This isn’t your dad’s folk tune. Well, I mean, technically it is. Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” is an instantly recognizable classic, thanks in part to its inclusion in the 1967 film, The Graduate. It has since been used to great effect in dozens of films and television shows, including, perhaps most famously, the cult hit Arrested Development, where it became a recurring theme, used to telegraph the inner thoughts of the Bluth family.
But when metal band Disturbed showed up on Conan, they did something very few expected. Instead of one of their visceral, often-profanity-laden, angst-ridden scorchers, such as “Down with the Sickness,” lead singer David Draiman stood up in front of his band and a group of classical musicians to deliver a stunning rendition of the 1964 folk song, penned by Paul Simon.
Not only is it a very different style from the band’s past hits, this live performance also shows off Draiman’s remarkable singing voice, creating a new intensity in a song that is already plenty stark, moody, and haunting. This performance works, not only because it’s so unexpected but also because it’s so darn good. It could have been a novelty or a quirky flash-in-the-pan, but no, this cover is sure to go down in the annals of great covers that rise to the level of equal-or-better to the original.