What does that song mean?

Forgotten Weird Music Videos of the Ancient 80s | vol 3

Posted Apr 27th, 23:30 by Penguin Pete

Here we are buzzing along with our forgotten and weirdest MTV videos of the 80s. Volume 1 is here and volume 2 is here. Both of those were loosely grouped around some better known bands making some truly off-the-wall entries. But now we’re getting into the truly weird: groups you’ve probably never heard of doing videos that defy description.

Let’s bust a move!

Tenpole Tudor “Swords of a Thousand Men”

Meet Tenpole Tudor! First off, why isn’t this a cult hit? This should be a smash with the Renaissance Fair crowd at the very least. Then they hit you with the chorus, a shifted-tempo cry of “hoo rah hoo rah hoo rah yay, over the hills and now I’m on my way” to the exact same tune as the Dr. Demento classic “Bras on 45” by Ivor Biggun, which also came out the same year of 1981. Then you find out that frontman Eddie Tudor-Pole got his break being in the Sex Pistols film The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, but later didn’t get very far except to have this song become popular in soundtracks and adverts. They’ve charted some in the UK.

Classix Nouveaux “Guilty”

At some point, some of you must have been asking “Why don’t we have a ska vampire?” Your answer is Classix Nouveaux, a very early New Wave band, fronted by this bald pre-Voldemort guy in black flowing robes, blasting out the power ballad “Guilty,” which sounds like it just missed being part of either a Meat Loaf album or the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack, but also runs fine on a double-bill with The Cure or something. True New Wave style fusion! Classix Nouveaux was formed from the break-up of UK punk band X-Ray Spex, and another punk bands DBA “The News.” They charted some in the UK and had international followings, but somehow failed to press on to bigger stardom. IN any case, this song’s catchy as hell and deserves better play.

Icehouse “Icehouse”

The multi-genre Australian band Icehouse shouldn’t qualify as that obscure; they were a worldwide hit charting steadily through the 80s decade. They even qualify as a US Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 with #7 for their song “Electric Blue” (1987). But this video is just begging to be on a weird list, with the sleeping child’s soul crawling out of her body and out the window to play in the sinister glowing neon cube in the woods. This video “Icehouse” came out in 1981 when the band was still called Flowers. Arty dark fantasy videos with spooky synth hooks are an MTV cliché now, but this video had no business being this hard-cutting in 1981. For that matter, Icehouse started out as a pub rock band, and have no business near-inventing modern Goth, with the horror movie images and foreboding tunes. So yeah, check out the rest of Icehouse’s stock, they practically minted the loony arty videos that other bands copied.

VideoKids “Woodpeckers From Space”

VideoKids… it says here that they were a Euro-dance Glam Pop group that barely squeaked out two albums and four singles before disbanding in 1988. So here’s this number in 1984, a novelty hit made for a video and little else, “Woodpeckers From Space.” Not only that, but it’s actually based on the theme song for the same cartoon character. For extra mystery, both founding members of the duo, Peter Slaghuis and Bianca Bonelli, tragically passed away in the early 90s. VideoKids, what were you telling us?

Mink “Atakatakatakata”

No, I have no idea what an “Atakatakatakata” is. Judging from the context, I think it means “an irritating synth-pop girly song with a chorus so inane that it gives you a heart atakatakatakata.” Mink is this Belgian singer (and I’m guessing model?) who released just two singles in her whole dang career, apparently, both through Biram Records. This came and went in 1982, and not a second too soon. Do not listen to the song on repeat; that’s how the brain worms get you!

Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew - The Super Bowl Shuffle 1985

How’s this for an obscure “band”? We close with a video that’s more of a trivial novelty than an actual music video, and a big commercial for the Stupid – er, - Super Bowl. Let it be hereby known that we acknowledge that in 1985, for five agonizing minutes and thirty-eight insufferable seconds, MTV viewers were subjected to the Chicago Bears rapping. That’s it, that’s the post, rapping Bears.

Coming up NEXT…

could there be more undiscovered weirdness in our 80s archive? Or will we have to move on to… the 90s?





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