Great Moments in Cover History: Mad World

6 Apr


Hilarious movie...nothing to do with this post besides the mad world

Mad World” is a hit. There are many qualities that define a hit, but one of the most telling factors is where the song charts. I know, arbitrary statistics that I often pan on this blog. Well, yes, this may be true to a point. Charts still do tap into the public music psyche. A true hit reaches the charts as an original and as a cover. There is a good number of these songs. “Mad World” is a good example of this. I am profiling it because it changes so much from successful original to successful cover. Let’s go exploring.

“Mad World” by Tears for Fears was released in 1982. It was the band’s third single and first chart hit, reaching #3 on the UK singles chart. It is also a classic 80’s song. The somber lyric is backed by extraterrestrial synthesizer and eccentric percussion. It is quick-paced and odd (which pretty much describes most 80’s music). That is not to say the song is bad. Though, the song seems to me to be more suited for a slower pace. Well, Gary Jules, your move.

Gary Jules and Michael Andrews worked on a cover of this song. The cover was made for the movie “Donnie Darko” and released as a single in December of 2003. The cover went to UK #1. Now, I am not here to say that Tears for Fears recorded their own song wrong, but I will say that I am sure they enjoyed Jules’ cover. It is slow and drawn out. The piano works so much better than the synth.

I am eager to hear your opinions? What do you all think?

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