Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Morning Videos: "Got My Mind Set on You" (Again)

No way will I stand for Youtube disembedding any former Beatles!



So, when I put this up last year, it was part of this brief series I was doing on pop stars from the 60s who, twenty years later, found themselves in the music video era. Some handled it well, some didn't. I claimed, on the basis of the above video, that George Harrison had maintained, even in the midst of all the usual MTV schtick, some of his dignity and sense of fun. In saying that, I was hoping no one would remember the other version of this video, in which someone in a bad George Harrison wig prances around underneath a talking moose. And, of course, I had commenters who called me on just that. And so, for completion's sake...



Holy cow, that was awful.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Set," not "Stuck." The moose video is much better than the other.

Russell Arben Fox said...

Thanks; I corrected it. Can't believe I made such a dumb error. And no, the moose video is painful; George is just sitting in a chair, not even really pretending to play, looking distracted and uncomfortable. In the former video, he at least looks like he's into it.

Anonymous said...

You're missing the point of the video, Russell, which is the comic contrast between the nearly motionless Harrison and the building frenzy of inanimate objects in the room, culminating in the stunt double back-flip punchline (and the brilliant denouement with Harrison resuming with the cool gaze and rhythmic strumming). It's funny. And, unlike the first video, the moose one was nominated for several MTV VMAs.

The first video, on the other hand, feels completely rote. The back-and-forth mugging of the disconnected blond Wesley Wyndham-Pryce and pre-nose-job Debbie Gibson lookalike is far more painful (and dated) than anything in the moose video. Heightening the awkwardness is the intercut snippets of Harrison in grainy black-and-white, which serve to fossilize Harrison.

Contrast the pandering Beatlesmania imagery from that awful video with the lyrical content and video for "When We Was Fab" (from the same album). The latter is far superior--reflective about Harrison's time with the Beatles, even deliberately Beatlesesque (particularly in the George Martin-like production), but ultimately feeling both modern and timeless.

Russell Arben Fox said...

Hmm...okay, I grant that you make a good case for the moose video. I can see the contrast you're talking about (though, despite that back-flip, I don't think the staging brings it out nearly as well as you claim). I think I could also argue that the relentless poppy, one-off, goofball quality of the song itself (thinking here of Weird Al Yankovic's killer parody, "This Song's Just Six Words Long") perhaps fits better with the mugging and posing of the characters in the first video than does whatever the director of the moose video was attempting. But let's just chalk it up to differences in taste.

Thanks for the "When We Were Fab" video reference; I can't believe I'd never seen it before. I just checked it out on YouTube. Not great, I think--too much pointless wandering around by Ringo--but I did really like the ending image, with Harrison as an eight-armed Beatles composite.

Anonymous said...

But, dude, isn't "pointless [yet affable] wandering around" Ringo's raison d'etre?

Russell Arben Fox said...

Damn--you're right. That's like the whole of Ringo, right there.

Scott B. said...

My older brother purchased Weird Al's album "Even Worse" when I was just a kid, and for years I did not know that "This Song is Just Six Words Long" was a parody at all. I recall being somewhat embarrassed to discover this when I did, in the company of more enlightened folks.

Abe Fox said...

Russell,

I remember seeing this video (the...umm...award-nominated version) as a kid....and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!!!

There is nothing better than the singing Warthog on the Wall....Genius!!!