Music Video of the Day: Modern Love by David Bowie (1983, directed by Jim Yukich)

This video for Modern Love is probably as straight forward as you can expect any music video from David Bowie to be. Filmed during the Serious Moonlight Tour to support Let’s Dance, the video features Bowie and his band performing an encore at Philadelphia’s Spectrum Theater.

This video was directed by Jim Yukich, who did videos from everyone from Iron Maiden to Debbie Gibson to Phil Collins.


Music Video of the Day: Flight of Icarus by Iron Maiden (1983, directed by Jim Yukich)

We all know the story of Icarus.  Imprisoned on the island of Crete with his father Daedalus, Icarus fashioned artificial wings so he could fly to freedom.  His father warned him not to fly too close to the sun but the cocky Icarus ignored his father.  The sun melted his wings and Icarus plummeted to his death.  Whenever someone allows their hubris and cockiness to defeat them or they get too ambitious for their own good, we compare them to Icarus.

Iron Maiden wrote a song about the Flight of Icarus, reimaging the story as being about a teenager rebelling against his father.  That’s not surprising as every Greek myth inspired at least one heavy metal song.  Flight of Icarus was Iron Maiden’s first single to be released in the United States.  (At the time, Iron Maiden was better known in the UK than in the US.)  It’s also one of their few singles to receive substantial radio airplay at the time that it was released.

The video was shot at Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas.  The Grim Reaper was played by drummer Nicko McBrain.  As for director Jim Yukich, he was one another one of those music video directors who everyone seemed to work with in the 80s and 90s.  He did videos with everyone from Iron Maiden to Genesis to Huey Lewis to Debbie Gibson and David Hasselhoff.  That’s range!


Music Video Of The Day: I Can’t Dance by Genesis (1992, directed by Jim Yukich)

“It’s not about being unable to dance.  It’s about guys that look good but can’t string a sentence together. Each verse is a piss-take at the scenario of a jeans commercial. It was good fun, but the audience thought, ‘What does he mean that he can’t dance?’ They didn’t see the humor, and it killed the fun.”

— Phil Collins on I Can’t Dance

Ok, Phil.  Whatever you say.

Tony Banks, Genesis’s keyboardist, has said that the song actually came about because he and Mike Rutherford were fooling around with various sounds in the recording studio and Phil, hearing what they were doing, suddenly sang out, “I can’t dance!” The song started out as an improvised joke but then went on to become one of the band’s biggest hits.  It was also nominated for a Grammy.

The end of the video is meant to be a parody of the original ending of Michael Jackson’s video for Black or WhiteBlack or White originally ended with Michael Jackson’s dancing erratically and destroying a car.  I Can’t Dance ends with Tony and Mike dragging Phil away before can do too much damage.


Music Video of the Day: A Groovy Kind of Love, covered by Phil Collins (1988, directed by Jim Yukich)

To say, as one BBC documentary did back in 2000, that “critics sneer at Phil Collins” is to be guilty of a massive understatement.  For as long as I can remember, critics have loathed Phil Collins and most of his fellow musicians haven’t had much good to say either.  Who can forget Noel Gallagher imploring the British public to vote for Labour because “if you don’t and the Tories get in, Phil Collins is threatening to come back and live here. And let’s face it, none of us want that.”  And, of course, in American Psycho, Patrick Bateman vigorously defended Phil Collins as a musical genius and both hookers and audiences laughed.

It’s easy to understand how the fatigue with Phil Collins set in.  In the 80s through the mid 90s, he was everywhere.  His songs were hits but many of them sounded so similar that they were difficult to keep straight.  Music critics love authenticity and that was often what Phil Collins seemed to be lacking.

Still, you can’t deny that the man sold a lot of records.  Critics and hipsters may not have liked him but, for a while there, everyone else couldn’t wait to hear the latest from Phil Collins.  For me, Phil Collins’s music will always be a guilty pleasure.  He’s easy to mock but his music epitomizes an era and still holds up better than something from Michael Bolton.

No, I just don’t think he’s as bad as people say.

But we’re talking about Phil …. er, never mind, man.

This cover of The Mindbenders’s A Groovy Kind of Love appeared in the movie Buster, which was an attempt to turn Phil Collins in a film star.  The movie took place in the 60s and the soundtrack is full of music from that era.  This was one of two songs that Collins recorded for the film’s soundtrack.  The other was Two Hearts, which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.

The video is one of the many videos that find Phil Collins sitting in a dark room and singing.  While singing, he watches scenes from Buster.  The film did well in the UK and less well in the States.  Some critics complained that the film glorified crime (it was about the real-life Great Train Robbery), which led to Prince Charles and Princess Diana canceling plans to attend the film’s London premiere.  Collins later stated that he was the one who told Charles that he should stay home in order to save him from any embarrassment.  Telling royalty to stay away from your movie for their own good is classic Phil Collins.


Music Video of the Day: Always There For You by STRYPER (1988, dir. Jim Yukich)

Happy Easter!

For Easter, I bring you a bunch of guys dressed like bumblebees doing a stage performance on a hundred-dollar bill. In other words, I bring you the Christian metal band, STRYPER. It stands for salvation through redemption, yielding peace, encouragement, and righteousness. If that sounds contrived, it’s because it is. It’s a backronym for the name they already picked out. The name comes from Isaiah 53:5, which is why you see it prominently featured in the video. From that passage, springs the stripes.

There’s a nice little “Where Are They Now?” video below. It was made before the group reunited. In it, you find out that they used to toss bibles out to their audience during performances. That sounds dangerous. I am picturing someone wearing glasses getting hit in the face with a book. They also substituted 666 for 777. According to Wikipedia, that has to do with Christianity looking at the number “7” as divine perfection. I honestly didn’t know that. It’s also branding the band to make them stand out against all the other hair bands of the time.

As you might expect, STRYPER took a lot of crap back in the day. I don’t mean because the songs are cheesy and they look funny. I mean because they did what they did, but as a supposed Christian band. There’s definitely some controversial material like you would expect concerning any band. But other stuff is just plain ridiculous, such as people calling them Satanists and other things. One quote over on Wikipedia from their manager Daryn Hinton says, “It was just like if Ozzy Osbourne was there,” when concert-goers would show up to see them and there would be all kinds of protestors.

One quote over on their Wikipedia article rubs me the wrong way. It’s from the Los Angeles Times in 1985:

“The band gets sullen fans of Twisted Sister cheering and poking stubby ‘one way’ fingers heavenward—a refutation of the double-fingered ‘devil horns’ salute of many metal groups.”

Ghosts, Italian Style (1967, dir. Renato Castellani)

The Machine That Kills Bad People (1952, dir. Roberto Rossellini)

That second screenshot is an Italian explaining to an American the Italian tradition that Ronnie James Dio saw a family member do, them being Italian and all. He did it a few times onstage and it caught on like wildfire in the metal community. I wouldn’t bring this up were it not for the fact that you can see ignorance about this show up in religious movies as recent as 2010.

I had a long thing written out about religion and metal, but I’ll let Ronnie James Dio speak about it in the video below.

I have only listened to a few of their songs. I can’t find a music video for To Hell With The Devil. What a crime it is that there isn’t a video for this song. I’m not even a Christian, and I love that song. So, here it is anyways without a proper video.

The music video was directed by Jim Yukich who is extremely prolific. He directed about 200 music videos.

The music video was produced by Paul Flattery who has produced around 250 music videos.

The music video was shot by Toby Phillips who has shot around 65 music videos. He’s also worked as a Steadicam operator on films such as Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), Twins (1988), and Born On The Fourth Of July (1989).

Enjoy, and again, happy Easter!