After running through a few of the best 80s videos, it’s time to remind ourselves that there’s a wide base of mediocrity supporting the top. Here’s a very remarkable, if not especially good, video that uses a song with some history.
In 1972, Elliot Lurie wrote and sang Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl), which became a huge #1 hit for his band Looking Glass. Trouble was, the ballad wasn’t a typical song for the group, which used a different lead singer for most of its work. Looking Glass is often called a one-hit wonder, but that isn’t quite accurate. A year later, Lurie wrote and sang Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne, another ballad with a similar tone, and it peaked at #33.
A decade later, the singer Josie Cotton picked up Jimmy Loves Maryann (with improved spelling) to follow her few minor hits. This cover was even more minor, peaking at #82 and completely escaping my notice in 1984. I only noticed it a few months ago after a note that the song had been covered. But what a video! It contained so many 80s video cliches:
- Motorcycle, with helmet-off reveal
- Guy with a whip
- Gratuitous flame-breathers
- And a circle of candles
Most of which were whizzing by in the background, as if to distract us from the singer. And oh yes, absolutely none of which had anything to do with the song. That’s a pet peeve: If you have a good story already in your song, why not make a video of that story?
Anyway, for a concentration of pure 80s-excess fever dreaming, check this out: