Music Video Of The Day: Animal by Def Leppard (1987, directed by Doug Freel and Jean Pellerin)


Animal is a song that took three years for Def Leppard to complete.  The band started work on the song in 1984 with producer Jim Steinman, who is best known for his collaborations with musicians like Meat Loaf and Bonnie Tyler.  Steinman’s orchestral style proved to be a poor fit with Def Leppard’s more straight forward sound.  After realizing that Steinman wasn’t going to work out, the band brought in Mutt Lange, who was able to get the sound that the band wanted.

Though the band had already found success in the United States, Animal was the first Def Leppard song to became a hit in the UK.  Not only did it reach No. 6 on the UK Single Chart but it also scored the band their first invitation to perform on Top of the Pops.  (For the benefit of our American readers, that was, back in the day, a big effing deal.)

The video finds the band working and performing in a traveling circus.  The video was directed by Doug Freel and Jean Pellerin, both of whom have directed videos for several different artists.  Along with directing several other videos for Def Leppard, Freel and Pellerin have also worked with Metallica.  On his own, Freel has done videos for Roxette and Faith No More.  Pellerin, meanwhile, directed the films, Laserhawk, For Hire, Daybreak, and The Clown At Midnight.

Music Video of the Day: Fox On The Run by Girlschool (1988, dir. Jean Pellerin)


I can’t believe it took till the 369th post to do a Girlschool music video. I would have gone with I’m The Leader Of The Gang, but…Gary Glitter and all. Plus, while that one may have a scorpion in it, this one has a random dog in the background. That, and since I did The Ballroom Blitz by Sweet for other reasons, I figured I’d do their version of Fox On The Run, and then do the Girlschool cover.

Girlschool is a second wave British heavy metal band that is all-female. If you aren’t familiar with them, but do know who Motörhead is, then they are along similar lines, but women. They are friends. They collaborated. They had a similar opinion towards music that wasn’t heavy metal. They did covers of songs that weren’t heavy metal. Sadly, they now share something else in common–both of their lead singers are no longer with us. Kelly Johnson passed away from cancer in 2007. Lemmy passed away from cancer, congestive heart failure, and cardiac arrhythmia in 2015. Assuming it is still up, you can see them perform Please Don’t Touch below as Headgirl on Top Of The Pops.

If you don’t know Motörhead, then you should, and Girlschool is heavy metal, but with leanings towards punk rock and new wave. I even remember hearing an interview one time where Girlschool referred to themselves as a new wave band even though they play heavy metal.

In 1988, when this video came out, Kelly Johnson wasn’t with the group as she is in the performance above. Rhythm guitarist Kim McAuliffe sings lead vocals. She is an original member of the band.

The video…well this video is exactly what it looks like. It’s Girlschool doing a version of that kind of music video that made Bon Jovi’s career, which I’ve seen credited to the video for Home Sweet Home by Mötley Crüe. It’s that mixture of the band onstage, but also behind-the-scenes stuff that frequently includes a tour bus. The difference between this and those videos, is that this one screams that the 80s are about to die, whereas Home Sweet Home and Livin’ On A Prayer don’t.

Edge Of A Broken Heart by Vixen ages a bit better because of the glam, but it also came out in 1988. You can tell it was starting to wear thin even if the quality of the music wasn’t. I’ll do Edge Of A Broken Heart soon because while I don’t know if they had any formal connections with Poison, the first thing that came to mind when I watched that video was Poison. Then just in case you didn’t think that, they have someone with a Poison jacket on in the video.

I’ll get to other Girlschool videos, like the one where they transform from cats into humans. It’s weird to look at that video if your first introduction to them is this video. Or you discover them in the late 2000s while in college, and the greatest hits album you buy has a cover with them in leather and denim looking like they are ready to kill the photographer if they don’t leave soon. That would be how I found them.

I’ll get to their covers of Tush and 20th Century Boy as well. Of course they covered T-Rex and ZZ Top. In the meantime, enjoy their take on Sweet’s Fox On The Run even if the video is nothing particularly special.

The video was directed by Jean Pellerin who did about 20 videos, and has done some feature films.

Bart Devaney was the executive producer.

Jean Richardson was the producer.

Sarah Bayliss was the production manager.

The one who seems to have the most credits is the runner, Bill Payn, who did that on at least 32 videos. He also did some 1st and 2nd assistant directing work on a couple of music videos. He appears to still be doing work in those areas–music and otherwise.