Since I did the concert video version of this yesterday, I thought I would do the original version directed by Russell Mulcahy. Or as I like to call it, Mulcahy for some reason shooting the music video like it’s Madhouse by Anthrax after watching Balls To The Wall by Accept. Also, it looks to me like Mulcahy introduces them at the start of the music video the way I would expect Depeche Mode to be. I don’t know what made him think of the first one, but the second makes some sense. The song is already filled with sexual metaphors.
According to mvdbase, they did this music video a year before they must have decided that a concert video would go over better in the United States. With this music video, they could have also just been trying to break from the image of early metal videos looking like new wave bands. In fact, the book I Want My MTV actually says:
“If you watched MTV with the sound off, you might not have been able to tell the difference between Duran Duran and Def Leppard except that women in Duran Duran videos weren’t in cages”
I can see that when I watch the music video for Photograph. I don’t see that with this music video, but you have to remember that MTV was like the mainstream movie industry. Only a few years after this video was made, you had the rise of directors like Kevin Kerslake who took the medium in an entirely different direction. This meant that as a side effect, bands moved with the year-to-year changes to appear relevant. They probably looked at the video, then looked at Bon Jovi concert videos, remembered their early new-wave-looking music videos, and decided to get with the new-style for bands of their kind in order to get the most positive reception at MTV.
In general, Def Leppard seems to have had a rough history when it comes to music videos. They started off with David Mallet who was coming off of making many music videos for Blondie in the late-1970s. They did a few music videos with the team of Jean Pellerin & Doug Freel. They did this music video with character and storyline director Russell Mulcahy. Then they did some videos with Wayne Isham who had been working with Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe, Judas Priest, and Bon Jovi for years. He would also go on to work with Megadeth, Metallica, Van Halen, and KISS. However, by that time, Smells Like Teen Spirit and grunge were just around the corner. They never seemed to have had a chance to settle on a particular image like Bon Jovi did. Bon Jovi became so associated with their concert videos that they even made a concert video making fun of the fact that they made endless concert videos.
I think we are seeing a failed attempt with a director they shouldn’t have been working with at this point in their career, and that they realized it and quickly had a more appropriate video made in 1988-plain and simple.