"Mad World" was written and originally performed by the popular 80's band Tears for Fears. A more mellow, piano-based cover of the song was featured in the cult movie "Donnie Darko" (Jake Gylenhaal, Patrick Swayze) as performed by folk artist Gary Jules. His version of "Mad World" reached the coveted Christmas #1 spot in the UK in 2003, despite that it was 3 years old and performed by an unknown artist.
This song is quite possibly my favorite song of all time, at least in my Top Ten, because I feel that it describes life very accurately. The chorus of the song is:
"I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had."
To me, this song is saying "Hang in there...I know life sucks on this earth, but you will go to a far better place after your death."
Depressing? No. This song helps me to carry on.
from Donnie Darko (Enjoy) available on CD - Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets (EMI International)
19 Jan 04 ·malpt: This is a rare occasion where I love the cover more than the original. A very awesome song.
The song "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John is one of my favorite songs of all time. Even though I have never been to California, it reminds me of California. When I hear that song, I think of walking down Hollywood Boulevard and staring down at the stars studding the marble floor. I think of sitting in a movie theater with James Dean and Marilyn Monroe and laughing at Charlie Chaplin reels. Elton is an extraordianary pianist and a wonderful singer, and I think that "Tiny Dancer" does him more justice than any other song that he has ever performed. This song just moves me in a very special way, and it will always be close to me.
from Madman Across the Water (Polygram Records) available on CD - Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (Universal)
This song was written for me. From the first seconds of "Someone Saved My Life Tonight", the striking sound of piano chords causes me to envision a tear-streaked face overcoming a lifetime of struggle.
My attention was first brought to this beautiful song when I saw the preview trailer for the movie "Moonlight Mile" (Jake Gylenhaal, Susan Sarandon, Dustin Hoffman). Don't bother to rent the movie, it's not that great, but if you're like me, you saw the movie simply because you felt the sweet sounds of "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" move you towards a movie theater or a Blockbuster. I didn't even know that Elton performed this song until I heard it on a CD of my mother's! I fell in love with it immediately - one of my favorite songs ever!
from Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (Polygram Records) available on CD - Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (Universal)
I've been a huge fan of the UK-based "wuss-rock" band Coldplay since their debut album "Parachutes." One night, as I was watching a much-anticipated episode of my favorite TV show, "Smallville" - an episode called "Rosetta" guest-starring Christopher Reeve - I heart the heart-rendering chords of lead singer Christ Martin's piano and thought aloud "Hey, that's Coldplay!" I hadn't yet heard that song, so I surfed onto a "Smallville" fansite to check the title and found that it was called "The Scientist" from Coldplay's most recent album "A Rush of Blood to the Head."
"The Scientist" is a song that will remind you of being in love - more likely, of being in love with someone who doesn't love you back or with someone whom you pissed off and doesn't want to be around you anymore. It's basically the most perfect song about unrequieted love. It is beautiful and haunting, as many of Coldplay's songs are. Give it a listen. You won't regret it.
from A Rush of Blood to the Head (Capitol 40504), available on CD
After the prologue of Baz Luhrmann's controversial, modern retelling of William Shakespeare's tragedy "Romeo and Juliet," the audience is blasted away by a hoard of harmonious voices chanting a loud, haunting song to the beat of an angry drum. This song, in which a narrator begins "Two households, both alike in dignity...", is called "O Verona," the song which Baz Luhrmann himself calls "an almighty orchestral chord." Its sister song, "O Verona (Reprise)" is uninterrupted by the narrator, and the listener is able to appreciate its musical quality in a fuller fashion.
Personally, I couldn't decide whether to recommend "O Verona" or "O Verona (Reprise)" to you. They are both extraordinary recordings on what is, I believe, one of the greatest musical scores to a motion picture ever produced.
from William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet Volume 2 (Capitol 55567), available on CD