While my musical space was elsewhere during the 1980’s, I remained aware of bands of the time, with their big hair, big shoulders and baggy pants. Despite being a dedicated prog rock / classical guitar aficionado, much of that charting music resonated and instilled itself into the soundtrack to my life. The Police, Ultravox, INXS (loved their music, disliked watching them), Tears for Fears, Kate Bush, Madness. Music from those and others regularly pop into my head for a pleasant memory drive.
Some weeks ago while mooching around YouTube, I stumbled upon an acoustic rendition of ‘Mad World’, performed by father and daughter Curt and Diva Smith. Written by fellow Tears for Fears associate Roland Orzabal, Smith’s vocals can be heard on the original recording from their 1982 album The Hurting. The song’s lyrics appear every bit as poignant in today’s global situation.
I delved deeper, discovering a variety of covers from acoustic guitar renditions, to Gary Jules’s sultry version – which was evidently a huge hit in 2001 (completely missed that one). Jules’s is a simple piano and vocal performance with understated strings, more wedded to the sombre lyrics than the juxtaposed pop treatment of the original.
So I thought I’d throw my own version into the mix. One chilly morning earlier this week I sat in our dining room and pressed record.