The Working Hour

Album: Songs From The Big Chair (1985)
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • 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").
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 2

  • Beetle from ParisFor this specific song, sax solo is from 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
see more comments

Jim McCarty of The YardbirdsSongwriter Interviews

The Yardbirds drummer explains how they created their sound and talks about working with their famous guitarists.

Into The Great Wide Open: Made-up MusiciansSong Writing

Eddie (played by Johnny Depp in the video) found fame fleeting, but Chuck Berry's made-up musician fared better.

George HarrisonFact or Fiction

Did Eric Clapton really steal George's wife? What's the George Harrison-Monty Python connection? Set the record straight with our Fact or Fiction quiz.

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's SongsSong Writing

"London Bridge," "Ring Around the Rosie" and "It's Raining, It's Pouring" are just a few examples of shockingly morbid children's songs.

Matthew Wilder - "Break My Stride"They're Playing My Song

Wilder's hit "Break My Stride" had an unlikely inspiration: a famous record mogul who rejected it.

Phone Booth SongsSong Writing

Phone booths are nearly extinct, but they provided storylines for some of the most profound songs of the pre-cell phone era.