Tears for Fears are good example of how some bands were able to modify their sound over time and continue to remain relevant. Their first album The Hurting was issued in 1983 and was very heavy on synthesizers, and led by the singles “Mad World”, “Change”, and “Pale Shelter”. But their second album Songs from the Big Chair moved the band into more of a mainstream rock sound, still reliant on keyboards but also featuring guitars. ┬áThe band has been led by Roland Orzibal (also primary songwriter) and Curt Smith, who trade lead singing duties in the band.

Songs from the Big Chair became a big hit in 1985, after the success of the singles “Shout” (issued in the U.K. the previous November) and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, both of which hit number one. “Shout” was cowritten by Orzibal and Tears for Fears keyboardist Ian Stanley, and is a protest song of sorts. The song’s keyboard and percussion sound lent it well to the 12″ remix version, but the song also features a long guitar solo to help it appeal to mainstream rock fans. The album has since sold over 5 million copies in the U.S., making it one of the key albums of 1985.

Tears for Fears returned in 1989 with the Beatles-inspired Seeds of Love album, another platinum seller for the band. Smith left the group but Orzibal continued and issued a well-regarded album Elemental in 1993. Further albums have been less popular, even with the return of Smith to the group in 2000.