Sunday, 30 March 2014

Great music videos

I am an MTV kid of the 80s. I used to go and spend summers with my dad in Boston and while he worked, I would watch MTV for hours and hours. We didn't have it at home, there was no such thing as cable or satellite when I was a teenager let me tell you and certainly not in Essex. So I used to soak up the videos like a sponge. Some songs I swear I like because of the videos. I believe the golden age of video is behind us or maybe I think that because I am nostalgic for the 80s. There probably are some wonderful music videos being made now but they are so overly sexualised. I don't want to see tits and ass. I want creativity, innocence, humour and images that fit a song to perfection.

I've been musing on this for a while now and as such, here are some videos I think just work. They complement a song and make it sound better. They are videos that you instantly think of when you hear the song on the radio.

Michael Jackson understood the power of the video and it's hard to imagine a better video that the one for Billie Jean. The steps lighting up! It's all unmistakably 80s but it works beautifully. I much prefer it to the video for Thriller.


While I am on Jacko, Beat It. Also fantastic and so iconic with that red jacket. In fact, this video is all about the red jacket. I used to jump for joy when this came on MTV.

Lionel Richie, All Night Long. This is the perfect video. It evokes warm summer night and a party atmosphere. I love how colourful it is. I can't watch this without dancing. Also, cute kids!

A large house at night, a gothic atmosphere, a full moon, a wind machine, doors being opened dramatically, long white dresses, curtains billowing, mysterious ninja dancers, men in pants cartwheeling. It can only mean one thing. Bonnie is in the house. It's all just fantastic.

Duran Duran were a huge video band. Bands often became over ambitious as they became uber successful. Wild Boys is a ridiculous video. However, Rio is perfect. It doesn't take itself seriously. It's glam and aspirational. We all wanted to be on that yacht with a blue telephone.

Club Tropicana has a similar feel. I prefer this to Rio (much as I love Rio) because a) George Michael can actually sing b) it's a better song and c) It has Shirley and Pepsi in it! Also, I still want that lilo. Listening to this transports me to Spanish holidays of my youth.

George Michael made some great videos. I also love Careless Whisper (of course) for its utter cheesiness, Fast Love, and of course, Freedom. Supermodels! Every time I watch this I am captivated by Naomi Campbell's drop dead beauty.

Madonna. This entire post could be devoted to Madonna videos. She understands the power of video like no other. The Like A Virgin video makes an average song sound good and that's a real talent. I can't think of a single Madonna video I don't like. Obviously the pinnacle of her career is Vogue. If I had to pick my favourite video of all time, then this would be it. The dancing still looks as fresh as a daisy and the entire concept is genius.

I also love Hung Up, especially when she struts into that club. The woman knows how to dance.

Madonna's natural successor is of course, Lady Gaga. Poker Face is a beautifully looking video. That opening shot of her coming out of the pool is so cool.

Bad Romance as well. I could watch this over and over. The visuals in this are stunning. She was so good and now, meh. Whatever.

And finally, Beyonce, Crazy in Love. Utter perfection.

I shall be returning to this theme as I think of more great videos I love.

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