On this day in music history: June 8, 1985 – “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears For Fears hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, also topping the Club Play and Maxi Single Sales charts for 2 weeks on May 11, 1985. Written by Roland Orzabal, Chris Hughes and Ian Stanley, it is the first US chart topper for the British pop/rock duo from Bath, Somerset, UK. Tears For Fears debut album “The Hurting”, which yields three top five singles in their home country and throughout Europe, gains the duo a toehold in the US when the single “Change” becomes their first chart entry peaking at #73 on the Hot 100 in August of 1983. Prior to beginning work on their second album, TFF release the stand alone single titled “The Way You Are”, which stalls at #24 on the UK singles chart. Realizing they need to change their musical course, the duo set about writing their follow up album. They are intent on maintaining their artistic integrity, while firmly setting their sights on reaching the widest audience possible. The final track completed for the duos second album “Songs From The Big Chair”, the lyrical concept of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” is quite serious as stated by Curt Smith, “It’s about everybody wanting power, about warfare and the misery it causes”. Standing in stark contrast to the lyrics, the music is uplifting and light. So much so that Roland Orzabal has second thoughts about including it on the album, feeling that it’s too different from the other songs. Producer Chris Hughes (Adam & The Ants, Wang Chung) convince him to record it anyway. The track is recorded over a relatively short two weeks of studio time, compared to the more than four months spent working on “Shout” and “Head Over Heels”. Issued in the US as the first single from “Big Chair”, it quickly become a staple on pop radio and MTV, sending it to number one. Entering the Hot 100 at #70 on March 16, 1985, it climbs to the top of the chart twelve weeks later. In time, “Everybody” is regarded as a landmark record of the 80’s pop music era. By 1994, the song performing rights organization BMI reports that “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” had been broadcast on American radio over two million times. More than a year after single tops the US charts, TFF records a version with amended lyrics titled “Everybody Wants To Run The World” for the Band Aid spin off charity event “Sport Aid” in the UK in May of 1986. Released as a single only in Europe, the new version hits #5 on the UK singles chart in June of 1986, raising more money for the Band Aid Trust.
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