Music Videos

I’ve been thinking about music videos recently while compiling a list of my favourite videos of all time. It seems that YouTube has changed things through the re-mixes of videos and the ability of anyone to publish for a mass-market (although without the possibility of directly making money from it).

Also today all new PCs (and most PCs that are in use) are capable of being used for video editing and the compute power needed for 80’s and 90’s quality special effects is also commonly available (in most cases good art doesn’t need more technical quality than that). So anyone can produce videos (and a quick search of YouTube reveals that many people are producing videos for their favourite songs).

I think that we need a music video for the Free Software Song. One possibility is to base it on the 1984 Apple advert (because it’s the free software community that is opposing Big Brother not Apple). I think it would be good to have multiple versions of the Free Software Song (with matching videos), there could be the version for young children, the Hip-Hop version, the Punk version, etc. Also I think that there is potential for the creation of other songs for the free software community.

One possible way of doing this would be to have a contest for producing music and videos. Maybe a conference such as LCA or OLS could have the judging for such a contest. I would be prepared to donate some money towards the prize pool and I’m sure that other individuals and organisations would also be prepared to do so. If I get some positive feedback on this idea I’ll investigate how to run such a contest.

Here are my favourite videos of the moment. Please let me know of any videos that you think I would like based on this list.

  • Placebo:
    • Infra-Red – I love the Haxor ants (I Lied to You – We Are the Enemy says the CEO), I first saw that idea in the book City by Clifford D. Simak’s
    • A Song to Say Goodbye – strange and sad. Like much good art it can be interpreted in several ways.
    • Pure Morning – strange video that seems to have nothing to do with the music, but still good
    • Slave to the Wage – interesting and not strange by Placebo standards. I’ve recently decided that I don’t like working in a corporate environment so I can relate to this.
  • Smashing Pumpkins:
    Ava Adore, interesting way of changing scenes, and a very artistic and strange video (matches the song)
  • Duran Duran (who incidentally named their group after a character in Barbarella: Queen of the Galaxy – strangely the spelling is different though):
    • Come Undone, interesting aquarium scenes
    • Too Much Information – they should re-do this and include a reference to the Internet in the lyrics. ;)
    • Wild Boys – Mad Max 3 as a film clip
  • UNKLE:
    • Eye for an Eye – strange and disturbing, as any serious art that is related to war must be
    • Rabbit in Your Headlights – surprising end, I wonder if anyone was injured trying to emulate this clip
  • Nine Inch Nails:
    Head Like a Hole, strange and a bit bizarre at times. Not the greatest of my favourite clips but the music makes up for it.
  • Queen:
    • I Want to Break Free, strangely amusing and very artistic
  • Chemical Brothers:
    • Let Forever Be – my favourite clip of all time. Fractally weird, you can watch it dozens of times and still be missing things.
    • Setting Sun – the world would be a better place if more cops could dance like that! Also is it just me or does the drummer guy look like a Narn from Babylon 5?
    • Out of Control – surprise ending. I would appreciate it if someone who knows the non-English language (probably Spanish) in the clip could point me to a translation.
    • Star Guitar – a real work of art but no plot and I didn’t enjoy the music, I recommend watching it once
    • The Golden Path – I used to wonder whether office work was really so grim in the 60s and 70s, but then I worked for a financial company recently…
  • Fat Boy Slim:
    Praise You – why can’t reality TV be this good?
  • Falco:
    Rock Me Amadeus – let’s represent two totally diffent cultures (bikers and Austraian high society) in a film clip, silly but amusing
  • Madonna:
    Like A Prayer – I wonder how many racist organizations banned that
  • A-Ha:
    Take On Me – mixing multiple art forms (in this case film and animation) can work really well. Beat Kill Bill to the idea by a couple of decades.
  • Robert Palmer:
    Simply Irresistable – pity that they didn’t hire more women who can dance or at least put the dancers in front of the models. It’s interesting to note that one of the models appears to be actually playing a guitar.
  • Garbage:
  • Michael Jackson:
    Billie Jean – class is timeless.

8 comments to Music Videos

  • Please, DEAR GOD, not the Free Software Song! But somehow I seriously doubt the OSS community can come up with something better… ;)

    Anyway, I recommend all video clips by the french director Michel Gondry, he made two for the Chemical Brothers (Let Forever Be and Star Guitar), and lots more. Also check out his movies, they’re genious!

  • Ben Hutchings

    Safir posted a “Share the software turbo folk remix” on YouTube:

  • Try the latest UNKLE video (Burn My Shadow), or either of Rob Dougan’s videos (Furious Angels, Clubbed To Death)

  • The Chemical Bros Spanish spoken txt:
    “Compañeros,nuestra ruta ya no es la del miedo. Es una revolución humana. Una invitación para aquellos que no quieren escuchar. Nuestro camino es la liberación ante una insaciable globalización que quiere vernos morir en un desierto de soledad.”

    Comrades, our path is no longer the fear path. It is a human revolution. An invitation for those who don’t want to listen. Our path is the liberation facing the insatiable globalization that wants to see us die in a desert of loneliness.

  • sno

    heya, nice videos mentioned, thought i would add Venetian Snares – Szamar Madar as a great video :-) goes amazing to the song and even some comedy added in later.

  • abm

    > A-Ha:
    > Take On Me – mixing multiple art forms (in this case film and animation)

    That was comics to real life transformation, and _3_ arts mix in a video: comics –> animation –> film…

    > Beat Kill Bill to the idea by a couple of decades.


  • etbe
    toupeira: I’ve just viewed some other videos my Michel Gondry, he’s done a lot of good stuff. The wikipedia page about him is good too.

    Ben: That folk remix didn’t work for me, sorry folk isn’t my style.

    directhex: Burn My Shadow is great! It’s a pity that their music isn’t so good. Clubbed to Death is great, Furious Angels is OK.

    Amayita: thanks.

  • Josè

    Yes (I also speak spanish) the translation of the non-English language in Out of Control is totally right.