Sunday, February 28, 2021

38/100 Video - "Enjoy The Silence" - Depeche Mode (1990)

"Enjoy The Silence" by Depeche Mode inspires us with a synth masterpiece from the Violator album.

Dave Gahan's poignant lyrics accompany amazing scenery as he walks the Scottish Highland and the Algarve Coast of Portugal, presumably in search of silence. 

He also appears dressed for a snack at the local Burger King, presumably a rarity in rural Scotland and Portugal.  

Words are indeed very unnecessary. 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

39/100 Video - "World" – New Order (1993)

Following a banger of a first single like Regret was always going to be a tough nut to crack. Yet the second single "World (The Price of Love)" delivered, with a mega-synth dance vibe. 

The black-and-white video, shot along the French Riviera, is a cinematic masterpiece. The perspective changes as the camera follows four resort guests walking from the beach, through a dining area and ultimately into the hotel of a call girl.

What truly makes this video remarkable is its flow. It feels like a single edit, with only 4 cuts when the perspective is briefly changed

And in a 'Where's Waldo' sort of way, it's also fun to locate each of the four band members blended into the clip in different spots. See if you can spot all four!

Friday, February 26, 2021

40/100 video - "Go" - The Chemical Brothers (2015)

I love videos directed by Michael Gondry.

"Go" by The Chemical Brothers is the first of two of his innovative videos to appear on my list.

Filmed in Paris, the concept behind the video was beautifully simple.

Michel focused on the music for his visual interpretation.

The power of the bass line reminded him of a moving train.

The crossing of the single long iron bar by the six girls symbolizes a steam engine's side rods.

For a more detailed look behind the scenes of the making of "Go", check out this clip:

Thursday, February 25, 2021

41/100 Video - "Right Here, Right Now" - Fatboy Slim (1999)


The video for "Right Here, Right Now" by Fatboy Slim, both provocative and educational, has been shown in some biology classrooms.

Although scientifically inaccurate, this fast-paced animated video is an entertaining and somewhat educational way to learn about the big picture of human evolution in less than four minutes.

The end of the clip shows a man walking through a city while eating a hamburger (taken from a cardboard cutout of Fatboy Slim himself). 

Then he pulls off the beard and morphs into the obese character depicted on the cover of the album.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

42/100 Video - "Der Kommissar" - Falco (1982)

A few years before "Rock Me Amadeus" topped the charts, Falco scored a hit with "Der Kommissar". 

I think the first time I heard this Falco classic was at a junior high dance. 

Not sure if it was the original version of "Der Kommissar" or the American knock-off by After The Fire, but I've always preferred Falco's.

Now about the video.  

Somehow this low budget video is one of the best and worst at the same time. 

But the cheese oozes with authority. 

As nighttime clips from some sort of German version of Cops play in the background, our hero sings verses with a rap-like vocal and wears dark shades with confidence. 

The video is all about Falco superimposed on a screen. He spends almost four minutes running, dancing, looking behind him at a video showing menacing police cars "chasing" him. 

All while rapping a tale in German a story about running from the law.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

43/100 Video - "Love is a Battlefield" – Pat Benatar (1983)


Pat Benatar has such a powerful stage presence in the video for "Love is a Battlefield".

The cinematic video that acts like a mini-movie evokes full-on girl power and a rebuttal of sorts against men using women as their possessions.

The 90s have often been cited as the decade of the emergence of female artists.

But much of the groundwork had been laid in the 80s, thanks in part to the proliferation of music videos.

Monday, February 22, 2021

44/100 Video - "Frozen" - Madonna (1998)

From the opening frames showing a black-haired Madonna cladded in black levitating above a bleak desert landscape, I knew the video the "Frozen" would be a good one.
The song, a mid-tempo electronica ballad, is hypnotic. 
The dark imagery showcases Madonna as a Gothic, shape-sifting witch mourning a broken heart and a lost love. 

The visuals are astounding, especially as Madonna transforms into a raven then later as a dog. 

"Frozen" won an MTV Video Music Award in 1998 for Best Special Effects.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

45/100 Video - "Lullaby" - The Cure (1989)

If you have arachnophobia or a fear of sleep, then the video for 
"Lullaby" by The Cure may not be for you.

The song is apparently based on a recurring nightmare Robert had as a child when he was eaten by a giant spider.

The swirling classical instruments and hypnotic beats jive well with the visuals.

And the vocals are Robert Smith at his creepiest, and are likely to cause a few nightmares and over-the-shoulder glances. 

The video was inspired by David Lynch's 1977 debut horror movie Eraserhead.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

46/100 Video - "Dayvan Cowboy" - Boards of Canada (2005)

My morning breakfast consists of one slice of toast and a banana. I put on headphones and sip a cup of dark roast. On some days I start the day with this track.

For a slow tempo song, "Dayvan Cowboy" sure is lush, ideal for day dreaming. 

If you enjoy ambient psychedelic electronica, this may be your jam. 

The video is all space, sky, sea and surf. 

The track opens with a majestic intro, before leading into the incredible second half in which the melody soars, accompanied by measured, reverby acoustic strums and spine-tingling cymbal crashes. 

I've found this tune is super soothing while flying, so calming, as the textured guitars, drums and synths simulate what it may sound like while drifting in space.    

Friday, February 19, 2021

47/100 Video - "Summertime" - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (1991)


"Summertime" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince may just be the ultimate anthem celebrating all things summer.

The tune has an amazing flow...

The relaxing vibe of the tune and the chill video forever remind us of carefree days with your crew and kids down the street. 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

48/100 Video -"Income Tax" - P'tit Belliveau (2020)


The 'feel-good' psychedelia of both song and video for "Income Tax" by P'tit Belliveau are throwbacks to the late 70s.  

The glowing strobes, jewels and bills in the catchy chorus highlight dreams of extreme shopping upon receiving a sizeable income tax return.

And the 70s style sub-title text help non-Acadian viewers decipher the Franglais lyrics.

The track is more proof of the legendary creativity of musicians from Clare, a small buy mighty rural municipality in SW Nova Scotia with a population of 8000 residents, mainly French Acadians. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

49/100 Video - "Raspberry Beret" – Prince (1985)

"Raspberry Beret" by Prince is easily of Prince's best singles. 

It's also one of his most creative videos. 

Wearing a blue suit with white fluffy clouds reminiscent of the intro from The Simpsons, Prince's outfits flashes and glows throughout this catchy slice of psychedelia. 

It's a goofy video with a gaggle of backup dancers clapping and grooving along with Prince and the Revolution

Prince seemed to always be surrounded by women, and this video is no exception. 

Some of them played in his band which was rare for the 80s. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

50/100 Video - "Land of Confusion" - Genesis (1986)


Phil Collins has done in all in the video arena.

Along with Philip Bailey, he made the first documentary style video about the making of a video.

And here with Genesis, he helped create one of the most elaborate and expensive videos ever made, during the heyday of the video era.

"Land of Confusion" by Genesis is also one of the most creative music videos ever made. 

The popular video was made using puppets created by the British TV series called The Spitting Image. The show would often make fun of Genesis, and by hiring their tormentors, the band proved that they could take a joke.

The video was directed by Jim Yukich, an American, who would watch The Spitting Image on his trips to England and loved the show. 

He got the idea to use the puppets in this video when he saw a Phil Collins parody on the show that made fun of his angst-ridden solo work.

Released during the President Reagan years, the video is an important part of the Cold War cultural time capsule. 

At the end of the video, the Ronald Reagan puppet accidentally launches a nuclear missile.

The video was very expensive to make; each puppet of which there are many, cost about $10,000.

Monday, February 15, 2021

51/100 Video - "Steve McQueen" - M83 (2011)


Much of M83's music is inspired by 80s synth-pop and John Hughes' films. 

From the initial "doop, doop, doop, doops", I knew "Steve McQueen" was going to be a spiritual song. 

The song's instant euphoria is equally matched by a super imaginative video, starring a 'Young Sheldon' boy with special powers.


The chorus "there's a magic inside, just waiting to burst out" while the toy animals fly by in unison is super nostalgic, and perfectly recalls the magic of childhood. 

The lyrics are an homage to Steve McQueen's carefree attitude in his years leading up to his battle with terminal cancer. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

52/100 Video - "Imitation of Life" - REM (2001)

The making of this video is truly imaginative, taking only 20 seconds to shoot.

What you're watching is a loop that goes forwards for 20 seconds, backwards for 20 seconds, forwards for 20 seconds, backwards for 20 seconds, with one static camera.

The technique is called 'pan and scan', often used when they go from a widescreen format and reformat to fit your television or DVD, moving in on certain parts of the entire picture.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

53/100 Video - "Shock the Monkey" – Peter Gabriel (1982)


Peter Gabriel has always been a chameleon.

And he seemed to be almost too creative for his former Genesis band mates.

Unpopular opinion: this is PG's best video.

Released in 1982 during the early days of MTV, the video for "Shock the Monkey" was far ahead of its contemporaries.

The lyrics explore the theme of jealousy in humans, explaining the primal symbolism throughout the clip.

And those moving robotic lamps looked pretty cool back in the day.

Friday, February 12, 2021

54/100 Video - "Papercut"- Linkin Park (2000)

The rap rock song "Papercut" by Linkin Park starts off innocently enough. The boys from Linkin Park enter a lobby before starting to play their instruments.

However...soon after the music begins and the two vocalists start dancing, the mood changes to ominous. 

An adjacent room shows dark imagery; a metaphor for the lyrics about paranoia.

As the video progresses, the sinister room reveals a sack crawling with ants. Moments later, a chrysalis generates hundreds of dragonflies.

Then evil faces start coming through the lobby walls and the room starts shape-shifting around the band. 

In the latter half of the clip, the lights dim down while dozens of dragonflies enter the lobby and menacingly hover around the band members.

Some may not enjoy this sort of video but I adore it for its unique brand of creepy cool.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

55/100 Video - "Missing" - Everything But The Girl (1995)

A haunting and timeless track, "Missing" by Everything But The Girl is house music exploring a sad theme.

Tracey Thorn's emotive vocal  combined with a pensive video perfectly captures the essence of loneliness and bittersweet memories. Sadness and acceptance.

And the bridge hits you like a train. 

In the video, Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt sit in separate London apartments as Tracey sings about missing her boyfriend while walking through London neighborhoods.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

56/100 Video - "Celebrate" - Empire of the Sun (2014)

Countdown interlude of sorts. 

Besides receiving my Nova Scotia Power bill, it's been a wonderful birthday!

Appreciate all the well wishes from those close, near and far. 

Shout-out to Joelle for a scrumptious pub-style dinner, along with the traditional wine from-around-the-world gift. This one's a white blend from Bulgaria, with notes of orange blossoms and pineapple, and hints of nutmeg, grey poupon, and blah-blah-blah on the finish.  

As for the song, it's an upbeat track from one of my fave groups of the current millennium that helps immortalize the glorious sights and sounds of the 80s.

There's no doubt that 80s influenced the cosmic vibes emanating from the uplifting "Celebrate" by Australia's Empire of the Sun. New wave with a new age panache.

Filmed in South Korea in 2014, lead singer Luke Steele sports a spiffy gold suit and parades around the streets of Seoul taking in the nightlife while the locals are largely oblivious.

I love the inclusion of the Korean subtitles and the karaoke scenes.

57/100 Video - "Walk This Way" - Run DMC feat. Aerosmith (1986)

"Walk This Way" by Run DMC featuring Aerosmith is one of music's most iconic videos.

After initially clashing, the rap and rock artists merge into one as the song progresses.

This bridge is shown in the video as the two groups tear down a physical barrier that separates them, while during the latter half the rappers and rockers play together on the same stage.

The track was one of the earlier rap rock crossovers that influenced the explosion of the genre during mid-90s around tens years later, with groups like Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit fusing the two styles with great commercial success. 

Monday, February 8, 2021

58/100 Video - "Dancing With Myself" - Billy Idol (1983)

I always looked forward to watching a Billy Idol video. 

Frankly, I could line up five or six Billy Idol videos in a top 100 countdown. But we'll settle for two to show more diversity.  

The lyrics were inspired after Bill visited a disco club in Tokyo, struck by the sight of the young Japanese crowd dancing with their own reflections in walled mirrors, rather than with one another.

The video for "Dancing With Myself" is one of his best, set in the future during what appears to be a zombie apocalypse.

Or is it?

By the end of the clip, all these supposed 'zombies' wanted to do was find a dance floor closer to their idol, Billy, and the tunes.

Apocalyptic super fans would be the more accurate description.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

59/100 Video - "Kelly Watch The Stars" - Air (1998)

One of the most creative videos I've ever stumbled on, the clip naturally stars a Kelly playing ping-pong with a blonde girl called Smith. 

But there is a twist: the ping-pong players are controlled by the Air band playing Pong, an early Atari video game

Suddenly Kelly is hit in the head by the ball. Knocked-out by ping-pong. Kelly then watches the proverbial stars and drifts away, later to be revived by two medics (the band members as well).

Similar to "Around The World" by Daft Punk, the lyrics for "Kelly Watch The Stars" are simply the song's title repeated a few dozen times to a backdrop of a catchy bass line and dreamy synths.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

60/100 Video - "Touched By the Hand of God" – New Order (1988)


A spoof of the heavy metal hair band videos of the 80s, those familiar with New Order's low-key image will find this clip ironic and funny as hell. 

It is interesting to see the band members totally feeling the part, even Bernard. One of my favourite scenes is when he tosses the guitar into the audience.  

Rabble-rouser Peter Hook, the rock icon of the band, unsurprisingly fits the rock-and-roll role the easiest with his bass thrusting.

The video wraps up with a somewhat predictable explosion as manager Rob Gretton enters stage left to assess the scene. 

Friday, February 5, 2021

61/100 Video - "Livin' on a Prayer" - Bon Jovi (1986)


"Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi is of course a quintessential 80s rock anthem. 

On this track, Jon Bon Jovi's storytelling shines during the verses while the chorus shows off his charisma. 

The video starts off in black-and-white for the first half of the clip, showing the band in rehearsal participating in shenanigans, then around two-thirds in, suddenly transforms to full colour as the band takes the concert stage with a live audience. 

A song forever associated to great memories with the high school gang. 

Thursday, February 4, 2021

62/100 video - "Sweet Lullaby" – Deep Forest (1994)


"Sweet Lullaby" by Deep Forest is a moving track. 

I remember being blown away this touching piece of ambient world music got played on commercial radio in Vancouver.

Originally sung by a woman from The Solomon Islands, this song has a unifying spirit. It could be the universal anthem of the earth. 

The warmth of the harmonies around the two-minute mark is spine-tingling.  

The image of the little girl on the tricycle with her mini umbrella visiting places near and far is breath-taking.

It wasn't a surprise that the music video, directed by Tarsem Singh, was nominated for several awards at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

63/100 Video - "Radio Ga Ga" – Queen (1984)


The video for "Radio Ga Ga " by Queen uses black-and-white footage from the 1927 science-fiction film Metropolis, as well as clips from old concerts. 

But how cool is that flying car?

The song was a social commentary on how television was overtaking radio's popularity, as well as the advent of the music video and MTV, which was then competing with radio as an important medium for promoting records.

Fun fact: Without this song Lady Gaga would probably be still known as Stefani Germanotta.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

64/100 Video - "I Missed Again" - Phil Collins (1981)

Today's clip is a shout-out to THE ultimate budget video.

In the video for "I Missed Again", Phil Collins not only lip syncs (natch), he also plays the air version of ALL the instruments. Horns. Guitars. Drums. ALL of them.

I've attempted to estimate the actual costs for producing this minimal video.

Based on 1981 costs...

  • one can of white paint for wall, so $10.
  • one camera guy for 30 minutes @ $20/hr, so $10. 
  • clothing provided in-kind, care of Phil’s closet.

Total estimated budget of a $20 US bill.

A few years later, in an ironic twist, Phil would be involved on producing one of the most expensive videos of the era. Stay tuned for that one...

Monday, February 1, 2021

65/100 Video - "Mad World" – Tears For Fears (1983)

"Mad World" is typical of a Tears For Fears tune, with a striking contrast between the upbeat music and the darker, more serious lyrics.

The message of "Mad World" by Tears For Fears seems so relevant in 2020 and 2021.

In the video Curt is seen staring out a window while Roland busts a series of unstoppable new wave dance moves, perhaps early rave technique, sometimes mistaken for a nervous air traffic controller.

The short birthday party scene includes the duo's real friends and family, including Curt's mother and his then-wife Lynne.

Start the clip around the two minute mark if you would rather skip some of Curt Smith's depressive ramblings.

Back in April 2020, Curt Smith and his daughter performed this moving acoustic version.