Tears for Fears “The Hurting” 1983. A melancholy new wave/synthpop masterpiece, Tears for Fears’ debut album was an instant smash, going to #1 on the UK album chart within two weeks of its release. A couple of my favorite early 80′s songs are on The Hurting including “Suffer the Children,” (first released in ‘81, re-recorded for The Hurting, then re-released in ‘85 when it charted at #52 in the UK), “Mad World,” (released as a single in ‘82, #3 UK chart), “Change,” (#5 UK and #73 US) and my absolute fave “Pale Shelter” (#5 UK). At the time of The Hurting’s release, some critics found it “terrible, useless sort of art that makes self pity and futility a commercial proposition…just the sort of doom laden dross you’d expect from the lyrics: rehashed and reheated hollow doom with a bit of Ultravox here, diluted Joy Division poured everywhere, and the title track sounding suspiciously like one of the old pompous outfits with a welter of mellotrons" (NME). I think that opinion is terribly wrong: The Hurting has stood the test of time and 35+ years later it’s recognized as complex, groundbreaking and influential on such artists (who, like Tears for Fears, lean towards dark wave) as Trent Reznor, Smashing Pumpkins and Arcade Fire (PopMatters).