Music Video of the Day: Winner Takes It All by Sammy Hagar (1987, directed by ????)

Winner Takes It All was written for the classic Sylvester Stallone arm-wrestling film, Over The Top.  It was originally recorded by the lead singer of Asia but the film’s producers felt that his version wasn’t tough enough for a Stallone film so they instead offered it to Hagar.  Hagar’s version is the one that appeared on the soundtrack.  Eddie Van Halen plays bass on the track.

Hagar has said that he didn’t care much for the song but he did enjoy getting to arm wrestle Sylvester Stallone while filming the music video.  At the end of the shooting, Stallone and Hagar both signed the black cap that Stallone was wearing and the cap was later auctioned off for $10,000.  All of the money went to charity.


Music Video of the Day: Dumb Waiters by The Psychedelic Furs (1981, directed by ????)

What is Dumb Waiters about?  The song mentions nothing about waiters, dumb or otherwise.  Nor does it appear to be about the elevator that some restaurants and hotels use to transport food from one room to another.  Check out the lyrics for yourself:

Give me all your paper ma
Gimme all your jazz
Give me something that I need
Something I can have
Mrs. London’s coming round
She’s coming with her son
Gimme all your paper ah
So I can get a gun
She has got it in for me
Yeah I mean it honestly
She’s so mean
Give me all your paper ma
So I can buy a train
They just want to suck you in
To being one of them
Tell her that I’m not in here
Tell her I’m a freak
Tell her that I fall about
Every time I speak
She has got in for me
Yeah I mean it honestly
I just scream
Give me all your paper ma
So I can buy a train
I don’t know how I got in here
It’s making me insane
Have another cigarette
And have another cigarette
In a room where lovers go
Talking on the telephone
They have go it in for me
Yeah I mean it honestly
They all dream

According to guitarist John Ashton, the lyrics were meant to be surreal.  As he told Songfacts, “I think they tend to make people use their imaginations really. The way we never play a song the same. It never means quite the same. I guess people relate to it any way, make something out of it themselves.”

The song reached #59 on the UK chart while doing slightly better in the U.S., peaking at #25.


Music Video of the Day: Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution (1980, directed by Eric Dionysius and Eric Mistler)

“We were in London at the time and there were all those problems with the old Marquee Club because it was in a built-up area and there was this whole thing about noise pollution in the news, the environmental health thing that you couldn’t have your stereo up loud after 11 at night, it all came from that.”

— Malcolm Young

Angus and Malcolm Young reportedly wrote this song in just 15 minutes, after they were asked to come up with one more track for the Back in Black album.  Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution became the 10th and final track on Back in Black.  It was also the fourth and final single to be released from the album.  The song reached number 15 on the UK charts, the highest of any of the singles that were released off of Back in Black.

As was always the case with AC/DC, the music video for Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution is simple and to the point.  AC/DC was never a band that needed gimmicks to make itself heard.


Music Video of the Day: Mony Mony, covered by Billy Idol (1987, directed by Larry Jordan)

The cover of a song by Tommy James & The Shondells would be Billy Idol’s only number one hit in the United States.  As hard as it may be to believe, other Idol songs like White Wedding, Rebel Yell, and Dancing With Myself failed to even crack the top 30.  Interestingly enough, when Mony Mony hit number one, the song that it replaced was another song that was originally recorded by Tommy James, Tiffany’s cover of I Think We’re Alone Now. 

A good deal of the success of Billy Idol’s Mony Mony can probably be linked back to this music video, which features Billy Idol at his most energetic.  During performances of Mony Mony, audience members would regularly shout, “Hey Motherfucker … Get Laid!  Get fucked!” in between the lines.  How this became a tradition is not known but it did lead to this otherwise innocuous song getting banned from several high school dances.

This video was directed by Larry Jordan, who has also done videos for Shania Twain and Mariah Carey.


Music Video of the Day: I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock ‘n’ Roll by Nick Lowe (1985, directed by ????)

Though this video was first released in 1985, the song had been around for quite some time before that.  It was written by Nick Lowe in the late 70s and it was first a hit for Lowe’s frequent collaborator, Dave Edmunds, in 1977.  The version that’s featured in this music video is a slightly slower version that Lowe recorded for his 1985 album,  The Rose of England.  This version was produced by Huey Lewis, who brought in the News to play on the album.  Lewis played harmonica.

The video, itself, feels like a companion piece to several of Huey Lewis’s videos from the 80s.  The sense of humor is the same type of humor that often appeared in Lewis’s video, as is the wistful acknowledgment of times gone by.


Music Video of the Day: Shadows of the Night by Pat Benatar (1983, directed by Mark Robinson)

Today’s music video of the day features Pet Benatar as a Rosie the Riveter-type of character, working in a factory during World War II and having fantasies about being a flying ace.  Judge Reinhold appears as a pilot while the much missed Bill Paxton plays an enemy radio operators.  Interestingly, this video was filmed before either one of the two men became well-known.  Reinhold had just starred in Fast Times at Ridgemont High but he wouldn’t play his best-known role, as Detective Billy Rosewood in Beverly Hills Cops, until a year after this video came out.  At the same time that Reinhold was trading quips with Eddie Murphy, Bill Paxton was playing an ill-fated street punk in The Terminator.

Pat Benatar was not actually the first artist to record this song.  The song was originally written by D.L. Byron in 1980 for a film called Times Square but it was rejected by both the filmmakers and Byron’s record label.  The song was subsequently recorded by both Helen Schneider and Rachel Sweet before Benatar did her version.  Of course, Benatar’s recording is the best known, climbing up to the third sport on the charts and inspiring even more artists to cover the original song.

If you’ve ever stolen a car in Los Santos, there’s a good chance you’ve heard Shadows of the Night on the radio.


Music Video Of The Day: Every 1’s A Winner by Hot Chocolate (1977, directed by ????)

I’ve been told that the Golden Globes are tonight so this seemed like a good song to go with.  Everyone’s a winner, though not really.

This was Hot Chocolate’s 2nd biggest hit, right after You Sexy Thing.  The music video, or “promotional video” as they were called back in the 70s, is a performance clip but what a performance!  How can you not be jealous of that super keyboard?

Good luck to all of the Golden Globe nominees and enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: Saturday In The Park by Chicago (1973, directed by ????)

Though the band may have been named after Chicago, the park referred to in this song is New York’s Central Park.  Robert Lamm enjoyed spending the 4th of July in the park and he went on to write this song about it.  It became one of Chicago’s biggest hits and it also became a song that was regularly featured in various Time Life musical compilations.  Back in the day, anytime a Time Life infomercial came on TV, you knew that you were going to get this song’s chorus stuck in your head.

In one form or another, Chicago the band has been around for over 50 years.  They were originally called The Big Thing before changing their name to Chicago Transit Authority.  There’s an urban legend that the real CTA sued the band for copyright infringement but the official story is that the band changed their name because Chicago was a simpler name and easier to remember.  By changing their name, the band allowed people to associate Chicago with something other than Mayor Daley, which undoubtedly helped to improve the city’s reputation.


Music Video Of The Day: Real World by Matchbox Twenty (1998, directed by Matthew Rolston)

I don’t know if you can get more 90s than with this video, which features Rob Thomas leading a camel through a bowling alley and then becoming a news anchorman while his bandmates do things like sell steak from an ice cream truck, work as a waitress, and appear in cereal commercials.

You can debate what all of the symbols mean.  I suspect that it doesn’t mean much at all.  This song and video were very popular when I was in high school but even then when we all secretly suspected that the way Rob Thomas sang, “head honcho,” would seem progressively less cool over time.

This is one of the many videos to be directed by Matthew Rolston.  He’s also done videos for everyone from Jennifer Love Hewitt to Jewel to Jessica Simpson to David Bowie and Seal.  You know that video for Kiss From A Rose that doesn’t feature any clips from Batman Forever?  That was Rolston.


Music Video of the Day: I Love It Loud by Kiss (1982, directed by Philip Davey)

Kiss destroys a house, just through the power of their music.  That seems like a Kiss thing to do.  This video is back from when the moral majority still thought that KISS stood for Knights In Satan’s Service.

Significantly, this was not only the last video to feature Ace Frehley as a member of Kiss but it was also the last video that Kiss filmed before they officially took off their makeup.  The “unmasked era” lasted for 12 years, from 1983 to 1995.  Unfortunately, it turned out that Kiss, without the makeup, wasn’t really that interesting of a band.  With the makeup, they were beings from another world.  Without the makeup, they might as well have just been a slightly more talented version of Poison.  Kiss eventually did the right thing, put the makeup back on, and got back to destroying houses.

The father in this video is played by Howard Marks, who was Kiss’s business manager at the time.