Wednesday, August 28, 2013
"The Worst Music Video of All Time"
The companion piece to the popular Worst Record Cover of All Time post, this Billy Squier Video was awarded that title in an unanimous vote by 400 music industry professionals who put their coke-addled brains together and picked this video as the worst ever by a major label artist.
Directed by High School Musical's Kenny Ortega and argued by Dangerous Minds that it's such "a whopping steaming turd" (so said by the Capital Records exec who gave it the green light) that it just may've killed Squier's career. Hard to believe given the font of potential career maiming dreck that practically built MTV in the early 80s. You'd think another video of a narcissistic, poodle-permed preening rockstar would hardly be given notice. Sure, Ortega's Toddlers and Tiaras style choreography does have Squier coming off like someone who couldn't rock a body if they were at a Saudi stoning, and, yes, musically he was your typical herniating East Coast screamer bellowing over a bed of Walmart-worthy power ballads—whatever you think of it now, back in the day Squier was selling this stuff for double platinum (and nowadays it might even get booked on one of those themed rock cruises). But, jeez, career death? If that were the case MTV would've been committing career genocides on a monthly basis.
Squier claimed the video made had him come off either as too gay or too drugged and too much of a pretty boy. And while the last part of the video does have a kind of The Boys in the Band quality, you'd think he'd have to be drugged not to realize that editing wasn't going to make his epileptic Tom Cruise (or a drunken Miley Cyrus) flash mobs presentable. (Was there a magic to the storyboards that just didn't translate?) Or maybe Squier was just another pebble in the pavement for the traveling waves of hip hop and grunge to follow. Like the voluminous hair of the early 80s, Squier's time was a narrow window. The zeitgeist just couldn't swallow his slight stuff for very long.
(Forgive the third generation VHS copy resolution quality.)
It kind of fits, doesn't it?
See original article without all my purpley prose here.
To prove that worse is entirely in the eye of the beholder, a reader suggested this horrid video as a contender. Clearly, to some Spinal Tap was no joke. (See how the Metal Queen wields a sword. Heh-heh.)
Stop the presses! A truly, truly awful nominee for the Amateurs from Hell category: I defy you to get all the way to the end. (I couldn't.) Greasy mullets and frizzy hair stacks all around, ill-fitting leather, horrid location scouting, and video that may've been shot by the worst wedding videographer in the world. (The addiction to sudden sky dissolving shots will leave you speechless.) A masterpiece of Ed Woodian proportions.