My Favorite Music Videos, Part Twenty-Three: Tears For Fears’ ‘Everybody Wants to Rule The World’

Okay I gotta tell ya, I don’t know how I completely missed this one in my list. By just the slimmest of margins it’s likely my all-time favorite, and one that should have easily been in the first few entries.

The story goes that it was added at the last minute to the band’s second record, “Songs From The Big Chair”, when producer Chris Hughes wanted to include it, according to Wikipedia, “in a calculated effort to garner American chart success.” Written by Roland Orzabal, Ian Stanley and Hughes, Orzabal was reportedly initially dismissive of the song at the time of its recording and did not want it on the record. It would go on to be a much bigger hit than the first two singles from that album, “Mothers Talk” and “Shout”, reaching #1 in the US on several Billboard charts; also #1 in Canada and New Zealand.

The themes set forth in the tune were “quite serious”, according to its lead singer Curt Smith. In the Wikipedia entry about the song he says “It’s about everybody wanting power, about warfare and the misery it causes.”

Sounds like fun, right? Well, despite what those lyrics may or may not mean, there is a way somehow for me that the images presented in the video—Smith driving through Southern California in a vintage Austin-Healey 3000 sports car, an airplane and later birds in flight, young boys on ATVs and dirt bikes, and the two well-dressed men with their synchronized dance moves at the abandoned gas station—fit together so well that I was enthralled when I first saw it, and still am today. With all the other videos I’ve posted, I can point to someone fairly concrete as to why I like each. With this one, It’s just the overall feeling that the music and the images create for me. Admittedly none of it makes a lot of sense—but I’m okay with that, and I’ve been okay with it for 36 years.

According to Wikipedia, “HuffPost editor Daryl Deino ranked the video at number three on their year-end list for best music videos of 1985, stating that the video ‘represents pure Americana as it was in 1985.’ Deino also mentioned that the video ‘proves that at times, artists were able to do so much with so little.’”

In March 2007 I was able to live out a bit of the video. I was driving Eastbound on Interstate 10 in Southern California (Los Angeles) at sunset—much like what Smith does in the music video—when the song came on the radio. I experienced a great moment of serendipity. We should each be so lucky.

My Favorite Music Videos: Some Considerations

Some explanation and backstory on BroodCoffeeTalk: historically, this weblog has reported and commented on many different topics. In the past, there’s been some politics, sports, current events, recommendations, my favorite music videos—and a LOT of what was then, current tech news. Originally my goal was to post a new entry every day, and for a while I did, on whatever moved me at the time. But soon the demands of everyday life grew more pressing and there wasn’t time for that. Even now, I frequently don’t have enough time to post as much as I want.

It was a few years ago that I began including DIY information on repairing and restoring my 1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, as I wanted to document the work I was doing at the time. I soon discovered that this topic, like music videos, could be take over the entire site. While those entries remain here, that writing is now found on a new site—Turbo Coupe Tales.

The idea of posting music videos came years ago after some discussions with old friends about some of the earlier and more memorable ones. I decided to begin a series of posts here that not only featured a favorite music video, but also included some background on it. Some would be widely known, while others were not. These would be the more quirky, odd, different, unique, etc. ones, mostly from the 1980s, that maybe not everyone has seen–especially if you are under 35 years old and too young to recall much of that time.

I decided that, for the most part, anything from around 1996 to present is likely out. I realize that not too long ago I posted 2002’s “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, because it is one of the most powerful videos I have ever experienced (because you just don’t see it, you feel it). There are a couple of others I might include that are within the past 20 years or so. Again—their inclusion (or not) could be the subject for discussion in the “Comments” section.

(I suppose one could argue that if a music video is a favorite, that what does it matter how new it is?)

Two of those in just a 10 year span that I really like–Gotye’s “Someone That I Used to Know” and (the brilliantly odd) “Heart’s a Mess”—I have not made a decision on. I suppose it’s at least partially because I don’t want to open this up to every music video made within that 20 year span. The original focus was on the earlier ones, because in the early days I think there was more originality present—it was groundbreaking and new themes were still being introduced and developed. Many in those days opted for no originality and decided on the bottom-of-the-barrel generally-dreaded Performance video instead of trying to either tell a story or invent a new concept or theme. This helped make those that did make that attempt stand out even more. Nowadays everyone is expected to make a music video to accompany a new song, and it’s certainly true that there have been some really good ones over the years…but also many that were a derivative in some way of a previous video. If we are to stay true to the discussion and original idea, then for the most part newer ones should be excluded.

You can also consider making requests…but I am the ultimate arbiter in deciding if it gets posted or not. If I think it fits in here and it’s available, I’ll try to honor your request.

A word of thanks: As always, our gratitude to you for making this weblog a part of your day. There are many many places you could have spent your time, but you chose to spend some of it here. We really appreciate that.

It’s Time For A Refresh

I’ve neglected this site. There are no excuses, just that I’ve been busy living life, and as such it makes it difficult to sit down and update things here.

But the other day, in a conversation with a close friend from years ago, we got to talking about music videos. See, we were close in the 80s and 90s but then somehow drifted apart. Then, music videos had just started and actually MEANT something, which isn’t necessarily true today. Then, bands did music videos because it was fun and exciting and new—it seems that now it’s a requirement.

Declared by MTV to be its most watched animated music video ever; for a time it was THE most watched music video ever. Do you know what it is?
(Declared by MTV to be its most watched animated music video ever; for a time it was THE most watched music video ever. Do you know what it is?)

Anyway, I got onto this site to discuss some of what was here. It seems that over the years, about a dozen posts had dead links where music videos had once been. So, I sat down and fixed that. It then occurred to me that I had not set up a good system for organization here—there was no way to just read the subject or category YOU wanted without wading through a lot of other stuff that might be meaningless to you. I know this especially because I had to wade through that stuff to find the music video posts, and I even wrote it!

Not being well versed in HTML or CSS or anything (although I’ve been blog posting since 2000 when I created my first weblog), I had no idea how to move things around to get what I wanted. Eventually I figured it out.

While this is optimized for mobile devices, you won’t get the sidebar that gives you the option to view selected content, like Categories. If you’re using a tablet, switch to Desktop mode.

So, a refresh! New logo, fonts, layout. Now you can more easily locate and read just what you want.

Yes. You’re welcome. And, thanks to YOU for visiting.