The 10 Worst Music Videos of All Time
Many are called and many are chosen. The internet's filled with retrospectives of the ten worst videos of all time but years of prowling around on Youtube and seeing hideous videos posted on other blogs finally compelled me to make a Top 10 list of my own. And what a nationally-eclectic list it is! Ranging from Soviet Russia to Finland to Japan to Denmark to Hungary to India, these videos prove beyond a doubt that, even after 30 years, not all of us have the music video-making gene that the Beatles had in the 60's.
Back in 2007, Mads Nørgaard gave us a compelling look at not only the youth scene in Copenhagen but also the dangerous Danish balloon black market. They prance about on overpasses, do subversive things like put up posters they won't let us read and generally push the gay movement back to the pre-Stonewall era and perhaps into the Stone Age. I don't know about you, but this video certainly makes me want to steal balloons from a transient and then go out and "kill, kill, kill" as the last 45 seconds of the video tells me to do. Mads Nørgaard offers a compelling argument that perhaps the Danes ought to stick to making horrible-smelling cheese and pissing off Muslims.
Japanese culture seems to be based on one over-arching goal: To outdo the risibility of western culture and in that, they usually succeed. While still managing to maintain a level of dignity slightly higher than that of the typical Japanese game show, this Mini Mori video still beggars for an explanation as to how this dildo-headed guy and the Jailbait Dancers ever got a #1 single even in the Land of the Rising Sun. If you ever did a handful of purple microdot while watching anime, this is exactly what you'd see. We dropped a pair of atom bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. They retaliated with this video. I'd say that about makes us even.
If you're a liberal, then you'll probably wince at seeing a video like this on a list like this. The sentiment behind it is commendable: Terrorists suck but so does war so stop the war. Unfortunately, that's the only saving grace of this 2003 video by the Hungarian group Speak. The video, aside from said commendably pacifistic message, seems to exist solely to prove that Eastern Europe ought to stop trying to muscle in on the boy band market and to focus those energies on making cars that don't live in garages. I'd also propose we pull all our troops out of both Iraq and Afghanistan and to wage war on Hungary for importing these tuneless wonders to the world music market.
The singing in this song is actually passably good. However, just to prove I'm not claiming national superiority and that all of America's got talent, I give you The Hoff, a man who, impossible though many would find it, actually succeeded in making Blue Swede look like a genius. But then again, one can't feel much sympathy for a guy gullible enough to stand in front of a green screen and trust a snickering director. "Oh, no, David, just stand on that box and trust me. We won't make you look like a paunchy Neo. No, no, you look great in the furry Michelin Man outfit. Besides, the camera takes 20 pounds off."
OK, I'll admit it: This song by Punjabi pop singing sensation Daler Mehndi is really catchy and will even get your foot tapping. But, like the Hoff above him, Mehndi's singing talents are overshadowed by a vicious and vindictive art director who must've had something against him. The product is something between a Benetton ad and Aladdin's Lamp as directed by Timothy Leary. Indeed, at several times in the video, even Mehndi seems to be laughing at his gyrating, badly digitized doubles.
Estonian boy band Steklovata is responsible for this song, "Новый год" (Nowiy god, or Russian for "WTF in God's name were we all thinking?!"). The 2001 brainchild of middle-aged Sergei Kuznetsov, many of the members of this now-thankfully-defunct band were 13 when the group formed. Uh huh. Middle-aged man actively searching out 13 year-old boys in the post-Chikatillo age. Uh huh. Anyway, this video distracts you with its hideous snowfall in the background, which may not be a bad thing as it distracts you from the foreground.
This synopsis is just for kids 18 and under, so you old folks go away for a minute. OK, kids, scootch on over. Now, the next time your old man tells you and your band to stop wasting your lives taking up his garage, show him this video by F.U.S.B.I. of the darker side of musical ambition. This pussy-whipped techno-pop Dad band should and could be introduced as evidence before the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland that rockers cannot start out in middle age. Exhibit A: (Spoiler alert) The passably hot chick gives Dad back the 20 dollar bill she dropped to pay him to stay away from her. Exhibit B: Dad's lead guitarist is John Wayne Gacy. Exhibit C: The fat, hairy, shirtless guy. The prosecution rests, kids. Now go back to Dad's garage and aim higher. Much higher.
And people wonder how the transsexual Finnish rocker movement started in Chicago. In what has to be the most apathetic video ever made (pay careful attention to the cameraman falling asleep or losing interest in his subject at 2:35), this video by Jan Terri, "Losing You", is nonsensical even by conceptual video standards and makes Fellini suddenly look accessible. When the hero/ine, obviously a converted Helsinki gin mill bartender, loses her man (perhaps the understudy for the motorcycle dude in the Village People) offcamera, the US government gives us a happy ending and rightfully deports her. Somehow the United Airways jet achieves takeoff velocity and American culture was spared from complete destruction for another day just to be threatened by Jan Terri's countrymen...
...Armi and Danny. If the "good" Jesus of the Church of Latter Day Saints ever came back to earth in a cheesy future and did a music video, this would be the result. Actually shown on MTV back in the days when they actually showed music videos, this other notorious product of Finland proves that Finnish culture peaked with Paavo Nurmi and lutefisk. Brilliantly anticipating the Britney Spears School of Aerobic Dance by a decade and a half, this song has been known to induce fatal levels of Metathesiophobia or fear of the future.
Rounding out the list, put on your belt seats and prepare for down splash, comrades, because you're about to be invaded by Zlad the Impaler of Eardrums. There were basically three things the Soviets couldn't do for shit: Keep their people alive, make decent cars and produce good music videos. It's perhaps our instinct for making sense in a senseless world but it's hard to imagine even a Russian making a video like this out of any other motivation but self-parody. With a wig from a dead schipperke, special FX by Atari and English coaching by Sarah Palin, this Russian answer to The Captain and Tennile should've just STFU and acknowleged the sheer brilliance and greatness of the ones who brought us "Muskrat Love."