Tears For Fears developed on the periphery of the early '80s electro-pop phenomenon; their Bath base isolating them from the confidence and cool of their Sheffield compatriots--the Human League, ABC and Heaven 17--and the urban sleaze of Soft Cell. THE HURTING is nevertheless an assured debut; Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith weaving contemporary technology with traditional arrangements in a fashion that would soon come to dominate '80s mainstream pop. The result is an enduring and fascinating combination of pretension ("Ideas as Opiates" is as impenetrable as its title) and naivetT (the regression of the title track). Angst and catharsis are persistent forces, evident in Orzabal's howl, the crashes of "Memories Fade", and the claustrophobia of "The Prisoner" and "Start of the Breakdown". But THE HURTING also bursts with inspired pop melodies, not least with the schoolgirl la-las of "Suffer Little Children" and the busy percussive loops of "Change". 1998 remastered edition includes four bonus tracks.