“Once we had dipped our toe in the water, it set us on a course to have a much bigger, much more robust, and not-so-introspective sound.” Roland Orzabal is describing the veritable aural sea change he and his Tears for Fears creative partner and bandmate Curt Smith underwent while recording Songs From the Big Chair, the 1985 followup to 1982’s The Hurting, their highly influential minimalist electronic-music confessional debut platform. Indeed, Big Chair sported a much more massive sound field in comparison, propelling deeply layered and inherently catchy songs like “Shout,” “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” “Mothers Talk,” and “Head Over Heels” into international earwigs.
In an interview with HRAC Chief Content Officer Mike Mettler (c’est moi!) over on The SoundBard, Orzabal and Smith discuss their affinity for hi-res audio at length, including voicing their admiration for Steven Wilson, the man who mixed Big Chair in 96/24 and in 5.1 for the Blu-ray disc included in the album’s 30th anniversary six-disc box set. “I love this mix,” says Smith. “You get a far greater spectrum of sound, and the low end is definitely improved. … Most records, to me, that are perfect for surround are ones that are that layered, the ones that have so much information on them that it’s sometimes hard to mix them, and sometimes hard to get the separation. And obviously, that’s easier with surround.” Notes Orzabal, “He’s amazing. He had to create the new mixes before we put it into 5.1, and after he sent them to me, it was like, ‘Wow!’ … I think it gives you a chance to see what we were doing sonically at the time. That sort of got lost in all the pomp and commercial success, the videos, and all that kind of stuff. But we were really concentrating on the sound quality.”
All that and more, including what album in the TFF catalog the duo think should be done next in 96/24 (hint: the “Seeds” have been sown), can be found on The SoundBard.