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  ****

Friday, July 22, 2016

Summer Songs: Huey Lewis and the News - Stuck with You

Huey Lewis and the News scored a wonderful summertime video off their classic hit single "Stuck with You." This 1986 track hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 on the Adult Contemporary Charts, #2 on the Album Rock Tracks, and #12 on the UK Singles Charts. The single marks its 30th anniversary this year, so I felt it would be perfect to end our month of summer music videos with it.

The video begins with Huey Lewis at an island party getting harassed by everyone due to his new found celebrity status. Eventually, he meets up with a beautiful woman (played by Keely Shaye Smith) and asks her to take ride on his yacht. The song begins with the couple on a small row boat. The couple then fall into the water and swim to a seemingly deserted island. The rest of the video follows their adventure.

The video is a cute one by Huey Lewis and the News. Huey Lewis does a great job using charm and humor to elevate the video. And while Huey is having fun on the island, the News are having fun in the sea. The scenery is well shot and takes advantage of the beauty found in the Bahamas. The humor in the video is cheesy, but in a cute way. Using a lost island as the background to the song is also very clever.

Sure the opening could have been trimmed a bit and they could have used a treasure map on the island to enhance the video and add some adventure; but overall this is just another solid effort by the band.

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summer Songs: The Motels - Suddenly Last Summer

Our next summer video review this month comes from The Motels with their song "Suddenly Last Summer." This 1983 single hit #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, #18 on the Adult Contemporary Charts, and #1 on the Top Tracks Chart.

The video is based around a woman daydreaming about a love she had or a love she wish she had. A few symbolic summer touches are nice (like the ice cream truck, the beach) but the video is boring and somewhat unappealing. There is one scene where people are watching the woman sleep and it just comes across as creepy. Not the greatest summer video out there.

* 1/2 Stars out of ****