Name and shame: Worst music video ever?
Earlier this week news.com.au took a look at dastardly filmclip deeds. We decided to jump on the bandwagon and asked Robert Burton-Bradley to get us started. Because, after all, it is Friday. Friday. And you’ve gotta get down on Friday.
(Hate Rebecca Black? You’ll love this.)
Long before Ms Black burst on to YouTube with her auto-tuned delusions of pop success people were creating music videos they’d probably wish were forgotten forever.
The most surprising thing about this hapless girl facetiously bleating “Today it is Friday, Friday” is that people think it’s the worst film clip ever made. I beg to differ. Thousands of other shockers are now just a click away.
The advent of the music video as an essential part of any song began largely in response to the start of music television with MTV in 1981.
This new awareness of the power of the visual medium swept the music industry leading to increasingly elaborate videos - think Michael Jackson’s Thriller or Madonna’s Express Yourself. But in some cases the quality of the video was limited to the quality of the artists’ artistic vision at the time.
Unfortunately the early 80s was a bad time for visuals - the combination of bloated production involving anything from heavy guitars to synthesisers and some particularly awful fashion made the whole decade a treasure trove of bad video clips. Then came the 90s with its own collection of musical horrors and these days, of course, it seems anyone can get a camera and upload almost anything resembling a music video to the web.
To celebrate three decades of video hits and misses, we’ve compiled some of our favourite “so bad they’re good (or perhaps just bad)” clips. We challenge you to find worse and tell us below. Here’s just a few to get the ball rolling:
Kate Bush Sat in Your Lap 1981 - From the “she’s gone mad album” The Dreaming:
There’s “out there” and then there’s this. Kate Bush is undoubtedly a talented and intriguing artist, yet that does not excuse this video. How she got funding to shoot herself dancing with minotaurs and what look like members of the Ku Klux Clan (they are supposed to be dunces) is just another one of the many mysteries surrounding this woman.
Despite her bizarre interpretative dancing and the fact most of the cast are on roller skates this somehow managed to peak at no. 11 on the UK Singles Chart.
Michael Sembello Gravity 1985 – All it takes is a big budget and one bad idea:
When someone asks you to make a concept video to a Ron Howard movie about aliens who posses the secret of eternal youth and starring Steve Guttenburg, you know your career is on the skids.
Perhaps Michael Sembello didn’t care and was just happy to hitch his wagon to what must have been quite a ride, or maybe he thought he could repeat the bizarre success of his other big hit, Maniac. You know - the one from the movie Flashdance where Jennifer Beal dances out of, yep, control.
Stevie Nicks I Can’t Wait 1985 - It probably seemed like a good idea at the time:
In the 70s Stevie Nicks, the most popular member of super band Fleetwood Mac, reigned supreme as the queen of semi-mystical rock - adored by legions of young women who dug her vaguely medieval outfits and wicked witchery.
Then came the 80s and her now infamous battle with drug addiction. The result is the lost years of Stevie’s career - the mid 80s. In a decade famous for its flatulent excesses this clip shows just how badly things can go wrong. The hair, the boots and the out-of-time back up dancers. The stairway to nowhere and the fans, curtains and spotlights paint the rest of the picture. What doesn’t this clip have apart from production values?
As Rick James told Dave Chappelle: “Cocaine’s a hell of a drug”:
Jan Terri Losing You 1993 - Limo driver dreams of the big time
A graduate of Columbia – Columbia College Chicago that is, Jan Terri released two albums in the early ‘90s with accompanying music videos filmed on VHS - giving them a low-rent karaoke quality.
Desperate to make it as a singer Terri worked by day as a limo driver and handed out video tapes of her songs to clients. Sadly no amount of VHS and hard work could disguise the fact that Terri had neither the looks nor the talent to pursue a career in music. Eventually Marilyn Manson got hold of one of these tapes and ended up taking pity on Terri, reportedly asking her to sing at one of his birthday parties.
If you enjoyed this you may also enjoy her epic fantasy masterpiece, Get Down Goblin:
Falco Rock Me Amadeus, 1986 - Cracking the English language market with Mozart:
1980s America - meet Falco. Falco was an Austrian pop star, wildly successful in Europe with a string of German language Euro trash hits. However, Falco was desperate to crack the US charts. Realising a grasp of English was needed for this, Falco hit on the idea of creating a song in English and German based entirely around the 1984 Mozart biographical film Amadeus.
Logic dictates this was bound for failure, but it was the 80s and so this went to number 1 in the US and the UK along with several other countries.
Some interesting trivia: This song was the basis for The Simpsons’ song Dr Zaius from the episode featuring Planet of the Apes the Musical.
Kim Wilde Kids in America 1981 - when female mullets were sexy:
Before she was a presenter on a UK garden show, Kim Wilde sang for her dinner, scoring several chart hits around the globe. With her non-threatening 80s looks and nasal wail of a voice she was never going to make it to the 90s.
It took a cropped, bleached blonde from the UK to sum up the feelings of America’s disaffected youth. Getting frightened by torch-wielding guys behind aluminium blinds in this clip remains her best-known moment in the flood lights.
Bored with bad clips yet? I doubt it. Share your worst and best/worst clips. Go on - you know you want to.
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…