Music Video of the Day: Goodbye To You by Scandal (1982, dir. ???)


I’m not really saying goodbye to you. However, these posts are going to become sporadic for at least the next couple of weeks. I’ve had a chronic cough since I was a little kid. The pulmonologist I am seeing has started me on large doses of prednisone that even he said my system might not be able to handle. But it’s been at least 25+ years of this cough, so I’ll try it. It just means I won’t be able to keep up these posts consistently for a bit.

Anyways, remember that video for The Warrior that Patty Smyth didn’t like, and called an off-Broadway production of Cats? I don’t blame you if you don’t. It’s that video where Smyth was in crazy makeup, there was a dance battle, and some guy breaks a girl’s back, but the video barely calls attention to it. I’ve loved that crazy music video since I saw it a while back. This one I didn’t see until a few years ago.

From what I can tell, this was Scandal’s first music video, which explains the PBS text at the start, and it being a performance video. According to Songfacts, Smyth credits MTV with this song’s success since it didn’t get much radio airplay, but did get played on MTV a lot. Assuming that’s accurate, and MTV could see the results in the marketplace, I bet they played this frequently since they needed to prove that their network could affect record sales.

While saying that it is a “performance video” might make you think of something bland, I don’t think so. I like the set, lighting, and costumes. As far as that area is concerned, I think this looks better than Jump by Van Halen. No, I’m not just saying that since Smyth was the one who was initially approached to replace David Lee Roth. Jump is great, but I still like the look of this better. I also like the rest of the band members trying to do the most eye-catching things in response to whatever Smyth is doing at given moment.

Speaking of Smyth, she is all over the place here. I would love to know what direction she was given.

Patty. You’re hot, spunky, have a great voice, and are a good performer. As long as you play to those strengths, then do whatever feels right in the moment. I’ll get it on camera.

Right up in Ivan’s face! I love it!

You and Zack, that’s great! Keep it up!

Spin, Patty! Spin!

Yeah, drape yourself on the keyboard too.

A little leg can’t hurt.

Get in on this Benjy!

A heel shuffle across the floor. Perfect!

You wrote the song Zack, so always feel free to jump in with one of those looks.

Jump around and point at things.

That’s a rap!

From all the really early 80s music videos I have looked at, the two types that were typically successful were either all over the place like Harden My Heart by Quarterflash, or were stage performances with a charismatic lead-singer like Patty Smyth or David Lee Roth. The video for The Warrior was the first, and this earlier video is an example of the second.

One thing specifically about the song is that while not shown in the video, Paul Shaffer plays a solo on the keyboard based on Runaway by Del Shannon. I only really bring it up because Bon Jovi also did a song by the same title, and apparently Jon Bon Jovi was briefly the guitarist for Scandal in 1983. You can see him below in the early low-budget version of Love’s Got A Line On You.

Enjoy!

A Movie A Day #28: Scandal (1989, directed by Michael Caton-Jones)


scandal-posterLondon.  1961.  Doctor Stephen Ward (played by John Hurt) is an artist and an osteopath.  He counts among his patients some of the most distinguished men and women in British society, including the Minister of War, John Profumo (Ian McKellen).  After meeting two young dancers, Christine Keeler (Joanne Whalley) and Mandy Rice-Davies (Bridget Fonda), Stephen becomes their mentor, the Henry Higgins to their Eliza Doolittle.

Under Stephen’s watchful eye, both Christine and Mandy are soon having affairs with some  of the most powerful members of Harold Macmillan’s Conservative government.  Christine becomes the mistress of both Profumo and KGB agent, Yevgeny Ivanov (Jeroen Krabbe), along with maintaining off-and-on relationships with drug dealer Johnny Edgecombe (played by singer Roland Gift) and musician Lucky Gordon (Leon Herbert).

When a disagreement leads to Johnny slashing Lucky’s face and then getting arrested for firing a gun at Stephen’s flat, the public learns the details of Christine’s affair with Profumo.  With the scandal rocking the British government, Stephen is a convenient scapegoat and soon finds himself on trial, charged with making a living off of “immoral earnings.”

Based on the real life scandal that led to the eventual fall of Harold Macmillan’s government, Scandal is remarkably faithful to the facts of the Profumo Affair, even if it did leave out some of the more interesting allegations.  (For instance, no mention is made of an alleged encounter between Mandy Rice-Davies and President Kennedy.)  Though it may seem tame by today’s standards, when Scandal was first released in 1989, it was considered to be something of a scandal itself and it initially got an X rating when it was released in the United States.  (The scandal over Scandal is one of the things that led to the MPAA adopting the NC-17 rating to distinguish between films for adults and “adult” films.  Of course, it didn’t work as a potential NC-17 still carries the same stigma as the X rating did.)

scandal

Scandal holds up well as both a recreation of London on the verge of the sexual revolution and a look at contrast between private and public mores.  Both Joanne Whalley and Bridget Fonda are excellent in the roles of Christine and Mandy.  Fonda gets to deliver the most famous line of the whole Profumo Affair when Mandy is told that Lord Astor has denied having had an affair with her.  “He would, wouldn’t he?” she says.  After I watched Scandal last night, I did some checking and I discovered that Bridget Fonda has not made a film since 2002.  She is missed.

Not surprisingly, Scandal‘s best performance comes from John Hurt, who plays Stephen Ward as a naive and well-meaning social butterfly who ultimately gets in over his head and pays a steep price for trusting that his friends would remain his friends.  Scandal is just one of many movies that proves what a great talent was lost when the world lost John Hurt.

RIP.

SCANDAL, John Hurt, 1989

Music Video of the Day: The Warrior by Scandal (1984, dir. David Hahn)


Happy Birthday, Lisa!

I first saw this back in the early-2000s when it was played on VH1 Classic. I was hooked instantly. It seemed to take forever to end up on YouTube. It is near the top as one of my favorite bizarre 80s music videos. Patty Smyth on the other hand was not happy with it, saying in the book I Want My MTV:

“When I saw the video, I was crestfallen…I had no idea it would look like an off-Broadway production of Cats.”

I am glad she didn’t realize it would look the way it does. I don’t want to live in a world where I can’t see Patty Smyth in ridiculous hair and make-up, move in to do battle with a guy who has just fought off dancers in post-apocalyptic costumes, including appearing to have snapped a woman’s back in half. Seriously, is that what happened to the lady in pink? The music video sure makes it look like it. Even Smyth reacts like it happened. It wouldn’t be the strangest thing I have noticed while re-watching an 80s music video. If you pay close attention to the one for Karma Chameleon by Culture Club, then you’ll notice there is a split second where two guys appear to be stuffing a corpse into a wicker basket.

There are even crazier music videos featuring dance–*cough* Bonnie Tyler *cough*–but I hope this will do. It was also shot by Daniel Pearl, who others might not know by now, seems to have shot every music video under the sun, as well as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974).

It was directed by David Hahn who appears to have directed this music video, and nothing else. Did Patty Smyth blackball him? I highly doubt it, but I wouldn’t have put it past her. You might not know this, but before Van Halen went to Sammy Hagar, they asked her to front the band. You can read about that here. I get why she didn’t take the job. Among other things, she said, “If I had done that, I never would have written ‘Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough.'” Still, I can hear her in my head belting out songs like Why Can’t This Be Love? and Humans Being.

Ken Walz produced it, who you might recall producing I Know What Boys Like by The Waitresses.

That’s it! I hope you have a great birthday, Lisa.

And here are the NAACP Image Award Nominations!


Dear White People

And continuing our awards wrap-up, here are the 2014 NAACP Image Award nominations!

(h/t to awardswatch)

MOTION PICTURE
Outstanding Motion Picture
• “Belle” (Fox Searchlight Pictures/ DJ Films)
• “Beyond The Lights” (Relativity Media)
• “Dear White People” (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)
• “Get On Up” (Universal Pictures)
• “Selma” (Paramount Pictures)

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
• Chadwick Boseman – “Get On Up” (Universal Pictures)
• David Oyelowo – “Selma” (Paramount Pictures)
• Denzel Washington – “The Equalizer” (Columbia Pictures)
• Idris Elba – “No Good Deed” (Screen Gems)
• Nate Parker – “Beyond The Lights” (Relativity Media)

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
• Gugu Mbatha-Raw – “Belle” (Fox Searchlight Pictures/ DJ Films)
• Quvenzhané Wallis – “Annie” (Columbia Pictures)
• Taraji P. Henson – “No Good Deed” (Screen Gems)
• Tessa Thompson – “Dear White People” (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)
• Viola Davis – “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” (The Weinstein Company)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
• André Holland – “Selma” (Paramount Pictures)
• Cedric the Entertainer – “Top Five” (Paramount Pictures)
• Common – “Selma” (Paramount Pictures)
• Danny Glover – “Beyond The Lights” (Relativity Media)
• Wendell Pierce – “Selma” (Paramount Pictures)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
• Carmen Ejogo – “Selma” (Paramount Pictures)
• Jill Scott – “Get On Up” (Universal Pictures)
• Octavia Spencer – “Get On Up” (Universal Pictures)
• Oprah Winfrey – “Selma” (Paramount Pictures)
• Viola Davis – “Get On Up” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
• “Belle” (Fox Searchlight Pictures/ DJ Films)
• “Dear White People” (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)
• “Half of a Yellow Sun” (monterey media inc.)
• “JIMI: All Is By My Side” (XLrator Media)
• “Life of a King” (Animus Films/Serena Films)

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture
• Chris Rock – “Top Five” (Paramount Pictures)
• Justin Simien – “Dear White People” (Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate)
• Margaret Nagle – “The Good Lie” (Alcon Entertainment)
• Misan Sagay – “Belle” (Fox Searchlight Pictures/ DJ Films)
• Richard Wenk – “The Equalizer” (Columbia Pictures)

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture
• Amma Asante – “Belle” (Fox Searchlight Pictures/ DJ Films)
• Antoine Fuqua – “The Equalizer” (Columbia Pictures)
• Ava DuVernay – “Selma” (Paramount Pictures)
• Gina Prince-Bythewood – “Beyond The Lights” (Relativity Media)
• John Ridley – “JIMI: All Is By My Side” (XLrator Media)

TELEVISION
Outstanding Comedy Series
• “Black-ish” (ABC)
• “House of Lies” (Showtime)
• “Key & Peele” (Comedy Central)
• “Orange is the New Black” (Netflix)
• “Real Husbands of Hollywood” (BET)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
• Andre Braugher – “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (FOX)
• Anthony Anderson – “‘Black-ish” (ABC)
• Don Cheadle – “House of Lies” (Showtime)
• Keegan-Michael Key – “Key & Peele” (Comedy Central)
• Kevin Hart – “Real Husbands of Hollywood” (BET)

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
• Mindy Kaling – “The Mindy Project” (FOX)
• Niecy Nash – “The Soul Man” (TV Land)
• Tracee Ellis Ross – “Black-ish” (ABC)
• Uzo Aduba – “Orange is the New Black” (Netflix)
• Wendy Raquel Robinson – “The Game” (BET)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
• Boris Kodjoe – “Real Husbands of Hollywood” (BET)
• Glynn Turman – “House of Lies” (Showtime)
• Laurence Fishburne – “Black-ish” (ABC)
• Marcus Scribner – “Black-ish” (ABC)
• Terry Crews – “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (FOX)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
• Adrienne C. Moore – “Orange is the New Black” (Netflix)
• Laverne Cox – “Orange is the New Black” (Netflix)
• Lorraine Toussaint – “Orange is the New Black” (Netflix)
• Sofia Vergara – “Modern Family” (ABC)
• Yara Shahidi – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Drama Series
• “Being Mary Jane” (BET)
• “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)
• “House of Cards” (Netflix)
• “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC)
• “Scandal” (ABC)

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
• LL Cool J – “NCIS: LA” (CBS)
• Omar Epps – “Resurrection” (ABC)
• Omari Hardwick – “Being Mary Jane” (BET)
• Shemar Moore – “Criminal Minds” (CBS)
• Taye Diggs – “Murder in the First” (TNT)

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
• Gabrielle Union – “Being Mary Jane” (BET)
• Kerry Washington – “Scandal” (ABC)
• Nicole Beharie – “Sleepy Hollow” (FOX)
• Octavia Spencer – “Red Band Society” (FOX)
• Viola Davis – “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
• Alfred Enoch – “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC)
• Courtney B. Vance – “Masters of Sex” (Showtime)
• Guillermo Diaz – “Scandal” (ABC)
• Jeffrey Wright – “Boardwalk Empire” (HBO)
• Joe Morton – “Scandal” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
• Aja Naomi King – “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC)
• Alfre Woodard – “State of Affairs” (NBC)
• Chandra Wilson – “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)
• Jada Pinkett Smith – “Gotham” (FOX)
• Khandi Alexander – “Scandal” (ABC)

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series
• Aisha Muharrar – “Parks and Recreation” – Ann & Chris (NBC)
• Brigette Munoz-Liebowitz – “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” – Road Trip (FOX)
• Mindy Kaling – “The Mindy Project” – Danny and Mindy (FOX)
• Regina Hicks – “Instant Mom” – A Kids’s Choice (Nickelodeon and Nick@Nite)
• Sara Hess – “Orange is the New Black” – It Was the Change (Netflix)

Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series
• Erika Green Swafford – “How to Get Away with Murder” – Let’s Get To Scooping
(ABC)
• Mara Brock Akil – “Being Mary Jane” – Uber Love (BET)
• Warren Leight, Julie Martin – “Law & Order: SVU” – American Disgrace (NBC)
• Zahir McGhee – “Scandal” – Mama Said Knock You Out (ABC)
• Zoanne Clack – “Grey’s Anatomy” – You Be Illin’ (ABC)

Outstanding Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
• “A Day Late and a Dollar Short” (Lifetime Networks)
• “American Horror Story: Freak Show” (FX)
• “Drumline: A New Beat” (VH1)
• “The Gabby Douglas Story” (Lifetime Networks)
• “The Trip to Bountiful” (Lifetime Networks)

Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
• Blair Underwood – “The Trip to Bountiful” (Lifetime Networks)
• Charles S. Dutton – “Comeback Dad” (UP Entertainment)
• Larenz Tate – “Gun Hill” (BET)
• Mekhi Phifer – “A Day Late and a Dollar Short” (Lifetime Networks)
• Ving Rhames – “A Day Late and a Dollar Short” (Lifetime Networks)

Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
• Angela Bassett – “American Horror Story: Freak Show” (FX)
• Cicely Tyson – “The Trip to Bountiful” (Lifetime Networks)
• Keke Palmer – “The Trip to Bountiful” (Lifetime Networks)
• Regina King – “The Gabby Douglas Story” (Lifetime Networks)
• Vanessa Williams – “The Trip to Bountiful” (Lifetime Networks)

Key & Peele