22
Nov 06

FT Top 100 Songs: 65: TEARS FOR FEARS – Pale Shelter

FT/3 comments • 3,390 views

white-house-picture-2.jpg* Just Because.

OK. This list was derived almost two years ago now, and in our slow, thoughtful trawl through it, throws up odd anomalies such as this. Why Tears For Fears in 2004? Do we dare blame Donnie Darko?

Of course we bloody blame Donnie Darko. Without the the artful slow-mo and whacked out plotting, the prog-pomp-synth edifices of Tears For Fears first album would never have been rehabilitated. And I find it hard to say altogether good things about Pale Shelter (or its full title on its first single release: Pale Shelter (You Don’t Give Me Love). I can tell you a tale about how I first heard it though. It was upon joining Borehamwood Main Library. As a library junkie from a young age I had finally read dry the small mobile trailer that visited our local shops, and so a step up to the big library followed. But the big library did not just have books. It had a massive rail timetable*, and a CD section. It was 20p to take a CD out for a week, and my Dad had just bought a CD player. And hence a trawl through bands I had vaguely heard of to see if they were any good. And a soft spot for Everybody Wants To Rule The World and its evil genius subtext meant I stumbled across The Hurting.

Even at the age of fourteen I could smell self-importance a mile off. But also at the age of fourteen I was a sucker for it, and lyrics like “You don’t give me love…” Hello angst. It is, of course, this insufferable teenage angst that Richard Kelly found in Tears For Fears which made it perfect for Donnie Darko, as shorthand for Jake Gyllenhaal’s mental state. But while Pale Shelter, like everything else on The Hurting, is slow, portentous and awe-inspiringly earnest, it is nothing compared to Head Over Heels and Mad World.

So why pick Pale Shelter. Difficult to say, you’d have to ask the nominee. But in spiriting it up in my head, there is one thing that is true of the Hurting as an album. They all blend into one in my head. I can start the (non-Jules) Mad World in my bonce and find that post-chorus it turns into Head Over Heels and finally morphs into Pale Shelter. So maybe that is its legacy. We were all young once, but we don’t have to listen to all of the records.

Still, at least it wasn’t WOMAN IN CHAINS.

*DO YOU SEE!

**This was an item of wonder to me. All the UK’s rail timetables in one book. Only five years later did I discover how unreliable a book could be.

Comments

  1. 1
    Tom on 22 Nov 2006 #

    I wonder if GTA:Vice City has more to do with this particular song’s popularity than Donnie Darko. Its portentiousness sounds really awesome when you’re impotently hitting buttons in the hope one of them will do something gliding through a neon-lit gamescape on a motorbike.

  2. 2
    Tom on 22 Nov 2006 #

    Anyway I rly like it whatever the reason – I like the way the strummy bit and the synth washes ‘interplay’.

  3. 3
    CarsmileSteve on 22 Nov 2006 #

    GTA:VC is how i got to know it certainly, sounds very good next to I RAN and DANCEHALL DAYS.

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)


Required

Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page