Monday, July 20, 2015

Music Album Review: Are You Satisfied? by Slaves

"I'm not saying this album is the new "Nevermind" but you know what I am saying? It could be, but time will tell."
Looking at all the Facebook comments about Slaves and the excitement drawn from the hardcore fans of the band I read this statement:

"This album is going to be the biggest album since "Nevermind" by Nirvana".

That's one heck of a statement to make from a very strongly opinionated fan. But the comment made me think. Is this album the biggest rock/alternative album in over twenty years?

The answer is... we'll have to find out. The thing about "Nevermind" by Nirvana is that it was a slow burner. People may forget that. It didn't get released in 1991 and got straight to number one and was considered an instant classic. It took time, and word-of-mouth to spread how good it was.

You want my answer? If you put a gun to my head and demand an answer then the simple answer is "no". I don't think this album, or this band, are going to be even an etch of the legendary status that "Nevermind" and Nirvana have set. But what we have here is an exteremely solid garage punk band who have released their debut album and it packs some fantastic welly.

Am I mentioning "Nevermind" too much in this review? If you think so stop reading now. I am comparing the two albums and for good reason. The truth is there are many similarities to "Nevermind" in this album, "Are You Satisfied?". The first thing I'd say is the first track. Both "The Hunter", by Slaves, and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" are token tracks for both bands. They're also the major single off both albums. They are both brash, catchy, and "in your face" songs that are hard to get out of your head when you hear them for the first few times. They also both have many lyrical weaknesses yet surpass those weaknesses with musical ability. If you're going to take a dig at me for saying that "Smells Like Teen Spirit" isn't lyrically the best song, well, Kurt Cobain did write many many better songs, that's what I mean.

The second track, "Cheer Up London", is only slightly comparable to "In Bloom" by Nirvana. Once again they are both singles, and both contain a very silly side to both bands, video wise especially. The differences stop there mind. "Cheer Up London" is a bizarre track; it's incredibly happy and bouncy to listen to, but the lyrics take lots of digs at London as a city and the citizens that live in it. Still, it's a great highlight in the album because the song, once again, gets stuck in your head for days.

The main thing to compare about this album when it comes to the legendary "Nevermind" album is that the pacing is very similar. We have ups and downs throughout, the tracks range from heavy to silly to calm to punky to heavy again, and it finishes off slightly calmer than its lowest ebb. But so did "Nevermind". And another thing is that like "Nevermind", every single track on this album is listenable, and different. No two songs sound the same, which is actually more difficult than it sounds at times. You want to show variety yet show similarity in your music so not to lose your core listeners. I think Slaves do that to great effect here, in a similar vein to Nirvana did back in the day.

I had a look at some earlier reviews for the album before its release. A lot of them are negative. The people who reviewed the album clearly don't understand what Slaves are about. They tag the "punk" genre on them, assume that they're a rebellious duo of rabbling young men trying to make a massive "fuck you" statement at the country and possibly, the world. That really isn't what Slaves are about.

Sure, throughout the album they do make political statements and show some frustration with certain topics of discussion. Hell, it's in the genre. But if you genuinely listen to them, watch them in interviews and watch their music videos, you can clearly see they are just having a laugh, they seem like really good blokes. They have the sound of a punk rock band but gone are the snarls, the anger, the "we're trying to change the world for the better" type of attitude. Their body language don't give that impression away. They seem to be fans of punk rather than want to be punks themselves. I remember seeing them on Soccer AM and they were talking about how they can tell the differences between all the branded bottles of spring water. That's not punk rock. That's the fucking opposite!

But they are a genuinely fun band. They know how to play music. They know how to pull off punk rock... in style. Times have changed; this isn't the late 70's when the Sex Pistols wanted to piss off as many royalists and snobby British people as they could. This is 2015, most of the very serious problems have gone, yet there are issues in our lives today, that this band try to address. Are they good at addressing them? Not really. But they do sound fantastic and create very catchy punk rock tracks. Just listen to "Do Something" - my favourite 'non-single' on the album. It's lyrically poor in a certain way, comparing life to... a traffic jam? It's a bit bizarre but that amazingly dirty and dirgy guitar and the simply effective chorus make it one of the stand out tracks on the album. This band can play good, catchy yet old school low quality (intentionally, in style) music that's just so much fun to listen.

And you know what? That's enough for me. I don't want to give the impression that this is a band that are like no other, that they are going to be the pioneers of punk rock for the next decade and beyond. But rock music in general is quite stale at the moment. And they are shaking the scenery around enough to make the picture around us a little more colourful. They're a fun, catchy, energetic garage punk rock that are having fun and want everyone around them to have fun as well.

To wrap up, this album isn't perfect. As I said earlier in the review and I want to emphasise, this album may not be the new "Nevermind". But the great thing is, it could be. Frankly "Nevermind" wasn't a perfect album either, but it was released at the right place at the right time and its consistency throughout the album in quality is what made it the album it is today. Every track is great but not perfect. And Slaves have created in effect, a very similar album, in a different genre, to "Nevermind" by Nirvana.

Slaves ask us, "Are You Satisfied?" - the answer is yes. More please!

Rating: ****1/2 stars
Stand out tracks: "The Hunter", "Cheer Up London", "Do Something"

Here's the music video for the first single, "The Hunter":

Saturday, June 13, 2015

My Top 100 Favourite Music Videos: #1

Hey everyone, we're half way there. Thanks for keeping upto date with this list. It's been 50 days... here's to the next 50!

If you want to see a recap, or have missed the list so far, here's from #100 to #51...

  • #100: "House of Fun" - Madness
  • #99: "Cosmic Love" - Florence and the Machine
  • #98: "Smells Like Teen Spirit" - Nirvana
  • #97: "Keine Lust" - Rammstein
  • #96: "Bassline Junkie" - Dizzee Rascal
  • #95: "The Salmon Dance" - The Chemical Brothers
  • #94: "stevie" - Kasabian
  • #93: "The Hardest Button to Button " - The White Stripes
  • #92: "If I Had a Tail" - The Queens of the Stone Age
  • #91: "Lullaby" - The Cure
  • #90: "Dance" - Saul Williams
  • #89: "Pork and Beans" - Weezer
  • #88: "Pure Morning" - Placebo
  • #87: "Rockstar" - Nickelback
  • #86: "Smooth Criminal" - Michael Jackson
  • #85: "Life on Mars" - David Bowie
  • #84: "I'm on a Boat" - The Lonely Island
  • #83: "Virtual Insanity" - Jamiroquai
  • #82: "Just a Day" - Feeder
  • #81: "Poison" - Alice Cooper
  • #80: "There There" - Radiohead
  • #79: "Dancing in the Street" - David Bowie and Mick Jagger
  • #78: "Psychosis Safari" - The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
  • #77: "Common People" - Pulp
  • #76: "Forgot About Dre" - Dr Dre and Eminem
  • #75: "Fat" - Weird Al Yankovic
  • #74: "Links 2-3-4" - Rammstein
  • #73: "Cars" - Gary Numan
  • #72: "Dragula" - Rob Zombie
  • #71: "Here it Goes Again" - OK Go
  • #70: "Gangnam Style" - PSY
  • #69: "Wake Me Up When September Ends" - Green Day
  • #68: "Smack My Bitch Up" - The Prodigy
  • #67: "Leave Before the Lights Come On" - Arctic Monkeys
  • #66: "Scream" - Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson
  • #65: "Clint Eastwood" - Gorillaz
  • #64: "Sweating Bullets" - Megadeth
  • #63: "Fell in Love With a Girl" - The White Stripes
  • #62: "Sledgehammer" - Peter Gabriel
  • #61: "I Want You So Hard (Boys Bad News)" - Eagles of Death Metal
  • #60: "In the Air Tonight" - Phil Collins
  • #59: "Twisted Transistor" - KoRn
  • #58: "I Just Had Sex" - The Lonely Island
  • #57: "Girls and Boys" - Good Charlotte
  • #56: "Lonely Boy" - The Black Keys
  • #55: "Seven Nation Army" - The White Stripes
  • #54: "Ashes to Ashes" - David Bowie
  • #53: "My Band" - D12
  • #52: "Coma White" - Marilyn Manson
  • #51: Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades - Brand New
  • #50: Firestarter - The Prodigy
  • #49: United States of Whatever - Liam Lynch
  • #48: Tonight, Tonight - Smashing Pumpkins
  • #47: Smooth Criminal - Alien Ant Farm
  • #46: Enter Sandman - Metallica
  • #45: Tribute - Tenacious D
  • #44: Bad - Michael Jackson
  • #43: Bitter Sweet Symphony - The Verve
  • #42: Without Me - Eminem
  • #41: Man That You Fear - Marilyn Manson
  • #40: Fat Lip/Pain for Pleasure - Sum 41
  • #39: Stay - Shakespears Sister
  • #38: Slam - Pendulum
  • #37: Cradle of Love - Billy Idol
  • #36: Jack Sparrow - The Lonely Island
  • #35: Hey Ya! - The Outkast
  • #34: Paranoid Android - Radiohead
  • #33: All the Small Things - Blink 182
  • #32: Amish Paradise - Weird Al Yankovic
  • #31: Only - Nine Inch Nails
  • #30: Once in a Lifetime - Talking Heads
  • #29: The Beautiful People - Marilyn Manson
  • #28: White Limo - Foo Fighters
  • #27: Buddy Holly - Weezer
  • #26: Walk This Way - Aerosmith and Run DMC
  • #25: In Bloom - Nirvana
  • #24: Fight for Your Right - Beastie Boys
  • #23: Knights of Cydonia - Muse
  • #22: Low Hangin' Fruit - Tenacious D
  • #21: Starfuckers Inc. - Nine Inch Nails
  • #20: Prince Charming - Adam and the Ants
  • #19: Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
  • #18: Underground - David Bowie
  • #17: Everlong - Foo Fighters
  • #16: Telegram Sam - Bauhaus
  • #15: Freak on a Leash - KoRn
  • #14: Shut Me Up - Mindless Self Indulgence
  • #13: Everybody Hurts - R.E.M.
  • #12: Hurt - Johnny Cash
  • #11: I Want to Break Free - Queen
  • #10: Closer - Nine Inch Nails
  • #9: White and Nerdy - Weird Al Yankovic
  • #8: I'm Afraid of Americans - David Bowie and Trent Reznor
  • #7: Weapon of Choice - Fatboy Slim
  • #6: Thriller - Michael Jackson
  • #5: Coffee and TV - Blur
  • #4: Low - Foo Fighters
  • #3: Rabbit in Your Headlights - UNKLE and Thom Yorke
  • #2: Take on Me - A-ha

So my favourite music video of all time is...

#1: "Just" - Radiohead
Release Date: 1995
Director: Jamie Thraves
Fun Fact: To this day, no one knows what the secret message is in the video, Radiohead won't reveal anything!!
So it's all over now. Sorry if you're disappointed at all. Obviously I'm not. And I'm sure there are those who do agree that this is one of the best music videos of all time.

What can I say about this video? It's simple and incredibly effective. A man lies in the street for no reason at all and gets a lot of people concerned. Why is he lying on the floor? Why won't he say why? Why can't we touch him? That's the beauty of this video. It's using the power of psychology, the power of the unknown. We have no idea what the hidden message is in this video. Professionals have tried and failed to work it out. And twenty years later after this video comes out, the secret in the video is only known to Radiohead, presumably the director, and... that's about it? We'll never know.

If you haven't seen this video, please watch it. It's just such a simple yet crazy idea that riles me up big time. WHY IS HE ON THE FLOOR?! So yeah. This is my favourite music video of all time and I just love it. And hate it. But love it far more than hate it, for sure!
Note: This is the third and last video from the year 1995 in this list.

Here is the video for your enjoyment!

Click here to go back to #100 on the list or here for #2!

So that's the end! Thanks so much for joining me in revealing my 100 favourite music videos of all time. It's been a long 101 days but I've enjoyed it. It's been a lot more well received than I ever imagined and it's made me think of doing a Top 100 list of different varieties more often. I may do one list per year. So stay tuned for the next one!

Before I love you and leave you I want to share some statistics, like I always do, that may interest you!

Multiple Music Directors
Akiva Schaffer - 4 videos (#36 Jack Sparrow - Lonely Island, #58 I Just Had Sex - Lonely Island, #61 I Want You So Hard - Eagles of Death Metal, #84 I'm on a Boat - Lonely Island)
Mark Romanek - 3 videos (#10 Closer - Nine Inch Nails, #12 Hurt - Johnny Cash, #66 Scream - Michael and Janet Jackson)
David Mallet - 3 videos (#11 I Want to Break Free - Queen, #54 Ashes to Ashes - David Bowie, #79 Dancing in the Street - David Bowie and Mick Jagger)
Michel Gondry - 3 videos (#17 Everlong - Foo Fighters, #63 Fell in Love With a Girl - White Stripes, #93 The Hardest Button to Button - White Stripes)
Liam Lynch - 3 videos (#22 Low Hangin' Fruit - Tenacious D, #45 Tribute - Tenacious D, #49 United States of Whatever - Liam Lynch [unconfirmed])
Samuel Bayer - 3 videos (#52 Coma White - Marilyn Manson, #69 Wake Me Up When September Ends - Green Day, #98 Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana)
Steve Barron - 2 videos (#2 Take on Me - A-ha, #18 Underground - David Bowie)
Jonathan Glazer - 2 videos (#3 Rabbit in Your Headlights - UNKLE, #83 Virtual Insanity - Jamiroquai)
Spike Jonze - 2 videos (#7 Weapon of Choice - Fatboy Slim, #27 Buddy Holly - Weezer)
Dom and Nic - 2 videos (#8 I'm Afraid of Americans - David Bowie, #95 The Salmon Dance - The Chemical Brothers)
Weird Al Yankovic - 2 videos (#9 White and Nerdy - Weird Al Yankovic, #32 Amish Paradise - Weird Al Yankovic)
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris - 2 videos (#15 Freak on a Leash - KoRn, #48 Tonight, Tonight - Smashing Pumpkins)
Joseph Kahn - 2 videos (#23 Knights of Cydonia - Muse, #42 Without Me - Eminem)
David Fincher - 2 videos (#31 Only - Nine Inch Nails, #37 Cradle of Love - Billy Idol)
Marc Klasfield - 2 videos (#40 Fat Lip - Sum 41, #47 Smooth Criminal - Alien Ant Farm)
Walter Stern - 2 videos (#43 Bittersweet Symphony - The Verve, #50 Firestarter - The Prodigy)
Wayne Isham - 2 videos (#46 Enter Sandman - Metallica, #64 Sweating Bullets - Megadeth)
Jay Levey - 2 videos (#75 Fat - Weird Al Yankovic, #81 Poison - Alice Cooper)

Multiple Music Artists
Radiohead - 3 videos (#1 Just, #34 Paranoid Android, #80 There, There)
David Bowie - 3 videos (#18 Underground, #54 Ashes to Ashes, #85 Life on Mars) [also #8 I'm Afraid of Americans with Trent Reznor, and #79 Dancing in the Street with Mick Jagger]
Foo Fighters - 3 videos (#4 Low, #17 Everlong, #28 White Limo)
Michael Jackson - 3 videos (#6 Thriller, #44 Bad, #86 Smooth Criminal) [also #66 Scream with Janet Jackson)
Weird Al Yankovic - 3 videos (#9 White and Nerdy, #32 Amish Paradise, #75 Fat)
Nine Inch Nails - 3 videos (#10 Closer, #21 Starfuckers Inc, #31 Only) [also #8 I'm Afraid of Americans with David Bowie)
Marilyn Manson - 3 videos (#29 The Beautiful People, #41 Man That You Fear, #52 Coma White)
The Lonely Island - 3 videos (#36 Jack Sparrow, #58 I Just Had Sex, #84 I'm on a Boat)
The White Stripes - 3 videos (#55 Seven Nation Army, #63 Fell in Love With a Girl, #93 The Hardest Button to Button)
Queen - 2 videos (#11 I Want to Break Free - Queen, #19 Bohemian Rhapsody)
KoRn - 2 videos (#15 Freak on a Leash, #59 Twisted Transistor)
Tenacious D - 2 videos (#22 Low Hangin' Fruit, #45 Tribute)
Nirvana - 2 videos (#25 In Bloom, #98 Smells Like Teen Spirit)
The Prodigy - 2 videos (#50 Firestarter, #68 Smack My Bitch Up)
Rammstein - 2 videos (#74 Links 2-3-4, #97 Keine Lust)

I was going to do some charts but I haven't got Microsoft Excel anymore and the online one sucks when it comes to doing graphs. Ah well. That's all from me today and once again I thank you for joining me. Until next time, take care!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

My Top 100 Favourite Music Videos: #2

#2: "Take on Me" - A-ha
Release Date: 1985
Director: Steve Barron
Fun Fact: "Kim's Cafe" is on Wandsworth Road in London and is still kicking about but under a new name - it's now called "Savoy's Cafe"!
This is the second video directed by Steve Barron on my list - the second one was "Underground" by David Bowie which got to #18!

You may be surprised with my second placed video in the list. I like my rock and metal so a synth pop track like this seems a little out of place to be honest. And in fairness, it's not a song I'm that fussed about.

But as a music video, it's just brilliant. There's no denying how good this video is, how I felt about it watching it as a kid and even to this day, watching it now. I just absolutely love it. The art direction is just impeccable, the drawings look fantastic and in fairness the video looks just as good then as it possibly could now... apart from the 1980's fashion of course! This has won numerous "best music video of all time" lists in the past and it truly deserves all the attention it got, and has continued to receive over the past thirty years.

Also, I can't talk about this video and not mention the fantastic parodies done by Family Guy and Weebl and Bob!!
Note: This is the second and last video from the year 1985 in this list.

Here is the video for your enjoyment!

Click here to see #1 on the list or here for #3!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Top 100 Favourite Music Videos: #3

#3: "Rabbit in Your Headlights" - UNKLE (feat. Thom Yorke)
Release Date: 1998
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Fun Fact: The title of the track and lots of the sampling in the song are from the 1990 film "Jacob's Ladder"!
This is the second and last video on the list directed by Jonathan Glazer, the other was "Virtual Insanity" by Jamirquai, that got to #83 in my list!

So this is probably the video highest up the list that is unlikely that you've seen. And that's one of the reasons why I did this list. Sure, it's to show you my favourite music videos, but it's also to put the spotlight on some videos that are absolutely underappreciated, or in this case, are too obscure and chances are you haven't seen it.

For a video that isn't even on YouTube properly (there is half the proper video on there, and another video that uses a mixture of the real video and some "behind the scenes" style footage), this video has done quite well for itself. It has won numerous awards and is often considered one of the best music videos of all time... to those who have seen it. I actually tried to upload the video on to YouTube myself but it got immediately blocked. It's really annoying - the video deserves to be up on YouTube for your viewing pleasure but for some reason, whether it's the music director or the record label or if its UNKLE themselves, the video just isn't on there.

Anyway, so... yes. This is one of my favourite videos of all time. I could explain what happens in the video but I'd rather you just watch it. I will say this though. When life knocks you down, over and over again, get yourself back up and kick life in the face.
Note: This is the third and last video from the year 1998 in this list.

Here is the video for your enjoyment!

Click here to see #2 on the list or here for #4! 

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

My Top 100 Favourite Music Videos: #4

#4: "Low" - Foo Fighters
Release Date: 2003
Director: Jesse Peretz
Fun Fact: The original idea for the video was for Jack Black to dress up in drag and dance in one single shot with no editing, but then the director thought it'd be great to create a storyline around rednecks going to a motel and dress in drag and get drunk!
So this is the last video from the year 2003 in the list. There were NINE videos from this year alone in the list! It's more than any other year so for me, the year 2003 is the best year in music video history!

So I've said it before and I'll say it again, for me, the best music artist or band in terms of making quality music videos again and again, throughout their entire existence is the Foo Fighters. And yes, this is my favourite Foo Fighters music video. It's also my favourite music video from the last decade, but if you've followed my work, you already knew that, when I compiled a list of my 20 Favourite Music Videos of the Naughties back in 2011!

So the last three videos are from different decades... which ones? Find out!

Anyway, back to this music video. It's just genuinely, one of the funniest music videos ever created. Jack Black and Dave Grohl go into a motel room and get absolutely batshit drunk... and then put on women's clothing. But it's way more than that!

The whole video from start to finish is devilishly funny; I love Dave Grohl shouting "LET'S GET IT ONNN!" at the beginning, I love how Jack Black is telling himself to "put the hammer down" whilst doing invisible arm curls, I love how they have to find the "crank button" to blast the volume up, I love the terrible arm wrestling contest, I love Jack Black's best Jack Nicholson impression, I love how Jack Black gets diarrhoea and uses a piece of artwork to waft out the smell, I love how they both try to hold their weights in the archway and how badly Dave Grohl falls, I love how concerningly good DAve Grohl looks in a blonde wig and black mascara... especially in the dark, I love Jack Black's tutu, I love how Dave Grohl decides to zoom into Jack Black's butt crack while he's going violently sick... I just love this video so so much and it cracks me up every time I see it. It's crude, it's rude, but it's a heck of a lot of fun and it's gut-wrenchingly funny... if you have the right sense of humour of course!

Note: This is the ninth and last video from the year 2003 in this list.

Here is the video for your enjoyment!

Click here to see #3 on the list or here for #5! 

Monday, June 08, 2015

My Top 100 Favourite Music Videos: #5

#5 "Coffee and TV" - Blur
Release Date: 1999
Director: Hammer and Tongs
Fun Fact: When Blur took part in the 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony, anyone that bought a Blur t-shirt were given a free "Milky" carton!
Man, I love this video so much. It's probably the only music video on the list that brings me close to tears every time I watch it!

"Milky" the milk carton is one of the cutest things ever created. Period. I seriously want one of those "Milky" cartons that were given free with any Blur t-shirt purchase at the Olympics. Looking on eBay they cost £30 each! Expensive but totally worth it.

If you've not seen this video then please do. This is one of those videos that are for pretty much for all audiences, young and old The story of this music video, along with the amazing charm that "Milky" brings with him, is just simple yet top notch. If you've not seen this video, all I'm willing to say is that Graham Coxon (Blur's guitarist) is apparently missing and is put on milk cartons. "Milky" comes to life, to try and find him and you follow him on his adventure to do so. He finds all sorts of wonders and dangers along the way.

Just watch the video. If you've seen it or not, it's definitely worth your time.
Note: This is the third and last video from the year 1999 in this list.

Here is the video for your enjoyment!

Click here to see #4 on the list or here for #6!

Sunday, June 07, 2015

My Top 100 Favourite Music Videos: #6

#6 "Thriller" - Michael Jackson
Release Date: 1983
Director: John Landis
Fun Fact: The director John Landis, also directed An American Werewolf in London which was an obvious inspiration for the video!
Oh come on, you knew this video was going to be featured right?

And if you have a problem with that then that's quite sad. It's truly one of the best music videos, if not THE best music video ever created. That's me being unbiased. Me seeing this video might be the best doesn't mean it's my favourite. But it's still an incredible piece of work that I absolutely love.

I'd like to emphasise, that I don't think the song "Thriller" is that great. I usually "skip" the song when it come on my media player. I also don't think the shortened version of this video does it any justice. For me, you have to watch the 14 minute version. It's the only way.

And that fourteen minute version is beyond epic. I love the werewolf transformation at the beginning, and of course, I love how Michael Jackson eating popcorn has spawned an internet meme, and the zombies look absolutely fantastic. But of course, as you'd expect, the Thriller dance is just... truly magnificent. You end up watching all of it and you just can't take your eyes off it.

"Thriller", predictable or not, is one of my favourite music videos of all time.

Note: This is the first and last video from the year 1983 in this list.
Here is the video for your enjoyment!

Click here to see #5 on the list or here for #7!

Saturday, June 06, 2015

My Top 100 Favourite Music Videos: #7

#7 "Weapon of Choice" - Fatboy Slim
Release Date: 2001
Director: Spike Jonze
Fun Fact: Christopher Walken is the man featured in the video, a very famous actor who has starred in films such as True Romance, Pulp Fiction, Hairspray and recently, Seven Psychopaths! Christopher Walken trained as a musical dancer before his acting career!
This is the second video directed by Spike Jonze on the list, the other one is "Buddy Holly" by Weezer, which was featured at #27!

Here's another critically acclaimed video that is often featured in many "best videos of all time" lists that features extremely high on my own as well. And it's extremely easy to see why!

What's hard to see why however is the fact that there's two versions of this music video on YouTube and they both only have around 9 million views between them. Explain that travesty! If this video was released today it would have had at least 100 million!

Regardless, it's truly an amazing video. Christopher Walken's dance moves are just so damn good, and you wouldn't expect the man to be able to dance like he does. Of course there's gimmicks in there like being able to fly and stuff, but you do get the feeling that Mr Walken did most of the actual content in the video himself rather than rely on CGI or a body double. Spike Jonze is responsible for a lot of very memorable videos, but for me, this is his finest work and I doubt he'll top it.

Note: This is the sixth and last video from the year 2001 in this list.

Here is the video for your enjoyment!

Click here to see #6 on the list or here for #8!

Friday, June 05, 2015

My Top 100 Favourite Music Videos: #8

#8 "I'm Afraid of Americans" - David Bowie and Trent Reznor
Release Date: 1997
Director: Dom and Nic
Fun Fact: This isn't actually the original song - you can listen to that here. This is a remix collaboration by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, which David Bowie loved so much he made it into the single!

This is the second video directed by Dom and Nic, the other one is "The Salmon Dance" by the Chemical Brothers, which was featured all the way back at #95!

I'm both flabbergasted and disappointed that this video has a measly 140,000 views on YouTube. Clearly this is a hidden gem of a music video that most people haven't seen... either that or I'm overrating it!

As a British person, like a lot of people in this country (and many others) we look at America as a land of opportunity, but also a country with a lot of paranoia, one with a lot of gun obsession and a country that... kinda scares us. In multiple ways. David Bowie has created a song about this strange phenomenon and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails (who is actually American) kindly provides us with the visual demonstration of this. By the way Americans, I, and I'm sure a lot of people, are not saying all Americans act like Trent Reznor in this video! But either way, it's just a damn great video and it tries to explain this weird thing about America that does cross the minds of people from other countries.

But moving away from the subject of the song, why I love this video so much is simple. It features one of my favourite artists growing up as a kid in David Bowie, collaborating with my favourite musician in my favourite band of all time, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. And seeing a goateed Trent chasing David Bowie down New York City streets is both fantastic and a little funnier than it should be. David Bowie while providing half an arguement that Americans are paranoid, does provide the other half of the arguement that maybe he, is the one that's paranoid; he sees imagines of Americans shooting gun hands at eachother when they're in actuality doing nothing of the kind.

And yes, I won't lie. Trent Reznor playing a stalker called Jonny, shooting an invisible machine gun at a taxi at the end is a deliciously amazing scene that I will always love. Just watch the video!

Note: This is the sixth and last video from the year 1997 in this list.

Here is the video for your enjoyment!

Click here to see #7 on the list or here for #9!

Thursday, June 04, 2015

My Top 100 Favourite Music Videos: #9

#9 "White and Nerdy" - Weird Al Yankovic
Release Date: 2006
Director: Weird Al Yankovic
Fun Fact: The song video is CRAMMED full of references and subtle scenes, some more nerdy than others! Some examples below!
This is the third and last video by Weird Al on this, and it's also the second video he directed himself, the other being "Amish Paradise" which got to #32.

This is just one of the funniest videos of all time. Seriously. The video and song is so good it gave Weird Al a surge in his career he had never really seen before. It made Weird Al Yankovic seem cool... for the first time in his career. Sure, he's had his hardcore fans over the years, but he was always considered to be a fad, especially of the eighties. But his three (at the time, now four) decades of hard word and persistence of being the king of the parady had finally paid off.

What to say about the video? You may have seen some of these things but maybe not at all. Notice above? That's Seth Green of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame. And below, the more obvious, is Donny Osmond. Now if you watch Donny Osmond throughout the video, if you've not done it before, you'll realise how fucking fantastic he is in the video. And what's best? Weird Al had the space in the music video and wanted a celebrity to fill it. So he thought of the "whitest guy he could think of", and called Donny Osmond. And Donny makes this whole video ten times better than how damn good it was before. He's absolutely hilarious. Check out the amazing out-takes!

Other things in this video of note that are great for me are the black guys locking their open convertible car, the editing of Wikipedia to say Atlantic Records "SUCK!", the reference to Star Wars Kid, editing his MySpace page (yes it's that old now this video), and his reaction to receiving the Star Wars Holiday Special on VHS. It's just one amazing video and I love it so much.
Note: This is the seventh and last video from the year 2006 in this list.

Here is the video for your enjoyment!

Click here to see #8 on the list or here for #10!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

My Top 100 Favourite Music Videos: #10

#10: "Closer" - Nine Inch Nails
Release Date: 1994
Director: Mark Romanek
Fun Fact: The video is considered one of the most controversial of all time; reasons being it features nudity, lots of S&M imagery, a monkey on a crucifix, the diagram of a vagina, a severed pig's head spiked on some rotating machine amongst other things.
This is also the third and last video directed by Mark Romanek in this list - the other two were "Hurt" by Johnny Cash which got to #12, and the other was "Scream" by Michael and Janet Jackson which got to #66!

What can I say about "Closer"? It's my favourite music video by my favourite band. It's also one of those videos that you probably have to see "before you die", just because it's one of the most memorable videos ever. The art direction is flawless. The way Mark Romanek uses old film to make the video is excellent. It's one of the most controversial music videos of all time, even if I don't think it deserves that title. Regardless of your views on religion, animal cruelty and the use of nudity, you really should see this film. By the way, the monkey was in no way harmed during the making of this video, but a lot of the imagery and style of this video was painting an image of a 19th century mad scientist's lab, hence why there's so much fucked up shit going on in the video. Regardless, watch the video if you haven't seen it before, it's a fascinating video, hard to watch, I suppose, for some mind, and of course, I think the song is just incredible. But I'm going to say that because of how much I love this band!

Note: This is the second and last video from the year 1994 in this list.

Here is the video for your enjoyment!

Click here to see #9 on the list or here for #11!

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

My Top 100 Favourite Music Videos: #11

#11: "I Want to Break Free" - Queen
Release Date: 1984
Director: David Mallet
Fun Fact: The cross-dressing part of the video was highly inspired by "Coronation Street"!
Well? Did you really think this video would be excluded from my list? If you did you clearly don't appreciate how damn great this video is!

Queen, before the Foo Fighters took the crown (in my opinion obviously), were the kings of the music video. The thing was, before this video, most of Queen's videos were very serious. They wanted to go completely against the grain and do something unexpected. And cross-dressing was the answer!

What's so brilliant about the cross-dressing in this video is how concerningly good they all look in drag. Every single member of Queen look fantastic. Roger Taylor's legs - what on earth?!

And of course, Queen do have a serious side to the video, the beautiful ballet section is equally as amazing, in a completely different way. The body paint and the art direction are flawless, and Freddy Mercury shaved his moustache off purely for this part of the music video.

What else can I say? It's just one of the best music videos of all time, and it marginally misses out on my Top 10.
Note: This is the first and last video from the year 1984 in this list.

Here is the video for your enjoyment!

Click here to see #10 on the list or here for #12!

Monday, June 01, 2015

My Top 100 Favourite Music Videos: #12

#12: "Hurt" - Johnny Cash
Release Date: 2003
Director: Mark Romanek
Fun Fact: I seriously hope you know this fact, but for all the people who don't know, this is a cover version. The song was originally by my favourite band, Nine Inch Nails, you can listen to it here. Definitely give it a listen if you've never heard it before.
This song, and the video for that matter, give me goosebumps. Without fail. Every time I hear it. And while I love Nine Inch Nails, and I love the original by the band, this version, sends horrible shivers down my spine. Trent Reznor wrote the lyrics to help him ease through difficult times in his life. Johnny Cash chose to sing the lyrics during the final months of his life. He died seven months after the video was released.

This video pays the ultimate tribute to the life and career of Johnny Cash. It uses all the amazing clips of the career and times in his life, the good and the bad. Alongside it is Johnny Cash, looking and singing as frail as he ever did, and it's almost as if we, the viewer, live his life in four minutes. It's dark, and haunting, yet beautiful and rewarding at the same time. There will never be a man like Johnny Cash on the face of this earth again. And this video is the ultimate epitaph for The Man in Black.

Here is the video for your enjoyment!

Click here to see #11 on the list or here for #13!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

My Top 100 Favourite Music Videos: #13

#13: "Everybody Hurts" - R.E.M.
Release Date: 1993
Director: Jake Scott
Fun Fact: The video was inspired by an Italian 1963 film called "8½"!
There's one thing that baffles me and that's how underappreciated this video is. It's a truly brilliant video. Yet it's not often, if ever, featured on any major listings across the music industry at all. It baffles me. It's a very famous video, a very famous song and while the song itself does get good attention for its fascinating self-help lyrics, this accompanying video doesn't get the recognition it deserves.

Basically there's a massive traffic jam and the video concentrates on all of these people stuck in their cars and it displays their thoughts and feelings in subtitles. There's people of all ages and backgrounds, all thinking about a variety of different topics; one is wondering why God isn't answering his prayers, another is mentally shouting at their dad to stop singing badly in the car.

At the end of the video, the band, who are in a car of their own, thinking the lyrics of the song, get out of the car and walk out. The words "so hold on, hold on", are actually not thought but are said out loud, and it inspires the entire crowd of people stuck in traffic to be strong about their problems and tackle them head on. This metaphorical of course; the leaving their traffic jams and walking away from their cars is the image that represents this.

I just love this video, it's truly a powerful song and they needed a video to relay the message as well as it could. And I totally think R.E.M. nailed that message head on with this video. I just wish other people agreed with me, and appreciated this video more. It would (and should) be featured on more of these "best music videos of all time" lists.
Note: This is the first and last video from the year 1993 in this list.

Here is the video for your enjoyment!

Click here to see #12 on the list or here for #14!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

My Top 100 Favourite Music Videos: #14

#14: "Shut Me Up" - Mindless Self Indulgence
Release Date: 2006
Director: Jhonen Vasquez
Fun Fact: You may recognise the name Jhonen Vasquez; he's the creator of the classic cult animated cartoon series Invader Zim!
This is truly one of my favourite videos of all time. It's one of those videos, and songs, and bands as well, that just don't get the recognition they deserve. Mindless Self Induglence as a band get, for some reason, categorised into the "emo" genre but they're anything but. They're industrial, rap, techno, rap, punk and much more, and they also like to use video game sounds into their music too. If you've not heard them, give them a listen below.

As for the video, it's just insane. Amazingly bizarre but insane at the same time. Basically the story goes that this shop worker goes to see MSI live a few days prior, and then just goes completely insane in the shop. He kills loads of customers in the shop, in a variety of stupidly hilarious ways. It's a very funny video, dramatically over the top, and there are so many "moments" that I love in the video. Seriously, just watch the damn video! 

Here is the video for your enjoyment!

Click here to see #13 on the list or here for #15!

Friday, May 29, 2015

My Top 100 Favourite Music Videos: #15

#15: "Freak on a Leash" - KoRn
Release Date: 1999
Director: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
Fun Fact: The video won three music video awards, most importantly a Grammy for Best Short Form Music Video in the year 2000!
Ah yes, the "bullet video". As overplayed as this video may be, you can't deny it's excellence. The video from start to finish looks so damn cool; the animations are drawn to perfection, and even to this day, that stray magical bullet looks so cool as it pierces everything in sight. It's just one of those videos really, unless you've seen it too often, that you become mesmerised watching; you just can't take your eyes off this bullet and the impact it makes on everything in sight.

This is a very short paragraph into this entry in my Top 100. Purely because the video speaks for itself as one of the best videos of all time, and of course, one of my personal favourites.

Here is the video for your enjoyment!

Click here to see #14 on the list or here for #16!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

My Top 100 Favourite Music Videos: #16

#16: "Telegram Sam" - Bauhaus
Release Date: 1980
Director: Mick Calvert
Fun Fact: This is not the only glam rock cover version Bauhaus have done, they also covered "Ziggy Stardust" by David Bowie!
It's funny looking back at some of these videos. Especially the ones that bring you right back to your childhood. As an adult you sometimes look back and think, why did I love this video so much? And why did it strike me so strongly as a kid?

With this video, you may not understand why it's so high in my list. The main reason is that image below. The image of Peter Murphy, being stuck between an extremely thin wall. It just... blew my mind when I was a kid. I was terrified. I don't even have claustrophobia and never have - but just this image of this man stuck between a tiny wall was just terrifying to me!

Looking back at it now I see a pretty damn awesome video, one of the true first "goth" videos. Bauhaus were one of the pioneers of goth rock and this is also one of my all time favourite cover versions. Bauhaus took T-Rex's "Telegram Sam", sped it up, punked it up, goth'ed it up, and spat it out again to make one of the most amazing cover versions you'll ever hear... in my opinion anyway! Give it a listen and watch the video, it may not be as good looking back on it now, but it's still a pretty cool video and it's awesome to see what "goth" truly should look like!
Note: This is the second and last video from the year 1980 in this list.

Here is the video for your enjoyment!

Click here to see #15 on the list or here for #17!