(SNN) - Mindless browsing through YouTube can bring on some crazy WTF moments. After viewing a creepy animation of a popular song from the 1970s, this Sage reporter went on a quest to find other rather eccentric music videos of songs from the last 5 decades. The following five videos were standouts.
1960s: The Zip Code Song - The Swingin’ Six
In the early 60s, a folk/pop group, The Swingin’ Six, produced a promotional film for the United States Postal Service introducing the ZIP code system, launched in 1963. Four guys in grey cardigans and two gals in A-line skirts of the same grey hue, sing and dance, weaving their way through a sea of cardboard clones of Mr. ZIP (Zippy), the USPS icon who went into retirement in early 1986, making a brief comeback in 2013.
If you make it to 1:23 without too much eye-rolling, note how the singers look over their shoulders at the camera as they’re making their final, skippy dance moves through the maze of Mr.ZIPs. I wonder how many takes they did until no one tripped or bumped into Zippy?
Rating: High Annoyance Level
Why watch it? Learn to use a Zip Code or else bad things will happen.
1970s: Knock Three Times - Tony Orlando and Dawn
Ranked at #1 of the Billboard Top 100 Chart in the early 70s, “Knock Three Times” was credited to the singing group, Tony Orlando and Dawn. But the song , released on the Candida album, was produced before Dawn even existed. Years later, Pew Man Fu Studios created this weird, but fascinating machinima version of the wildly popular hit, bringing the song to a whole new generation.
Rating: Highly Creepy, but in a good way
Why watch it? It’s addictive. I bet you can’t watch just once!
1980s: Land of Confusion - Genesis
This rock song, by the group Genesis, could have easily been created in the context of the troubling times of today, just with different players. It was released on the album, Invisible Touch, over 30 years ago, in 1986. The video, made in the UK, makes an overarching, clear political statement on the times under the leadership of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and other global leaders whose bizarre puppet caricatures can be spotted throughout the video.
You can also find a number of celebrity puppets in the video; that is if you can get past the nightmarish scenes and watch it to the end. The music is powerful and the lyrics and images tell a story from that era that is all too real. Some viewers who were frightened by the video as children said they still find it creepy today.
The end is disturbing. Note the look on “Reagan’s” face.
Rating: High freak-out factor; not for those prone to night terrors.
Why watch it? You might appreciate it if you are a political junkie, a puppet, or a fan of Ronald Reagan.
1990s: Cotton Eye Joe - Rednex
This hybrid country-techno-bluegrass band isn’t from the American South, as a first time listener might guess. The group is actually from Sweden. It’s hard to get one’s mind around that. Most people likely don’t think of Sweden as producing down-home, country Rednex who would rather stomp around at a hoedown than sing beautiful harmonies, like ABBA.
There are many versions of Cotton Eye(d) Joe. Rednex’s cover of the song, released in 1994, was a big hit internationally, especially in Germany. This performance is from a breed of music videos that are so bad, they’re good. If you like hearin’ fast, foot-stompin’ music and watchin’ long-locked blonds singin’ the same words over and over, or ridin’ a wild buckin’ mechanical bull, then you’ll love this ‘what the frick’ video!
Rating: High energy level; more fun if you’ve had a few beers
Why watch it? To answer the question: Do blonds have more fun?
2000s: Frontier Psychiatrist - The Avalanches
The Australian electronic dance group, The Avalanches, released their music video, “Frontier Psychiatrist”, in August, 2000. It opens showing a principal of a Baltimore public school advising an emotional mother that her very disturbed boy will be expelled from “the entire public school system” and “be declared criminally insane.”
“That boy needs therapy!”
This video is so disjointed and bizarre that you need more than two eyes to see all the players, who take the stage at once, and how they are juxtaposed to convey the insanity from which the boy is supposedly suffering.
“That boy needs therapy!”
Each time the video is queued up to be played, a visual scan of the stage always seems to reveal some new character or prop that was missed in the previous viewing session. One viewer left a comment identifying one of the three horn players as a well-known actor. Check it out at 0:45 to see who that might be.
“That boy needs therapy!”
Rating: Highly quirky, but strangely entertaining
Why watch it? To see how many viewings it takes to find Waldo.
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