The Working Hour – Tears for Fears
Album: Songs from the Big Chair
Written by: Roland Orzabal, Manny Elias, Ian Stanley
This is a song that is never played on the radio, and likely never was. Granted today with being able to grab single songs and setting or building playlists, it is much easier to listen to this one. This is good music for music’s sake, as it is not a 3-minute pop friendly format. But what it does have is a cool intro and a cool saxophone solo.
The lyrics were written by Roland Orzabal and express a frustration – because he was tired of people telling him what to do. Some of the lyrics being “This is the working hour we are paid by those who learn by our mistakes”
The song opens with a 2-minute introduction sound scape. Almost dreamily for some parts, a fast-paced beat for others, then a solid bit of piano. Two minutes and change of lyrics and a long closing with more saxophone.
Curt Smith (the other half of Tears for Fears) and Orzabal say that this is generally their most requested song to be played at concerts, but it has rarely been recorded live. The best live version is likely one that was recorded in 2014 for Spotify Landmarks that you can find on YouTube.
A small aside on live music – in my experience with live music it is either pure garbage or completely awesome. There is never a song that is meh live. I am sure others differ on this.
Both say that this is their favorite song off of “Songs from the Big Chair”, even though that album has the hits – “Shout”, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, and “Head over Heels”.
This was almost the title of the album but was vetoed to use the title of the B side to “Shout” – “the Big Chair”, they later used this as the title to their compilation album released in 2001.
I described my last pick as “ticket music”, this I would call introspective music. Maybe it is the saxophone and the piano that are not commonly used in songs.