Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Speak English in Portugal

I was confused.

Pitchford published a list of 100 awesome music videos, but they left a couple out. Their "D" section included David Hasselhoff, but didn't include two outstanding videos by Devo and Depeche Mode.

I've already alluded to the "Beautiful World" video. You'll recall what Jerry Casale said:

That's a song that was written with the video in mind. The video idea preceded the song. We start off with silly imagery taken from archival film libraries of just stupid stuff - Americana pop culture stuff from the past and silly imagery of silly people, then slowly start warping it over darker and darker things - Ku Klux Klan race riots, war, suffering, atomic bomb, starvation. It transforms from one thing to another.

But I don't think I've ever written about the live video version of "Everything Counts." The video itself is a mixture of cynicism and innocence. Wikipedia addresses the cynicism:

The video not only includes portions of the live performance, but also contains various references to the money made from merchandise and ticket sales at the concert, humorously connected to the theme of corruption and greed of the song.

This is not only illustrated in the beginning of the song

We’re making lots of money. TONS of money...

but is illustrated in the first chorus ("the grabbing hands grab all they can"), where instead of showing the band singing, Pennebaker chose to show all the merchandising.

But things got a little more innocent toward the end:

Everything Counts, the final song performed, is the icing on the cake. This is one of the best pieces of music that Depeche Mode have ever used to close a concert. It's perfect because not only is it a tremendously powerful song all its own, but it involves the audience at the end. : "The grabbing hands, grab all they can! Everything Counts in large amounts!" over and over again in unison. A very bonding experience for both the band and the audience.

Dave Gahan himself is completely overcome by the audience response.

Does the title confuse you? Pay attention.

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