Monday, 16 February 2009

Top five music videos

5. New Order - World In Motion

Remember when England were good at football?

No I'm not talking about 2001 or even 1996. It's time to go back to 1990.

Gary Lineker banging in the goals. A svelte Gazza in his prime. Chris Waddle bounding down the wing, his mullet proudly trailing behind him. A beautiful sight for all Englishmen.

In the video, witness Gillian Gilbert looking distinctly awkward, Keith Allen being a twat and Bernard Sumner driving across the pitch in a car, no doubt ruining the playing surface in the process. Perhaps this was the reason the team were unable to practice taking penalties?

And of course, we have to mention the John Barnes rap at 2:30. For me, rather than Gazza's tears, this was the iconic image of the 1990 World Cup. Some say it was his best performance in an England shirt and I wouldn't disagree. The lyricism, the flow, the focus, the hip swivel - It's all there.

In Stuart Maconie's excellent rock journalist biography Cider With Roadies he claims that several versions of the rap were recorded by a few different players. It certainly raises the tantalising possibility that a version of World In Motion featuring Peter Beardsley's mumbling Geordie tones is in existence in the vaults of a studio somewhere. That's something I would love to hear.

Still the best sports song ever. Bar none.


4. Guns 'n' Roses - November Rain

Not my favourite GnR song, but my word what a video. The overblown pomposity of it all is pure Axl Rose. Fantastic.

Now. Would you trust Slash to be your best man? I imagine it would be a good stag night, but I'm not too sure about his speech at the dinner or organising anything.

And then at 4:05, Stoke-on-Trent's finest son strides out of the church, dressed in cowboy boots and leather chaps, sunglasses around the neck, fag dangling from the corner of his mouth and rips into the solo. My favourite 'rawk' moment in music video history.


3. The Clash - London Calling

Live performance videos can be dull and unimaginative affairs. But when the band is The Clash then normal rules don't apply.

The side on camera shots are what make it. The triple attack of Jones, Strummer and Simonen stepping backwards and then lurching forward to the microphones when the vocals kick in. I can feel the crackling of that energy through the screen.

Having been born in 1980, of course I never saw The Clash play live. How I would do anything to be beside that bandstand in the pouring rain.

(I can't find a decent quality version of this that will let me embed. So this will have to do)


2. Joy Division - Atmosphere

Wow. Just wow.

Anton Corbijn's magnificent tribute to Ian Curtis. Beautifully shot in black and white, somehow the concept fits the song perfectly. And if you are even the slightest fan of Joy Division, it's impossible not to be moved by the sight of those huge prints of classic photographs.

Nothing more needs to be said.


1. Beastie Boys - Sabotage

Oh yeah!

This is the one I can watch again and again. I think it's the wigs that do it for me. That and the cavalier descent of staircases.

Of course Spike Jonze is a talented man, but surely this must have been the most fun either he or the band ever had in their life?

I would love to don a comedy hairpiece and moustache to have some car chases, do reckless kung fu kicks and roll around on the floor recreating this video.

In fact, what are you all doing next Friday?


Anonymous said...

I can't believe Ay ay ay ay moosey by Modern Romance didn't get on your list!!! Not sure about all of your choices but like Sabotage!

Clare x

Harry said...

Hey Phill, do you have a new email I could use to send you some info about Flatpack Festival ( The animail is bouncing...

If you could get in touch here: flatpack (AT) 7inch (DOT) org (DOT) uk that'd be great.