The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things. Of shoes and ships and ceiling wax, of cabbages and kings...and super-shit-tastic music vids! Hurray! Today we're going heavy on the '80s, with a side of black metal, and if it's nostalgia you seek, pay a visit to our old friends in Part 1 and Part 2, just for the hell of it. And now, on to the fun!
"Party All The Time", Eddie Murphy
This one is really only hilarious for one reason, and we'll get to it shortly. It starts off with the classic '80s music video scenerio of the actual recording of the song in the studio. Soundboards are shown, dials spin, lights come on...it's like the artist is letting us in to get a sneak peak of the glamourous life. And here comes the talent: Eddie! He struts in and hugs Donna Summer...what's she doing there? I had no idea she worked on this song. Anyway, Eddie swaggers into the sound booth and Donna instructs him to "put your headphones on." Wow, Donna's got a really manly voice. Then suddenly, it hits me: that's not Donna Summer—it's Rick James. With curly blond extensions. And bangs. I am quite simply completely flummoxed by this man's hair. But in his own words, "cocaine is a hell of a drug", and this is the best advertisement for Just Say No I can possibly imagine. So Eddie starts singing and he looks relatively normal—nothing special to mock here. It's his entourage that's completely embarrassing. They all start appropriately getting into the song, high-fiving each other and acting like they've never heard anything so amazing and innovative as "Party All The Time". Rick raises his fists to the sky, fringe flying, imagining the money and the drugs and the chicks that this hit song is going to bring his way. When he can't contain himself any longer, he dashes into the sound booth, picks up a guitar, but forgets to plug it in, and screams a couple of background lines. When the song ends, Rick and Eddie embrace, look straight into the camera and make the "OK!" hand gesture. Now was this video shot before or after Rick kidnapped that girl and burned her with a crack pipe?
"Gloves Of Metal", Man O' War
You may remember Man O' War as the band that made the Guiness Book for being the loudest band ever. They also wear loincloths. Actually, there is just so much to laugh at in this video that I don't even know where to begin, so let's take it one by one:
1. The outfits. My god, the outfits. The last time I saw so much leather and fur and spikes and studs was when Ted Nugent and Sebastian Bach stood next to each other on "Supergroup," and I'm not sure even the Nuge would be caught dead wearing mukluks. Every single thing in the whole video is covered within an inch of its life with fur. Check out the scenes in the beginning when the band is riding horses: how many squirrels lost their lives for these guys?
2. The crowd. The footage of the crazed fans going ape shit seems to have been accidentally switched with scenes from a New Kids on the Block concert; I see a few shaker sweaters and not one leather boob tray in the bunch.
3. The "plot." If you're going to attempt to tell a lame story with your video, then pick a theme and stick with it. First, they are riding horses and pretending to be Mideval cavemen. Then suddenly, a bunch of toga-clad assholes are wrestling around on the beach and you're not sure if this is supposed to be fighting or Roman-themed porn, especially when the band materializes out of fire explosions and joins in the melee. Some guy gets shot with an arrow, a couple of chicks are tackled and the music swells to the screams of "LEATHER! METAL! SPIKES! AND CHAINS!" My god, it's too fucking hilarious!
4. The lyrics. They may be the dumbest lyrics ever written.
5. The drummer. He looks like Spinal Tap's Derrek Smalls and he actually seems to be wearing a preserved moose.
"Losing You", Jan Terri
This video left me speechless. The song sounds vaguely familiar, and perhaps that's because, when coupled with the video, it sounds like it might be the opening credits and theme song to an early-80s sitcom. I know nothing about this woman, so I may be making fun of one of the great musical geniuses of the last 50 years and would have no idea. Who knows? But when a limo pulls up in front of a posh Chicago hotel to pick up the talent, I'm certainly not expecting the mom from "Everybody Loves Raymond" to appear wearing leather pants belted just underneath her armpits. It's sickly fascinating; I've never seen a singer look like they are having less fun. Add in the mulleted, motorcycle-riding love interest, the shoddy camerawork, the nausea-inducing pan zooms, and the disjointed "storyline" (Is she leaving him? Is she losing him? He called her on the phone, and picked her up on his motorcycle, so it seems like he's still into her...) and you're left with far more questions than answers.
"Oh Sherry", Steve Perry
This one appears to have been shot at a Renaissance Faire for some reason, and who knew Steve was into that kind of thing? Anyway, a bride walks in wearing a dunce cap (I guess this is supposed to be Sherry) and kneels before Steve who is dressed as a gay king. Steve then throws a diva fit, rips off his king outfit to reveal an open shirt and acid washed nut huggers, and informs the director "This is a love song." The power bitches around Steve are trying to make the video something it's not, and Steve goes off to a stairwell to sulk and scream the immortal opening line "YOU SHOULDA BEEN GAW-ON!" Suddenly, here comes the real Sherry, wearing a white tank dress and red tights and she looks like one of the New Wave twins from that old TV show "Double Trouble" (does anyone else remember that one??). Steve tries to impress her by pushing around some extras and playing bad air guitar on a broom. Sherry laughs and probably says, "Oh, Steeeve!" as he continues to ham it up. The crotch seam of his pants is being strained to the limit and I can't believe wardrobe didn't intervene. The video ends with Steve saying "I kinda like you baby" and all the dumbass extras clap, then Steve and Sherry walk out the door and the director kisses his future in the music video industry goodbye.
"Call Of The Wintermoon", Immortal
I can't stop giggling. Eighty percent of this one is comprised of shots of the band peeking out from behind trees and castle ruins and looking pissed. The rest of the action revolves around scampering through the forest like Robin Hood and his merry band of misfits, striking ridiculous poses, eating fire and arson. Watch closely at the very beginning and you'll see Abbath awesomely blow fire on an inverted cross made of sticks, setting it alight. One of the band members is wearing a pointy witch hat that his grandma probably made for his little sister to wear in the Halloween children's parade. Another fashion project for the band involved making scary arm cuffs and wristlets out of leather scraps and four-inch carpentry nails. Actually, I can't really do the video justice with words...you just have to see it. And I think I may have just ruined this post, but Ohio is the new grim and frostbitten kingdom and I think my brain is hibernating a little bit. Anyway, just watch it. You'll see what I mean.