Jukebox

Jukebox – “Mad World”

I discovered this song during its revival by my favorite band (Eh yes, G. again them). She goes so well with the current atmosphere. So, I wanted to get back on the jukebox to go looking for the different versions of this title and share them with you.

History

A title from 1982 on Tears For Fears debut album “The Hurting” in 1983, “Mad World” was written by Roland Orzabal and sung by bassist Curt Smith.

“Mad World” was originally written on acoustic guitar when Orzabal was 19 after being inspired to write a new wave song in the vein of Duran Duran’s “Girls on Film”. After a few false starts with Orzabal on vocals, he suggested Smith sing it and “suddenly it sounded fabulous”.

 

But, this title became a hit after a cover of Michael Andrews and Gary Jules for the film Donnie Darko in 2001. While the Tears for Fears version featured synthesisers and heavy percussion, the Andrews/Jules version was stripped down; instead of a full musical backing, it used only a set of piano chords, a mellotron imitating a cello, very light touches of electric piano, and modest use of a vocoder on the chorus.

“I remember perfectly the day I received the fax asking for our permission to use the song,” says Roland Orzabal. I agreed because Drew Barrymore was one of the producers of the film, without knowing too much what she would become. A few months passed and a friend took Gary Jules’s single home. My youngest son, who was 8 years old, sang it in its entirety. I was bluffed. Hearing these words, which I wrote so long ago, in his mouth, was very moving.”

“Since then, it’s been crazy to see how much Mad World is appreciated by young people,” says Smith. It resonates in them, because we wrote it at the same age. Politically, many of our words remain relevant today. Unfortunately, because they are often dark.”

Meaning

The song was influenced by the theories of Arthur Janov, author of The Primal Scream, and the lyric “the dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had” suggests that dreams of intense experiences such as death will be the best at releasing tension.

Lyrics

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head, I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow
And I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very very
Mad world, mad world
Children waiting for the day, they feel good
Happy birthday, happy birthday
And I feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen, sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me, no one knew me
Hello teacher, tell me what’s my lesson?
Look right through me, look right through me
And I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very very
Mad world, mad world
Enlarge your world
Mad world

Covers

Since this second success, the song has been performed by dozens of other artists. Not to mention the soundtrack of multiple episodes of series like CSI or Riverdale. I propose some nuggets that make this title never go out of fashion.

Pentatonix (2020)

We start of course with those who introduced me to this title. They pay a vibrant tribute to this title and we let ourselves be carried away by the power of their voices.

Image Dragons (2017)

I start to curse every time I hear this acoustic version, a little folk of the title. A wonder.

Jasmine Thompson (2017)

A fragile voice on the verge of breaking which goes so well in this respect. A real discovery

Riverdale Cast (2018)

While She Sleeps (2020)

A muscular version that wakes you up if you put it on in the morning.

 

Postmodern Jukebox (2015)

No comment 😱

Good listening. Tell me which one you prefer.

xoxo

La Puce

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