Modern synthpop act Future Islands covered Tina Turner’s Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome track “We Don’t Need Another Hero.” They recorded the rendition during their Sirius XMU session on Wednesday, March 10.
Future Islands kept much of the ‘80s charm the 1985 original had, but cleaned up the maximalist anthem into something neat and low-key. Samuel T. Herring’s vocals are a natural fit for covering Tina Turner’s timbral quality even though his performance doesn’t reach for the power that Turner put into all her recordings from that time.
The synth playing recalls the original version pretty directly although it’s a relatively stripped-down recording otherwise. As typical of the band, Future Islands lets the bass-line take the lead.
The rest of the Sirius XMU session saw Future Islands playing stripped-down versions of songs off their latest album As Long As You Are, which came out in October 2020. Future Islands have proved themselves to be a fairly consistent group, as demonstrated by singles from the record like “For Sure,” “Thrill” and “Glada.”
On April 2, classic label 4AD is releasing a compilation that will include another Future Islands cover of a different 1985 recording, Colourbox’s “The Moon is Blue.” The compilation has a decently diverse lineup covering 4AD classics, featuring artists including Tkay Maidza, U.S. Girls, Aldous Harding, The Breeders, Jenny Hval and Big Thief.
Photo credit: Owen Ela