“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was a superbly produced pop single with a highly effective guitar hook and was the seventh hit in the U.K. for the west country synth-pop duo who took their name and a good deal of their lyrical inspiration from a book on primal scream therapy.
The first US hit from Tears for Fears went straight to number one as did the follow up single “Shout”, which was more mainstream pop than their gloomy earlier material and was therefore somewhat more US friendly.
In 1985 acts from the UK would hold the number one spot on the billboard singles charts for an impressive 25 weeks.
And with 24 albums on the charts in the mid-1980s, 1985 ended up being a top year for 80s music.
This was all part of the British Invasion of the US music charts that reached it’s peak in 1985.
In 1986, however, there were only eight weeks of singles from UK British artists topping the singles charts and only two albums from UK artists on the album charts.
Tears for Fears had spent many months perfecting “Shout”, which became an anthemic song with endless overdubs.
“Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, on the other hand, was apparently a last-minute addition to the “Songs from the Big Chair” album, and was considered a half completed song that they did not rate highly and that was finished in just 3 days.
The “Songs from the Big Chair” album topped the Billboard album charts for five weeks and sold eight million copies, making the band successful enough to be able to tour and work for five years before releasing the follow-up album, “The Seeds of Love”.
The “Songs from the Big Chair” album has gone platinum three times over since 1985 and continues to sell well, despite the more limited commercial success of more recent albums from the duo.