Ten Great Music Videos
The Music Video - essential PR tool for any serious chancer of a band. However in this MTV era of information and visual overload the music video has become a shadow of its former self. However once in a while a few gems reveal themselves. What follows are 10 examples of some of the finer music videos, as nominated by various visitors to the CLUAS website. Read on and spot the videos you know, the ones you don't know and - most importantly - the ones whose presence in this list you disagree with. Rants and raves can be posted to the CLUAS discussion board!
Yes 'Owner of a lonely heart'
|Taken from the band's 1995 offering, The Bends, it's fair to say that this video did as much as the music in bringing Radiohead's new blends to the masses. As the band watch the street below a man walking by decides to lie on the path - for reasons unbeknown to anyone else. Despite pleas by passers-by for him to rise - all of this dialogue between the people in the video is subtitled - the man stays where he is. After consistent pressure the man agrees to tell the crowd that has by now assembled around him, why it is that he's lying on the pavement. At this point the subtitles end while the man explains his reason, and as he finishes the picture blackens. A few seconds later it returns with the whole crowd lying on the pavement alongside him. When questioned about what the man says, Thom Yorke said it possibly has something to do with a number, but that the exact words would never be known to the general public. Shame, really - I was about to brush the dust off my walking shoes... (submitted by Gav Reilly)
|This video is so entertaining. You have your Everyman hero, battling against the impersonal forces of Conformity, The Corporate State, Modern Existence, etc. He is shown being alienated from his fellow man, gets kidnapped and taken to a Hades-like basement, is attacked by goons, beats up a big troglodyte, and flees. At the end, he is inexplicably menaced by the band members themselves (who are THEY supposed to symbolize, evil musicians?) They freak him out so much he leaps off the roof of a skyscraper, and he turns into a bird and flies away (or else he plummets to his death as the camera pans away to a bird - I've never been sure which). The band members all seem to turn into animals too. This video, for me, recalls the era when video budgets were starting to get bigger and videos were becoming mini-movies, but at this point (1984) things hadn't yet gotten nearly as absurd as "November Rain." (Submitted by Chris Houlihan)
Nik Kershaw 'Wouldn't it be good'
|Hang on, hang on..... Just remember that this was done when most of us were still playing "Pong" and dreaming of computers with up to 32K of memory. Suddenly, here was a guy in a suit that is actually showed bits of the video on it. Amazing! I know the hair was a bit dodgy, but still the technology....the dream of the future.... the guy was coolness in a shiny suit, let's face it. (Submitted by Ray Heffernan)
|An obvious choice for any top-ten, this amazingly simple music video was once nominated for an MTV Europe award. Costing about a fiver to make, it was shot in black and white on a Post Office security camera of all things. It eventually became something of a cult hit after being shown on the Beat Box (anyone remember that?) and it just goes to show that big-budget professionally produced videos ain't everything. (Submitted by Richie Murray)
Aphex Twin 'Come to Daddy'
|It is hard to pick a favourite Bjork clip, but Bachelorette gets it by a whisker for me (just ahead of 'all is full of love' if your interested...). One of Michel Gondrys amazing series of Bjork filmclips, this one is just stunning. Beautiful look, superb pace, and a uniquely cyclical story that is just perfect for the song. The ending is a bit strange, but so is everything else that I've seen from Gondry... (Submitted by Troy Merritt)
|Quite possibly the most horrible and vilest thing to be viewed this side of most Prodigy videos. Filmed in a derelict South London council estate it combines the stark horror of a dozen cloned Richard James's children running in unison to a nasty brittle soundtrack. It also has a mutant alien type creature thing screaming at a pensioner... Deemed too upsetting, this classic song seldom makes it on either the daytime radio or music video playlist but you can almost guarantee that it sometimes makes it onto MTV's watershed videos late at night. Catch it. (submitted by Darren)
Air 'All I need'
Sabrina 'Boys Boys Boys'
|Wonderfully blissful song and video. The video features an American skateboarding couple, and is interspersed with snippets of conversation of them talking about their relationship, how they met, etc. The rest of the video is footage of the couple doing stuff, skateboarding, hanging in the car, all set in a Californian summer, with beautiful sunsets setting the backdrop. The song and video go together amazingly well - Both are simple enough in theme, almost corny in their simplicity. What they both do well is their genuine feeling and perfect mood settings... The blissed out noodlings of Air and a perfect female voice perfectly suit the sunkissed blissed out footage in the video. (Submitted by Brian Scanlan)
|Time and time again we hear the moans of generation Xers: "History forgets us...", "We had no role models growing up.." blah blah blah. Well I was born in 1974 and there's a damn good reason I'm thankful for it: my confused, teenage ideas about life and love were forever changed by a pop star in a swimming pool, in, in ... ah I don't know, Spain? Greece? Florida? Did I care then? Do I care now? Don't want to, ahem, go into too much detail, but there's not a lot needed. The simple melodious lyrics said it all: "Boys, boys, boys / I wanna have a good time". What more did you need? Ah, kids today. Too serious by far. Maybe a Sabrina return on DVD would cheer them up. (Submitted by Ian Stalvies)
REM 'Talk about the Passion'
Deus 'Instant Street'
have always broken new ground when it comes to making pop videos and this is their
finest example of courageous, thought-provoking and truly emotional video material.
In stark black and white, harrowing yet humane images of poverty-stricken urban
forgottens play infectiously over the heart-wrenching music. A young boy in tattered
dress somersaults gracefully, while you know he hasn't had a carefree moment in
his young life. A homeless elderly man rests on a bench in a bay, where lurking
behind is a warship which fundamentally exists for the same reasons he has to lay
cold without hope. The truth is laid bare in a work of genuinely artistic achievement.
Moving, unforgettable, honest and pure - not words you associate with most bands.
(Submitted by Ollie O'Leary)
|'Instant Street' is a lush, country-tinged angular ballad, quite traditional in its way, while its video anachronistically takes place in Antwerp's Cafe d'Anvers, one of Belgium's premier all-nighter clubs. This contrast lends a plaintive, desperate air to the first few minutes, where the band members shoulder their way wearily through the crowds, looking old, dishevelled, ill at ease, not a little hippyish. They're looking for the exit, it seems, or maybe kindred spirits. Maybe they don't know themselves what they're looking for. Abruptly, they stumble bleary-eyed onto the street, and stagger to a halt against a wall of riot cops. The music drops to a drumbeat. The pigs slap their batons against their palms and stare. Tension and hostility grow... and then a gloriously scorching guitar solo kicks in, the colourful clubbers slap their ankles, arch their backs, twist sideways and dance off down the footpath. It's a sublime moment. The escalating riff takes us through two final minutes of absurdist posturing as the dozen-odd nightpeople dance their home through the astonished waking city, cops left far behind, speechless, powerless, invalidated. (submitted by Hugh Tynan)
Also make sure you check out the other ten lists:
ten great debut albums
ten great one-hit wonders
ten great hidden album tracks
ten great b-sides
ten great rock & pop instrumentals
ten great naff songs of the eighties
ten great cover versions
ten great album openers
ten great film soundtracks
ten great Irish singles that time forgot