Oleta Adams. There were further singles in ‘Advice For The Young At Heart’ and ‘Famous Last Words.’
Upon the album’s release, Curt Smith succinctly summed up all the delays and tribulations that went into its creation by telling Q magazine: “Although we know what we want, we’re not geniuses, unfortunately. But what we have is a certain passion for the end result, a passion to get it right.”
The Seeds Of Love can be bought here.