Curt Smith is a British-born musician, singer and songwriter, known mainly as one half of the duo Tears for Fears, the group he co-founded in 1981. Still an active musician more than three decades later, Smith released his third solo album, "Halfway, pleased" via his own KOOK Media imprint in May 2008. In addition to his solo career, Smith has also written music for television and is collaborating on a theatrical musical.
Smith, now a naturalized U.S. citizen, originally hails from Bath, England, where he and Roland Orzabal met when both were teenagers. They first formed a band at school, for which Smith taught himself to play bass guitar, and later formed the band Graduate, which achieved minor fame in continental Europe, and released one album in 1980. After disbanding Graduate, Smith and Orzabal founded Tears for Fears. TFF’s debut album, 1983’s The Hurting, was a UK number one and produced three international hit singles –"Mad World", "Change", and "Pale Shelter" – each with lead vocals performed by Smith.
Their second album, 1985's Songs from the Big Chair was even more successful, yielding hits including "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (sung by Smith), "Shout," and "Head Over Heels" (which Smith co-wrote). The duo spent the next several years recording their 1989 album The Seeds of Love, which proved to be another international bestseller, but Smith left the band a year after its release and moved to New York.
Smith released his first solo album, Soul On Board, in 1993, but the album was a commercial failure. Smith later claimed he hated the album and made it purely to fulfill his contract with Phonogram Records (the label to which Tears For Fears had signed to in 1981). He acclimated to life in New York by hosting an MTV show, as well as a new music radio show that was syndicated to over 300 U.S. colleges, and by teaching a music industry course at New York University. In 1995, a mutual friend introduced Smith to songwriter-guitarist Charlton Pettus. They began writing together and formed a band called Mayfield, which released a self-titled album in 1997.
Smith moved to Los Angeles in 1998, and began work on what was to become "Halfway, pleased" a few years later, but the project was put on hold after he had begun speaking to Roland Orzabal again in 2000 after nearly a decade of silence. Their conversations culminated in the duo reforming Tears For Fears for a new album, 2004’s Everybody Loves A Happy Ending, which led to a worldwide tour. Smith resumed work on "Halfway, pleased" in 2006. The semi-autobiographical album explores Smith’s relationships with his children, parents and friends. Halfway, pleased was released in May 2008, via Smith’s own KOOK Media imprint. It is available in CD and download configurations from major online retailers and from select retail locations.
In May 2013, Smith confirmed that he was writing and recording new Tears for Fears material with Orzabal and Charlton Pettus. 3-4 songs were worked on in the UK at Orzabal’s home studio, Neptune’s Kitchen, in April of 2013. Further work on a new Tears For Fears album commenced in L.A. in July of 2013. According to Orzabal, they have been producing of more dark, dramatic pieces of music, which gave the pending album the tongue-in-cheek working title of Tears for Fears: The Musical. “There’s one track that’s a combination of Portishead and Queen. It’s just crazy,” Orzabal stated.
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of TFF’s debut album The Hurting, Universal Music are re-releasing it in two Deluxe Editions (one a 2-disc set and the other a 4-disc set with a DVD of the 1983 In My Mind’s Eye concert) in October 2013.
In August 2013, Tears For Fears released their first newly recorded material in nearly decade, with a cover of Arcade Fire’s “Ready to Start” made available on SoundCloud.
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