Tears for Fears‘ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is one of the eponymous anthems of the 80s and the song remains just as satisfying today as it ever was.
We’ll kick things off with the original because you’re all just dying to hear it now, but since it’s initial 1985 release, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” has been covered and revisited numerous times by a slew of incredibly talented artists and we felt compelled to highlight some of our favorites here.
So if you’re like us and want to rule the world one day, why not start by jamming out to some good music?
Read Our ‘Marvin Gaye’s 18 Most Popular Songs’ Article!
Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World (1985)
5. Lettuce – Everybody Wants To Rule The World (2019)
Funk band Lettuce, founded by Berklee alumns, is self-described as a funk-jazz-soul-hip-hop-psychedelic-jam-art-rock-experimental-avant-garde ensemble.
Their 2019 record, Elevate, nominated at the Grammy’s for Instrumental Album of the Year, features an uplifting version of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, yet the song’s music video with its striking visuals and message of hope is truly where the magic happens.
“With greed and self-absorption taking a center seat in the society we live in, [we] wanted to put out a song and video that portrays the power and plight of the real human heart and the strength that comes from regular and consistent support that is only found in tight communities and family-style living,” shares the band.
4. The Bad Plus – Everybody Wants To Rule The World (2007)
Jazz piano trio The Bad Plus first made a name for itself by incorporating rock and pop influences into a music that was stuck in tradition at the time, much to the dismay of the establishment.
The band had a knack for revisiting covers unexpected to the jazz idiom and their fifth studio album Prog, released in 2007, features one of the most sublime versions of Tear for Fear’s “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” ever put on wax.
Their version mindfully crescendos into a poised and majestic Ethan Iverson piano solo. From there, the band goes into a vamp of the melody as drummer Dave King unleashes on the kit. The energy builds to a final climax and then gently brings everyone back down to earth.
3. Chlara – Everybody Wants To Rule The World (2020)
British-born Filipina singer Chlara is truly a gifted vocalist and her acoustic take on “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is just spectacular.
Featuring a soothing guitar and violin arrangement and immaculate vocals throughout, this version of the Tears for Fear classic exudes grace and beauty and might just bring a tear to your eye.
So if you’re looking to unwind and need a calming soundtrack for your evening, this version of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is a great place to start.
2. Robert Glasper – Everybody Wants To Rule The World (2022)
R&B and jazz superstar Robert Glasper tackles “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on his latest Grammy award-winning album Black Radio III.
Featuring the incomparable vocals of Lalah Hathaway and a stellar verse by rapper Common, Glasper’s rendition errs on the chill and mellow side yet provides all the soothing and healing energy you need in your life right now.
With a melody that builds slowly over a calm and airy arrangement, the track’s highlight remains Common’s enlightened bars, so make sure to stick around until the end!
All in all, Glasper’s cover of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” will definitely ramp up your favorite chilling playlist.
1. Scary Pockets feat. Cory Henry – Everybody Wants To Rule The World (2021)
LA funk cover band Scary Pockets pulls out all the stops on their version of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” in the form of multihyphenated vocal and organ phenom Cory Henry (formerly of Snarky Puppy).
Led by core members Jack Conte on keys and Ryan Lerman on guitar, the rotating band is rounded out in this instance by Louis Cato on drums and Solomon Dorsey on bass.
With Henry’s melody moving in and out of cadence over the supremely chill groove of the rhythm section and with the extra depth brought about by Cato’s polyrhythms, this track is a massive slow burn and one of the all-time dopest iterations of the song.
Building itself up in layer upon layer of sonic bliss, Scary Pockets’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” hits all the right notes from Henry’s sultry neo soul vocals to his killer organ solo (interjected by elated shouts of “everybody!”).
Just straight-up good vibes y’all.
Read Our ‘Marvin Gaye’s 18 Most Popular Songs’ Article!
Frequently Asked Questions
When did Everybody Wants to Rule the World come out?
“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was first released on March 22nd 1985. It was English pop rock band Tears for Fears’ third single off their second album Songs from the Big Chair.
Who sang Everybody Wants to Rule the World?
The first group to sing “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was the English pop rock band Tears for Fears.
What is Everybody Wants to Rule the World about?
“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is generally interpreted as commentary on the innate and universal desire for power and control within human nature, although it also touches on other themes such as the environmental crisis, the Cold War, dystopic societies and materialism.
What movie is Everybody Wants to Rule the World in?
“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” has been featured in several movies, most notably in Real Genius with Val Kilmer (1985), Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion featuring Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino (1997), NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton (2015), and Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One (2018).
What genre is Everybody Wants to Rule the World?
Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is a new wave and synth-pop song which can be attributed to the music genre of 80s pop rock.
Is Everybody Wants to Rule the World in Stranger Things?
“Everybody Wants To Rule The World” was listed in a Reddit thread titled ‘What Songs Would You Want In Stranger Things 5?’ and a behind the scenes video from season 2 features the cast dancing to the song, yet it never appeared in the actual show.
What key is Everybody Wants to Rule the World in?
“Everybody Wants To Rule The World” was originally release in the key of D major with a 12/8 time signature and a tempo of 116 beats per minute.
How old is Everybody Wants to Rule the World?
Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” was first released on March 22nd 1985 and is now 38 years old.
Written by Sebastien Helary
Sebastien Helary is the founder and principal writer for Nextbop.com, a premier destination for contemporary jazz enthusiasts. His insightful contributions have also graced the pages of Time Out Montreal and Cult Montreal. Outside the realm of music and food journalism, Sebastien’s personal musings and artistry are showcased at Helaryous.com.