If you’re feeling down, listening to sad music may provide comfort; just be careful that it doesn’t lead to more melancholy feelings than necessary.
Reasons for engaging with sad music varied among samples; however, in general participants reported feeling pleasure and comfort while reminiscing when listening to sad music.
Nothing Compares 2 U (Sinead O’Connor)
Sinead O’Connor’s breathtaking rendition of Prince’s timeless classic “Nothing Compares 2 U” makes this documentary truly stand out; it makes it the definitive version. Directed by John Maybury (known for The Jacket and The Edge Of Love films), nearly all closeups feature O’Connor in black trudging through Paris streets while wail-yodels of her trademark wail-yodel are visible; she remains subdued during reflective lines while unleashing her full strength during moments of absolute conviction.
Nothing Compares is an insightful, sympathetic documentary recasting the singer’s tabloid-headline life; but it does not try to be an exhaustive Behind the Music-style film; therefore it omits her marriages, religious conversions and mental illness struggles, as well as her decision to break ties with her label and release an anti-Catholic protest album that cost her her career.
The movie ends on an upbeat note with a montage of female activists from pop music such as Lady Gaga and Billie Eilish to Angel Haze and Megan Thee Stallion–but this doesn’t quite do justice to O’Connor herself as an artist. Still, it serves as a strong reminder of her incredible artistry.
Bring Back My Love (Johnny Cash)
At Columbia Records during his mid-80s tenure, Cash dabbled more with pop and rock than on previous Sun and American albums; but this collaboration with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for Unchained proves how the Man from Dyess Colony could still bring his signature country sounds into more refined productions.
The track narrates the tale of a dying convict who collapses along railroad tracks, asking that his final message to his wife be delivered as quickly as possible. Petty’s nasal drawl perfectly captures Cash’s weariness that comes from serving a prison term and the lyrics capture that feeling.
The accompanying video showcases images culled from the House of Cash museum and other related ephemera from his career, along with footage of Cash staring somberly into the camera. Director Mark Romanek skillfully orchestrates this material into an arresting whole that captures something central to Cash’s persona as an American tragic figure.
Bring Back My Love (Bob Dylan)
Dylan is one of the world’s best-loved poets and has long been an iconic figure in popular culture. Even non-fans appreciate his ability to write poetic lyrics – whether that means comparing lovers to flowers or discussing the trials and tribulations of relationships, his lyrics will keep guests on edge and keep your event moving along smoothly.
Included on his 1997 album Time Out of Mind, Bring Back My Love by Chris Rea is an emotive rendition that will leave your guests with fond memories of old-time romance. Make it part of your first dance or cocktail hour setlist today to leave them remembering an unforgettable evening!
Dylan is known for his intricate poetry, which relies heavily on metaphors to convey deeper meanings. When interviewed by CBS 60 Minutes’ Ed Bradley in 2004, Dylan responded to the question, “Do your songs have any specific impact or do the lyrics change with each different situation?” by responding with, “It’s a combination of both”. Clearly Dylan writes his songs to be understood on multiple levels long after his passing away.
Bring Back My Love (James Taylor)
Taylor composed this emotive, honeyed love ballad for one of his early girlfriends who passed away from cancer. Although not quite as romantically themed as many of his other hits, this song remains one of his finest achievements and one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful love songs ever released to music history.
Reminding us how short life can be and the importance of making every moment count with those we care for, this message resonates deeply and heartily with everyone who hears it.
Taylor made strides toward his recovery in 1972 after the release of Sweet Baby James but was still suffering from addiction issues. He appeared in Monte Hellman’s Two-Lane Blacktop film and performed at a benefit concert alongside Joni Mitchell, Phil Ochs, Chilliwack (which would later become Amchitka: The 1970 Concert That Launched Greenpeace). Additionally he released his next album Hourglass that received positive reviews but wasn’t as commercially successful than its predecessor Sweet Baby James.
Bring Back My Love (Dec Wyatt)
Wyatt emerged from her challenging rebirth – where she shared details about her criminal past and publicly came out as gay – exploring a fuller country sound on her 2020 album Neon Cross produced by Shooter Jennings (who also handled tracks on the Felony Blues record) by singing about traditional country and her pledge to “keep it old,” regardless of any difficulties that might come her way.
Acoustic guitars, strings, pedal steel guitarist and more provide an impressive sonic backdrop in this song, but its message is what really draws listeners in. At a concert to raise funds for victims of gun violence, Wyatt recounted her own experiences with addiction and unchecked police power (“Sixteen months in detention/By god it’s been long”) before lamenting how hard it may be to break bad habits.
Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci’s original rendition of this song may seem like an indirect love letter to Soft Machine members and their eventual replacements; Wyatt’s rendition is equally moving in its own right; her plaintive vocals offer both intimacy and distance at once; they sound both intimately honest yet unabashedly confident.