This article from the staff writers at Grantland (posted yesterday) examined the worst music videos of all-time.
All 11 selections were good, but these two posts me laugh perhaps harder than I’ve laughed all calendar year. I’ve included them below, along with the explanations from the writers. Please. Enjoy.
Joe Nichols – If Nobody Believed in You
Chuck Klosterman: This is not the worst video of all time, because the worst video of all time would undoubtedly be fascinating. This is more like the strangest video I’ve seen in the past 10 years, which probably has more do with the lyrics than any of the visuals. It’s called “If Nobody Believed in You,” by Joe Nichols, and it fall under the “modern country” rubric (just about every intriguing video since 1999 has either been a country song or a hip-hop song, because those genres are still obsessed with making Lifestyle Music, and that generates Lifestyle Videos).
There are a lot of heavy ideas in this clip: The first verse is about how you shouldn’t scream at a small child for not swinging his bat on a 3-2 count, which seems like reasonable child-rearing advice. The second verse is about how it’s morally wrong to stop an elderly parent from driving a car, which seems a little more questionable. But it’s the third verse that really goes for the jugular; the third verse posits a capriciously apocalyptic possibility that is both supernatural and specific. It suggests a worst-case scenario that I didn’t even know was on the table. I totally didn’t see it coming, but maybe that’s my own fault.
Prince – Batdance
Lane Brown: “Hi, Prince? This is Tim Burton. I’ve got a job for you. Do you think you could poorly choreograph a tumbling routine set to a tuneless seven-minute sound collage of the Joker’s dialogue from my new Batman movie? Don’t worry too much about the costumes. Or the knowing who the Joker is. In fact, why don’t you just invent your very own half-bat, quasi-Jokerish Batman villain, an inadvertent rip-off of Two-Face? Anyway, as long as you take extra care to be sure that the video is completely incoherent, I predict the song will be a bigger hit than ‘Purple Rain.‘”