JEFF SHATTUCK MUSIC

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• Is this one of the greatest combinations of song and cinema ever?

The other day I joined

Taxi

, a service that helps songwriters and bands get their music heard by the right people. That night, I got home and already Taxi was sending me emails about opportunities. One caught my eye. It asked for a haunting song for a film placement and at first I was excited but after reading a little further my excitement faded. No love songs implored the email. But still, I was curious, so I clicked on the link in the email to the kind of song being sought. I was expecting a treacly bit of piano puss, but instead I was taken to a commercial for a video game called Gears of War. I love video games so I clicked play. I was transported. Whoever did the art direction for Gears of War is a Talent, but equally inspired was the choice to combine Gears of War footage with a song called Mad World. It was a hit back in 1982 for Tears for Fears but I missed it because I hated bands like Tears for Fears (no guitars, no glory). The song was a hit again in 2001, when it was covered by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules and used in Donnie Darko but I missed that, too. No reason, really, just missed it. I missed it again when it was used to launch Gears of War in 2006. But the other night I did not miss it. I sat transfixed in front of my laptop, the song transcending the small, cheap tin box speakers playing it and the video doing the same for the ugly YouTube container that could not contain it. Again and again I hit Play. The next day I downloaded the song from Apple. Then I read about it on

Wikipedia

. Then I looked up the lyrics. Then I learned it on the guitar. Imagine that: the chords were Em, G, D, A for the verses and Em, A, for the choruses. So simple yet so much more. I went on a mad search for more videos, found the official one for the release of the Andrews/Jules version, checked out Tears for Fears’ version, then found the clip I’ve posted above. Maybe I’m mentally ill, it can’t be healthy to like something like this, but I do. So, is it one of the greatest combinations of song and cinema ever? For me, right now, yes.

Unreal (pun intended).