Ah, the 90s. When people wore New Balance and scrunchies were a thing. And MTV still showed music videos. Except, there are some music videos that would have been better left unscreened. For posterity, and so that their mistakes can never be repeated, here’s our list of the ten most savagely appalling pop promos of the 90s.
10Dannii Minogue, ‘This Is It’
Oh Dannii. Everything about this video, from the badger-dyed hair, to the cheapo beach setting, to the fact that the stylists didn’t even spring for a bikini, forcing you to go swimming in your bra and pants, is cut-price. Maybe if Kylie hadn’t been going through her indie phase at the time, she might have thrown some cash the directors way, or at least given you the lend of a different dress.
The worst thing about ‘The Bad Touch’ isn’t the ill-fitting monkey suits. It’s not the fact that the women in the video are drugged and then put into cages. It’s not even the close-ups of insect-eating. The worst thing about ‘The Bad Touch’ is that someone thought that the group deserved to go to Paris to film all of this. No. Just no.
Can you remember what L.F.O stands for? Lite Funkie Ones. No. We didn’t spell any of that wrong. ‘Summer Girls’ is an exercise in douchebaggery. Lead singer Rich does his best Sugar Ray impression as he tries to chat up a girl on the beach. Doesn’t matter which. He’s not picky, as long as they look like ‘a girl from Abercrombie and Fitch’. Good luck with that one, mate.
What’s important to remember is that Billy Ray Cyrus was only 20 when ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ was released. What’s also important to remember is that’s old enough to know better.
‘Hey! Guys! We’ve got a greenscreen for the day! Let’s make the most of it!’ The director sighed. Someone had let David loose with the credit card again. Well, at least they could have some fun with the special effects. He looked away as the Hoff was poured into the motion-detector suit. When he looked back, David was juggling two boxes, each with his head on. The Director poured himself a whiskey. At least someone was happy.
In a parallel universe called The Past, Eddie Murphy released three musical albums. His final album ‘Love’s Alright’ featured this duet with Michael Jackson. Another special effects-casualty, we’re sure that the floating peace symbols and number 9’s are very meaningful, but all the jumpy camera-work is making us nauseous.
One long #whitewhine, ‘Thank U’ shows Alanis walking naked through the city. Naked! Like her soul! Do you see! And Alanis, we wouldn’t sit on that subway chair without a towel beneath you. And put a jacket on, for God’s sake. No wonder you’re whinging about antibiotics at the start of the song, you’ve probably caught a chill in your kidneys.
There’s a case to be made for lyric videos. Especially when two of your quartet aren’t needed in the promo video, but insist on staying in frame and mugging for the camera while the lead singers gamely attempt to bring the party vibes. Or whatever it is they’re doing.
‘Blue’ was released a month after the Matrix came out. But we can all agree that the Wachowski Brothers used the Italian trio as consultants on the project- as evidenced by the cutting edge sci-fi graphics Eiffel 65 use in this video. The Matrix money was enough to mean Eiffel 65 have never returned to music. Obviously.
‘Straight from the heart of Vanilla I-C-E’, comes this soppy slow jam. Complete with photo negatives to help the soulful vibe, sax solo, and spoken phone booth section, all the better to convey how much Vanilla lurrrves his woman. Vom.