Saturday, March 24, 2018

March Madness: Lindsey Buckingham - Slow Dancing

The 1985 MTV Video Music Awards were a good one for Lindsey Buckingham as he had two spotlight videos with "Go Insane" and "Slow Dancing." We have already reviewed "Go Insane" and have placed it in our Music Video Hall of Fame. So how does "Slow Dancing" measure up? We will review that today.

The music video was nominated at the 1985 MTV Video Music Awards for Most Experimental Video, Best Editing, and Best Special Effects. The song, on the other hand, was not a big hit on the Billboards as it only hit #106 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984.

This music video features Lindsey looking very debonair in a haunted house. One of the ghostly  appiritions also seems to have the hots for him! The video is well shot, the atmosphere is spooky, and the effects are pretty cool - even if the premise is pretty silly. Though not as ambitious as "Go Insane," the music video is still a solid one.

*** Stars out of ****

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

March Madness: Kiss - All Hell's Breakin' Loose

Another 1984 MTV Music Award nominee was Kiss with their music video for "All Hell's Breakin' Loose."  This video was nominated for "Best Cinematography" while the single itself failed to make an impact on the Billboard charts in 1984.

The video features the band wandering around a burnt-out city filled with thugs, bikers, dangerous women, and a variety of interesting individuals. The cinematography is well done, but the plot is nowhere to be seen. We have the band scour the city to end up playing their song in front of a couple of women sword fighting. What begins as an Escape From New York wannabe, ends up going nowhere. Though the video isn't bad per se, it just feels like so much potential is left untapped.

** Stars out of ****

Thursday, March 8, 2018

March Madness: Queen - Radio Ga Ga

Queen scored an MTV Music Video Award nomination with their video for "Radio Ga Ga." The video was nominated for Best Art Direction in 1984. The single charted at #16 on Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the UK Singles chart that same year.

The music video of "Radio Ga Ga" incorporates scenes from Metropolis to make a very interesting production. This experimental product features the band flying through Fritz Lang's expressionist city, a working class family wearing gas masks as they sit around their coveted radio, the band saluting for the masses as authoritarian heroes, and some funky visual sets. For a nearly six minute video, the production holds your attention. The special effects are okay and most of the video relies on Metropolis to succeed. With that said, I really applaud the ambition the band had behind this video. It is fun to watch and the authoritarian "Radio Ga Ga" clap is a highlight.

*** Stars out of ****

March Madness: Talking Heads - Burning Down the House

March Madness is back! Notable videos? Cool effects? MTV Music Video Award nominees and winners? All here! We kick off our first music video review with the Talking Heads' "Burning Down the House." This single was their biggest U.S. hit - peaking at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #6 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks in 1983. The music video was nominated for Best Special Effects at the 1984 MTV Music Video Awards. 

Looking at the music video, I could see why some people might like it. The video is very experimental and a bit trippy. Though I appluad the risks that are taken, the special effects in this video are not that good and don't live up to the acclaim they have received. The music video is not that exciting and we don't see any house being burned down. 

An average video, hyped because of an MTV nomination.

** Stars out of ****

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Dangerous Love: Motley Crue - You're All I Need

Let's forget all the sappy love songs for a second and listen to a more twisted love song! Motley Crue released "You're All I Need" in 1987. The single peaked at #83 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #23 on the UK Singles Chart. The song was written by Nikki Sixx in response to his girlfriend cheating on him with actor Jack Wagner who interestingly enough had a hit song titled "All I Need."

The music video was pretty controversial when it first aired. MTV banned the full video and only showed an edited version. The music video features a man killing his girlfriend (because if he can't have her, then no one will) and then being confronted by the police. The song plays well with the video and it is pretty ballsy for the time. The video might be pretty tame for today's audience, but it still packs a decent punch. Though I would have preferred more interaction with the couple or a greater backstory, the music video still succeeds in establishing a man's harrowing and isolated feeling as he tries to understand what he has done.

Motley Crue belongs with a handful of 80's artists who consistently produced quality music videos. This is one of their better ones.

*** 1/2 Stars out of ****

February Love Songs: The Cure - Lovesong

The Cure scored one of the 80's most memorable love songs with the properly titled "Lovesong." This 1989 single hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, #2 on the Modern Rock Tracks, #27 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks, and #18 on the UK Singles Chart.

The music video features the band preforming their song in a cave. The video is boring, uneventful, and does not take advantage of a great song. Nothing to see here.

* Star out of ****

Sunday, February 11, 2018

February Love Songs: Chicago - I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love

Chicago knows how to land the romantic hits! The band scored a solid hit in 1988 with the single "I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love." The ballad hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #5 on the Adult Contemporary Charts.

The music video to "I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love" is both creative and very dated. It begins with a couple fighting during dinner. The floor eventually shatters and the girl takes a trip to Chicago's underground hideout. Her husband follows her on the underground trip on a floating beam of sorts. They eventually dance and fall back in love as Chicago plays around them.

Where to begin with this one? The plot is absolutely silly, yet the vision behind the video is a creative one. The couple finding love in Chicago's underground lair adds an escapist flair that kind of works. However, the special effects during the underground sequence and at the underground hideout are extremely dated. I have seen screensavers on 90's computers that looked better! Yet, how much do we knock the band for these terrible effects? I'm sure these effects didn't come cheap for 1988. On the positive front, the ghosting effects of the band during the dinner sequences still comes across well and the floor shattering looks cool. The dancers in the underground sequence are a nice touch as well.

Overall, we have a video that will never stand the test of time - yet deserves credit for its ambition. The special effects are both its greatest flaw and its greatest attempt for something more.

** 1/2 Stars out of ****