Satellite Spies had one good song – their 1985 hit “Destiny in Motion”. But it turns out their “It Must Be Love” was an ever bigger hit. While the video funding was given in 1992, the single was first released in 1994, then re-released in 1999, where it peaked at #9 and hung around the charts for almost five months. Take that, synthpop Spies!
The Satellite Spies of the “It Must Be Love” era were led by Deane Sutherland, one half of the original Spies. There’s been a lot of drama between Sutherland and the other original member Mark Loveys, resulting in the great Satellite Spies Wikipedia edit war of ’12, summarised over at Public Address.
But back to 1992. The synthpop is gone. “It Must Be Love” is a middle-of-the-road pop number. Everyone in the band has mullets – thick, lustrous fluffy mullets. We see the band playing at night, outside in a spooky location, with liberal use of smoke machine. Adding to the spooky is a vampire. He’s of the traditional Dracula variety – no Twilight glitter here – and he’s chasing after a dusky maiden.
Lead singer Deane seems to never blink in the video, giving him an eerie zombie-like appearance. Eventually ol’ Vlad sinks his teeth into the girl, vampirising her. She in turn sneaks up behind Deane and bits his neck, with his mullet conveniently swept to one side. Why, it’s almost as if he wanted to be bitten. But maybe he’s poisoned her with his pop zombie juice. I hope the group’s next video “Please Never Leave” explores this.
Best bit: Deane Sutherland’s cross earring, another remnant of the “Destiny in Motion” era Spies.
Girls of the world, do you love the ragga? Upper Hutt Posse like girls who like the ragga and have gone on a musical mission to inform the world of this.
The video takes part at an impromptu performance by la Posse down a graffiti-covered alley. The MC and his trio of backup singers have attracted a substantial audience of ragga-loving girls. There’s a lot dancing. The ragga girls are really digging it.
The camera work is based around a ton of crash zooms, which gives the video a hand-held, “Breaking the Waves” feel. Take that, Lars von Trier – Upper Hutt Posse did it first.
My favourite part of the song is when Teremoana sings that ragga “make me feel so irie”, except the way she sings it sounds like “make me feel so irate”.
I wish Upper Hutt was really like this. Instead of the half-tenanted mall and lunch bars with white bread sandwiches in plastic compartments, instead you could wander down a dark alleyway and come across a crowd of cheerful, smiling people, getting down to rap group, the world alive with music.
Best bit: the woman wearing a gold flat-top hat with giant black polka dots on it.
The first song off the Fits’ final studio album, the “Done” video mainly takes place in a recording studio, shot in high-contrast black and white, like a goth’s seventh form photography portfolio.
This concept could potentially we quite dull – I mean, “We Are the World” is people performing the song in a recording studio – but then something happens. Shayne’s t-shirt suddenly disappears and the stakes have been raised.
The early ’90s saw a lot of male shirtlessness in music videos, but that was generally the domain of young funk-rock groups who were inspired by the non-musical bits of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. So it’s a bit of a surprise to suddenly see the Straitjacket Fits becoming citizens of man-chest-er.
So far in the list I haven’t come across any music videos with dudes being overtly sexy, but here we go. The thing is, Mr Carter’s songwriting and the Fits’ performance is usually so sexy on its own that shirtless antics aren’t necessary. But when you combine the shirtlessless with the guitar playing… Oh, if you’re young and beautiful you might as well.
Semi MCs were five high school students who could sing, dance and rap well enough to form a posse. They’re like the natural predecessors of Nesian Mystik, but with lyrics more about general themes of love and getting down and having a good time.
“Trust Me” has a new jack swing flavour, and a fairly ambitious video. The guys are hanging out at night in a colourful courtyard area. All around them people are dancing in only the freshest of streetwear.
It’s a fairly bangin’ video and I can’t help wonder why this song didn’t chart higher than 27. Maybe it was just a bit behind the times. When it was released at the end of 1992, grunge had well and truly got a stranglehold on the world of pop.
The music video begins after two and a half minutes. Also worth watching is this interview from “3.45 Live!”. Phil From The Amazing Race and Dr Hine prod the shy lads who excitedly reveal they’ll be playing at DTM (DTM!!!) with MC OJ and Rhythm Slave.
Best bit: the looks of heartbreak and disappointment on the face of a girl when the guys drive off in their fancy convertible.
From a suburban state house to K Road, “Hey Judith” is a sunshine in a music video. Matthew Bannister, all gussied up in red lipstick, has a minor meltdown as he sings for the love of his life, covering the wall in lipstick kisses.
The video also includes a musclewoman, dog poo, a cardboard replica of K Road, Auckland suburban trains, the old yellow ARA buses, the old Auckland CPO, complete with the bank of public phones out the front.
I’m intrigued by a brief shot of a pillow booth at the train station. I assume this was something made for the video, but I like to think that back in the ’90s, there was a booth at the train station that gave people pillows for their train journeys, or for carrying around town in search of their special honey.
And just to prove how ’90s it is, the video ends with the band donning virtual reality googles. (Remember virtual reality? Remember how it was going to change the world?)
It all leaves me thinking that I’d like ’90s-era Matthew Bannister to be my boyfriend.
Best bit: the Ken and Barbie cardboard K Road adventure.
Before Annie Crummer was vamping it up as the Killer Queen in the Australian production of “We Will Rock You”, she presented a softer, gentler side with “See What Love Can Do”, the first single from her debut solo album.
Just to prove how ’90s it is, not only is she wearing a peasant blouse, she’s also shown with a “Blossom”-style hat with a giant flower on it.
The video is shot in high contrast black and white, not unlike Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” video, only without the fierce dancing. Annie is joined by the fullas from Herbs to add some grunt on the verses and a choral sound on the chorus. Hey, these are the guys who dah-dah-dah-boom-boom’d “Slice of Heaven” into a hit for ol’ Dave Dobbyn.
Somehow I thought the song would demand a warmer, more communal video than what was produced, but perhaps it was decided to emphasise Annie and her backing singers, no one else.
Best bit: the enthusiastic ooo-ing from Charlie Herbs.