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Tears For Fears - Mad World (1982)

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  • 80's Score 80's score: 1.4
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"Mad World" is a 1982 song by the British band Tears for Fears. Written by Roland Orzabal and sung by bassist Curt Smith, it ...

"Mad World" is a 1982 song by the British band Tears for Fears. Written by Roland Orzabal and sung by bassist Curt Smith, it was the band's third single release and first chart hit, reaching number three on the UK Singles Chart in November 1982. Both "Mad World" and its B-side, "Ideas as Opiates", appeared on the band's debut LP The Hurting (1983). This single was also the band's first international success, reaching the Top 40 in several countries in 1982–83.

"Mad World" has since been covered by various artists, including a 2001 version recorded by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules for the soundtrack of the film Donnie Darko; a 2003 single release of the song reached number one in the UK for three consecutive weeks and won Orzabal his second Ivor Novello Award. Demi Lovato also did a cover for her 2021 album Dancing with the Devil... the Art of Starting Over.

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.

Music video

The promotional video for "Mad World" was filmed in late summer 1982, in the grounds of Knebworth House. It was Tears for Fears' first music video, and features a gloomy looking Curt Smith staring out of a window while Roland Orzabal dances outside on a lakeside jetty. A brief party scene in the video features friends and family of the band, including Smith's mother as well as his then-wife Lynne.

 

According to Curt Smith, "When we made the video in a country estate on the cheap, we bussed all our friends and family up from Bath and had a fun day. The woman who's having the birthday party in the video is my mum."

 

The music video was directed by Clive Richardson who was notable for his work at that time with Depeche Mode.

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