Music Video of the Day: The Look Of Love by ABC (1982, dir. Brian Grant)


First things first, this is directed by Brian Grant, and not Julien Temple. The other version of this that is listed on mvdbase is from the ABC film Mantrap (1983).

Mantrap (1983, dir. Julien Temple)

If you enjoy ABC, then I recommend the film. It’s basically an extended music video for the album The Lexicon Of Love that comes complete with Martin Fry fighting his doppelgänger.

From the book I Want My MTV:

Martin Fry: The record companies weren’t pressuring anyone to look a certain way. That came later. For “The Look of Love” we wanted to cross the visual style of Benny Hill, a really crude slapstick comedian, with An American In Paris. I don’t think Kurt Cobain would have ever put on a striped blazer and sung to a wooden crocodile. There’s a parrot on my shoulder at one point. We were pushing it to the limit, seeing how embarrassed we could get. Art is what you get away with.

I wouldn’t have put it past him. Also, you weren’t so much singing to the crocodile as you were trying to beat it to death.

Brian Grant: Martin Fry and I both loved old Hollywood movies. There was no Look at us, we’re a serious rock band. They just wanted to have fun.

I picked up on that from the end of Mantrap.

Mantrap (1983, dir. Julien Temple)

Mantrap (1983, dir. Julien Temple)

There’s one more quote following the one from Grant, and then we get one from Sir Mix-A-Lot.

Sir Mix-A-Lot, artist: Devo, Gary Numan, the Fixx–I liked all the new wave bands. But I didn’t like any of ’em so much that I tried to style my hair like the guy from A Flock Of Seagulls. And I never tried to hold one key on a synthesizer for as long as he did in “I Ran.”

I’ll never look at Baby Got Back the same way again.

Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot (1992)

There are the obvious parts like what I assume is a reference to the beginning of 8½ (1963).

The flying nun.

The skater who falls off the bridge.

However, each time I watch this video, I seem to spot something else going on.

This guy looks like he should be in the background of a Jacques Tati film as he does his routine from A Day’s Pleasure (1919).

A Day’s Pleasure (1919, dir. Charlie Chaplin)

Is that his kid back there?

There’s a lower level on the set way back there. Why?

Why does this guy have a giant playing card in addition to everything else?

Who is this man in black that crosses the bridge behind Fry?

I guess we needed at least one eighties person in this video.

Tarzan Boy?

A fire-thrower wearing a leopard print skirt. Sure.

Charlie Chaplin dating a clown. Of course that’s in here.

I don’t know what this guy wearing Martin Fry’s costume from Poison Arrow is doing here or what exactly he’s even doing.

Director Brian Grant has done around 180 music videos.

I love this video. Enjoy! And remember to watch out for plugs in spaghetti.

30 Days Of Surrealism:

  1. Street Of Dreams by Rainbow (1983, dir. Storm Thorgerson)
  2. Rock ‘n’ Roll Children by Dio (1985, dir. Daniel Kleinman)
  3. The Thin Wall by Ultravox (1981, dir. Russell Mulcahy)
  4. Take Me Away by Blue Öyster Cult (1983, dir. Richard Casey)
  5. Here She Comes by Bonnie Tyler (1984, dir. ???)
  6. Do It Again by Wall Of Voodoo (1987, dir. ???)
  7. Heaven by Bryan Adams (1985, dir. Steve Barron)
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23 responses to “Music Video of the Day: The Look Of Love by ABC (1982, dir. Brian Grant)

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