Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer Songs: Zebra - Wait Until The Summer's Gone

80's metal band Zebra released a summer song in 1984. This one was titled "Wait Until The Summer's Gone." The song did not chart, but it did have a music video.

A music video about summer, but literally does nothing to promote it. You would think a beach, beautiful girls, volleyball, the sun - all those could be the ingredients of a nice summer video. Instead we get a metal band playing on a chessboard with a girl painted as a zebra masquerading around. What a disappointment.

* Star out of ****

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Summer Songs: Jason Donovan - Sealed with a Kiss

Jason Donovan scored a huge hit in Europe with the summer themed single "Sealed with a Kiss." The song is a remake of the 1962 Bryan Hyland classic. His version hit #1 on the UK Single Charts in 1989, but was not released in the United States.

The music video features Jason sitting on a beach by a fire singing about his girl. He is surrounded by surfboards, a cool summer bar, and a silly ocean backdrop. The setting has a 1960's summer vibe to it (which is a nice throwback to the original), but for 2 1/2 minutes there isn't much going on. He sits in front of the fire with a sad look on his face. The video is somewhat depressing, but very bare in terms of ambition. I guess the song and the video somewhat match, but a few flashbacks of romance and a real ocean backdrop would help.

** Stars out of ****

Summer Songs: Belinda Carlisle - Summer Rain

Here comes our second song featuring "summer rain." The single "Summer Rain" was released with the album in 1989, but charted in 1990. The single hit #30 on the Billboard Hot 100, #29 on the Adult Contemporary Charts, and #23 on the UK Singles Charts.


The music video feature's Belinda reminiscing about a soldier she loved that never made it home. The cinematography here is pretty good, the shots of the pair in the "summer rain" also works well, the patriotic symbolism and the military respect also gets a nice thumbs up here. Though the music video features a few repetitive shots, the dancing in the house looks silly, and the couple's romance feels like it could be highlighted more - the narrative for the most part works and aligns well with the song.

Overall, a decent summer video.

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

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Summer Songs: Don Johnson - Heartbeat

By the mid 1980's, Miami Vice actor Don Johnson was hitting his stride. With a successfully television show that brought him tremendous popularity, the actor released a very memorable single in August 1986. "Heartbeat" became actor Don Johnson's biggest hit as it climbed to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #26 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks.

(Please click link above to see video in solid quality)

What happens when you are a documentary filmmaker checking out the crimes of an unnamed Central American country in the summer heat? You become Don Johnson and spring into action! The music video for "Heartbeat" is an intriguing one. It features Johnson as a documentary filmmaker jumping from explosions, saving kids, and checking out beautiful women on the scene! The opening shot of the Empire State building is cool and so is Don Johnson just looking at the camera, but as cool as they maybe the video is missing some intensity. Don Johnson spends half the video playing on some boring stage and the rest of the video chasing something. But exactly what is he chasing in Central America? We are shown visuals of the bad guys, but we don't know why they are bad. If this video was given a plot and was treated like Glenn Frey's "Smuggler's Blues," we could have had an epic piece.

Overall, a pretty good effort - but needs more substance to gain acclaim.

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

Summer Songs: The Alarm - Rain in the Summertime

Another Summer of 80's hits is upon us with many more videos to review! We kick off this July with The Alarm's 1987 single "Rain in the Summertime." The song hit #16 on the UK Singles Charts, #6 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks, and #71 on the Billboard Hot 100.

This summer video is an okay one. It features the band playing in front of an abandoned stone home surrounded by an arid environment. The setting is pretty simple, but we do at least get rain! In fact, the band gets drenched by the end of the video. Overall, an average promotional effort.

** Stars out of ****

Monday, June 26, 2017

Summer Soundtrack "Dirty Dancing" : Merry Clayton - Yes

The final single off the Dirty Dancing soundtrack is the forgotten 1988 single "Yes." Merry Clayton's pop single hit #45 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The music video is a stage performance surrounded by dancing couples as scenes from the film are interplayed throughout. Though the video moves well with the up-tempo song, it is really a standard production at the end of the day. Nothing disastrous, but nothing to remember.

** Stars out of ****

Summer Soundtrack "Dirty Dancing" : Patrick Swayze - She's Like the Wind

The final major hit off the Dirty Dancing soundtrack was Patrick Swayze's romantic ballad "She's Like the Wind." This 1987 gem hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary Charts.

The music video is a black & white production which highlights scenes from the film in a wavy dreamlike approach. Though the video isn't bad, the wavy approach does get annoying as you have to put up with it for nearly four minutes. Other than that, you get some decent shots from the movie.

** Stars out of ****