“All around me are familiar faces...”
April 9, 2020 10:06 PM   Subscribe

Curt Smith of Tears for Fears and his daughter duet on “Mad World” while in quarantine. (SLYT)

Curt Smith of Tears for Fears sang on the original version of “Mad World,” which first appeared on their 1983 album The Haunting. Last week, he and his daughter, Diva, performed a gorgeous cover at home of the more widely-known haunting cover by Gary Jules.
posted by zooropa (30 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
 
see also Puddles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVevvbFNKiY
posted by wmo at 10:07 PM on April 9 [3 favorites]


I first became aware of this song via a street performer in Dublin, Ireland in 2016 or 2017, just a few bars grabbed me immediately, I remember thinking at the time what a powerful song it was to grab me like that with just one guy singing with an acoustic guiar, and I made a conscious effort to remember a few words of it and later dug around on the internet, found the original and the Gary Jules version. What a great song. So powerful.
posted by smcameron at 10:14 PM on April 9 [3 favorites]


My mother has just discovered the Gary Jules and its her current favorite song.

I remember the first time I saw Donnie Darko at a theater on my college campus. The feeling I had while walking back to my dorm room at midnight in the surprisingly warm night while that song rang through my head has always stuck with me.
posted by acidnova at 10:19 PM on April 9 [18 favorites]


Dude doesn't age.
posted by Beholder at 10:37 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


Beautiful. His daughter has inherited her father’s talent - and it’s just as well, she has her name to live up to!
posted by Jubey at 10:41 PM on April 9 [5 favorites]


This Everybody Wants to Rule the World is fun too. Seems like a nice guy.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:44 PM on April 9 [11 favorites]


I never knew that I needed to hear Everybody Wants to Rule the World on a hammered dulcimer but there it is. Thanks bonobothegreat!
posted by acidnova at 11:53 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


That was absolutely sublime.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:01 AM on April 10 [2 favorites]


This Everybody Wants to Rule the World yt is fun too. Seems like a nice guy.

If you watch recent Tears for Fears footage particularly if there is an interview component it always seems that Orzabal really really resents him and Smith is unconcerned/bemused.
posted by srboisvert at 5:32 AM on April 10 [2 favorites]


I doubt if it's an original thought, but it occurred to me several days ago that Mad World would be appropriate music to accompany a Zoom meeting.
posted by StephenB at 6:06 AM on April 10 [2 favorites]


This is great. This song always holds up. Thanks for the share. I smiled.
posted by Fizz at 6:16 AM on April 10 [2 favorites]


If you watch recent Tears for Fears footage particularly if there is an interview component it always seems that Orzabal really really resents him and Smith is unconcerned/bemused.

That tracks. I saw them at HoagieFest in 2017 and my takeaway was that Smith would be fun to hang out with and Orzabal might actually eat me if I got too close.
posted by grumpybear69 at 7:01 AM on April 10 [3 favorites]


This is lovely. This song always hits me hard. I'm most familiar with the Gary Jules version even though I had a brief and intense Tears for Fears cassette obsession in my youth.
posted by that's candlepin at 7:47 AM on April 10 [1 favorite]


I guess that his daughter sitting on the swing in Bonobothegreat's video. It's cute how she mouths the words as her dad sings.
posted by lester at 8:42 AM on April 10 [1 favorite]




If you watch recent Tears for Fears footage particularly if there is an interview component it always seems that Orzabal really really resents him and Smith is unconcerned/bemused.

A brief aside.
Tears For Fears was always one of my bucket list concerts.
Bought every album and wore the damn things out.
I didn't get to see them up close during their zenith in the 80's, so I always hoped for a reunion, a new album and a tour.
I got it with the "Everybody Loves a Happy Ending" disc and then a tour a few years later.
I went to Ruth Eckerd Hall, September 2010, prepared for a wonderful time.

I did not receive it.
The dislike between them was palatable.
Orzabal, silent. Smith, giving it the ol' college try, but failing.
They got up, played music, then left. Done.
I was, as they say, crestfallen.

Not since Huey Lewis ruined a perfectly good Squeeze concert in San Francisco while supporting their "Some Fantastic Place" album, have I been so disappointed.

#teamsmith
posted by Bill Watches Movies Podcast at 9:38 AM on April 10 [2 favorites]


The little bits of harmony are sweet and nice. I wish I could hear the bass better.

I've never actually heard the original song before. This duet, it's like they're covering the cover.

The Gary Jules cover is funny to me in that it feels like it is really baiting, being SO maudlin, that by the time it gets to the change I'm almost hate-listening, I'm like, "People like this shit?? This had better be fucking good, song, you've got five seconds," but then it hits the descending piano line over the reverby wohwha sound, and that lands, and I'm like, "Okay you win, well done, I'm in."
posted by fleacircus at 10:37 AM on April 10 [2 favorites]


The show Psych makes a lot of 1980s pop cultural allusions, and the writers must be huge Tears for Fears fans, because the band was alluded to a lot on the show. Curt Smith eventually guest starred as himself on 3 different episodes, but Roland Orzabal never did. So that’s another data point for Curt being the happy-go-lucky one & Roland being the sourpuss.
posted by jonp72 at 10:46 AM on April 10 [3 favorites]


oh my...that is lovely
posted by supermedusa at 12:12 PM on April 10 [1 favorite]


I saw this a few days ago, and it's been haunting me since. The acoustic version is more emotional, to me.
posted by annsunny at 12:43 PM on April 10


I really enjoyed this cover when I first saw it three COVID-quarantine hours/months ago.
posted by The Tensor at 12:55 PM on April 10 [1 favorite]


This is very nice (the album's called The Hurting btw).
posted by thatwhichfalls at 1:14 PM on April 10 [1 favorite]


I wish I could hear the bass better.

Yeah that's not what those acoustic bass guitars do, really
posted by thelonius at 2:52 PM on April 10


One of the things about that version of "Everybody Wants To Rule the World"—it's REALLY hard to sing well while seated like that, and he just nails it so casually.

Thanks for sharing this, so good.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 5:32 PM on April 10


Ten years ago Andy McKee did a fantastic acoustic guitar cover of Everybody Wants to Rule the World. Recently YouTube recommended another version to me and I thought, "That's cute kid, but the definitive cover version of this song has kinda been done." But I listened anyway, and damn, Kent Nishimura's cover really slaps, swings hard, and just effortlessly nails all the little details of the song.
posted by straight at 6:03 PM on April 10 [2 favorites]


That Kent Nishimura cover is jaw dropping. Thanks straight. I'm going to drop a link to his Lean on Me cover in the Bill Wither's fpp.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:07 AM on April 11 [1 favorite]


When I was young, we'd debate the lyrics to "Shout". I had a classmate in my US gradeschool who insisted it was "these are the things I can't do without". I insisted that British accents didn't use the same 'a' in "can" as "can't" but my classmates said I was talking nonsense and nobody pronounced "can't" like "Kant" and I was a big loser and a stinky head.

20 years later I moved to London and we now have things like genius.com to answer these questions for us. But I watched it again and damn Curt looks like Olly Thorne in that video!

I knew Everybody Wants To Rule The World only as the song from the end of Real Genius, which I loved as a nerdy teen.

I never even heard this song until Donnie Darko, but I looked it up at the time and online forum posts said the original sounded more like Depeche Mode. I never followed my curiosity on that until now, because I expected it would always sound like a cover of the maudlin GJJ rendition. That's kind of right, but I think the original has an anxiety to it that the cover drowns in depressive regret.

So, thanks for this FPP, and for finally pushing me to dig up the original song!
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 1:05 PM on April 11 [3 favorites]


I never knew that I needed to hear Everybody Wants to Rule the World on a hammered dulcimer but there it is.

I'm hammered and I'm listening to "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" on a dulcimer. There it is.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:36 PM on April 11


True love is when your daughter says, "Dad, can we do a video together of that song you wrote? Except do it like that other guy whose version was way more popular than yours?" and you dive in and do it 100%.

On the other hand, that way she adds harmony to fragments of sentences is totally the way her dad used to sing harmony in Tears for Fears. So, a lot father-daughter love going on in that video

I know Trent Reznor likes to say that Johnny Cash's version of "Hurt" is the definitive one now, but has he ever actually went out and sang it like Cash? Has any other singer/songwriter ever done that?
posted by straight at 9:34 AM on April 14


(I guess Orzabal actually wrote it, but Curt sang it.)
posted by straight at 9:57 AM on April 14


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