Indecent Obsession - "Tell Me Something"
The upbeat "Tell Me Something" from '89 was their only single to crack the US charts, though they had moderate success in their native Australia before disbanding in 1995.
Listening to this stuff for the first time today, I'm not into it. But back in the day when I was regularly pumping tunes by the likes of Richard Marx, Paula Abdul, and Milli Vanilli? Sure, Indecent Obsession would've fit right in. (Hell, I'll admit their were even a couple New Kids songs I kinda liked for a brief moment as a young'un. [The best "dirt" I've got on my longtime best friend Doug is I clearly remember once in elementary school he told me New Kids on the Block were his favorite band. I never let him live it down! He denies it today, but it happened. That brief window when NKOTB were cool to all the kids in school, before quickly becoming a girls-only fandom.])
After watching these videos, it's apparent that the person featured in the card's back photo is not the singer as I assumed, but rather the guitar player, Andrew. So, it's neither the guy who sings (David, the Tom Brady-looking guy) nor the guy who writes most of the music (Michael), but I guess the person at Pro Set choosing photos just decided the guitarist looked the coolest of the bunch. lol
If you're wondering, the Harley shirt guy is the drummer, Daryl. Here's the link to their Wikipedia entry in case you're inspired to learn more about Indecent Obsession.
Australia will have more representation in the set coming up very soon with INXS a couple cards away. Scanning the checklist, looks like Men At Work show up later in Series 2, while Australian sisters Dannii Minogue and Kylie Minogue each have 4 cards in the UK edition.
Changing gears, Tears For Fears released a new album last month. They're one of my all-time favorite bands, and conspicuously absent from the MusiCards set, so I knew I was going to have to whip them up a custom eventually, and I figure I might as well do it now while they're back in the music press.
If I had to rank the TFF albums by my personal preference, I'd say Songs From the Big Chair (1985) and The Seeds of Love are neck-and-neck for the top spot in a virtual tie. Love 'em start to finish. The Hurting (1983) is an excellent debut, but the production leaves me a bit cold compared to the lush, orchestrated albums that followed. 1993's Elemental is incredible, but the absence of Curt Smith sort of makes it feel like a Roland Orzabal solo album rather than a true TFF album.
Raoul and the Kings of Spain followed in 1995 and I didn't even bother to listen to it. I heard the single "God's Mistake" and didn't like it, mostly preoccupied with heavier alternative rock at the time. I finally listened to that record years later, and it's okay, but again, feels like it should have been released as a solo album. And yeah, I know Roland does the majority of the songwriting and singing in Tears For Fears, but it still feels off when Curt isn't around.
Thankfully the pair buried the hatchet in the following decade and 2004 saw the release of Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, which is among the best reunion/comeback albums I've ever heard; a forceful return to form.
I was able to catch Tears For Fears perform live in 2014 at a music festival here in Portland. It was a terrific set and my wife and I had a blast. During the show, once between songs they mentioned they were working on a new album. I waited patiently... and then waited less patiently... and now nearly 8 years later, The Tipping Point was finally released here in early 2022. I like it, though it hasn't grabbed me quite as much as Everybody Loves a Happy Ending did. --at least not yet, though I want to listen to it a few more times in the coming weeks and see how it grows on me.
Further illustrating my
indecent obsession with the band, I've got some quirks with my preferred method of listening to TFF albums, with tweaks to the playlists in my music library:
- The Hurting - I tack on "The Way You Are" as a bonus track on the end. The album otherwise ends abruptly with the stressed-out "Start of the Breakdown", so a lighter, non-album song from around that timeframe works as a nice outro track.
- Songs from the Big Chair - I've got a playlist that's called "Songs from the African Big Chair" and all it is is a mix that begins with Toto's "Africa" to set the mood, then Songs from the Big Chair in its entirety, then we close with "Africa" by John Coltrane which brings it all around and works as a continuation of the album's closer, "Listen". Yeah, I don't know, man, but it's an enjoyable mix in my rotation.
- The Seeds of Love - I find the start of "Advice for the Young at Heart" jarring following the fade out of "Sowing the Seeds of Love" so what I've recently done is create a medley of "Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down)"-- a strong non-album cut from that era (I will say most of their b-sides are forgettable; I've hunted down pretty much all the band's rare tracks and there ain't much worth multiple plays --Oh, but updated to add that they released a covers EP from 2014 called Ready Boy & Girls? that is very enjoyable)-- that then crossfades with "Advice for the Young at Heart" to slot into that point of the album. "Laid So Low" starts suddenly, too, but not as bad as "Advice for the Young at Heart", which has jolted me awake many times over the years while listening to the album on my iPod as I drift off to sleep.
- Elemental - If you're familiar with this album, you know how the penultimate track "Brian Wilson Said" sort of starts repeating itself at the end? Well, I made myself an extended mix that loops back a couple times to essentially play the song three times total. I suppose it's a testament to that gorgeous song that it feels incomplete to me if I only listen to it once in a row!
- Raoul and the Kings of Spain - N/A... I don't listen to this one much, though now I'm thinking I should revisit it.
- Everybody Loves a Happy Ending - All I've ever known is the version with the 2 bonus tracks ("Pullin' a Cloud" and "Out of Control"), so the record would feel incomplete to me without those two tunes at the end.
What do you think? Favorite TFF song(s)? Any thoughts you might have to share regarding Tears For Fears (or even Indecent Obsession, or like the first time you really connected with music as a kid, or whatever), I'd love to hear it in the comments below.