When you hear the song “Mad World,” you probably immediately think of Gary Jules’ brooding version from 2001’s Donnie Darko. You probably definitely don’t think of a clown.
However, you’re about to start. “Mad World” was actually originally recorded by Tears for Fears and released as a single from their first album back in 1982. With lots of energy and heavy use of synthesizers, that version itself feels very new-wave ’80s. Postmodern Jukebox, the genius cover band that’s reinvented everything from The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” to “Gangsta’s Paradise”, decided to give their own eccentric take on the song, covering it in the style of a 1920s vaudeville band.
Their version involves heavy use of a piano and two singers: former American Idol contestant Haley Reinhart and Puddles the Clown. Considering the lyrical content of the song, it’s strangely fitting to see a clown belting out the lyrics. Check out the video below.
Postmodern Jukebox is an ongoing musical experiment fronted by pianist and arranger Scott Bradlee. The project takes pop music back in time, re-imagining contemporary pop songs in a variety of musical styles and arrangements that were popular between the 1920s-1960s.
The group frequently partners with Michael Geier, aka Puddles the Clown, on the covers. Puddles, according to Postmodern Jukebox’s Youtube page, is “a 7-foot-tall sad clown with a voice like Tom Jones.” Puddles has appeared with PMJ for their renditions of Sia’s “Chandelier” and Lorde’s “Royals“.
Postmodern Jukebox is currently on tour in the U.S., and most of their songs can be found on iTunes.
(Image via Youtube)