Monday, December 10, 2012

Top 12 music videos

Christmas music - Jean Gill

My Top 12 Music Videos

This is my selection.  What's yours? How's about sharing, as a Christmas present to everyone who reads this. The rules are that you have to choose a video because it's a special video, not just because it's your favourite song or your favourite singer, and not just because the star is so desirable - or wearing so little clothing - you can't take your eyes off him/her!

1. Bryan Adams - Please forgive me
He had me from the moment he scratched at the door to join in. I just love this dog! I love the way he potters about on set, part of the band. I love the way Adams caresses him so naturally while recording. Great camera-work.This has to be the best behind-the-scenes video ever. I like the song too; love songs sung by scruffy, macho rock stars always appeal :)

2. Sade - Soldier of Love 
High drama and stunning images, with Sade's physical elegance and smooth voice. She has a poise and a presence that grabs attention. I find her beautiful and this video really appeals to me as a photographer, the landscapes, the movement, the silhouettes - and the horse. Isn't that the horse of your dreams?

3. Patrick Swayze - She's like the wind 
The combination of Swayze's beauty, with the romantic lyrics and the clips from 'Dirty Dancing' turn me into adolescent mush every time. I love Swayze's looks and the way he moves. Somehow the video hooks into a mix of nostalgia and romance, and knowing that Swayze's talent lives now only on screen makes it even more of a tear-jerker.

4. Aerosmith/RUN DMC - Walk this way
Makes me smile every time. Turning the competition between differing musical styles into a comic on-stage battle between the two bands was genius as a concept. I love rock, love Aerosmith but most of all I love the combination of great performances with play-acting in this video.

5. Shania Twain - That don't impress me much

She's gorgeous. I would love to photograph her. Drama, elegance, surreal juxtaposition of that desert landscape with the furry outfit. I want a furry outfit like that. But then I'd look like a pretentious muskrat, not like a fantasy queen.

6. Francis Cabrel - Je t'aimais, je t'aime et je t'aimerai

The opening image of the blue layered hills captures our landscape perfectly. Cabrel, one of my favourite singers, comes from the south of France and there is something quintessentially southern French in this video, right down to the old-fashioned touring circus that disappears into the distance at the end. A classic love song - sing it to your partner.

 7. Robbie Williams & Nicole Kidman - Somethin' Stupid
So stylish. All the period details, right from the opening frame, are so beautifully created and match the song. Williams and Kidman play the parts to perfection.

8. You can call me Al - Paul Simon/Chevy Chase
Funny :) I don't even know why it's so funny. There's something about Chevy Chase, his expressions and the fact you know he's miming that is just funny.

9. Jean-Jacques Goldman - La-Bas 
Another of my favourite French singers. His performances with Welsh singer/guitarist Michael Jones and American Carole Fredericks are pure magic, especially Ne en 17 a Leidenstadt, in which each of them takes a verse, wondering what he would have done if a) Jewish Goldmann had been a German in Nazi Germany b)    British Jones had been born in Belfast c) Black Fredericks had been born white and rich in Johannesburg. Powerful lyrics.

But the video I've chosen is La-Bas, because the story of an immigrant seeking work is filmed so beautifully with Goldman truly convincing in a role that had personal relevance. The sad postscript to this one is that Sirima, the beautiful girl singing in the video, was murdered by a jealous partner because she became 'too successful' after her duet with Goldman. Sirima was born in Isleworth, Middlesex UK, just like my husband. Her murderer got 4 years.

10. Queen - The show must go on 
While we've got the hankies out, here's another tear-jerker, not because of what's in the video but because of the context. This is a compilation of clips from so many great Queen videos that I could have put them all in my list. Remember Freddy as a housewife? And who'd have thunk Roger Taylor would look so good in drag! But Freddy sang 'The show must go on' when he was dying of AIDS and every word in that song is so much what he's doing that I can't believe he had the courage - or the wonderful voice - to sing it. Understatement is not a word that comes to mind with anything concerning Freddy, and this video is a tribute to an amazing performer.

11. Shakira - Objection (Tango) 
Put the hankies away and shake your bootie. I love this video! I hadn't even heard of Shakira when I saw this video and I was mesmerised. I love the way she moves, the energy, the passion. I've always loved to watch dance, any kind of dance and this video just fires me up with the desire to jump around the living-room, and kick some ass. The switch to cartoons and superheroes creates a good story in this too. I haven't got a clue what the lyrics mean - who cares!

12. Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart (Interpreted)
Bonnie Tyler comes from the Swansea Valley in Wales and when I was visiting schools there, as an English Adviser, one of the ten year olds I spoke to told me 'Bonnie Tyler's my auntie, you know.' Everyone is very proud of her success where she comes from, a rough part of Wales. She made good. I love singing along with 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' but definitely thought the video was over the top. When I saw this version, I understood why :)

Laugh? I couldn't stop laughing when I first saw this. I can't watch the original now without smiling at just how weird it is! The cat is there so the video doesn't infringe copyright - boo to copyright laws, on this one - so ignore the cat and watch the TV screen.

Your turn. Share a music video that you think is brilliant.

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