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"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Write Back Weekend "Bad To The Bone"

Last week when I wrote all about some of my favorite videos of all time, I managed to come across quite a few clunkers, too. Cause let's face it. Everyone equally enjoys something that is fantastically great and immensely bad. You just enjoy these two things in very, very different ways and for very, very different reasons. This is how a second TITMT question and another week of saluting music videos was born.

So here I give you the best of the worst, in no particular odor. I mean, order. Yeah, that's it.

1. David "The Hoff" Hasselhoff- Jump In My Car: I know what you're thinking. Germans, apparently, love David Hasselhoff. The rest of us, however, fortunately know better. Any Hasselhoff, anything is a source of mockery in my eyes. But the minute the man decided to make actual music videos? That was just the icing on the cake, in my eyes. Not only does this particular video have the cheesy Hasselhoff, check out the bonus "high end" graphics.

2. Heartbeat- Don Johnson: Let's face it. Anytime an actor disguised as a singer jumps into the music video arena it is usually bad news. Now you take a popular, self-indulgent actor of the eighties and couple it with this the over indulgence of the decade itself and you have the finished product, Heartbeat. The song in itself, include Johnson's performance, isn't really all that bad if you close your eyes and listen. Now the snappy dance moves in the video? That's another story.

3. Der Komissar- Falco: I kind of feel bad putting this video (I couldn't find the English version) down since Falco is no longer alive to defend himself. It's ok though because while he was he was a good source for laughter, not once, but twice. This time around with Der Komissar and later with Rock Me Amadeus. I suppose you could argue that at least Rock Me Amadeus the video matched the song, but I hated the song so it just goes to show I'd hate the video, too. Der Komissar, however, is here for an entirely different reason- it's cheesy factor. Nobody, and I do mean nobody, has the moves Falco had, no matter what language he is speaking in. Are you listening, Hasselhoff?

4. Say It Right- Nelly Furtado: The difference with this inclusion is that I actually like the song. I think it's catchy and has a good hook. But the video? Total garbage. Some might argue that the song is a bit redundant. This pales in comparison to the video itself. Sure, Nelly looks hot, lip synching her way through the song on a random rooftop. But check out the black dude who is even more random with his HEY! interjections and aloof facial expressions.

5. Separate Ways- Journey: Unfortunately I scoured the internet for this one but to no avail. I think the clip has been removed from places like You Tube and other "worst of" lists by Steve Perry himself. It's a last ditch effort to avoid the mockery of the likes you see before you here. Don't get me wrong. I love the song and I loved Journey. I also think that Perry is one of the best vocalists of his time. But a video about a breakup featuring an ugly band in what looks like a semi built Home Depot? Who came up with that idea?! Thanks to Lyndon who found the video after the fact!

6. I'm Too Sexy- Right Said Fred: Novelty songs at their finest, everyone and their mother (yes, their actual mothers) loved Right Said Fred's I'm Too Sexy when it came out. It was the YMCA of it's time, if you catch my drift. But regardless of how catchy this song was it is also undeniably bad. It's just cheesy enough to be continuously referenced and used over miscellaneous makeover montages for years to come though.

7. Numb- U2: U2's music video for the song Numb is a perfect example of when bad music videos happen to good bands. I suppose this video was supposed to be all experimental and avant garde, but all it came across as was just plain weird. The whole foot on the face thing? What was that about anyway? All I know is that it stayed with me all these years.

8. Mr. Roboto- Styx: Speaking of weird, next up is the video for Styx's Mr. Roboto. Yet again I will mention, Dennis DeYoung, arguably one of the best vocalists of his time. But this video and this song are definitely not evidence of either. Hey, everyone makes mistakes. Even Mr. Roboto is only a human after all.

9. Ashes to Ashes- David Bowie: I suppose this video isn't nearly as bad as say, China Girl, but I had to seek it out because I distinctly remember it scaring the hell out of me when I was a kid. The freaky clown on the beach and in the water. The imagery was not meant for a five year old to see. Forget Stephen King's It. This did IT for me.

10. Rock Me Tonite- Billy Squier:
Ok, so like at the time, I suppose Billy Squier was suppose to be sexy, or whatever. At least in his mind he was. Just check out some of his outfits. If there was ever a contest created for weirdest, spontaneous music video choreography ever, it would be a dead heat race between Falco and Billy Squier. Then there are the freeze frames, which are an added bonus at no extra charge. No one has really heard much from Squier since the mid eighties. I'm convinced he's really in the Witness Protection Program along with Falco after being hunted down for ridiculously bad dancing, one too many times.

11. Trapped In The Closet- R. Kelly: As if the song title itself wasn't bad enough, here comes the epic saga of Trapped In The Closet, vignettes of stories strung together to make one big California closet of a music video. I suppose R. Kelly grew up on the likes of Thriller and Smooth Criminal and had ambitions of creating something like that. It didn't happen here though. Not even close. I'm not linking to all of the parts here cause frankly, I lost track at exactly how many parts there were. Suffice it to say they were all bad, but amusing as hell.

12. Human Behavior- Bjork:
Only God and Bjork know what makes Bjork behave the way she does. Bjork is part Icelandic, part crazy. I think it's genetically proven to be true. She also has a weird syndrome that makes her believe she is in fact, still three years old. This video, with the animals and whatnot is I suppose Bjork's take on actual Human Behavior, a la National Geographic for the MTV set. Regardless of the intention, the meaning was lost on me.

13. One- Metallica:
With the exception of Unforgiven, I never was much of a fan of Metallica's music. I will give them credit though. They didn't really wuss out nearly as much as I anticipated they would after they started to get some mainstream success. This was one of their biggest mainstream hits, despite having a truly horrible video. This video is not bad in a ridiculous or cheesy way. It's bad in a "oh my God, what is going on" sorta way. I have no idea where they got the footage from. To be honest, I don't want to know. I just know I'm content, never actually seeing this one, ever again.

14. We Built This City (On Rock N' Roll)- Starship:
Alright, I'll admit it. I liked this song when it came out. I liked it, didn't love it. But looking back on it now, though I still tap my toe a bit, I realize that it is remarkably cheesy, especially when you consider the evolution of the band that recorded it. They went from Jefferson Airplane to Jefferson Starship before becoming simply "Starship" in 1984. I suppose there were legal reasons for the name change every time, but they really laid the ground work for Prince's heyday. At any rate, to go from Somebody to Love to We Built This City is a bit of a downward shame spiral, even if the God awful White Rabbit was in there somewhere, too.

15. Safety Dance- Men Without Hats: I actually always loved this song, fully embracing and basking in the cheesiness of it all. But the music video? Now that my friends is a sight to behold! Picture if you will the munchkins from The Wizard of Oz on the loose and you have Men Without Hats video for Safety Dance. Also check out his random "mime stuck in a box like dance moves". Classic.

So there you have it. Fifteen picks for music videos that are so bad, they had to be good.



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