THE ORIGINAL: Talk Talk (1984)
Talk Talk is one of those New Wave bands you barely remember until you hear the song and remember how often it was played on MTV back in the good old days.
This song is poppy/synthy/angsty/echoey perfection. From the opening notes and seagull-like squonks to the moody lyrics that make you wonder what exactly this dude is complaining about, to the bass line that makes you dance like a goon at the 1984 prom… it all hits you like a ton of bricks, and I love it!
I’ve listened to it 15 times right now, I never get tired of it. The video is a hallmark of the new and weird 80s visuals.
THE COVER: No Doubt (2003)
I remember when this was released, and reading about how much Gwen Stafani just loved Talk Talk, and was so excited to cover this song.
And then I heard it.
And then I wondered why they did this.
They almost copied it note for note. The minor changes? More guitar, louder bass, cleaner synths and her baby-doll/Betty Boop voice. Oh, and the most egregious thing? There are no seagull squonks.
WHO DOES IT BETTER?
Talk Talk wins this by a country mile. The No Doubt cover stinks on ice. It’s a total waste of time, no good changes, nothing that makes it their own, just ridiculous. And don’t get me started on the video, which is the whole reason they invented to “eye roll” emoji.
NOW YOU DECIDE!