Thursday, August 27, 2009

20 Best Promo Videos Ever (Part Two)

Back again for another round..

#15 Metallica "One" (Bill Pope & Michael Solomon, 1988)

After their frantic thrash debut Kill 'Em All, Metallica spent the remainder of the decade releasing one of rock's classic album trilogies, highlighted by their career-centerpiece Master Of Puppets. The third part of this trilogy was 1988's ...And Justice For All, which had no choice but to be considered a let down after Master Of Puppets raised the bar so high.

This isn't to suggest Justice is anything but outstanding.. It was their last truly definitive moment, and the last time they truly mattered to metal. But it was also Metallica's first big let down to their fans, partially because of their shift towards slightly more mainstream verse-chorus rock. But it was also because before Cliff Burton died, they stated that they would never make a music video. It's hard to say if fans were more pissed off with the actual shooting of the video than they were with the hypocrisy. Either way, the band hadn't gone to shit just yet, and "One" currently stands as the single official promotional video that represents this band's most classic era. They should also be given credit for their first video pushing the 8 minute mark and still receiving heavy MTV airplay alongside Madonna and New Kids On The Block.

There's a version of this video that only includes the band's black & white performance, but right from the start, MTV always played the version with the clips from Johnny Got His Gun, even though many probably considered this version slightly more tedious. However, "One," complete with movie clips, is a far better visual representation of the book than its film adaptation. (And yes, I've read the book, which is good, and seen the movie, which is kinda awful..)

(Just fyi, this is NOT the version of "One" that used to air on MTV.. I guess there were more than 2 edits of this, but unfortunately the one posted here is not nearly as effective as the original.. and it seems this version is nowhere to be found on the world wide web. Sad.)

#14 Aphex Twin "Come To Daddy" (Chris Cunningham, 1997)

One truly amazing aspect of "Come To Daddy" is that both Richard D. James and Chris Cunningham were shooting more for silliness and jokes than the terrifying doomfest it ultimately became. Two things Cunningham pointed out on his DVD that I love about "Come To Daddy": #1 It makes no sense why a little old lady would have such a "monsterous, aggressive, horse-sized dog." And #2 Some of the kids are midgets with masks, which is hilarious because if you look closely they're "little hairy-armed kids" with an Aphex Twin face. Maybe there's more jokes here than I realized..

#13 Wax "California" (Spike Jonze, 1995)

One of the most definitive images of 90's MTV, and one of Beavis's favorite videos.. A simple tale of a man flagging down a bus, and the little girl bored out of her mind watching the whole thing. Wikipedia claims that Tim and Lars from Rancid are somewhere in this video...

#12 The Pharcyde "Drop" (Spike Jonze, 1996)

Spike Jonze has a knack for choosing very distinct images that always seem to perfectly accompany the music.. The backwards effect in this video was actually perfected by Michel Gondry's clip for Cibo Matto's "Sugar Water." However, the final minute of "Drop" is a climax that blows it back into stratospheric territory.

#11 UNKLE feat Thom Yorke "Rabbit In Your Headlights" (Jonathan Glazer, 1998)

This video has already been analyzed to death.. I can't think of a single original thought about it, so instead I'll get all lame and nostalgic.. There aren't many videos that can take me back like this one, right to the first time I saw it on 120 Minutes around 1AM sometime in December 1998 in my mom's basement.. I had never seen anything like it.. I wasn't really paying attention initially, and then that first car strike was so unexpected I couldn't look away until the end.. one of the first cases I can remember of truly being wow'd by a video.. In fact, I'm pretty sure I whispered "wow" to myself. But that's the thing.. If you know what to expect it may not blow you away the first time, so I've already said too much...

"Embedding disabled by request." :(

Part 3 coming soon...

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