One of the joys of scrounging through sorely neglected vinyl bins in used record shops is stumbling across something that you didn’t even know you were looking for. Such is the case of a recent find – the original UK 12” single for Tears for Fears’ “Suffer the Children”.

boo hoo

I hadn’t even realized this was released as a single overseas, much less that it featured a b-side, “Wino”, that was even left off the 1996 b-sides collection, “Saturnine Martial & Lunatic”. “Wino” is interesting not for its lyrical content (“Wino / You’re a cigarette smoker / You have a good time / they call you a joker” – – really?), but more for being the first truly acoustic Tears for Fears song, completely stripped of synths, a direction the band would follow more in the future, resulting in massive hits.

Since I bought the 12” mostly for the b-side, I didn’t have much expectation that the extended mix of “Suffer the Children” on the a-side would be much more than the normal version with a longer instrumental portion attached to the beginning. I was pleasantly surprised to find this version is more of a radio remix than a simple extended version. There’s an almost entirely new vocal, completely new background vocals and an all-around beefier mix. I don’t believe this version has ever made it to CD, not even on the recent reissue of “The Hurting”.

Not bad for $1.99. More b-side bonanzas all week.

Download “Wino”.
Download “Suffer the Children (Remix)”.

Neither song was released as a single in the U.S.