08 October 2008

"everybody wants to rule the world" || tears for fears || 1986

This song is a bit mainstream for me to post about it, but it's earned its place here.

This is quite simply one of the greatest songs ever recorded.

Hearing this on the radio tonight totally took me to another dimension. It's one of the first songs that I remember listening to very intently as a little kid; I had it on a mixtape that my dad made for me in his studio/office and I listened to it on the bus and in my little tape player at home. I remember the lyric "Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down / When they're through I'll be right behind you" totally blindsiding me with imagery even at that very young age.

Lyrically this song is very important. Right from the opening lyrics of "Welcome to your life / There's no turning back," you know you're dealing with some serious material. There is no fucking around. Congratulations, you're in charge of your own destiny. Now wake up, and get to work. So indicative of the mid-'80s Wall Street era.

The song could be about so many things! It could be about those annoying co-workers who kiss ass and act snidely appropriate at all the right times to get noticed by the boss. It could be an outcry about how capitalism creates greed. It could even simply be about the fact that everyone has a natural inclination to try to take over their own little worlds.

What I love so much about the vocals is how they follow a rigid, almost corporate-like structure in the first couple of verses, and then suddenly erupt into an almost volcanic outpour of emotion at the bridge. It's like the anarchy that breaks down the existing, structured society and restores power to the people. The vocals tone down again for the last verse, but not completely, the singer maintains the edge in his voice for the rest of the song.

It's simply a brilliantly crafted piece of music, and it needs to find its way into your collection.