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(Un)Covered: By Your Side

“By Your Side”
Writers: Sade Adu, Andrew Hale, Stuart Matthewman, Paul Spencer Denman
Original Release Date: October 13, 2000

Grab a tissue and then take a listen to these two versions of a tear-jerking love song.

I’m not sure who Sade is—though Wikipedia informs me that “Sade” is the name of both a band and the lead singer of that same band—but she has an incredibly soothing voice. “By Your Side” is a beautiful, intimate love song, offering reassurance and support with words like, “if you want to cry, I am here to dry your eyes”. The simple instruments in the background provide a great base for her stirring vocals, and it all comes together in a song that could probably make you cry if you were feeling even a little sad before pressing play.

If I hadn’t known going in that this was a cover song, I’d have been convinced The 1975 was sneakily releasing new (original) music. They add their usual synths and a saxophone to give the song their patented flair, and it has the same haunting touch as a lot of their interludes. Despite the auto-tune, Matty Healy’s voice is still as poignant as ever, and surprisingly more coherent. Plus, the proceeds from their cover went to the War Child charity, which was a double win: we got new The 1975, AND had the opportunity to help others at the same time!

As much as I love The 1975, Sade’s original is more evocative in its simplicity— no wonder it’s on VH1’s list of 100 Greatest Love Songs.

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