Music videos are incredibly important to the sales of songs, the drive to get them talked about is presumably pretty damn huge, so how do you do that? Kick ass dance routines? Special effects? A theme like the Beastie Boys classic 'Sabotage'; set in a seventies cop show? Well sometimes all it takes it a famous face to make the video stand out and perhaps some good old fashioned simplicity.
This week I'm focusing on the music video rather than the song (though I do like or love all of the songs featured) and what makes them special or stand out.
Lets get started.
I Want Love by Elton John
Robert Downey Jnr is well known for his heady mix of incredible talent, good looks and personal problems. Here's a guy with the world at his feet, an actor that stands above most of the others in his generation and yet was crippled professionally for years by his addiction to drugs and booze. So often we see these brilliant stars burn out before the media's lens and then tributes are paid to them without anyone leaping up and shouting 'WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU WASTE YOUR LIFE FOR!'
Downey Jnr is a special camper because he came back from the edge. He was stunning in Chaplin, showed so much promise and had the world at his feet and then it all went tits up. But he's a survivor. He came back slowly and when Marvel hired him for Iron Man to play Tony Stark it was considered a risk. 'What if he falls off the wagon', was the terrifying thought. He didn't. The dude is going from strength to strength again and realistically has to be seen as one of the most bankable names out there now.
Here he is, in an Elton John video, simply walking around an empty mansion. Perhaps some people wouldn't be able to pull it off but he can. His troubled past adds an intensity and power to the song, the simplicity of the video allows them to focus on him and it creates a memorable fusion of storytelling and reality that touches.
Weapon Of Choice By Fatboy Slim
Norman Cook and Christopher Walken don't really go in the same sentence normally but here? Well its strawberries and Cream, Politics and lies, Fashion and child labour. These two fit for these brief few minutes so well that I could not imagine anyone other than the dancing, flying Walken doing his thing. Its perfect.
Christopher Walken? An amazing actor, a brilliant smile, a terrifying stare, and he wanted to be a celebrity chef in the seventies and eighties. That's a fucked up thought right there. Can you imagine him beavering around the kitchen telling us about Lemon Drizzle cake or how he likes to get all those flavours together? It would either be real sexy or really scary. No middle ground there.
For the record I'd be shitting myself.
Anyway, Walken is so light on his feet, so emotive, so expressive that when he comes alive to dance it lifts me right out of any grump and makes me wanna Kevin Bacon it round the house, by that I don't mean get shot in the back with an arrow or molest Brad Pitt, nope, I JUST WANNA DANCE!
Feel by Robbie Williams
Rob gets a bit of flack but for me he is the king of Brit Pop and a true modern super star. Yes, I have most of the albums, yes, I know most of the words, yes I have seen him live and yes, he was fucking amazing.
In this we get Daryl Hannah as the love interest. She's obviously very attractive but what's great here is she is the older woman, the temptress, and I think she has real depth and character. There is something going on behind those eyes, thoughts and feelings, a whole story being told and yes, we are getting just a snap shot, but there is more. Much More.
I love the black and white, Rob looks cool, takes the piss out of himself far less in this one but still keeps his self depreciating humour in the running and the song is fabulous.
For me Hannah was hired for more than those stunning looks; she's there to bring depth and convey the feeling of the song. She does a brilliant job.
Lover Of The Light by Mumford & Sons
I love Mumfie! Huge fan! For me they are one of the best main stream things out there right now with their big poppy folk sound. Both albums are brilliant and the singles are great but the whole album backs up those singles. Well constructed, catchy, not too pretentious but certainly somewhere along that line. Love it.
This video stars Idris Elba, the dude is one mighty fine actor. He has that real star quality; the man has presence.
I'm not as familiar with this video as the others but it does stand out and once seen stays with you I think. It's got a joy and an adventure about it that is simple, clean, heart warming. A blind man boldly heading out into the world, running, seeking the light, the love the world has to offer. His all consuming joy at the wind in his face, his fear of the steps, his journey one of danger and delight, filled with simply discovering the sensations of life.
Yeah, I have no idea what the hell I'm on about either ;-)
Lego House by Ed Sheeran
Now this is interesting. It's not just that it stars a post Harry Potter Rupert Grint or that he isn't playing someone that's the hero; it's that he shows a presence here, a depth, an intensity that perhaps is missing from the teenage Ron Weasley. Perhaps that is because the Potter books were for children and the films for fans of those books. In this he brings an uncomfortable creepiness to that fits perfectly.
I really like the song but I think it does Grint more favours than Sheeran as he gets to flex his muscles for a few minutes and create a character that goes to some awkward places, shows the years of experience he has on him now and personally I think this is the guy to watch from the Potters. Yes Emma Watson is without doubt brilliant and Radcliff is making his mark but both Watson and Radcliff have incredibly clean and distinctive looks, I think Grint is going to be the character actor and the one that shines through.
Give him a few years though yeah?
That's it for this week. We will have more fun and frolics next week.
Thanks for reading and listening, hope you liked the pics.