Music Video of the Day: Milk From The Coconut by Toto Coelo/Total Coelo (1983, dir. Philip Davey)


If I have to break out a music video by Toto Coelo, then it’s a pretty safe bet that I don’t feel well, or have had a long day. Today is an example of both.

The beauty of doing this particular Toto Coelo video is that I can quote my post on the video for their song, I Eat Cannibals:

I don’t have a lot of guilty pleasures in the realm of music. I will usually defend just about anything that I enjoy. A good example of that is Debbie Gibson. Still, if I had to list one band that could qualify, then it would be Toto Coelo (or Total Coelo as they were renamed to in the US). I’m guessing they renamed the band in America so as not to confuse people into thinking they had something to do with the band Toto.

This seems to have been their only hit song. But they did a couple of music videos for other fun songs like Milk From The Coconut, which was supposed to be in the unfinished sequel to Grizzly that had them in it. They also did one called Dracula’s Tango (Sucker For Your Love). They’re all stupid, but fun. Just like this music video. I’m pretty sure Milk From The Coconut was supposed to be taken seriously. However, it’s tough to do so after you’ve seen them sing it on the stage in Grizzly II.

How do I describe the video for Milk From The Coconut? Oh, yeah. It’s easy. It’s a less serious, danceable version of Voices Carry by ‘Til Tuesday.

We have the uncomfortable dinner scene.

Voices Carry by ‘Til Tuesday (1984)

We have the scene where he is less than subtle about judging her because of the way she looks.

Voices Carry by ‘Til Tuesday (1984)

The scene where we see her trying to conform to some sort of ideal image.

Voices Carry by ‘Til Tuesday (1984)

We also get an ending that has the band going back behind the images of themselves that they broke out of at the beginning. In Voices Carry, we get the image of her trapped behind a translucent material that barely lets us see her. She doesn’t break free till the ending at the opera house.

Voices Carry by ‘Til Tuesday (1984)

Where Milk From The Coconut makes up for the absence of seeing the abuse boyfriend, is with these shots.

What happened here? Is that meant to imply that she was sexually assaulted as child? I would assume it’s just a loss of innocence from age, but not in conjunction with other images in this video.

The big difference between the two videos is that you can take Voices Carry seriously. This comes across as sad when you try to pay attention to it. Of course it’s difficult to do so when it’s brought to you by the same group that did I Eat Cannibals. And is still performed the way it is, with things that couch the impact of the lyrics and certain parts of the video.

It’s still one of my favorite songs that they did, and I appreciate them appearing to trying do something less frothy.

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: Harden My Heart by Quarterflash (1981, dir. ???)


Right now, if you go over to Songfacts, then you’ll get the following information about the video:

Released the same year MTV went on the air, the video contains many random images that have nothing to do with the song, including jugglers, a little person, a makeup table in the dessert, well-dressed guys on motorcycles, and a sax solo in the rain. It was fairly common in the early ’80s to throw lots of disjointed scenes into the videos in an attempt to create a memorable image.

That just sounds like somebody who solved Nik Kershaw’s riddle, and is angry that it doesn’t mean anything–according to Kershaw himself. I’m sure this video makes perfect sense.

It starts off with Rindy Ross running away from superimposed text.

She does eventually find a door that opens unto a room where there’s a little person and somebody juggling fire off to the side.

A bodyguard for her heart. And juggling the memories of old flames.

Gymnasts. They are timed to enter when she says “wildest dreams.”

Back in the trailer, she finds another door.

This one leads to a little boy sitting at a makeup table in a quarry.

And he’s in the trailer like some sorta doppelgänger?

Now there are three of them.

Maybe this is a little random.

Phew! This is something that makes sense. Rindy Ross playing the saxophone. She does that in real life.

Why it’s going on in a warehouse with water on the floor behind people on motorcycles is anyone’s guess.

I wonder if this inspired the ewok playing drums on a storm trooper helmet in Return Of The Jedi (1983).

She’s getting ready to “leave you here.”

She’s tormented by her past relationship.

The guitar is kicking in to tell us that she’s ready to harden her heart, which of course means bulldozer…

and someone with a flamethrower.

They’re here to destroy the place that keeps her trapped.

She did say she was going to swallow something. Fire is more impressive than tears, so a fire-eater it is.

She eventually makes it out of the place with multi-colored doors,…

it’s crushed,…

and set ablaze.

Okay, the video is a bit random. It probably helped give us Total Eclipse Of The Heart.

You do have to give them some credit. It isn’t completely random. You can say that the plot is lead-singer Rindy Ross trapped in her own mind where these dream-like images appear while she tries to find a way out of a vulnerable place in order to harden her heart from future heartache by having that place bulldozed and burned.

It’s also a good early example of the lead-singer-wandering-through-trippy-images videos of the early-MTV era. Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran got upgraded to a travelogue. Even Going Back To Cali by LL Cool J is the same kind of thing. The big difference is that they tweaked it from Alice In Wonderland to Monica Vitti In Antonioni-land.

Needless to say, the song did well back then, and is the reason the group even exists, as it blew up from a regional hit in Oregon resulting in them getting a recording contract.

According to Songfacts, they originally released the song under the name, Seafood Mama, before changing their name to Quarterflash, where the song reached the Top 10 on the charts.

I like what the book, Rock Band Name Origins: The Stories of 240 Groups and Performers says about their name:

The name Quarterflash was suggested by the group’s producer, who had just returned from Australia and heard a popular Australian phrase that referred to newcomers to the country as “one-quarter flash and three-parts foolish.” With the advent of MTV, the saying held even more significance, since music videos required groups to not only sound good but look good as well. The formula of adding a quarter-flash (visual image) to three-quarters substance (song) worked for many groups, including Quarterflash, with Rindy Ross to catch the eye.

A fitting description for this particular Quarterflash video.

Enjoy!

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. The Look Of Love by ABC (1982, dir. Brian Grant)
  8. Eyes Without A Face by Billy Idol (1984, dir. David Mallet)
  9. Somebody New by Joywave (2015, dir. Keith Schofield)
  10. Twilight Zone by Golden Earring (1982, dir. Dick Maas)
  11. Schism by Tool (2001, dir. Adam Jones)
  12. Freaks by Live (1997, dir. Paul Cunningham)
  13. Loverboy by Billy Ocean (1984, dir. Maurice Phillips)
  14. Talking In Your Sleep by The Romantics (1983, dir. ???)
  15. Talking In Your Sleep by Bucks Fizz (1984, dir. Dieter Trattmann)
  16. Sour Girl by Stone Temple Pilots (2000, dir. David Slade)
  17. The Ink In The Well by David Sylvian (1984, dir. Anton Corbijn)
  18. Red Guitar by David Sylvian (1984, dir. Anton Corbijn)
  19. Don’t Come Around Here No More by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers (1985, dir. Jeff Stein)
  20. Sweating Bullets by Megadeth (1993, dir. Wayne Isham)
  21. Clear Nite, Moonlight or Clear Night, Moonlight by Golden Earring (1984, dir. Dick Maas)
  22. Clowny Clown Clown by Crispin Glover (1989, dir. Crispin Glover)
  23. Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden (1994, dir. Howard Greenhalgh)
  24. Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler (1983, dir. Russell Mulcahy)

Music Video of the Day: Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler (1983, dir. Russell Mulcahy)


I wanted to hold off on this video till later, but the sun and the moon made other plans. So, let’s go through it.

Why is Bonnie here in the first place?

Is the bird practicing to be thrown later?

Swinging lamps…

on loan from Harden My Heart by Quarterflash.

Harden My Heart (1981)

It’s safe to look at Total Eclipse Of The Heart…

but don’t look at the total eclipse of the sun today with the naked eye, or you could end up like this guy.

Doors also on loan from Harden My Heart.

Harden My Heart (1981)

It’s a Russell Mulcahy video. You can usually be assured that his videos will contain metaphoric liquids and/or homoerotic imagery.

Is this the same bird from earlier?

The Reflex!

The Reflex by Duran Duran (1984)

The Reflex by Duran Duran (1984)

It was nice of Godfrey Ho to let Mulcahy borrow some ninjas.

Gentlemen, welcome to The Skulls.

Another thing from Harden My Heart.

Harden My Heart (1981)

Since both videos were filmed in Holloway Sanitarium, I like to think that while Bonnie was upstairs, Ozzy Osbourne was being chased around the basement by a werewolf for Bark At The Moon.

The Judas Priest dancers reaching for Bonnie.

And Bonnie’s reaction…to the entire video.

There’s more Harden My Heart in here, but I choose to show this person upside-down instead.

Definitely Mulcahy.

Pressure.

The Thin Wall by Ultravox (1981)

I love that they almost missed Bonnie with the altar boy.

Exactly how many birds is he supposed to have? We could see some others earlier, and there are a few behind him. Does he just wait around to throw them at people who pass by?

Wild Boys cameo

The Wild Boys by Duran Duran (1984)

Then Bonnie is rescued by an angel from the clutches of Mulcahy.

Or is she?

In reality, it was a bit of both.

Here’s what Mulcahy had to say about this video in the book, I Want My MTV:

I collaborated on the storyboard for Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” with Jim Steinman, who wrote and produced the song. Jim is fabulously, fabulously crazy. We would banter ideas over a bottle of red wine. I’d say, “Let’s set it in a school and have ninjas in one scene,” and he’d say “Let’s have a choirboy with glowing eyeballs.” We shot it in an old abandoned insane asylum in London. We had one sequence, which was Steinman’s idea, where a shirtless young boy is holding a dove and he throws it at the camera in slow motion. Bonnie came around the corner and screamed, in her Welsh accent, “You’re nothing but a fucking pre-vert!” And she stormed off.

There was nothing perverse intended. The imagery was meant to be sort of pure. Maybe slightly erotic and gothic and creepy, but pure. Anyway, the video went to number one, and a year later Bonnie’s people rang up and asked if I would direct her new video. And I told them to fuck off, because I was insulted about being called a fucking pervert. And I was a little mad because pervert wasn’t pronounced correctly.

So the bird throwing kid was Steinman’s idea. Interesting. Perhaps her comment is why he isn’t shirtless in the video.

I wonder what video Bonnie’s people wanted him to come back to direct a year later. I ask because the video for Faster Than The Speed Of Night, which came out the same year, puts a kid throwing a dove to shame.

Faster Than The Speed Of Night (1983)

Needless to say, regardless of their falling out, this kind of video became Bonnie Tyler’s thing for awhile.

Holding Out For A Hero (1984)

If mvdbase is to believed, she even got Jim Steinman back to co-direct If You Were A Woman (And I Was A Man). It’s something you’d hardly notice if you watch the video.

If You Were A Woman (And I Was A Man) (1986)

If You Were A Woman (And I Was A Man) (1986)

If You Were A Woman (And I Was A Man) (1986)

I’m glad she followed up Total Eclipse Of The Heart with similar videos. The songs are great, and the videos make them unforgettable.

Enjoy the eclipse!

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. The Look Of Love by ABC (1982, dir. Brian Grant)
  8. Eyes Without A Face by Billy Idol (1984, dir. David Mallet)
  9. Somebody New by Joywave (2015, dir. Keith Schofield)
  10. Twilight Zone by Golden Earring (1982, dir. Dick Maas)
  11. Schism by Tool (2001, dir. Adam Jones)
  12. Freaks by Live (1997, dir. Paul Cunningham)
  13. Loverboy by Billy Ocean (1984, dir. Maurice Phillips)
  14. Talking In Your Sleep by The Romantics (1983, dir. ???)
  15. Talking In Your Sleep by Bucks Fizz (1984, dir. Dieter Trattmann)
  16. Sour Girl by Stone Temple Pilots (2000, dir. David Slade)
  17. The Ink In The Well by David Sylvian (1984, dir. Anton Corbijn)
  18. Red Guitar by David Sylvian (1984, dir. Anton Corbijn)
  19. Don’t Come Around Here No More by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers (1985, dir. Jeff Stein)
  20. Sweating Bullets by Megadeth (1993, dir. Wayne Isham)
  21. Clear Nite, Moonlight or Clear Night, Moonlight by Golden Earring (1984, dir. Dick Maas)
  22. Clowny Clown Clown by Crispin Glover (1989, dir. Crispin Glover)
  23. Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden (1994, dir. Howard Greenhalgh)

Music Video of the Day: Naughty Girls Need Love Too by Samantha Fox & Full Force (1988, dir. Scott Kalvert)


No, I was not looking to specifically feature this video just to share the story below. This is my favorite Fox music video, and that is the only story about her in the entire book. It’s one of the odder behind-the-scenes stories I’ve heard about the production of a music video. I feel I’d be remiss not mentioning it. The first part gives some insight about how they were planning on selling her, while the second paragraph is the odd part, which you can skip if you wish.

According to The Baltimore Sun on December 30th, 1988, this song “was not so much a song as a T-shirt with a rhythm section.”

Ann Carli, then senior vice president of artist development at Jive Records, said the following about the video in the book, I Want My MTV:

We signed Samantha Fox–she was one of the biggest Page Three Girls in England. Page Three Girls pose topless in the Sun. She was fairly young, and extremely buxom. RCA wanted to do pinup calendars and take a real skanky approach. I wanted her to be more of a girl next door, so that was a big fight.

Samantha would drink early in the day. She wanted champagne right from the beginning of the day. I made sure her drinks got watered down. At one video shoot, she was constipated. She was bloated and wearing a midriff costume. I had to get a doctor. This is kind of a disgusting story. I don’t want to know what the doctor did, but the problem was solved.

This must be the video Carli was speaking about because I can’t find another video where she was wearing a midriff.

I’m glad it appears that Carli only partially won that fight. Debbie Gibson and Tiffany had already cornered the girl-next-door market. Fox is a nice middle-ground between the way Carli described they wanted to sell her, and the actual way I’ve seen her presented in music videos.

I can’t imagine anyone else at the time being able to pull off wearing a Debbie Gibson hat…

Out Of The Blue (1988)

with a Tiffany-style dress…

I Think We're Alone Now (1987)

I Think We’re Alone Now (1987)

while holding a man’s head next to her breasts…

before pushing his head downward.

I think she did this kind of material well without looking “skanky.”

Cut to 30 years later, and now Gibson, Tiffany, and Fox have all been in SyFy movies. There’s something I’m sure none of them would have expected to happen in their future.

Fox played Ms. Moore in Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017).

Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017, dir. Anthony C. Ferrante)

Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017, dir. Anthony C. Ferrante)

Below, I’ve embedded an interesting little interview she gave last year on Loose Women concerning her sexuality. It puts this video in a different light.

The people accompanying Fox are the group, Full Force. They have worked with numerous artists, such as Bob Dylan. Some, or all, of their members wrote the song.

Scott Kalvert directed the video. He’s done close to 100 music videos. The few that I have seen have this kind of late-80s/early-90s-street look to them. Outside of music videos, he is probably best known for directing The Basketball Diaries (1995).

Donyale McRae did makeup for the video. He seems to have worked on around 35 music videos. He’s worked on a lot of things from Doctor Who to The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)–which means that both him and Kalvert went on to work with DiCaprio.

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: Shadow Of A Doubt by Sonic Youth (1986, dir. Kevin Kerslake)


The title is from a Hitchcock movie. It looks like the consensus is that the song is based on Strangers On A Train (1951)–more Hitchcock. I haven’t watched either film recently.

While the music video is gorgeous, I can’t find anything on it other than a quote from Kevin Kerslake in the book, I Want My MTV:

It was a point of honor among bands on 120 Minutes to not show up in regular rotation on MTV. They wanted to be the bad kids on the block, who showed up for those two hours on Sunday night and ran riot. At that point, indie rock was thriving. You had great underground labels like SST and Rough Trade, and they’d give you complete freedom. I wanted to do something totally new. I’d shoot Super 8, and play with the color palette to make it more psychedelic. The punk rock ethos really drove the visual content, even if you weren’t working with punk bands. My first music video–“Shadow Of A Doubt,” for Sonic Youth–used horrible quality, super-grainy performance footage. It was fantastic.

The part with the performance footage doesn’t do a whole lot for me–except to provide a strong tie between song and video by putting the harder part of the song in there. I like what Kerslake did before and after that the most. It makes me think of a very colorful, indie, and simplified version of one of those collage-style videos that Jim Blashfield made for And She Was by Talking Heads or Don’t Give Up by Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush. It gives the video an ethereal quality that I love.

It’s very appropriate that this was on 120 Minutes back in the 1980s. This is exactly the kind of thing I would have expected to see on late night cable back in the 1980s and 1990s.

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: My Love, My Life by ABBA (1976, dir. Per Falkman)


It’s been so long since I did an ABBA music video that a lot of their videos are now listed on IMDb. I don’t remember them being there before. It doesn’t look complete, but somebody went through trying to hit everything they could. I bring this up because I didn’t know about this one till I looked at the list of their videos on IMDb. I would have missed it otherwise.

It’s a simple video that would have you believe that it was a solo effort by Agnetha. It’s not. This was on the album, Arrival.

It uses some video effects, but that’s about it. It keeps a tight focus on Agnetha. It’s a nice song, and the video tries to get out of the way, which I think is appropriate.

According to IMDb, the video was directed by Per Falkman. He apparently also directed the videos for Tiger and When I Kissed The Teacher. I didn’t know that before. I’ve updated the titles on those ones, but I can’t fix the links at this point. There are too many of them.

Enjoy!

ABBA retrospective:

  1. Bald Headed Woman by The Hep Stars (1966, dir. ???)
  2. En Stilla Flirt by Agnetha & ??? (1969, dir. ???) + 8 Hootenanny Singers Videos From 1966
  3. Tangokavaljeren by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  4. Vårkänslor (ja, de’ ä våren) by Agnetha & Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  5. Titta in i men lilla kajuta by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  6. Nu Ska Vi Vara Snälla by Björn & Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  7. Finns Det Flickor by Björn & Sten Nilsson (1969, dir. ???)
  8. Nu Ska Vi Opp, Opp, Opp by Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  9. Det Kommer En Vår by Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  10. Beate-Christine by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  11. En Stilla Flirt by Agnetha & ??? (1969, dir. ???) + 8 Hootenanny Singers Videos From 1966
  12. Att Älska I Vårens Tid by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  13. Min Soldat by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  14. Söderhavets Sång by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  15. Ring, Ring by ABBA (1973, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  16. Ring, Ring by ABBA (1973, dir. ???)
  17. Love Isn’t Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough) by ABBA (1973, dir. ???)
  18. Waterloo by ABBA (1974, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  19. Honey Honey by ABBA (1974, dir. ???)
  20. Hasta Mañana by ABBA (1974, dir. ???)
  21. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  22. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do by ABBA (1975, dir. ???)
  23. Bang-A-Boomerang by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  24. SOS by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  25. Mamma Mia by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  26. Knowing Me, Knowing You by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  27. Tropical Loveland by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  28. When I Kissed The Teacher by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  29. Tiger by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  30. Money, Money, Money by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  31. Money, Money, Money by ABBA (1976, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  32. Fernando by ABBA (1976, dir. Lasse Hallström) + Spanish Version
  33. Dancing Queen by ABBA (1976, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  34. That’s Me by ABBA (1977, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  35. Knowing Me, Knowing You by ABBA (1977, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  36. The Name Of The Game by ABBA (1977, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  37. Thank You For The Music/Gracias Por La Música by ABBA (1977/1978, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  38. One Man, One Woman by ABBA (1978, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  39. Take A Chance On Me by ABBA (1978, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  40. Eagle by ABBA (1978, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  41. Summer Night City by ABBA (1978, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  42. Estoy Soñando by ABBA (1979, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  43. Chiquitia by ABBA (1979, dir. ???)
  44. Does Your Mother Know by ABBA (1979, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  45. Voulez-Vous by ABBA (1979, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  46. Gimmie! Gimmie! Gimmie! (A Man After Midnight) by ABBA (1979, dir. Lasse Hallström)

Music Video of the Day: Sloop John B by The Beach Boys (1966, dir. Derek Taylor)


One year before we had Golden Earring playing on a boat and mud wrestling, we had The Beach Boys doing a little silent comedy–mostly fighting over a raft in a pool.

What else can I say without trying to talk about it in a larger context?

It’s the video they recreated for Love & Mercy (2014).

It’s in 480p. You can watch the video for Good Vibrations in 1080p because it was posted in 2016, but this one was put up in 2009. It didn’t receive that kind of treatment.

It’s that same kind of turn-the-band-into-silent-comedians type video, and was filmed at Brian’s house.

I didn’t mention it when I did Sound Of The Screaming Day by Golden Earring, so I will here. Since both are treated like short comedic films with the song playing, there isn’t any lip-syncing. We did get Barry Hay mimicking the flute during that part of the song. In this, there’s none of that. Just something interesting to keep in mind whenever you read about musicians getting harassed for not lip-syncing from the 1980s onward.

This video almost meets all the elements I listed when talking about Elected by Alice Cooper:

It has the band, it is live-action, it uses real sets rather than just a backdrop, it has a storyline, it has no lip-syncing, and it has no re-creation of a performance.

The only thing it is kind of missing is a storyline. But even that’s something you could argue is present in this video.

Surprisingly, IMDb has an entry for this that not only lists the director, but also who worked the camera.

The video was directed by their publicist, Derek Taylor. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did other videos as well. He apparently is also in the video.

Dennis Wilson is credited as having worked the camera.

I wish I had more information other than that there appears to be another promo film for this song. I probably won’t do it though since I have no idea of the provenance other than that it looks like it was made for Swedish television.

Enjoy!