My Favorite Music Videos, Part Two: Golden Earring’s ‘Twilight Zone’

One of the greatest rewards about posting to one’s weblog is that you get to share things that otherwise might not be known.

This is especially true with music videos. I’m sharing my favorites here…some you might never have heard of, some you might be well aware of. If you’re over the age of, say, 40, you’ve likely seen these…but, maybe not.

I say 40 because most of these are from around 1982 to around 1990. That’s about the time that I started to become disillusioned with the genre. I also posted the first music video in this series, The Alan Parson Project’s “Don’t Answer Me” on Facebook, and a very dear friend with whom I often discussed such things as music, movies and music video in the 1980s made this comment about it:

Reminds me of the days when you and I believed that music video was a new art form; didn’t really work out that way….

Yes. Sadly, it didn’t take long for it to become overcommercialized, trite and cliché.

There were several different types of music videos, when they started becoming popular in the early 80s: performance, dance, storyline, other. For the most part–except for many Michael Jackson videos (to name one artist)–performance and dance videos were the worst. YES–I know from a TECHNICAL aspect, it’s not easy to set up and shoot either or both of these types. But, in my admittedly humble opinion, the storyline is the best. When I would watch a performance video (an artist or band acting out performing the song onstage, mostly), I felt cheated. There was so much more potential there.

I like a good story. Nearly all of the videos that have and will appear here have some sort of a storyline.

Now, some–like Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” are dance or performance videos that tell a story. As long as there’s some sort of meaningful plot to go along with it, that works for me.

There are several general rules that seem to apply to the music videos of that era. One of them is: while a bad music video will not necessarily damage a good or great song, a great music video can raise an average song to great heights.

Which brings us to today’s entry–from 1982, Golden Earring’s “Twilight Zone.” This is one of my all-time favorites. There’s an interesting storyline, it ties into the lyrics, there’s great imagery, it all comes together in the end. I found that while I was looking for a good quality copy and watching the video again, I was just as moved as I was 30 years ago. This is some brilliant work! It’s easily in my Top 5.

Here’s some additional things you should know. First, I had difficulty finding a copy on YouTube that I thought was of acceptable video quality. The only one I found was for promotional purposes, and unlike the US version it’s not censored. So, this one is rated R, as it has some nudity–for a few seconds in one scene a woman does appear topless. Considering the other lesser quality choices, I thought this was an acceptable tradeoff. You’ve been warned, in case you find that objectionable or have small children nearby.

That other version is found here…be advised that the quality is not as good.

Second–I get a little chill on the third chorus, when the bullet is seen cutting the playing card in half. The name of the album that features “Twilight Zone” is called “Cut,” and the cover art picture is–a playing card being cut in half by a bullet. Again, brilliant–the video provides a great tie-in to the album, usually not something that was done very much.

So…here it is. Enjoy! Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments at the bottom of the post.


4 thoughts on “My Favorite Music Videos, Part Two: Golden Earring’s ‘Twilight Zone’

  1. A dozen videos I really enjoyed if I don’t get bored thinking of them. You really have to break this into pre-YouTube and Post-YouTube eras. Since fun music has basically stopped being produced with very few exceptions since 1990, I’m going pre-1990.

    “Just a Gigilo,” David Lee Roth. Remade an old, old song and mocked everyone else in the videos with it’s over the top characatures of stars of the day.

    “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” Cindi Lauper. Featured a ton of stars, helped the explosion of wrestling to the billion dollar industry it is now.

    “Sea of Love”, the Honeydrippers. Tropical

    “The Reflex”, Duran Duran, Excellent mix of art and music in a concert setting.

    “Walk LIke an Egyptian” The Bangles. Enduring party song. Short-skirted Susannah Hoffs long before all girls under 30 went slutty.

    “More, More, More” Carmel. A rhythmic, song for a one-hit wonder group no one ever heard from again (at least in the USA). Read they will be touring overseas this year. Sad we didn’t hear more from them but I’d be happy to be a one-hit wonder.

    “Legs”, ZZTop. Beards, babes, Trademark sound, cars guitars. A whimsical goodbye wave at the end.

    “Self Control” Laura Branigan, She did a few videos, this was probably the best.

    “If This Is It” Huey Lewis: Few groups were hotter than them in the 80’s and Huey was pretty cool for a guy. In this adventure Huey is having a bad day at the beach because his dark-haired girl is blowing him off because she’s a bitch. In the end a blonde comes along and saves the day. Perfect!

    “Vision of Love” and “Emotions” Mariah Carey. The start of an amazing career for this girl who stalked and married a music executive making them both rich with an amazing voice.

    “Down Under” Men at Work. Probably the only song to ever mention “vegamite sandwich.” Neat instrumentation and rhythm.

    “Take on Me” Aha.

    “Addicted to Love” Robert Palmer.

    “Here I go again” Whitesnake. No list of videos would be complete without big hair and babes so I offer this up.

    “Pour Some Sugar on Me” Def Leppard. Drummer loses an arm and loyal bandmates stopped touring until he learned to do it one-armed and with extra foot pedals. Part of the hair band movement.

    Straight Up, Paula Abdul. With audio help they made this dancer turned singer sound pretty good. She always looked good in the videos.

    For you kids who weren’t fortunate enough to grow up in the 80’s, there were very few round the clock TV stations. One with a national following on cable systems around the country was WTBS and this station played videos from midnight to 6 am on the weekends. Good fun. In writing this I went to look at some videos and remembered liking the theme song to “Night Tracks”. Someone like me liked it enough to post it on youtube Now you can search up most of your favorite videos. Then you had to wait for them but it was so wonderful when they appeared. It was great entertainment if you stayed in or the night out wasn’t as good as you hoped, which was most of the time.

    While we long for the good better music of years gone by, we can find it on youtube until we can’t stand it any more, which I don’t see as any time soon.

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