5.1 Who was Graduate? 5.4 What is 'Elvis Should Play Ska' about?
5.2 Why did Graduate disband? 5.5 I have a copy of Acting My Age with only 8 songs. What is it?
5.3 What is 'Mad One'? Is it an early version of 'Mad World'? 5.6 Has Graduate material ever been officially released on CD?

5.1 Who was Graduate?

Graduate was a five piece power-pop band that formed in the late 1970's. The group featured Roland Orzabal (guitar/keyboards/vocals), Curt Smith (bass/synths/vocals), John Baker (guitar/vocals), Andy Marsden (drums), and Steve Buck (keyboards/flute). They got their name from the cover of Simon & Garfunkel's 'Mrs. Robinson' (found on the Graduate original movie soundtrack) that they used to play live as a show opener. Graduate released one 10-song album - Acting My Age (1980) - and a handful of singles. Although not a true ska band, they were marketed as one by their label in an effort to cash in on the "mod revival" movement. Their first commercial single release 'Elvis Should Play Ska' is actually the only ska-sounding song on the album.
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5.2 Why did Graduate disband?

As the story goes, Roland and Curt were unhappy at being constantly outvoted on band decisions despite being Graduate's main creative force. According to Curt in 1983:

I suppose Pye thought we were young and commercial for the time and could make a bit of money out of us. But we gave up half way through when we decided we didn't like being in bands. It was a worthwhile lesson and hopefully neither of us will ever be in a group again. In its place we decided to form a much looser act, that didn't parade under a so-called democratic banner when it was really just a case of "It's my band so play what I tell you" kind of fascism. Especially when Roland and I were the only two creative members of the band. So what we decided to do was leave and create our own thing, deciding to use whichever backing musicians we wanted whenever we wanted, leaving them free to go off and do whatever else they wanted to do in between and so on.
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5.3 What is 'Mad One'? Is it an early version of 'Mad World'?

No! This info was incorrectly printed in an older version of the Tears For Fears discography. 'Mad One' was Graduate's first recorded song and was issued on a single along with the track 'Somebody Put Out The Fire'. The single was not a commercial release, but rather was created to promote a license plate business! Click here for the full story.
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5.4 What is 'Elvis Should Play Ska' about?

'Elvis Should Play Ska' was Graduate's first single on the Pye label and was the marketing tool Pye used to justify dressing the boys up in zoot suits for concerts and promotional photos. According to Andy Marsden:

We happened to be around at the end of the 70's along with a number of ska influenced groups such as Selector, Bad Manners, Madness etc. but we were not "Two Tone" (as ska was called then). Roland had heard an interview given by Elvis Costello where he said that all ska groups at that time were simply "one hit wonders" trying to cash-in on the mod revival. Rol felt that his comments were sour grapes because a lot of the songs in the charts at that time were doing better than Elvis Costello's songs. Because of this, Rol wrote 'Elvis Should Play Ska'. In other words - stop moaning and write a ska song yourself. It was basically a mickey-take, but because it was written in a ska fashion, the record company latched onto the "ska" thing. No other Graduate songs were similar, but Pye Records decided to package the band with that image, and even took us down the King's Road in Chelsea to choose zoot suits.
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5.5 I have a copy of Acting My Age with only 8 songs on it. What is this?

In 1986, after TFF had become a worldwide phenomenon, Precision Records decided to cash in by re-releasing some of the Graduate material on an 8-track 10" EP. This record uses the same picture sleeve as the original Acting My Age LP, but advertises "Featuring Curt Smith & Roland Orzabal" on the front. The track order is a bit different, and two of the songs from the original LP - 'Bad Dreams' and 'Shut Up' - are not included on this release.
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5.6 Has Graduate material ever been officially released on compact disc?

Yes, twice. The first came in 1991 when the German label Sequel Records issued an 11-track cd simply titled Graduate. This disc featured the tracklisting from the Acting My Age re-release, bookended by two incarnations of 'Shut Up'. (The second one is labeled as an instrumental version, but there is no audible difference between the two.) The disc also features the previously unreleased song 'I See Through You'. The second cd release came in 2001, when Sanctuary Records issued a 19-track disc featuring the entire original Acting My Age LP, plus the non-album single 'Ambition', the rarity 'I See Through You', and seven other unreleased demo songs from a planned second album. All tracks on this release are remastered, and it comes complete with some stunning artwork.
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