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 ****

Sunday, February 4, 2018

February Love Songs: LL Cool J - I Need Love

LL Cool J kicks off our month of love with his single "I Need Love." This 1987 hip hop hit landed at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 on the Hot Black Singles charts, and #8 on the UK Singles Chart. We review the music video today.

Watching the music video for "I Need Love" will make one smirk quite a few times. The video is silly, but that is part of its charm. LL Cool J struggles with all the fame and admiration as he tries to commit himself to his one true love. The narrative between the two lovers work, even if their chemistry leaves more to be desired. We get the heartbreak, the reconciliation, and the commitment all in a good four minutes. LL Cool J plays it - um, cool - throughout the video with his bucket hat and swagger. His girlfriend in the video plays the average girl quite well as she struggles with dating a rapper. I really enjoyed the quick scene between her and an angry father who doesn't seem to be a big fan of rappers.

Overall, LL Cool J delivers a worthy video for his song.

*** Stars out of ****

Sunday, January 28, 2018

New Year's Reflections: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - You Got Lucky

Our final music video review comes from arguably the most notable musician we lost in 2017, Tom Petty. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' single "You Got Lucky" hit #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks in 1982. The video to "You Got Lucky" was an early MTV staple.

The music video features Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in a Mad Max like apocalyptic setting. The land is dry, the sky is purple, somewhat futuristic cars, and everyone is dressed like a renegade (see what I did there!). The crew discover a tent like building with all these great retro items which they observe and interact with. Eventually, they leave the tent and head into the great wide open barren wasteland.

Though there isn't much in terms of action, I did enjoy this early 80's concept video. The references to sci-fi movies and TV shows were cool (Mad Max, Battlestar Galactica, and Logan's Run), while seeing the boys interact with forgotten items of the "past" created that sense of wonder.

Overall, a pretty cool early 80's sci-fi trip.

*** Stars out of  ****

Friday, January 19, 2018

New Year's Reflections: Gregg Allman - I'm No Angel

In continuing with our theme of 80's artists we lost in 2017, we highlight today Gregg Allman. Allman scored an 80's hit with his popular song "I'm No Angel." The song hit #49 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks in 1987.

The music video for this hit song is an okay one. It features Gregg Allman and his band playing at saloon full of cowgirls. These ladies drink, gamble, and fight. They also look very beautiful doing it. Eventually the ladies take Gregg to be hung in a fun little sequence. Though the video is very cheesy and doesn't offer that much in terms of originality, it at least got more entertaining as it progressed. Give it a look, but don't expect to be impressed.

** Stars out of ****

Sunday, January 14, 2018

New Year's Reflections: Al Jarreau - We're In This Love Together

Al Jarreau was another artist who passed away in 2017. He scored his most memorable hit  in 1981 with the song "We're In This Love Together." The single peaked at #15on the Billboard Hot 100, #6 on the R&B Charts, and #6 on the Adult Contemporary Charts.

This wonderful song is given a poor music video treatment. A song about timeless love deserves an enduring music video. Unfortunately, all we get is Al and his band playing this wonderful song in an old rundown building. Even something simple - like Al thinking about a girl or someone holding hands would have been a step up. Another beautiful song wasted with a forgettable music video.

* Star out four ****