Here’s an amazing YouTube playlist courtesy of Steev from Errors, who picks out some absolute gems. Tobacco, Super Gum, can be played above, for the rest click the title links.
TOBACCO- SUPER GUM
This video is basically an edited version of a porn film from the 80s/90s which features a female ET being taught the art of love making by Victorian-era men/women. They’ve edited it for this music video in such a way that there isn’t anything too raunchy left in but enough to know what’s going on. There’s something really sinister about the whole thing- ETs total lack of interest throughout the whole thing, the warped VHS screen-lines, the terrible ET costume.
CREEPY MARBLES- SUNBLECCH’D
This is definitely one of the more disturbing videos I’ve witnessed. I like the idea that someone might have been walking through the park the day they were making this video and come across a semi-naked dribbling guy on a fountain whose having a credit card swiped up and down his arsecrack by a man with a cereal packet on his head. The effects they’ve used on the video seem to tie in pretty well with the effects used in the tune- there’s a brief section of datamoshing which coincides with the sample rate of the tune being reduced. These guys are worth checking out generally if you haven’t heard them.
STEFANIA ROTOLO- MARAMEO
Not technically a music video but so much effort has been put into this performance on Italian National Television in 1979 that I think it deserves to be appreciated. It’s pretty simple- a dance routine, costumes, camera zooming in and out and green screen. But look a little closer at the visuals on the green screen- they are pretty fucked up. The dance routine is mesmerising- the song is brilliant.
THE MIRACLES CLUB- CHURCH SONG
Again, this is pretty simple. It seems to be based on those dancing shows from the 80s like Soul Train, which I’m a big fan of- those are worth checking out on You Tube too. Just a room full of people dressed like it’s 1989 dancing to music that sounds like it’s from 1989. These guys are from Portland so I’m guessing the people in this video are their friends and they always dress like this. They are the sort of people who have access to a goat anyway (a goat makes an appearance on the dancefloor).
GENEVA JACUZZI- CLOTHES ON THE BED
Shot on VHS with apparently minimal budget and effort. This is one of those tunes/videos that if you didn’t know anything about the artist you could be tricked into thinking it’s from the past. There’s a good part when a childish high pitched voice comes in and it the video cuts to a little toy cat wobbling it’s head from side-to-side, it fits perfectly with the music. Again, pretty simple- but I like it and the music is great.
ENYA- ORINOCCO FLOW
I like the fact that everything looks like it’s painted in this video, now yo can probably just put a filter on final cut or after effects, but back then it was probably slightly harder, maybe a person actually painted every frame of this video. It’s got that reduced frame rate so everything is kind of in slow motion but kind of jerky too. I like how literal everything in the video is too: she sings about a ship and ship appears behind her.
KUEDO- ASCENSION PHASE
One of our friends in Glasgow was involved in making this video. It’s pretty impressive- one of those ones that I have genuinely no idea how you’d go about making it- which is good since so much of the mystique of the making of the music has been ruined for me since owning software and synths. I guess it’s based on those 80s animations you’d get at the start of videos or like the beginning sequence of the chart show (if anyone is old enough to remember that). Anyway- it’s a shiny chrome marble moving about a mad piece of technology.
I guess this animated video could have been the starting point for the Kuedo video, it’s got a chrome marble in it for example. Again this isn’t really a music video but it’s a video where the music and the visuals work really well together. There are a whole bunch of these types of videos on youtube. I guess these were maybe used as showreels to showcase the incredible capabilities of the computer software of the day, I’m sure videos like this took months if not longer to make. There’s something really naive about the world they’ve created here, everything is really clean and there is no evil in this world.
TOM WAITS- I DON’T WANNA GROW UP
I used to record Beavis and Butthead off the telly back when it was on Channel 4 and they still used to watch MTV and talk about the songs/videos. This is one I remember coming on and loving the little world that’s been created in it. I like the idea that there’s a secret little world going on under the tables of bars. I’m not really a Tom Waits fan so I don’t know how well known a Tom Waits song this is. It was only when I was making this list that I realised it was directed by Jim Jarmusch, which makes it even better.
BRIAN ENO- FOR ALL MANKIND (SOUNDTRACK)
One of my favourite space “documentaries” soundtracked by one of my favourite musicians. The film is the Apollo 11 mission to the moon which contains the voices of the people involved speaking at the time, with no other voice over, with Brian Eno’s majestic music as the soundtrack. It’s definitely worth getting a hold of if you haven’t seen it yet. There a really beautiful moment when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are on the surface of the moon looking down at the earth realising how fragile the earth and life on it is- the track in the background is called Ascent and it works so well with this moment.