A track from the breakthrough Tears For Fears album Songs From The Big Chair, "The Working Hour" was written by vocalist Roland Orzabal, drummer Manny Elias and keyboard player Ian Stanley. Orzabal wrote the lyric about being sick and tired of people telling him what to do - it was his way of kicking out his frustration.
If you're picking up a Peter Gabriel vibe on this song, that's probably because Jerry Marotta contributed to the track, handling drums and saxophone arrangements. Marotta was one of Gabriel's go-to studio pros in the '80s.
Two saxophone players perform on this track: William Gregory and Mel Collins, with Gregory doing the solo. Another outside musician, Andy Davis, was brought in to play the grand piano.
This runs 6:31, a second shorter than "Shout," which precedes it on the album. But while the vocals on "Shout" come in at the 11-second mark, "The Working Hour" has a full two-minute soundscape before Orzabal starts singing.
In 2001, Tears For Fears used the title of this track for their compilation album The Working Hour (An Introduction To Tears For Fears).
Both Orzabal and Smith call this their favorite track on the album, thanks to the sax. Orzabal told The Sound Bard: "Saxophone was always part of 'The Working Hour,' because of the riff. The main saxophone riff is extremely important and powerful - it's got that sort of 'crying' quality to it."
This almost became the album title, but Orzabal vetoed it in favor of Songs From The Big Chair, named for their earlier tune "The Big Chair" (the B-side of "Shout").
AnonymousI remember spinning the album when it came out in 85 and on first listen it instantly became my fav song on the album.
Mark from Peacehaven Probably the best song ever written. A masterpiece. Ahead of its time. Huge respect to Roland for writing a genius track!
Beetle from ParisFor this specific song, sax solo is from Mel Collins (https://www.pearlflute.com/artists/mel-collins) Anyway, I do love this song.
T. Michels from Venlo, NetherlandsI love this song! Great lyrics and great musical part! Tears For Fears olso made a new song round the musical part of this song. It's called 'When in love with a blind man' Olso, there is a reference to this song on the song 'Advice for the young at heart' from the seeds of love. This reference is the next: 'Working hour is over' Lovely song! :D
It really was so easy for Linda Ronstadt to score a hit with her Buddy Holly cover of "It's So Easy." She would sometimes change the lyric to: "It's so easy to have a hit, all you have to do is recycle it."