TMF's Ten Worst Ever Music Videos
A few days back, music channel TMF showed, what was in their view, the fifty worst ever music videos. And there were some right awful ones in there, and it won't surprise you to know that some of the ten are also some of the worst pieces of pigeon poo ever put to record. Ever. And as for the accompanying video? Well folks, cheese doesn't even come close. Just imagine some stiltion mixed with some long gone off mouldy cheddar, and you're almost there. So what were their choices of the ten appalling sins to music video history then? Well, in reverse order it was like this:
10 - Do The Conga - Black Lace
No introduction needed. Black Lace's party "songs" are often ones that everyone remembers at their Christmas office party and says "I know this one!" in a rather drunken embarassing stupor. Do The Conga was one such effort which basically encouraged you to do that dance and form the train across the dancefloor. So how to put this in the video? Yeah, of course. Hire a train station and an old steam train, get people on the train getting off and doing the conga on the platform. Errr. yeah, great. Almost as appalling as seeing the two guys in Black Lace as milkmen delivering to lots of housewives (hmmm, dodgy) and even in one of the most crap animation sequences ever, the milk bottles also try and do the conga. Whaaaat? Then of course it's off to the local night spot to watch Black Lace do the song "live" (haha! Miming, more like) and with everyone on the dancefloor in so embarassingly 80s outfits do the conga on the dance floor. Why this was only number ten was beyond me..
9 - Fog on the Tyne - Gazza and Lindisfarne
There are so many questions to ask about this record. Why did Lindisfarne agree to reviving their flagging career in this way? Why the hell did Paul Gascoigne (ah, sorry, he's called G8 now isn't he?) think after the 1990 World Cup that he could sing? Why set the video on top of a derelict building somewhere in Newcastle, and then down the local pub? Get the band to play, get Gazza to pretend to sing, and make sure everyone's getting completely rat arsed at the same time to make sure it doesn't sound as bad. And then of course watch everyone throw up at the sight of his tracksuit and trainers, which looked more like a shellsuit, a horrible crime to humanity if ever I saw one. And as for the follow-up? Don't even get me started on "Geordie Boys".
8 - Snooker Loopy - Chas 'n' Dave and the Matchroom Mob
Sadly, the only half-decent song ever written about snooker. And it's still got a cheesy appalling video. The idea's okay, get Chas and Dave to do a pub type sing along about snooker for the chorus, and that works well, but in the video? Ah yes, get the lads who are part of the Matchroom team to pocket the balls to the video. Hmm. And in each verse, Chas and Dave sing about one of the team, and then for the final punchline, they get the appropriate player to sing the line. Bad enough on record of course, but when you hear Dennis Taylor belt out "it's cos I wear me goggles" or excruciatingly, Steve Davis singing "Now he's got the rest of us signed up" looking particularly "interesting" (not like now) and trying to look cool, well it just doesn't work really does it? And that's why the video is cheese. For your bonus point, see if you can remember all the snooker stars who took part in the song..
7 - Atmosphere - Russ Abbott
Nope, not an appalling cover of the Joy Division classic (thankfully). Atmosphere was basically a song about liking parties with a heady atmosphere, and music playing. Obvious choice - stick Saturday night ITV comic entertainer Russ Abbott in a night club, make sure there's those spinning globe things to make it look so 80s, get lots of pretty women dancing around him (yeah, as if) and make Russ wear the most cheesy jumper and slacks to make it look like the embarassing dad off the Mary Whitehouse Experience (you know: "Hey? What's this? It's got a good beat!") and have Russ dance the same way, from side to side, hardly kicking it at all. And you're pretty much there, really. Even during the interlude bits have him trying to hard to dance when clearly he can't. If he wasn't so old now, I'd get him on BBC's Strictly Come Dancing and see how he manages against the judges, hehe. The song's utterly cheesy too: "music everywhere, and soon we'll be dancing in the cool night air..". Whatever.
6 - No Way No Way - Vanilla
Urgh! Essex girl slappers anonymous in this one. And the song's utterly appalling, there's nothing to save it from being utter crap and possibly the worst song of the ten here. Let's see, let's rip off the classic "Mah Na Mah Na" in the chorus (made famous by the Muppet Show, of course) and get them singing "No Way No Way" to it instead. The verses were part vocal, part spoken word, and that didn't work. Clearly the whole thing was done on the cheap, the outfits the girls wore looked like they were last year's cast offs at Primark, and the whole thing was filmed by a swimming pool with anyone who looked anything like locals roped in to be extras playing in the pool in the background. Even some of the blokes who the girls said "no way no way" to knew that they weren't too bothered and could so so much better than these four slappers so didn't mind being pushed back in to the water (oh, the rejection! the irony!) to avoid them. Listen to this crap again? No way, no way!
5 - Cotton Eye Joe - Rednex
Oh no! Just when you thought that Euro-dance couldn't get any worse, along came this steaming hot turd of rubbish. Let's try and make it a fast paced dance tune with hints of line dancing, and let's see people try and line dance to the whole thing. Oh dear. Just not going to work is it? And the video? Well, let's film it in a local barn or outside somewhere, get plenty of hay bails for the "band" to sit down on, and then let's get people to dance around them in full cowboy outfits. Didn't anyone tell Rednex that only the really sad diehards line dance with cowboy outfits on these days? Clearly appalling, and utterly useless.
4 - In The Navy - Village People
Must admit this was a surprise entry, but the video pretty much explains why. The song's okay, and don't forget Village People were massive in the late 70s (come on, everyone's heard of "YMCA" right?) - but the video is pretty naff. The only visible idea is that they thought that it'd be cool to get all the guys from the band to dance on a ship, and around various parts of it, while explaining their lyrics to be the virtue of being in the navy. Fine to a point of course, but for almost four minutes of seeing them do the chorus lines on the boat's deck, having one of them dressed as the naval captain suitably attired? Not so sure that as a video it really works, though. Oh and don't forget the way that they'd appear from the windows of the decks in parts of the video - so obvious and so cheesy!
3 - Fast Food Song - Fast Food Rockers
Now this is more like cheesy crap to say the least. Get two girls and a gay looking guy to dress up in hideous outfits, mime to the song while doing silly things waving your hands around and making arches to resemble the arch in the Pizza Hut logo (and indeed the golden "M" arch in McDonald's as well). An absolute must for product placement, but just taking advantage of an old school playground song that people used to play hand clapping games or skipping games to. The video extends this by making it really necessary to have them drive around in some sort of dodgy burger van which looks too clean to be one, stop every five seconds, serve people with the naff chorus and verses, and then dance around what looks like a Playmobil set doing the actions. Who the hell bought this pile of crap?
2 - Do What U Like - Take That
Oh dear. Oh dear indeed. No wonder this didn't chart. Take That's first ever single, and it was so naively done, just basically carting the five lads around as objects of desire for the women (and who would have known Robbie Williams to be such one for them in years to come eh?) dancing around in mostly black outfits with a bit of silver, around a completely white room. Someone must have got bored with the idea because there's then the odd food fight with mainly jelly being placed across the torsos of band members chests in an attempt to try and get the women to like them even more, but in truth it looks like they just hired out a little room somewhere in Manchester, filmed themselves prancing about and messing around, and then edited it on cheap-o-rama for the ultimtately tacky boy band video that it was to be. Now under normal circumstances, it'd have been number one, but...
1 - Wired For Sound - Cliff Richard
But.. and here's the big but. This is possibly the worst video in music history - ever - and definitely one of the worst songs Cliff ever put out. The video just tries to reinforce the lyrics of the song somewhat, with Cliff prancing around on roller skates with a walkman on, listening to the cool and groovy sounds coming from it, while simultaneously trying to mime his way through it. And it just doesn't work. Especially with the outfit Cliff has on - which looked even dated for the time of the song release. Add to that many other people prancing around in roller skates around a disused industrial estate somewhere also trying to look like they were wired for sound too, and you pretty much have the whole thing in a nutshell. Cheesy, crap and Cliff - all in one. Wonder what'd happen if he remade it by using an iPod instead, not heed the Apple fans' warning and use another pair of headphones, and have some mugger come and rob him? At least it'd be a bit more realistic.
So there you have it. Just awful pop videos - and most of the time, rubbish songs too. Now that's what I call bobbins volume one :)