My new favorite network

When I moved back to the I.C. this fall, I upgraded my cable package to accomodate my addiction to HBO's various original series. In addition to the movie network, I got a bunch of (mostly worthless) digital-only channels, like Discovery Health and Nickelodeon 2 and ESPN 8: The Ocho.

Little did I know that I'd also be getting my new favorite channel: VH1 Classic. What's so great about VH1 Classic, you ask? To which the only answer is the following videos, none of which I would have seen if it weren't for this network:

--The Jacksons, "Torture": Remember when the Jackson siblings, looking to glom onto Michael's success, released Victory in 1984? No? How could you forget such classics as "One More Chance," "Be Not Always," or "The Hurt"? "Torture" is a pretty unremarkable song, but the video is pure mid-80s genius. All the Jacksons are dressed in those I'm-a-fascist-dictator-with-flair outfits popularized by Michael -- think puffy shoulders and lots of sequins. There's a key-tar player. There's lots of smoke. Extras dressed in feathery bird-like outfits are doing some sort of modern dance interpretation of the music. And the stone maze scenery looks like the precursor to Legend of Zelda.

--A-Ha!, "Hunting High and Low": VH1 Classic does its own version of Two-For Tuesdays, which leads to some pretty funny moments. Who knew A-Ha!, the guys behind "Take on Me," had another song? In this video, we see the band members playing their instruments in silhouette, which begs the question: are the members of A-Ha! tragically disfigured? In their first video, they're disguised as cartoons, and here we see them only as shadows. What are they hiding? There's also some fun nature scenes as the band morphs into sharks and dolphins, then a lion. Oh, and the song: well, let's just say there's a reason the band is remembered by most people as a one-hit wonder.

--Paul McCartney, "Spies Like Us": Yes, this song is from the soundtrack to the Chevy Chase/Dan Akroyd movie, and I'm guessing it took McCartney all of 30 minutes to write it, record it and shoot the video. There's a kind of plodding, pre-techno synthesizer beat, and the words "Spies like us" repeated about eight billion times. The video features a smiling McCartney (no doubt laughing to himself about how much money he's just gotten for such minimal effort) playing guitar and drums while wearing a Cosby-worthy teal and purple sweater. There are also clips from the movie, which are truly this video's only saving grace.

--Sammy Hagar, "I Can't Drive 55": Luckily, Hagar picked the best possible historical moment to record this song. Now that the national speed limit has been raised, then raised again, it just wouldn't work: "I Can't Drive 65" misses out on important alliteration, while "I Can't Drive 70" just sounds ridiculous. The best thing about this video is Hagar himself, who stars in a sort of mini-drama in which he drives a red Ferrari (presumably at a speed greater than 55), then gets pulled over and hauled off to jail, all the while singing the words to the song. Also, I should mention that he's wearing a bright yellow sleeveless jumpsuit. I won't tell you what happens at the end, because I don't want to spoil it for you.

1 comment:

Kistulentz said...

True dat...

Plus you can occasionally see Arcadia's "Election Day," or Rick Springfield's "Don't Talk to Strangers" or other one-hit and no-hit wonders.

But the best part is, that unlike MTV, they actually play videos.