The first time I heard “Mad World” by Gary Jules I was watching Donnie Darko with some friends, friends I cannot recall either their faces or their names. I’m sure I still know them, I might even like them, but now for the life of me all I can remember is that stupid song and its stupid sadness. I might have been 15. When I got a little older, I was informed that that song is actually a cover song, and that the original was done by a band called Tears for Fears. That’s an appropriate name for such a dismal song, I thought, and listened to it once at a Barnes and Noble, back when that was the thing to do. Remember their CD section? It had all those headphones you could preview songs with? Now it’s just QR code or google or Youtube or whatever, and bip bop boop you’ve got it on your phone, probably for free or something.
Anyway, when I heard the original song I almost yanked those headphones right off my head and demanded a refund for my ears. It was so wrong, all wrong, not the right way to do the song at all.