One Million Dollars was a funk-soul band from Auckland who always seemed to be gigging. I saw them live once and my memory was of an epic collection of skilled musicians who easily got away with playing for a little bit too long.
“The Original” was their only NZ On Air funded video, but certainly not their only music video, as their vast Amplifier profile demonstrates. Instead of trying to capture the larger One Million Dollars family, it instead focuses on the band’s lynchpin, lead singer Richard, and there he is – walking down a road, singing a song. It’s like an outdoor version of the “Bye Bye Birdie” theme song.
And that’s mainly what the video is – Richard walking a country road, along a bleak path beside a motorway, and down a hip innercity street. The camera is following in front of him, but occasionally we get a few sideways shots of the scenery, a bonus if you like roadside shrubs.
The video actually gets a bit repetitive. I mean, there’s only so much a person can do while they’re walking alone, singing a song. The most exciting bit happens when he briefly stops and the camera keeps moving and things get a little bit “Virtual Insanity”. Other band members occasionally pop up as disembodied hands playing instruments, and the occasional head singing backing vocals.
It’s a really charming song (and I mean that in the good way, not the sarcastic way), but the video seems immune to its charms and is going for much less spirit and more grit.
Best bit: at 2:28, the energetic cut between the motorway and the countryside.