Sunday, February 28, 2021
Saturday, February 27, 2021
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
Thursday, February 25, 2021
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
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
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
Sunday, February 21, 2021
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
Friday, February 19, 2021
"Summertime" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince may just be the ultimate anthem celebrating all things summer.
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
"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
Phil Collins has done in all in the video arena.
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
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
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
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
Thursday, February 11, 2021
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
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.
"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
Sunday, February 7, 2021
Saturday, February 6, 2021
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
"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
"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
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
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...