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Friday, February 1, 2008

LadyJ's Top 10 Of Music Videos

Remember the olden days when MTV played these wacky three or four minute movies set to music. Remember when VH-1 also showed those odd little things. Nowadays the so called music video channels might show an actual video interspersed with the loads upon loads of reality television but that's once in a blue moon. In honor of this lost television art I present my list of the ten best videos I've ever seen. If you want to watch the video just click on the title of the songs and it will lead you to the Youtube link.

Before Clueless and Batman and Robin, Alicia Silverstone was best known as the "Aerosmith Girl". She had appeared in three videos off of their Get A Grip album. Cryin was the first. Silverstone plays a young girl obsessed with a guy (Stephen Dorff) who pretty much treats her like crap. She begins acting out eventually getting his attention and telling him to get lost in a single breath. Lost fans can spot the future Sawyer Ford (Josh Holloway) at 3:45 in the video.

9. Bad Girl by Madonna

This video is from Madonna's 1992 Erotica Album and seems to borrow from the 70s film Looking For Mr. Goodbar. Madonna plays a reckless, cold-hearted business woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown. She spends her evenings getting loaded and taking home strange men. Unknown to her she being watched by an angel (Christopher Walken) who finds himself enamored with her. This is an intense and amazing video that shows us a more honest side of Madonna.

This in my humble opinion is one of Britney's more innovative videos from her 2001 self-titled album. She plays a spy who dons a variety of disguises in order to obtain a vial of poison in which to use on what I presume to be an ex-lover. It seems to have Alias type vibe to it and features actor Taye Diggs in the motorcycle segment. It's fun and creative, not like the other videos where Britney just dances and writhes around.

In 1987, George Michael created an image for him with his Faith album instantly becoming a notable pop star. However by 1990 he was quick to jetison that image and Freedom '90 was that image's swan song. George Michael refused to appear in the video and instead hired the biggest supermodels of the time to mouth the lyrics. The models were Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Tatjana Patitz, and Christy Turlington. He took potshots at his Faith image by blowing up his trademark jukebox and burning the trademark jacket that appeared in his Faith video. It's a great F.U. to an image he had long outgrown.

This epic video also spelled the end to this band's career but what a way to end. Based on Del James' short story Without You, we follow the love, marriage, and eventual death of a couple (played by Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose and then girlfriend Stephanie Seymour). Interspersed with these scenes is the band playing among a huge orchestra and a killer shot of Slash's guitar solo in the desert. This video is breathtaking with great symbolic scenes and just IMHO the best power ballad ever made.

Take the three little pigs, throw in a falsetto cameo by the lead singer of Tool, ganja, Harley's and Rambo and you have a pretty kick ass video. Done entirely in claymation this 1992 video only debuted as a video not a single. The only way to get the song at the time was to buy a pink vinyl 45. This innovative video helped propel this song to #17 on the Billboard charts.

4.Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time is probably the only video to make me cry every time I see it. Cyndi plays a girl who's outgrown the small time she lives in. The only thing keeping her there is her boyfriend whom she loves. She eventually leaves and her boyfriend momentarily agrees to leave with her, however he chickens out at the last moment. She tearfully watches him as she prepares for her new life. It's just amazing and makes great use of such an emotional song.

This video may seem a little stark in contrast with the other videos but I love it just the same. It's simplicity is probably what makes this video the most striking. It showcases what made Janet an '80s phenomenon in the first place her dance moves and her voice. The song can be found on her 1986 album Control

2.Always by Bon Jovi

This single from Bon Jovi's 1994 Crossroads album potrays the good and eventual bad times of a couple (played by Jack Noseworthy and Carla Gugino). They are intensely happy and very attracted to one another. Until he attempts to hook up with another girl while she's away. She catches them and runs off eventually meeting and hooking up with an artist who paints her nude. The next day she decides to take her boyfriend back only to have him freak out over her infidelity. She says Goodbye and he ends up destroying her lover's apartment and presumably is on the run. He is last seen in a Mexican hotel obviously still haunted by her. This video is just perfect and I can't get enough of watching it. The video also start Keri Russell as the "other woman" and Jason Wiles as the painter.

This video from 1985's Hunting High And Low is ahead of it's time. It bears a great blend of live action and animation in a time where CGI was unheard of. We see a young woman in a diner reading a comic about a motorcycle racer. She is stunned when the studly star of the comic pulls her into the pages. Their moment together is interrupted by the comic's antagonists and she manages to flee the comic only to find her cartoon lover presumably dead. She brings the comic home and sees him fighting to break free of his world in order to join her in hers. It's innovative and withstands time.