#42 – Michael Andrews & Gary Jules – “Mad World” – (2001)

This is how to cover a song and make it your own. Originally done by Tears for Fears in 1982, it was transformed from New Wave/Synthpop into hauntingly beautiful by film score composer Michael Andrews and musician Gary Jules for the movie Donnie Darko. The only instruments are a piano and a cello. The vocals are haunting, really – there’s no other word for it. The sadness of the lyrics are evoked perfectly. It was a huge hit in some countries – a #1 in the U.K. and Portugal. It’s infinitely better than the original.