Pale Shelter

Album: The Hurting (1983)
Charted: 5

Songfacts®:

  • Written by lead singer Roland Orzabal, this song is about being disappointed in a relationship. It was originally released as a single in March 1982 under the title "Pale Shelter (You Don't Give Me Love)," and failed to chart. It was re-released in April 1983 as the third single (After "Mad World" and "Change") taken from the debut album The Hurting. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    David - Gosport, England
  • Although Orzabal wrote the tune, it's sung by fellow Tears for Fears vocalist Curt Smith. Deciding which of the two leads would sing a particular song often came down to tone of voice. Smith told The Quietus in 2013: "If it's a softer song it's normally me. If it requires being belted, it's normally Roland. My voice is a lot darker, a lot more melancholic, and Roland is more of a shouter. He's trying to make a point. Which is very loud. So those are the differences in our voices, basically. 'Mad World' and 'Pale Shelter' and 'Change,' even though they're pop songs, wanted to be more melancholic and softer, and that's my voice."
  • In the liner notes for the 1999 re-release of The Hurting, OrzabaI explained the tune is "kind of a love song, though more referring to one's parents than to a girl."
  • Orzabel on how the song came together: "I kept playing two chords for weeks and weeks, then one morning I woke up and sang the tune and the words, just like that. Then another day I was flicking through an art book and came across 'Pale Shelter' by Henry Moore, so that wrapped up everything nicely."
  • In 2013, the clothing store H&M used this in a commercial to promote their winter collection.

Comments: 1

  • Shandroise De Laeken from Davao City, PhilippinesI like this one! I understand why it was not a hit but I definitely like it. Roland's voice is so smooth~ and the intro sounds something like an a--ha song but this song precedes a-ha! ; )
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