Anyways onto the list! If you wonder how I came up with this mighty fine group of videos, I have spent the morning racking my brain for the most memorable videos. Those videos that when you see them bring you back to a time in the past where you remember exactly where you were when watching it. A video that is either so powerful or so well made takes the song to another level. Again these videos are in no particular order:
Virtual Insanity by Jamiroquai
This is perhaps Jamiroquai's best known music video. The video consists mainly of singer Jay Kay, dancing and performing the song in a bright white room with a grey floor. Throughout the video there are several combinations of couches and a chairs, which are the only furniture in the room. The video also earned recognitiion from critics for its special effects. The floor appears to move while the rest of the room stays still allowing for Kay to perform moves not normally seen in music videos. At some points the camera tilts up or down to show the floor or ceiling for a few seconds when it returns to the central position the scene has completely changed. I find this video to be a complete work of art come to life, showing simplicity at its best.
Weapon of Choice by Fat Boy Slim
After a brief Wikipedia venture, I was suprised to find that Christopher Walken actually helped coreograph his dance moves in this Fat Boy Slim video. The whole thing reeks of Gene Kelly, but Walkens expression, paired with a few choice funk-inspired moves make this video anything but ordinary. The one thing that always sticks with me in this video is Walken's depressing return to business-as-usual at the end. The smile he sports during his dance is so unexpected and refreshing that the moment he sinks back into despondency, I can't help but respond with empathy. Its a strangely melancholic ending to such a silly video.
"You stay the hell away from me, you hear?" Even before American Recordings (released in 1994 by Cash recording in his living room with just his guitar) proved it beyond all doubt. Cash was a man with two careers in parallel: one bringing the poignancy, the other bringing novelty to tunes like "One Piece at at Time". So how better to close his career than by combinging the two: a novelty cover version paired with a video featuring poignancy laid on so thick as to crush your heart through sheer persistence. Cash as Jesus, Cash as the rebel, Cash as the American, Cash as America personified, Cash the husband, Cash the man in black, Cash the guy who sold records in their droves, Cash the lonely, scared, dying old man. It's hard for me to imagine there could have been a better way to close the piano lid on his career.
Once in a Lifetime by The Talking Heads
When it comes to music video performance, David Byrne is something of a nerdy Robert DeNiro, and "Once ins a Lifetime" is his Raging Bull (yes i just said that). He huffs, he puffs, and he generally freaks the fuck out. Byrne is like Jake LaMotta without an opponent, mentally and physically kicking his own ass as if the stress of the modern world had actually made him lose sense of his motor functions. And then comes the chorus, where Byrne surrenders completely, floating on a sea of blue screen and looking unsure as to whether he's reached heaven or is merely stuck in limbo. Music video acting may have existed before "Once in a Lifetime, but it's Byrne that made it noteworthy.
November Rain by Guns and Roses
The final selection onto this list is more of a personal reason as well as it just being a kick ass video. This kept making it onto my list because when I look back into music videos of my past, recreating this video when I was in middle school still sits as one of my favorite memories ever.
In "November Rain" Guns n' Roses manages to keep at least one toe on the ground, but still finds a way to pack a wedding ceremony, a funeral, and at least two Slash 360-degree cliff solos in its nine minute running time. The difference between this monster video and say a "Thriller" or Puff Daddy's "Victory" is that "November Rain" features no additional dialogue or mid-song breaks to augment its running time. This song simply demanded such a large-scale video, which cost the band approximately 1.5 million to make. This video is nothing short of epic, and leaves you with one final question.... What ever happens to the guy who jumps into the wedding cake?
Well that is my list of my favorite videos and I'm sticking to it. I suggest you all make lists of your own, its really a great way to spend an afternoon watching old videos remember old memories. What are your five?