Friday, May 9, 2014
Metal Video Mania
For some reason my head's been in the 1980s these last few weeks. In some ways in might be a kind of return of the repressed, since I tried so hard for so long to forget much of my early past. It is shocking to me when I view films and television from the time, and see the world presented being both so familiar and entirely foreign to me. No relic reminds of that gulf more than the music video, a touchstone of the time's youth culture which is practically meaningless today as a cultural force. Also, while heavy metal still lives, it is now far, far away from the mainstream, unlike in the 1980s. Just for kicks, here's a list of 80s metal videos worth watching.
Motley Crue, "Looks That Kill"
Someone seems to have watched one too many B-level post-apocalyptic movies. I am still sure how they managed to have all of those flaming torches around all of that hairspray.
Scorpions, "Rock You Like A Hurricane"
Ironically, it took metal gods from Germany to find the right tune to rock monster truck rallies all across America. This video might have more synchronized guitar rocking and musical grimaces for the camera per minute than any other in existence.
Dio, "Holy Diver"
There has perhaps never been any soul in existence more metal than Ronnie James Dio. This pint-sized wonder had more rocking in his pinky than most people have in their whole bodies. The video for this song looks like Dungeons and Dragons cosplay with guitars.
Accept, "Balls to the Wall"
Sludgy guitars: check. Simultaneous guitarist rocking: check. Demonically dwarfish frontman: check. Ridiculous song title: double check. 80s metal awesomeness: no doubt.
Autograph, "Turn Up The Radio"
Lasers. Robots. Catchy hooks. Still sucks, but my, what a cultural artifact.
I was not into metal back in the day, but I loved this video. The plot and footage lifted from Johnny Got His Gun were darker and much more politically meaningful than just about anything out there on MTV. The lush, almost classical guitars at the start also made Metallica less threatening to me and millions of others before they really cashed in with the "black album" a few years later.