Music Video Of The Day: God’s Gonna Cut You Down (2006, dir by Tony Kaye)

This is a case where I like the song more than the music video.  This video was actually filmed three years after Johnny Cash’s death.  As far as “official” music videos are concerned, I always feel like a musician should have some sort of say into how their music is visually interpreted.  Obviously, Johnny Cash wasn’t around to have anything to say about the video for God’s Gonna Cut You Down.

Since Cash wasn’t available, director Tony Kaye filled the video with cameos from other actors and musicians, a few of whom (though not many) were previous Cash collaborators.  Among the celebs who make an appearance in this video: David Allan Coe, Patricia Arquette, Travis Barker, Peter Blake, Bono, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Depp, the Dixie Chicks, Flea, Billy Gibbons, Whoopi Goldberg, Woody Harrelson, Dennis Hopper, Terrence Howard, Jay-Z, Mick Jones, Kid Rock, Anthony Kiedis, Kris Kristofferson, Amy Lee, Adam Levine, Shelby Lynne, Chris Martin, Kate Moss, Graham Nash, Busy Philipps, Iggy Pop, Lisa Marie Presley, Q-Tip, Corinne Bailey Rae, Keith Richards, Chris Rock, Rick Rubin, Patti Smith, Sharon Stone, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, Brian Wilson, and Owen Wilson.  Some of the celebs — like Dennis Hopper and Kris Kristofferson — seem like they naturally belong there.  Others seem so out-of-place that you’ll want to throw something.  You know how that works,

God’s Gonna Cut You Down is a traditional folk song.  I’ve heard countless versions of it.  I prefer Cash’s version to the more traditional gospel arrangement but, then again, I tend to find gospel music to be dull in general.  Cash’s arrangement brought new life to an old song.


Music Video Of The Day: Elegantly Wasted by INXS (1997, directed by Michael Stern)

The 1990s was a decade when many bands, who otherwise had little in common, were bonded together by a mutual hatred for Oasis.

Originally hailed as being the second coming of the Beatles, Oasis was fronted by two brothers, Liam and Noel Gallagher.  At the height of Oasis’s popularity, the Gallaghers never hesitated to let it be known how little they thought of their musical competition.  At the 1996 Brit Awards, when Noel Gallagher received an award from INXS’s Michael Hutchence, he accepted by saying, “Has-beens should not be presenting awards to gonna-bes.”  Backstage, Hutchence got into a scuffle with the other Gallagher brother, Liam.  Apparently, Liam made some disparaging remarks about Hutchence’s then-girlfriend, Paula Yates.  Hutchence reacted by throwing a fire extinguisher at Liam.

Following the altercation, Hutchence went to the recording studio and added some additional vocals to the chorus of the song that would become the title track to INXS’s upcoming album, Elegantly Wasted.  The original chorus was “I am elegantly wasted.”  Hutchence added, “I am better than Oasis.”  You have to listen carefully for it but it’s definitely there.

(The rest of INXS reportedly didn’t find out about Hutchence’s additions until several months later, when the album was released.)

As for the song itself, depending on which source you consult, it was originally inspired by either a pub crawl with U2’s Bono or by Hutchence’s relationship with Yates.  The video was filmed in Los Angeles, on a set that was made up to resemble an airport.  While the song may not have been as big a hit as the some of INXS’s previous releases (it peaked at 20 in the UK and 48 in Australia), it did reach the number one spot on the Canadian charts.

Sadly, it would also be one of the last INXS single to be released in Michael Hutchence’s lifetime.  Hutchence committed suicide in November of 1997.  He was 37 yeas old.

Music Video of the Day: Numb by U2 (1993, directed by Kevin Godley)

For today’s music video of the day, we break down the video that the New Musical Express named as being the 16th worst video of all time.  Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to get … Numb!

0:06 — Drip drip drip.  Someone’s in for an unpleasant shock when they get the water bill.

0:30 — Numb is one of the few U2 songs to feature lead vocals from The Edge.  The Edge’s real name is David Howell Evans.

0:35 — That’s U2’s bassist, Adam Clayton, blowing smoke in the Edge’s face.  Clayton is the only member of U2 not to sing on this track but he still plays an important role in the video, as we’ll soon see.

0:50 — Who doesn’t love a good massage?

1:00 — The Edge is learning that singing lead has its advantages.

1:17 — “You’re not Bono!”

1:23 — Holding the rope in the background is, once again, Adam Clayton.

1:45 — As Clayton ties up The Edge, drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. makes an appearance.  It was actually Mullen’s idea to start the band that would eventually become U2.

1:53 — However, Mullen has obviously been overshadowed by Bono.

2:11 — Oh no, they killed the Edge!

2:13 — Hello?

2:15 — Is anyone there?

2:20 — With the Edge apparently dead, now seems like a good time to tell you that Numb was the first single released off of U2’s 1993 album Zooropa, which many consider to be the moment that U2 went from being an energetic group of rockers to the most pretentious band on the planet.  Numb, like the rest of the album, is about sensory overload.

2:23 — Numb was originally recorded for Achtung Baby and was called Down All The Days.  No one in the band liked the song but they still reworked it for Zooropa.

2:27 — Edge, can you hear me?

2:33 — Larry Mullen, Jr. is the new Edge.

2:41 — Adam considers tying Larry up but realizes that he wasted all of his rope on The Edge.

3:00 — The Edge lives!

3:18 — But with those feet in his face, The Edge might wish that he was dead.

3:36 — The Edge catches the bouquet.

3:51 — That is Morleigh Steinberg dancing in front of the Edge.  Nine years after the release of this video, the Edge and Steinberg got married.

4:12 — Just the fact that the fans are using cameras instead of phones proves this video was made in the early 90s.

4:17 — “Excuse me, Mr. Edge, but we have a wedding party coming in so if you and your friends could please vacate the room…”

4:25 — The Edge ain’t going nowhere.

Numb was originally release as a video single, so if you wanted to listen to it outside of Zoorupa, you had to buy it on VHS.  Also included on the tape was a video for Love is Blindness.