Music Video of the Day: Milk From The Coconut by Toto Coelo/Total Coelo (1983, dir. Philip Davey)


If I have to break out a music video by Toto Coelo, then it’s a pretty safe bet that I don’t feel well, or have had a long day. Today is an example of both.

The beauty of doing this particular Toto Coelo video is that I can quote my post on the video for their song, I Eat Cannibals:

I don’t have a lot of guilty pleasures in the realm of music. I will usually defend just about anything that I enjoy. A good example of that is Debbie Gibson. Still, if I had to list one band that could qualify, then it would be Toto Coelo (or Total Coelo as they were renamed to in the US). I’m guessing they renamed the band in America so as not to confuse people into thinking they had something to do with the band Toto.

This seems to have been their only hit song. But they did a couple of music videos for other fun songs like Milk From The Coconut, which was supposed to be in the unfinished sequel to Grizzly that had them in it. They also did one called Dracula’s Tango (Sucker For Your Love). They’re all stupid, but fun. Just like this music video. I’m pretty sure Milk From The Coconut was supposed to be taken seriously. However, it’s tough to do so after you’ve seen them sing it on the stage in Grizzly II.

How do I describe the video for Milk From The Coconut? Oh, yeah. It’s easy. It’s a less serious, danceable version of Voices Carry by ‘Til Tuesday.

We have the uncomfortable dinner scene.

Voices Carry by ‘Til Tuesday (1984)

We have the scene where he is less than subtle about judging her because of the way she looks.

Voices Carry by ‘Til Tuesday (1984)

The scene where we see her trying to conform to some sort of ideal image.

Voices Carry by ‘Til Tuesday (1984)

We also get an ending that has the band going back behind the images of themselves that they broke out of at the beginning. In Voices Carry, we get the image of her trapped behind a translucent material that barely lets us see her. She doesn’t break free till the ending at the opera house.

Voices Carry by ‘Til Tuesday (1984)

Where Milk From The Coconut makes up for the absence of seeing the abuse boyfriend, is with these shots.

What happened here? Is that meant to imply that she was sexually assaulted as child? I would assume it’s just a loss of innocence from age, but not in conjunction with other images in this video.

The big difference between the two videos is that you can take Voices Carry seriously. This comes across as sad when you try to pay attention to it. Of course it’s difficult to do so when it’s brought to you by the same group that did I Eat Cannibals. And is still performed the way it is, with things that couch the impact of the lyrics and certain parts of the video.

It’s still one of my favorite songs that they did, and I appreciate them appearing to trying do something less frothy.

Enjoy!

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