Music Video of the Day: Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve (1997, dir. Walter A. Stern)


The Verve was a group that I know a lot of people liked in the late 90s, but I never got into them. I had the album this song is on, but that was it. I actually enjoyed The Verve Pipe more. However, in both of their cases it was only one song. I probably caught a minute of the music video here and there, but that was it. This is the first time I have watched it all the way through carefully. There’s not much to talk about.

The video starts off with our lead singer deliberately standing on a sidewalk at an intersection where construction would block him from walking straight backwards. He can only go straight forward. After that, he continues to walk down the street without caring too much about who or what gets in his way. Wikipedia says he is a oblivious, but he isn’t. That’s noticeable when he does move around some people. Not to mention that if he were truly oblivious, then he would have walked into several cars. He is unconcerned because this walk isn’t just for fun, but a cathartic experience for him. This is most noticeable in the way he walks to where he needs to stand, and seems to have to work up the courage to walk down the street. He ends up walking the metaphorical street where in the end he is joined by the other members of the group. He might hurt some people along the way, but he can’t let that stop him from being who he is, and to move forward with his life. I did find it interesting that they deliberately show shots of his feet. I don’t think it’s meant to be a Saturday Night Fever (1977) reference, but to show that he is not avoiding the cracks in the sidewalk.

This is another music video where we know more than just the director.

The director is Walter A. Stern who seems to have done about 20 music videos, but that’s it.

Editor Nicholas Wayman-Harris has a done a few more music videos having edited about 25 of them along with directing one. He has also worked in other short films as well as feature films

Costume designer Emma Sutton did at least 7 music videos and a few additional shorts, but that’s all I could find.

The music video fits the song and is interesting, but it’s nothing particularly remarkable. That said, I’d say this is required viewing and listening for 90s music.

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5 responses to “Music Video of the Day: Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve (1997, dir. Walter A. Stern)

  1. Pingback: Music Video of the Day: Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve (1997, directed by Walter Stern) | Through the Shattered Lens

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