Music Video Monday: Gunship: Tech Noir

I was going to do my fortnightly ‘recent chart catchup’ today, but due to most of the artists responsible for recent hits being nice and timely with their videos, there are none to catch up with!

Instead, as Geth and I have been enjoying lots of synthwave YouTube playlists in the house recently, enjoy this fun claymation video by synthwave act Gunship. Spoiler: the bad guys are defeated by the power of VHS tapes!

Geth is not happy about my lack of knowledge when it comes to ’80s movies (my specialist subject is the music and fashion of the decade – I’m a bit behind on the films because it was only the slasher horror ones that I used to obsess over in my younger days!). As such, we are going to try and rectify this gap by watching lots and lots of ’80s films this year.

However, when it comes to the films and TV on the seven VHS tapes featured in this video, I’ve seen four out of seven, which is not bad going!

VHS tapes
Our VHS tapes. Most of these are music releases that you can’t get on DVD.

(Our own VHS collection is not what it used to be – I chucked most of it when we moved from Southampton, although we still have a good few that can’t be replaced on DVD at the moment. We also have a working VHS player, although it’s not attached to any of our TVs at the moment. It’s there if we need it!)

Anyway, I digress. I really appreciate this video because not only does it remind me of the claymation in classic ’80s videos like Jackie Wilson’s Reet Petite and Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer, but there has also been much more work put into it than for most synthwave videos, which are usually just clips of ’80s films and TV shows. Not that I don’t love them, but it’s nice to see something totally original!

More music videos next week.

Music Video Monday: Vangelis: Chariots Of Fire

I’m still a bit too knackered from yesterday’s marathon to do a proper music video post today, but here’s that inspiring theme from Chariots Of Fire to enjoy:

I am a slow runner and there is no hope of me ever winning a race, but as I’ve mentioned before, I did once come last out of 4,000+ people. It was in the Great North 10k 2016, and when I finally limped onto the finishing straight at Gateshead Stadium, they broke out the Chariots Of Fire theme tune, inspiring me to an epic sprint finish along the track. It was the greatest moment of my running career.

The video is mainly clips from the film, but there are also some pleasing shots of Vangelis chain-smoking while fiddling with his synths. So ’80s.

More music videos next week.

Music Video Monday: Top Ten ’80s Videos At The Beach

To my great surprise I found myself sunbathing at the beach this weekend (in the north-east of England! in April!), hence this week’s music videos are all beach-themed as I dream of the summer ahead and the summers from thirty-odd years ago.

10. Belinda Carlisle – Circle In The Sand

A nice near-literal video for this pretty 1988 track – there’s a lot of sand but not a lot of circles.

Belinda Carlisle - Circle In The Sand

9. Don Henley – The Boys Of Summer

It was perhaps inevitable that the ultimate ’80s summer anthem would have a beach scene in the video. The black and white film makes it a bit gloomy, but that’s consistent with the pessimistic feel of the song.

Don Henley - The Boys Of Summer

8. Boy Meets Girl – Waiting For A Star To Fall

The video for this late ’80s cheesefest starts off with a suitably cheesy beach running scene. Love that epic sax solo!

Boy Meets Girl - Waiting For A Star To Fall

7. Fleetwood Mac – Big Love

This is a more familiar sight for a British beach! Fleetwood Mac huddle in coats and scarves on a night-time beach in one of the many sequences of this brilliant video.

Fleetwood Mac - Big Love

6. Blondie – Call Me

Bit of a seasonally-confused video here, as the beach shots of Debbie Harry are interspersed with her in a coat looking cold in New York City. Maybe she goes on holiday somewhere for the beach scenes.

Blondie - Call Me

5. Erasure – Ship Of Fools

The beach in this video is all made up of rocks and shells and therefore not at all suitable for sunbathing, although Andy Bell gives it a good go.

Erasure - Ship Of Fools

4. Wham! – Club Tropicana

Most of this ultimate summer holiday video is poolside, but George Michael does take a brief trip to the beach halfway through. It looks a bit overcast, though, so I don’t blame him for heading back to the pool.

Wham! - Club Tropicana

3. The Bangles – Eternal Flame

A nice sunset beach scene here among the floaty images of Susanna Hoffs and co singing along to the song.

The Bangles - Eternal Flame

2. Duran Duran – Rio

Duran Duran made pretty much all of their videos on beaches during the jetsetting Rio era, but this one for the album’s title track is the most colourful and fun. The yacht scenes are the most iconic, but the beach scenes are blue-skied and beautiful and make me want to book a holiday.

Duran Duran - Rio

1. Elton John – I’m Still Standing

I love everything about this ridiculous Cannes romp, from the ostentatious outdoor piano to Elton’s comedy glasses to the pre-Strictly Bruno Tonioli dancing his way through Cannes in a succession of ’80s leotards. The best bit, though, is when Elton lines up the dancers on the beach and pushes them over in a chain of human dominoes.

Elton John - I'm Still Standing

It’s starting to grey over here in Newcastle, so I suspect I won’t be taking any more trips to the beach for a couple of months now. I’ll have to make do with ’80s videos in the meantime!

More video action next Monday.

Music Video Monday: recent chart catchup

A couple more videos have recently been released for current chart hits.

Marshmello and Chvrches – Here With Me

Following the placeholder neon video from a few weeks ago, a new video has been released for this song that follows the story of a firefighter and his family. It’s a sweet story, but I think I prefer the neon one.

Meduza – Piece Of Your Heart

There’s not much to this video – it’s all about people skateboarding, dancing, and being in love in an urban setting – but there are some cool upside down shots of the cityscape.

Back to the classic videos (and possibly a red phone box) next week.

Music Video Monday: Chris De Burgh: Lady In Red

Unusually, today’s featured video doesn’t have a red phone box in it, though I assure you we’ll be straight back to the retro communication equipment next time we visit the ’80s. No, this week I felt the need to discuss another red-related issue, namely the fact that the eponymous Lady in Chris De Burgh’s video for Lady In Red wears nine different outfits throughout the course of the video…and only one of them is red. Maybe one and a half if you squint! Let’s have a look at all of her irritatingly non-red outfits.

Outfit 1: Lady in Grey and White

Chris De Burgh - Lady In Red

For lounging on the patio, the Lady wears a grey skirt and white bardot top. It’s a very nice combination, but it’s not red.

Outfit 2: Lady in Black with White Polka Dots

Chris De Burgh - Lady In Red

There’s some slightly odd artistic split-screen going on here, but you should be able to see that the halterneck dress worn by the Lady to pass by this window is also most definitely not red.

Outfit 3: Lady in Black and White Patterns and Blue Denim

Chris De Burgh - Lady In Red

For doing some softly-lit sketching, the Lady wears a more casual ensemble of a black and white patterned top with blue jeans. The bow in her hair appears to be red, which is at least a start, but she can’t really be said to be ‘in red’ here!

Outfit 4: Lady in Florals

Chris De Burgh - Lady In Red

In this sunny flower-picking sequence, the Lady goes for a floral summer playsuit. It’s cute, but it’s not red.

Outfit 5: Lady in Pale Blue and More Blue Denim

Chris De Burgh - Lady In Red

More summer hijinks as the Lady runs past camera on a sun-dappled path, and this time she’s all in blue. Not a hint of red!

Outfit 6: Lady in Black Swimwear

Chris De Burgh - Lady In Red

There’s a very brief shot of the Lady bathing in a black swimsuit. They couldn’t even be bothered to make her swimwear red.

Outfit 7: Lady in Black and…Possibly Red? Maybe?

Chris De Burgh - Lady In Red

There’s a very blurry and softly-lit sequence of the Lady dancing in workout gear. Her leggings are definitely black, but it’s almost impossible to make out the colour of her top. It could be red, but this is by no means clear-cut!

Outfit 8: Lady in Cream

Chris De Burgh - Lady In Red

Presumably heading off to work, the Lady has chosen a smart cream suit. Very professional-looking (love those ’80s power shoulders!) but still not red.

Outfit 9: Lady in Red…Finally!

Chris De Burgh - Lady In Red

The Lady looks lovely in her one red outfit of the whole video, but one out of nine is far from a great hit rate! It would have been awesome if every outfit had been red. A real missed opportunity for a good video.

Bonus Outfit: Chris De Burgh in Grey

Chris De Burgh - Lady In Red

Oh yeah, and Chris De Burgh is actually in this video too, but not in any scenes with the Lady. The film footage of her mostly non-red clothes is interspersed with video footage of Chris performing on stage that looks like it was copied straight over from Top of the Pops, presumably because, as far as I can tell from the identical outfit and stage decor of the TOTP clip below, it was.

Watch the full video and look out for the Lady’s rare ‘in red’ appearances:

Music Video Monday: recent chart catchup

A couple more recently-released chart hit videos today.

Pink – Walk Me Home

It’s Pink in a red dress, defying gravity and dancing with shadows in a New-York-City-on-pause. Why can’t all modern videos be like this?

Sigrid – Don’t Feel Like Crying

I love the ’80s decor in this video, with all the art deco posters and the blinds and the plants! Great stuff.

Back to the actual ’80s next week.

Music Video Monday: Toyah: Sensational

Another new video from a classic artist today!

Mental as ever from Toyah, the video involves lots of playing football with sheep, branches worn as jewellery and other general wackiness. It’s colourful and fun and I wish younger artists would make videos like this!

The song’s great too, and I’m really looking forward to listening to her new album when it comes out next month.

Music Video Monday: recent chart catchup

A couple more recently released videos for current chart hits.

Khalid – Talk

I really like the colourful sets and costumes in this one, even if there is a bit of ‘standing around by a car’.

Roddy Ricch, Chip and Yxng Bane – How It Is

Fairly typical urban-set video with lots of smoking and designer labels. I do like that there’s a scene in a launderette, which is a classic music video setting!

Back to the ’80s next Monday.

Music Video Monday: Bananarama: Stuff Like That

A bit of a diversion for today’s Music Video Monday, ’cause Bananarama have released a new single ahead of their upcoming album release next month, and it’s ace (by ‘it’s ace’, I of course mean ‘they still sound like they did in 1988’). Unlike today’s new artists, who tend to be very lazy about releasing videos on time, Bananarama dropped the video along with the song release on Friday.

It’s so aesthetically pleasing – lots of lying about on fancy-looking sofas – and I want pretty much everything that Sara and Keren are wearing. Hopefully a few more videos will show up once the album gets going!

Music Video Monday: recent chart catchup

More videos for recent chart hits that have only recently been released!

J Cole – Middle Child

Some interesting dark imagery in this one. There is a bit of ‘standing around next to a car’, but I’ll forgive it because the car is covered in mud so it’s more of an artistic thing.

Little Mix and Ty Dolla Sign – Think About Us

The nice thing about Little Mix videos is that they’re always really pretty – pretty outfits, pretty imagery. This one has lots of butterflies and snow. Good stuff.

Cardi B and Bruno Mars – Please Me

I like the retro diner setting and the costumes (Cardi B’s hair is awesome!) but I’m not really into the NSFW dancing. I think I’m getting old. I do like the subtle homage to the video for Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel though.

More music videos next week!