A Gen-X-er celebrating his love for music through songs, videos and lists. Peach on a beach's debut single "Beeping and Bleeping" and second single "Pizza Corner" available on streaming and YouTube. Third single/video "Before Call Display", debut album and new website coming spring 2023!
One of the original darkwave bands from the 80s, Dutch artist Clan of Xymox released "She" in 2020, a throwback to their goth roots.
The synths are strong and hypnotic, and they work in synch with the lush guitars to create an ominous yet appealing melody.
At first glance, this video appears gloomy. A girl dancing alone, post-apocalyptic, in what appears to be an old warehouse on the sketchy side of town.
I find this clip unintentionally captures the zeitgeist of 2020. Like the girl in the video, we learned to dance with the darkness. Connected while apart. Dare I even suggest, we embraced it. And the good news in the end. She woke up from her dream with her tunes, and health, still intact.
This video also reminds me of the sheer fun we had in exploring abandoned buildings as kids. While underage and too young to sneak into the clubs of downtown Halifax, we broke into an abandoned convent instead. On the top floor we found some sort a sitting circle and what appeared to be a recent séance. Cool and creepy stuff.
For a sample of the band's earlier works, check out "A Day" from 1985.
I would have sat directly in front of the living room TV and watched Switchback, a new variety program for kids and teens featuring celebrity interviews, cartoons, comedy and puppets. I was 12.
Hosted by Stan the Man on CBC, he would also introduce two or three music videos during the hour-long show.
"My Girl" by Chilliwack, a veteran group from Vancouver, British Columbia, played on the TV.
And it was awesome!
This music video may not be among the most creative of its time, but it was my first, thus automatically claiming a spot in the top 100 purely for nostalgia.
There is one particular iconic scene that is forever etched in my mind. It's when the three band members snap their fingers over a burning garbage barrel, while the lead singer chants: "Gone, gone, gone, she been gone so long, She been gone, gone, gone so long."
Well, the girl in the video was indeed gone. Gone far away from the vocalist who was longing for her. Gone via limousine. Then gone by a charter airplane, likely headed towards the brighter lights of Toronto.
As for the song itself, the vocal harmonies are outstanding. "My Girl" peaked at #3 in Canada.
What was the first music video you remember watching?
I was inspired to inventory my favourite 100 music videos for two main reasons:
1) the epic nostalgia experienced while currently binging on The Goldbergs (Thanks to Patrick Carr for the heads-up), and 2) Lee Turner's and Richard Cross' top 10 music videos shared on Facebook this past fall.
Growing up in the suburbs of Nova Scotia, I was a hopeless music video junkie. Starting
in junior high during the early 80s, we watched Switchback with Stan the Man
and that cool ASN program on Saturday nights, Atlantic Canada's Choice. On high school weekdays before supper we
turned on CBC's Video Hits with
Samantha Taylor, and on weekends, Good
Rockin' Tonight hosted by Terry David Mulligan and eventually Stu Jeffries.
For the night owl, the U.S.-based Friday
Night Videos kept us entertained.
The best part was also the worst: having to wait
then hope your favourite song made the cut. Yet all those countless hours binging on video shows as a teen has prepared me for this moment. Now I am ready for a deep dive into the vast reservoir of memorable videos, many forever etched in my psyche.
This exercise will not only feature the usual suspects that you can easily find on a Rolling Stone webpage; I plan to sprinkle in a few cult faves, forgotten classics and hidden gems, too!
The selection process will be happening over the next couple of weeks, as I watch, mull and organize over 200+ videos into a top 100 format.
The assembly is a consolidation of many methods:
Online and magazine lists
You Tube rabbit holes
Previous lists including my own charts from the 80s
My CD + MP3 collections
Researching new bands
Once satisfied with my rankings, I will aim to post one daily, starting with #100. Each post will feature a YouTube link, along with some commentary explaining why it deserves to make the cut.
Although the 80s may have been the halcyon days of music videos, let's not forget about the passion and the polish from some of those shot during the 90s and 00s. Even a few more recent videos will also make the cut.
Over the last few weeks I've been slowly pulling together a list from over 250 tracks for this winter's countdown.
The theme will be my favourite 100 electronic tracks of all time. An equally fun yet even more daunting process than coming up with 100 fave 80s tunes from 2 years ago. My ears and headphones are sure having a blast with this exercise.
It's always a shame that some awesome, dope tunes will miss the cut! As with my previous 'top 100' tune exercises, I struggle with deciding the last two or three songs. Inevitably, I start an endless cycle of switch and replace, to only switch back to my original pick!
But at some point, this madness will need to stop. Hopefully sometime around mid-December I will pull the plug and start the countdown.