With David Cameron planning to put cinema-style ratings on music videos, there’s been a lot of chat about the sexual content of the promos from the likes of Rihanna and Lady Gaga.
But as our recent list of the 18 most explicit music videos showed, acts as diverse as Sigur Ros and Bjork can be tarred with the nanny-state brush of “unsuitable” even when they’re trying to make an artistic statement (and not just, you know, holding a crucifix in their hotpants).
It also made us wonder what were the un-sexiest music videos ever? Here’s our top five…
1)Britney Spears, ‘Gimme More’
While it’s now widely acknowleged that ‘Blackout’ (the album Britney was making while she was having her breakdown) is her best, the videos from that album have sadly not dated as well.
It’s difficult to decide what the worst thing about the ‘Gimme More’ video is. Is it the camera work that looks like it comes from a Eastern European cable channel? The thoughtless Jekyll and Hyde style storyline? Britney grinding on a pole, just months after her complete loss of her mental faculties? Or maybe its just the cheap as chips wigs. Whatever it is, it’s proof that mental illness is a real mood killer.
2) Another Level, ‘Freak Me’
This opening salvo from the Dane Bowers-fronted band showed us their modus operandi. Dressed in the sales items from River Island, the foursome pounded territorially across a badly lit club. As they sang about wanting to get freaky, we were watching our drink the whole time in case they put something in it.
3) Mariah Carey, ‘Loverboy’
In short-shorts and a handkerchief top, Mariah spins with the mad-eyed grace of someone who hasn’t been to sleep for 72 hours. Like Britney, the specter of a breakdown hangs over the proceedings, so for every faux-coquettish signaling we’re reading ‘help me, please.’
4) Cher, ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’
Ok, it’s not just the ‘SHE’S ALLLIIIIVE’ whooping ‘n’ hollering which resulted when older lady Cher showed up on a battleship wearing what appeared to be a moth-eaten glove that was unsexy. It was also the strange alarm bells we heard when we saw the attention-starved sailors ready to pounce. I mean maybe they’re just, like, really keen ‘Gypsy’s Tramps & Thieves’, right? Right?
5) Spin Doctors, ‘Two Princes’
OK, ok so no-one’s trying to be sexy here, but this band make Coldplay look like bad-ass lotharios. So much ‘unsexy’ here; the ‘ethnic’ beanie, the preponderance of knitwear, the ‘wacky’ facial hair. Also see: anything by The Dave Matthews Band or Hootie & The Blowfish.