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My Favourite 1980s English Song: Everybody Wants To Rule The World By Tears For Fears 1985

1980s Everybody Want to Rule the World Tears for Fears Song

I rate the 1985 song, Everybody Wants To Rule The World as my top ten songs from the 1980s that I can hear all day long. I said this before in one of my posts and I will say it again – the 1980s was a golden year for both the English & Tamil music industry with some of the evergreen songs being composed by great musicians around the world. Image source: Youtube

The first I heard this hit from Tears for Fears titled “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” was when my classmate decided to sing this song at the primary school assembly when having nothing to do, the Headmaster asked if any students came up to the stage and do a performance to keep the rest entertained.

To my surprise, my friend suddenly stood up, walked onto the stage and without any background music, started to sing away the song. We were all very impressed by this impromptu performance by one of our classmates.

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The official music video of the song was rather something simple unlike some of the music videos that came out in the 1980s for MTV. The music only comes on after 30 seconds the video starts and the vocal-only starts after another 30 seconds but we are not complaining as it is one of the greatest openings with the electric guitar and synthesizer. There is more music than the vocal in this song which makes it one of the gems to listen to any day, any time. 


The song was released in 1985 by the British band, Tears for Fears in their second album, Songs from the Big Chair:-

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is a song by English pop rock band Tears for Fears. It was written by Roland Orzabal, Ian Stanley, and Chris Hughes and produced by Hughes. The song was first released on 18 March 1985 by Phonogram, Mercury, and Vertigo Records as the third single from the band’s second album, Songs from the Big Chair (1985).

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is a new wave and synth-pop song with lyrics that detail the desire humans have for control and power and centre on themes of corruption.

Music critics praised “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” in their retrospective reviews, with some ranking the song among the decade’s best. Along with “Shout” (1984), it is one of the band’s signature songs.

An international success, the song peaked at number two in Ireland, Australia, and the United Kingdom and at number one in Canada, New Zealand, and on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and Cashbox. It was certified gold by both Music Canada (MC) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

Nigel Dick directed the music video, which received promotion from MTV. It shows bassist Curt Smith (who sings lead vocal) driving an antique Austin-Healey 3000 sports car around Southern California intercut with shots of the band performing the song in a studio. In 1986, the song won Best Single at the Brit Awards. The group re-recorded the song as a charity single for the Sport Aid campaign.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Almost every great hits or name of the band from the 1980s have a similar interesting back story and this is what makes things very interesting to discuss whilst one listens to these great hits.

Song Lyrics

The title of the song – Everybody Wants To Rule The World – is already very catchy and the lyrics of the song are even more catchy:-

[Verse 1]

Welcome to your life
There’s no turning back
Even while we sleep
We will find you


Acting on your best behaviour
Turn your back on Mother Nature
Everybody wants to rule the world

[Verse 2]

It’s my own design
It’s my own remorse
Help me to decide
Help me make the


Most of freedom and of pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world


There’s a room where the light won’t find you
Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down
When they do, I’ll be right behind you


So glad we’ve almost made it
So sad they had to fade it
Everybody wants to rule the world

[Instrumental Interlude]


I can’t stand this indecision
Married with a lack of vision
Everybody wants to rule the—
Say that you’ll never, never, never, never need it
One headline, why believe it?
Everybody wants to rule the world
All for freedom and for pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world

(Source: Genius)

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Rick Beato’s Song Analysis

Richard John Beato or more known as Rick Beato has a Youtube channel that covers a nice range of topics related to rock-pop songs, musical instruments and interviews with well-known musicians. What I love about Rick Beato’s analysis of famous songs is his ability to break down and pinpoint each of the background music instruments and explain in detail the significance of the composition.

Rick Beato’s video titled “What Makes This Song Great? Ep.112 TEARS FOR FEARS” focuses on this particular song and he explains the song rather completely. The surprising fact is that there is a piano melody that follows the vocal but this is not noticed in the song until Rick silents all instruments except the background melody at time 5.35.

Final Say

The song, Everybody Wants To Rule The World is already quite famous when it comes out in the 1980s and it is even todate and is one of the must-have songs in the 1980s playlist. But now after Rick Beato’s detailed analysis, one can actually respect the genius of the musical arrangements and the brilliant composition that went into creating this song. The lyrics is powerful but in this song in particular the arrangement of the musical instruments is even more powerful.

Truly one of the many gems from the 1980s.

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