Music Video of the Day: The Tide Is High by Blondie (1981, dir. Brian Grant)


First Version
Second Version

This is the third and final version of The Tide Is High. It was made a year later by Brian Grant.

The reason I even knew this existed was because of an entry on mvdbase that described it for me.

Though this videos starts exactly the same way as the previous, it quickly changes with a mix of new and old footage (including the famous circular pink bed scene) with a few still pictures tossed in for good measure.

I read “famous circular pink bed scene”, and figured it had to be out there somewhere if it is so famous. It took a fair amount of digging, but I found it. It was worth the trouble.

The video starts off the same way as the other two except it freeze-frames on the faces of the guys in the band. There are some pictures in the video as well as freeze-frames such as the cover of the single. We see it in close-up, then backed up in order to show the whole band. That shot is the cover of the album the song is on.

Then the pink bed makes an appearance. I guess I was expecting something along the lines of It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls or that ridiculous scene from Chatterbox! (1977). I wasn’t expecting to see Debbie Harry rolling in a circular pink bed.

Then there’s the shots with her looking at a number ‘1’ in a manner that makes it looks like she wants to have sex? What else are you supposed to read from these looks, given that they are included with her rolling around on a circular pink bed? I’m not 100% what they were shooting for there. It is memorable though.

Horny Vader makes no appearance in this version. But we do get a spaceman on a conveyor belt??? I have no clue about this part.

There are some shots of the band playing, and this is where this version adds something completely missing from the other two.

The Tide Is High was originally written in 1966 by John Holt and performed by the group, The Paragons. When Blondie covered it, they added the reggae sound, which is the trademark of this particular song. Yet, any reference to that fact were noticeably missing from the other two versions. While it seems odd to be here with Debbie rolling around on a bed, we do see a part that ties in to the reggae part of the song.

No rocket this time around. The video ends with the footage of Debbie arriving on the street to leave with the rest of the group.

There you go. That’s the version with the “famous circular pink bed scene.” It must be so famous that it has been all but expunged from the net.

Enjoy!

A Movie A Day #172: Sensation (1994, directed by Brian Grant)


Doctor Ian Burton (Eric Roberts) is a college professor who believes that objects retain impressions of the past.  To prove his theory (and hopefully, not lose tenure), Burton recruits one of his students, Lila Reed (Kari Wuhrer), who has shown that she may have psychic abilities.  Lila holds objects and she sees the past.  At first, she is intrigued but then she realizes that she keeps seeing the same woman in her visions.  The woman was a former student of Burton’s.  She was murdered and the good Doctor Burton is the number one suspect.  Can Lila use her power to solve the crime and clear Burton’s name?  Or is Burton guilty and using her for something more sinister than just testing a thesis?

Sensation is one of the many softcore neo-noirs that used to regularly appear, “after hours,” on HBO and Cinemax in the 1990s.  Sensation has a tagline (“An experience in terror”) that it never lives up to but it is still watchable because of the combination of the sexiness of Kari Wuhrer and the strangeness of Eric Roberts.  The tawdry mystery will not fool anyone and Wuhrer’s visions were all done better in The Dead Zone but Sensation deserves some credit for at least trying to be a little more creative than the average 1990s straight-to-video release.

Keep an eye out for Ron Pearlman, as the lead detective on the case.  He does not get to do much but he’s still Ron Pearlman!

 

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)