Good and bad videos for the same song

I often wonder what’s the story when there are multiple music videos for the same song. That’s the thought that eventually came to mind as I researched Give It Up by KC and The Sunshine Band. In this case, I wonder if this is a Europe / America divide.

The folks on the other side of the pond always liked KC and the Sunshine Band almost as much as US audiences did, but they preferred different cuts. Brits weren’t so excited by US #1 hits Get Down Tonight (peaked at #21 in the UK) or I’m Your Boogie Man (#41), but they loved Queen of Clubs (#7 vs. #66 in the US). So it was for the group’s only 80s hit, which spent three weeks at #1 in the UK, then topped out at only #18 on the Billboard charts.

The video at the top of this post is the good video, or at least the video with decent production values. H.W. Casey strains to find a screen persona as the hero who rescues a bunch of women from a spooky house with the help of some magic child or something. Why does he pause to sing a few bars with a faux Star Wars cantina band? Because it’s an 80s music video.

The other extreme is at the bottom of this post, where Casey strains to be his likable self in a candidate for cheapest-looking video I’ve seen. It’s just two dancers, a pound of dry ice, a small room with corrugated metal walls, and Casey, of course. With the Halloween-themed real video available, why would anyone bother to spend the half hour it probably took to record this? Maybe the rights to the “good” video stopped at the border?

In any event, I can’t recall seeing either of these videos on MTV, and the song’s retro-disco feel would tend to make it unwelcome there. After I heard Give It Up on Sunshine Band greatest hits’ CDs, I figured for years that it was just another 70s UK hit like Queen of Clubs or Sound Your Funky Horn (#17 there). But no, it’s an 80s song with two types of 80s videos: unrelated, incomprehensible eye candy and ultra-low budget lip sync. Enjoy them both!