Thursday, September 15, 2016

Back to School "The Kids Rule Edition" : New Edition - Cool It Now

The young group New Edition scored a nice hit with "Cool It Now" in 1984. The single hit #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B Charts.


This a cute music video which features the members of New Edition in their teenage years. The video begins with the guys playing basketball, until Ralph Tresvant begins his singing and reminisces about the girl of his dreams. The spotlight is on him during the video and the other members are doing their best to stay engaged. The Boston streets mixed with the high school courts add a nice flavor to the video. The summer flashback scenes help add a layer to a rather generic video. However, there is an inescapable charm and innocence to this video that really comes through. And bad boy Bobby Brown, looks like an angel here!

** 1/2 Stars out of ****

Back to School "The Kids Rule Edition" : Bryan Adams - Kids Wanna Rock

School's back! This month we will look at some kid/teenage oriented music videos. We kick off the fun with "Kids Wanna Rock." This Bryan Adams song hit #42 on the U.S. Rock Charts in 1984.


The music video is an energetic concert performance, but not much in terms interest. And where are all the kids?

** Stars out of ****

Monday, August 22, 2016

End of Summer Mix: George Michael - Careless Whisper

I want to end this End of Summer Mix with a true epic song. One that everyone on earth loves. George Michael's "Careless Whisper" is a timeless classic that between 1984-1985 hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 on the Adult Contemporary Charts, and #1 on the UK Singles Charts.


The music video takes place in Miami and features George Michael cheating with his girlfriend and facing the heartbreaking consequence. The story aspect of the video is well done. We are introduced to his girlfriend and the temptation that follows. The reveal of the affair plays like a bad soap opera, but it is effective for this video. The aftermath is also handled very well. The music video is well shot and has some epic shots. Though it doesn't break any ground, the music video compliments the song very well.

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

End of Summer Mix: Rick James - Give It to Me Baby

Let's dance and groove with Rick James with his 1981 single "Give It to Me Baby." The song is about a man who is too intoxicated and doesn't have the libido to mess around. The song hit #40 on the Billboard Charts, but smashed both the R&B and Dance Charts - hitting #1 on both.

The music video features Rick James trying so hard to get laid, but his girlfriend is just not giving in. The video is silly and humorous, even if it is slightly creepy at times. There is a scene where he is trying to pick up another girl in front of his girlfriend. Her reaction is hilarious.

Corny, silly, obnoxious, and humorous - this video is worth a quick look.

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

End of Summer Mix: INXS - Never Tear Us Apart

INXS hits us with an epic single that should have hit #1 in 1988. The ballad "Never Tear Us Apart" hit #7 on the Billboard Hot 100, #5 on the Mainstream Rock chart, and #24 on the UK Singles Chart.

The music video is basically a stroll through Prague with Michael Hutchence and the band. The video does a great job showing the city and its people, but fails in capturing the narrative of the song. What could have been an epic video (perhaps between two lovers in the city) becomes a tourism promo.

* 1/2 Stars out of  ****

End of Summer Mix: Tina Turner - What's Love Got To Do With It

Tina Turner hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984 with her hit single "What's Love Got To Do With It." The single also hit #8 on the Adult Contemporary Charts, #2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and #3 on the UK Singles Charts. The song received three awards at the 1985 Grammy
Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The music video also won  "Best Female Video" at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1985.

So how does the music video stack up? Is it deserving of a music video award? The short answer is no. The music video features Tina strutting around New York City, teasing the guys and giving couples advice on love. It's a rather basic video that doesn't really offer much in terms of originality. Though seeing Samuel L. Jackson with hair dressed in a leopard shirt was kind of amusing.

Overall, serviceable but not award winning.

** Stars out of ****

End of Summer Mix: Debbie Gibson - Foolish Beat

I have been gone for a month and vacation time has kept me away from my monthly Retro Music Video Reviews. So, I promise to end the month with a mix of videos to entertain you all as well as my honest reviews.

Debbie Gibson begins our end of summer countdown with "Foolish Beat." This lovely ballad hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, #8 on the Adult Contemporary Charts, and  #9 on the UK Charts. The single made Gibson the youngest person to write, produce, and sing a number-one single entirely on her own.

This music video wallows in self-reflection and it succeeds because of it. It features Debbie Gibson struggling to make sense of her decision to get rid of her boyfriend. Though the video takes sometime hitting its stride, it really ends on a high note. The scenes between her and her boyfriend are very effective and that ending scene where the boyfriend throws away the flowers to win her back - wow, pretty powerful stuff.

Sure the video may seem silly to some of us, but remember it was made for teenagers. And it works in selling the song and artist.

*** Stars out of  ****