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.