Collected here as clickbait, obvs.
Since I saw my first music videos on the old America’s Top Ten with Casey Kasem TV show (since I NEVER had MTV until I went to college), I was obsessed with music videos. To me are kind of the pinnacle of short-form storytelling. The soundtrack is catchy (usually) the narrative can be interpreted loosely (usually) and they take only 3-5 minutes (usually).
Music videos used to make or break artists … and while I love good ones, I love bad ones even more. Here’s some of my cheesiest faves that for some reason, didn’t propel their artists to longer careers …
- Animotion – Obsession – “Who do you want me to be to make you sleep with me?” is really the only question I asked myself in the 80s. Look for the amazing emotion shift on the lead singer’s face at 2:47.
2. Boy’s Don’t Cry – I Wanna Be A Cowboy – Sure the lead singer was hot and in a bathtub … but the reveal that his name is Ted and the realization that camping gets his hair so dirty, makes this an underappreciated work of one-hit genius.
3. Right Said Fred -I’m Too Sexy – Two Teutonic-looking bodybuilders singing about their sexiness on the catwalk …pure 90s fondue of campiness.
4. Aqua – Barbie Girl – WHY WAS KEN BALD? That is all.
5. Ebn Ozn – AEIOU Sometimes Y – The grown up version of Schoolhouse Rock. Instead of multiplication or verbs, we learn about sexual politics.
6. Total Coelo – I Eat Cannibals – I don’t understand the name, the song and title feels grammatically incorrect, and the trashbag fashion is wack. I love it unreservedly.
7. Murray Head – One Night In Bangkok – Lyrically, this song makes me so happy with the wordplay and double entendres.
I don’t see you guys rating
The kind of mate I’m contemplating
I’d let you watch, I would invite you
But the queens we use would not excite you
Visually, I can’t get enough of the chessboard theme.
8. Soft Cell – Tainted Love – The song was the epitome of 80’s synth cheese for me – yet I barely remember the video. I don’t think they played this on TV as much as they did on the radio.
9. John Parr – St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion) – Massive amounts of 80s hair! Rob Lowe smoking! Meaningful glances through rainy windowpanes! Singer actually interacting with the film’s cast in the music video to promote the film!
10. The KLF (featuring Tammy Wynette) – Justified and Ancient – Ok, I know both artists had lots of other hits – but this video – with its cast of dozens and Tammy in a crown … well, both Gods of Egypt and X-Men: Apocalypse wish they had been this joyously good. Fishing in the river of life, indeed.