Head Over Heels was Tears For Fears’ 10th single release in the United Kingdom taken from their 2nd LP, Songs from the Big Chair, and their 8th Top 40 hit, peaking at # 12 in July of 1985. In the United States, it was the 3rd single from the album, and continued the band’s run of hits there, peaking at # 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
A limited edition four-leaf clover shaped picture disc was issued for the single’s release in the UK.
The song was also an international success, reaching the Top 40 in several countries.
Head over Heels had been developed nearly two years prior as part of a segue with the song Broken, which was previously a stand alone B-side to the 1983 Pale Shelter single.
As the two songs share the same piano/synth motif, Head over Heels eventually came to be sandwiched in between two bookend parts of Broken in live performances. This placement carried over to the final track listing of the Big Chair LP, with a studio recording of Broken preceding Head Over Heels and a live reprise of Broken.
The song features Roland Orzabal on lead vocals, with Curt Smith singing a couple of lines in the background during the second verse.
According to Roland Orzabal, “It is basically a romantic love song and one of the most simple tracks that Tears for Fears have ever recorded. It is a romance song that goes a bit perverse at the end.”
The music video (see above), filmed in June 1985, was the 4th Tears for Fears clip directed by famed music video producer Nigel Dick. A lighthearted video in comparison to the band’s other promos, it is centered around Roland Orzabal’s attempts to get the attention of a librarian (Joan Densmore), while a variety of characters (many played by the rest of the band), including a chimpanzee, engage in shenanigans in the library.
The final scene shows Orzabal and the librarian as an older married couple. The video was filmed at the Emmanuel College Library in Toronto, Ontario.
Editor’s Note: The second selection for “tears” theme week.
I have such a soft spot for this song. No matter how many “flashback” lunches, or nostalgic “this is the 80’s” themed shows play it, I still never grow tired of the song.
Something about it (maybe the video) reminds me of lunches spent in the library with my “first teenage love” (unrequited). We would meet there, he and I, his best friend, and the two girls who were hanging on his every word, just like me. We were hiding from so many things, and quite a few people, but mostly, we were hiding from ourselves.