The Way You Are (Tears for Fears cover) by Lionel Zivan

The Way You Are (Tears for Fears Cover)

Here’s my acoustic pop cover of a lesser known song by Tears For Fears. It’s remained one of my favorites of theirs ever since I first heard it as a high school kid.

My Encounter With the Song

Anyway. I first heard the song in 1986 or 87, either from the radio, or from a mixtape that was making its rounds among my high school classmates. And everything from the rhythms to the melodic interplay to the lyrical melancholy captivated me.

Over the years, I’ve always wanted to play this song live in some form or other, but could never find a way to do it (or sympathetic band members who wanted to take a chance on a less well-known Tears for Fears song). Well, here I am, finally finding a way — turning it into an acoustic cover using guitars, recorder, programmed strings, and percussion (including my trusty Contigo thermos).

About the Song: Tears for Fears History

Between their first album (The Hurting) and their second album (Songs from the Big Chair), Tears For Fears released a single called “The Way You Are” in 1983. It was meant to be a stopgap and never meant to be included in the 2nd album, which would go on to sell millions of copies on the basis of hit singles like “Shout” and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”

The single was quite synth heavy and if memory serves, was never really performed live by the band because they didn’t like the song. I remember reading in the liner notes to one of their compilation albums that the song represented a direction that they didn’t want to take. Which, to me, sounded like they wanted to move away from strict beats and synth heavy stuff in favor of rocking out more organically.

Here’s what the original sounded like:

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