“P” Is For Placebo

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220px-PuremorningcoverPlacebo aren’t a band I have particularly liked in the past, yeah ok, they have done some decent tracks here and there, but I wouldn’t call myself a fan. They did do a great cover of Bony M’s Daddy Cool, but it’s not that I am talking about today. In terms of their music videos, I think their best has to be Pure Morning. Another mini film, it tells the story of someone standing atop a building’s ledge and the mayhem that is going on below with the emergency services and the media.

The song is powerful enough, but it’s that point when he walks off the edge of the building and begins to walk down it that really grabs you. Just like that moment in Neneh Cherry’s Woman that I described earlier in my challenge, it is something which you don’t quite expect to happen and it makes the hairs stand on end. that is the mark of a good video for me.

7655f35aeb22As for the song itself, lead singer of Placebo, Brian Molko has stated that he now hates the song and its lyrics and they haven’t performed it live since 2007. See what you think of my choice, does it move you? Leave your thoughts below =)

“O” Is For OK Go

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220px-Here_It_Goes_AgainAlright, so after my half ass post yesterday, I am back on track with today’s video. Here It Goes Again by Chicago band OK Go is a Grammy award-winning video from 2007 and is possibly one of my favourite videos of all time. I think it’s deserving of being in my list just because of its originality. Its fun to watch, the song is good and the idea was so simple.

Apparently it took 17 takes to get this right. The video is one continuous shot so you can imagine how frustrating it must have been to get almost to the end of the shoot and one of the band screwing it up…arrgh! Directed and choreographed by Trish Sie who has worked on some movies such as Step Up: All In, she had already worked with the band on a previous song by the band, A Million Ways, and I think she upped her game here.

okgo001The timing of the moves on the running machines is just so well done I think much credit has to be given to the band members for actually making it work. It’s all very well having a good idea, but if it cannot be executed well, then its a waste of time, OK Go did a great job and have gone on to make some really great and complicated videos, its kinda their trademark now and long may it continue. If you haven’t checked out the band, you should, they are a good listen.

“N” Is For Nickelback

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Burnittotheground_I know, I know. Nickelback? For some reason they seem to be the most hated band on the planet by pop fans and rock fans alike. I haven’t liked everything they have done, but in 2009 they teamed up with legendary music producer John “Mutt” Lange. he has produced bands like Def Leppard, The Cars and Bryan Adams. You can tell, he has a distinctive style, but Nickelback’s album Dark Horse was a massive success and the first track Burn It To The Ground was a great single off it.

1315313938_nickelback-burn-it-to-the-groundIt is a fantastic rock track. It punches and kicks and it is in my opinion what a rock song should sound like. Play it loud. Now I have to confess that the video isn’t really all that in terms of its content, it is more or less just them playing on stage at a live gig. I don’t care lol. It kicks ass whatever way you look at it, and that’s why I’ve included it here.

So really there isn’t much more to say here, I suppose this is a bit of a cheat post, but let’s hear you suggestions, can you think of a great “L” band video? Post them here and I’ll comment on your tracks =)

“M” Is For Meatloaf

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alb_1762488_bigTake your pick here really, Meatloaf has always been a frustrated actor (although he has done some movie work), he takes out his craving in his music videos. He isn’t so prolific these days for various reasons, but during his resurgence in the 90s following the release of the hit Bat Out Of Hell II album, there were a few singles that became mini movies. I’d Lie For You (And That’s The Truth) is probably one example of an over the top music video that was the lead single on the follow-up album Welcome To The Neighbourhood in 1995.

It borrows heavily from some kind of Lara Croft/Indiana Jones type of film, and although I like the song and the video, it does appear quite confusing and was criticised for being overly complicated upon its release. That said, it certainly is a spectacle and wouldn’t be out-of-place in an actual Hollywood blockbuster. The piece also features the acting talents of Xander Berkley, a well-known and respected figure in the business. The whole thing was done on a massive budget, and watching it, you can plainly see that. I suppose he has to spend his money on something?

Just one of many vehicles leaving an explosion in its wake...

Just one of many vehicles leaving an explosion in its wake…

Meatloaf of course gets the girl at the end of all this running around and chasing planes with huge explosions, and that of course is what we all wanted. Confusing – yes, but entertaining – it is in my book. Isn’t that what a music video is supposed to do?

“L” Is For Linkin’ Park

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Linkin_park_breaking_the_habit“L” takes me to American rap rockers Linkin Park. From their second album Meteora is the track “Breaking The Habit“. This was a very successful period in the band’s career, but the video is right up my street. I have always loved the Manga style of animation, and this is a great example of a short film that fits the song well here.

Directed by Kazuto Nakazawa, who has done work on movies such as Kill Bill and Animatrix, we see a story told backwards Japanese style. The story is interwoven with footage of the band performing the track, and everything has been rotoscoped to give it that scribbled look, while maintaining the anime style. At the start of the video, we do not know who it is that has fallen to their death, but as the video progresses, there are many little messages given and we discover at the end that it is in fact the lead singer of the band, Chester Bennington that has fallen.

breaking-the-habit-10I just think it’s a very powerful video animated in a great way for maximum effect. What do you reckon? Is this worthy of a place in your top video list? Comment below.

“K” Is For Kasabian

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220px-KasabianShootherunner-singleI am not actually much of a Kasabian fan, but I was torn between two videos here for my “K” post. In the end I plumped for Shoot The Runner, although the video for the song “Empire” is also excellent so check it out. Shoot The Runner reached number 17 in the UK music chart, so wasn’t a massive success, but I really like the sound of the song, it harks back to a 70s style rock track, perhaps something that Deep Purple might have done.

Now, I am visiting our old friend “Rotoscoping” again here, as this is how the video was animated, but its interesting to see it done in this way rather than the black and white rough sketch style that we have already seen in this A-Z challenge. I am quite a fan of this kind of art aswell, so it gives me a good viewing experience as well as the song being decent. The same style of animation was used in the Queens Of The Stone Age video for the song “Go With The Flow“.

indexIf you have a preference between the two songs I listed here at the top of the post, let me know, was I right to go for what I did, or is the video for Empire better?

“J” Is For Michael Jackson

Smooth_CriminalNow I know what you’re all thinking here, Thriller. WRONG! As much as I love that video, or rather short film, I actually prefer the video to Smooth Criminal from Michael Jackson’s film Moonwalker. I personally think that the dance performance in this video or much more slick in its execution than Thriller ever was, and its more of a polished article.

The song Smooth Criminal was taken from Jackson’s Bad album. The SEVENTH single to be taken from that album in actual fact which shows what a success it was commercially. I think a lot of this success was down to the highly choreographed dance routines and expensive music videos, which are in themselves mini movies, and Jackson was definitely way up there when it came to doing them right.

Of course, the bit in this video that everyone loves is the gravity defying lean, which is all done with clever machinery and camera trickery, but it looks great and does make you go “wow” when a) you haven’t seen it before or b) you haven’t seen it for some time. The effect is has is still worthy of some goosebumps. I suppose in the same way as when we saw Jackson do the moonwalk for the first time during that now famous appearance at the Motown 25 show in 1983.

indexCan you think of a better Michael Jackson music video? Post your suggestions in the comments box below and lets see…

“I” Is For Iron Maiden

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220px-CaniplaywithmadnessBritish rockers Iron Maiden were an acquired taste of mine, however, this song was always one of my favourites. Heavy metal has always been a passion of mine, and in the early 80s it was big business in the UK. Iron Maiden were trail-blazers in commercial metal music and I love many of their songs, but it is the video that accompanies the song “Can I Play with Madness” that really sticks in my mind.

Another thing that makes this video important to myself is that is one of the last times we saw the great comedian and Python, Graham Chapman in front of a camera before his untimely death in 1989. He plays an art teacher who finds himself lost in caves after falling down a hole during a school trip.

hqdefaultAny heavy metalĀ  fans here? Do you have agree with my suggestion for “I” or can you give me a better video? Comment below with your thoughts.

“H” Is For The Hives

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1262636145I remember when this song came out way back in 2000. It amazes me that I didn’t realise that The Hives were actually a Swedish band until only a few years ago. Their sound is something that is so international I think. They have had limited success over here in the UK, but Hate To Say I Told You So is probably the most well know of their tracks globally.

The video is full of energy, but I do like when as the song pauses, so does the video, apart from the bassist (who looks like some sort of Mexican bandit from a Western movie set) and he makes the most of his moment in front of the camera. It’s just an all round, good video that fits the song very well in its energy and vigour.

602498573730_upc_416x312_01What do you think of this song? Does it sound Swedish to you? Drop me a line in the comments =)

Fast & Furious 7 (2015) – A Review

Fast-and-Furious-7-PicSo its time for some fast cars and big stunts. Fast & Furious 7 was released this week and this much-anticipated movie is of course a massive success following the death of its star Paul Walker.

The story follows on from the end of the last movie and we see Jason Statham take over the role of the bad guy out to get Toretto and his team, sorry..”FAMILY“, for crippling his younger brother Owen Shaw. Now I have enjoyed the series of movies and like them as much as the next guy and I know it’s the movies and Hollywood and make-believe and all that, but you would think that they would at least TRY to make it semi, reasonably almost believable?

Instead of just a quarter-mile race to settle their differences, we have to see planes parachuting from aeroplanes, a supercar jumping between three buildings and a person passing between two separate car windows whilst moving at high-speed and doing a 180. This kind of stupidness is what really spoils a good movie for me. No story, too much action that is completely off the wall and the fact that no-one is ever injured.

This film has so many holes in it should have been called Fast Swiss Cheese 7! There is also a cat fight. I find nothing more un-appealing than this in a movie unless it’s between an Alien and Ellen Ripley in a loader suit. Move along, nothing to see here.

Sorry folks, and this will probably go against the grain of what everyone else believes, but as much as I like out of brain movies, this was rubbish. The best part in the movie was the last 10 minutes and the Paul Walker tribute as he is driving alongside Vin Diesel before peeling off on his own. Nicely done. The film, only gets a lowly 2stars from me. No doubt there will be another movie as there always is more story, but I was sorely deflated after this, and even as I write, the movie is still on during the final chase scene and I don’t particularly care if they save the day…sigh :( In fact, the more that I think about it, I’ve changed my mind…1stars.

Trailer:

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