A lot of people think the Tears for Fears version of “Mad World” is too boppy, but I would like to explain how I think the mood of it works.
There was a sound at that time, which was possibly created by Fun Boy Three, for “The Lunatics have taken over the Asylum”. and I think Tears for Fears used a similar sound for “Mad World”.
The sound evoked images of Asylums, Madness, Padded cells, Old Matrons with veils and a poor person who was crying out via his song.
It dripped with “Insanity”, and I visualised a sort of David Bowie “Ashes to Ashes” kind of thing.
I think those of us who were there in the early 80s understood what the sound meant.
All I get from the Gary Jules version is a bloke moping to himself in his room somewhere.