FUSE is currently airing a series of specials that lists the most influential music videos in history. So far, they have chosen Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Aerosmith and Run DMC’s “Walk This Way”. While it is clear that each of the songs were influential in their own respect (the explosion of the grunge movement, collaboration between rap/rock), why were these videos chosen? Do you think that these videos were truly influential? What made them that way?
On that subject, the true question here is what makes a music video particularly good in your opinion. Videos used to be solely a performance by the band that was taped in order to showcase the song but, while that certainly still happens, more and more artists are taking the music video to showcase a story of the song or something completely unrelated in a way to create buzz for the band.
OK Go’s “Here It Goes Again” is a choreographed dance on treadmills. It says nothing about the song and doesn’t feature any members of the band singing or performing their instruments, but it is undoubtedly a successful music video in the sense that it is visually appealing and showcases the song to an audience that may not have viewed it earlier.
Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" features the story behind the song of a child who went on a murderous rampage in his school. It was highly effective in the sense that it showed a taboo subject at the time and took a risk, utilizing only the lead singer and the troubled teen; if you've seen the video you probably haven't forgotten it.
AP.net reader favorite "Sic Transit Gloria...Glory Fades" by Brand New features the idea of a sheep and how one man's actions are followed by the rest. This video shows the idea of a single concept for an entire video. Rather than focusing on the song or telling a story, it is developing a situation for the song around a single event.
There are many factors that go into making a great music video. What do you think makes a music video successful?
For the second part of this question, the discussion of the music video will turn from what makes it a success to whether or not it is still an important medium. With the decline of MTV’s use of music television and the rise of Youtube giving anyone an outlet, it is clear that the music video genre is not as exclusive as it used to be. Does that make the music video less of a marketing tool, or do you think that it increases the value of the video because the potential audience has grown exponentially?
Good videos have band performances. Great videos tell a story and let the watcher learn more about the artist. The music video won't disappear it will probably just evolve and become cheaper to make. Labels budgets for videos will fall and bands might start experimenting in making more videos per albums like what Death Cab did. Videos, like albums should be vehicles to get people to watch bands live show and the way they engage the watchers will determine how successful they are.
I like a good story, clever shots, or a different technique. One of my favorite videos is "Destiny" by Zero 7. I like it a lot because of the way it looks. It's animated but it looks so different than anything I had seen up to that point. I think a good music video definately helps a band because I don't think I would have gotten into Zero 7, but I kept watching that video and got hooked.
I think it's still a good marketing tool. For up and coming bands I think it gives people a good "first look." The band can showcase their musical as well as their performance talents. I think Youtube can help. If somebody sees a video on TV they can go check it out whenever they want by finding it on Youtube. A lot of times bands have funny tour videos and such on Youtube as well and if a fan checks it out they might feel more attached because it's like a way into the bands life. I think Punchline uses Youtube very well. They are always posting weird videos, not just of the musical variety. It's just more exposure.
Both Videos were bad compare to today's standards. Espically walk this way more so than smells like teen spirit. The songs themselves were a major impact on society and broke down the door for the rest of their scene.
But to me if you want an influencial video look at Thriller. It was one of the first ones to have a movie type feel with a plot, choreography, and suspense. Other big videos would be right now by van halen, ever since then you have seen bands try to put catch phrases and quotes in text form on their videos. Jeremy and here it goes again are previous mentioned good examples.
The problem is people can't differeniate between a song and a video. Once they do that, these lists will be ligit.
I have not seen a new music video in probably 2 years...I am not a fan of MTV and I don't have Fuse on my cable subscription. I mean they are more of a promotional medium then anything else(Especially for the teenybopper girls to see if they boys in the band are cute or not).
videos are about giving the watchers and listeners a chance to really get into their favorite artist's heads and finding out more about their artistry and talent. A great music video can only be made with a great song though, and have a real meaning behind it.
It's more interesting to be able to see a video and see the story behind a song that impact certain people in certain ways then just some random live shots with the song going on. I mean, don't get me wrong, ever so often I like seeing the 'live show' type of videos with certain bands because you get to see how intune with the fans they are and how the crowds react, but I like seeing a picture that reflects to story of the song.
I think videos are still a huge outlet and Youtube makes it a bit easier for alot of bands. Not only do they get to post their own pro videos but it's awesome to find a band then look them up on the site and see how many other fan videos are shot and the vid tour blogs are always great<3!
I like music videos that show you a more personal side of the band. If you're a fan, you like to get to know the members and see how they interact with each other. If I laugh, even better. I've seen enough videos of bands playing in the desert or at the playboy mansion. Tell me a good story or give me something that amazes me. (i.e. ok go...choreographing with treadmills was genius!)
As for whether or not music videos are still important, I'd have to say that they are still a big part of the game. Television is still a huge medium and just because MTV doesn't play videos in full anymore except for off peak hours doesn't mean they're aren't kids who are watching extra features on the cds, watching videos online, and putting them up on their myspace/facebook pages. And let's not forget about networks like Fuse that are still showing music videos a good portion of the day in full. As long as there are places like Fuse to turn to, they'll be a place for music videos.