Change (Tears for Fears song)

Change (Tears for Fears song)
Single by Tears for Fears
from the album The Hurting
B-side "The Conflict"
Released January 24, 1983
Format 7", 12"
Recorded 1982
Genre New Wave
Length 3:52
Label Phonogram Records
Writer(s) Roland Orzabal
Producer Chris Hughes
Ross Cullum
Tears for Fears singles chronology
"Mad World"
"Pale Shelter"

"Change" is a song by the British band Tears for Fears. Written by Roland Orzabal and sung by bassist Curt Smith, it was the band's fourth single release. It would eventually become the second hit from their debut LP The Hurting (1983) and second UK Top 5 chart hit, following the success of "Mad World". The song also gave Tears for Fears their first charting single in America when it cracked the Billboard Top 75 in August 1983. "Change" was also a big international success, reaching the Top 40 in several countries around the world.



It's not really about much. It's just one of those cheap pop lyrics.
—Roland Orzabal

Song versions

The 7" version of "Change" is the same mix of the song found on The Hurting, albeit in a slightly edited form. An extended remix of the song is showcased as the lead track on the 12" single. While many copies of the 12" single use the 7" mix of the song as one of the b-sides, some feature an altogether different recording. Although uncredited on the singles themselves, this mix is labeled the "New Version" on the UK cassette release of The Hurting, where it was included as a bonus track. Featuring an alternate set of lyrics, this version actually predates the 7" mix, despite its title.

It's a step backwards to what we were doing before "Mad World"... the version on The Hurting is a vast improvement.
—Curt Smith

More recently, a mix by British DJ Joey Negro was included, along with other Tears for Fears remixes, on a 2004 promotional EP.


"The Conflict" is a song that served as the b-side to the "Change" single. Its repeated verse describes a conflict between two individuals. Sung by Curt Smith, this is one of the few songs in the Tears for Fears catalogue on which he shares a writing credit.

Music video

The music video for "Change" was directed by Clive Richardson, best known for his early work with Depeche Mode.

Track listings

7": Mercury / IDEA4 (United Kingdom, Ireland) / 812 677-7 (United States) / 6059 596 (Australia, Europe, South Africa) / SOV 2322 (Canada) / 7PP-101 (Japan)
  1. "Change" (3:52)
  2. "The Conflict" (4:02)
12": Mercury / IDEA412 (United Kingdom) / 6400 730 (Europe)
  1. "Change [Extended Version]" (5:54)
  2. "Change" (3:52)
  3. "The Conflict" (4:02)
12": Mercury / IDEA412 (United Kingdom) / 6400 730 (Australia) / SOVX 2322 (Canada)
  1. "Change [Extended Version]" (5:54)
  2. "Change [New Version]" (4:33)
  3. "The Conflict" (4:02)
  • The "New Version" is not specifically identified as such on this release

Chart positions

Year Chart Position
1983 UK Singles Chart #4
1983 USA Billboard Hot 100 #73
1983 Australian Singles Chart #29
1983 Canadian Singles Chart #12
1983 Dutch Singles Chart[1] #32
1983 Irish Singles Chart #8
1983 Italian Singles Chart[2] #27
1983 New Zealand Singles Chart[3] #36
1983 South African Singles Chart[4] #5


The xylophone melody has been sampled by several artists:

Cover Versions & Remixes

Israeli born DJ/Producer Offer Nissim produced 2 versions of Change, both sampling the xylophone melody from the original Tears for Fears track. Vocals were provided by Ohad Heim.

Offer Nissim - Change ft Ohad Heim (Offer Nissim Remix) Released on the album Happy People in 2008.

Offer Nissim - Change ft Ohad Heim (Original Mix)


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