Monday, July 22, 2013

Top 10 Most Bizarre Cross-Over Music Videos

Everyone wants to be a rock star, including athletes and actors that have already attained varying degrees of success in the entertainment world.

Maybe it's the thrill of knowing that people are cheering for something you created with your own voice. It's understandably a very different (and arguably better) type of affirmation having people go wildly crazy for something that is more centered on your own self rather than a team or movie/television show that they like.

Many famous entertainers discover the hard way, however, that there is a reason you hear so many bad auditions on shows like American Idol and the X-Factor: Creating a quality musical performance is hard.

Unfortunately for them (and us), many of these people have gotten so used to success in one area that becoming the next great musical sensation feels like more of a birthright than a dream. Combine that sense of entitlement with enormous amounts of disposable income and an entourage of people that will tell you whatever you want to hear, and you end up with some laughably terrible attempts at rock star fame that are still able to go far beyond the garage or private recording studio where they should have died a quiet and insignificant death.

To make matters worse, the clout of a "star name" (combined with the aforementioned piles of cash) means that many of these pop star wannabes can also create music videos.

Now you can say what you want about Eddie Murphy's foray into the industry, but at least he had to the good sense to make his videos as simple as possible: Just him trying to belt out tunes in a studio with his backup singers and instrumentalists trying to do their jobs without laughing.

Some "cross over" musicians, however, take their attempts at artistic interpretation by putting their music into a visual form to levels that should never have been attempted by someone at any level of musical talent...or by them. The following are RamblingBeachCat's Top 10 most bizarre music videos by crossover artists.

10. Carl Lewis: Break It Up

Record setting U.S. Olympian Carl Lewis is already well known for his lack of tonal center thanks to his 1993 butchering of the United States National Anthem. But that was not his only attempt to make those of us that can hear envy the deaf. In 1987, his single 'Break It Up' dropped along with one of the most disturbing music videos you will ever see.

It's starts out simply (and narcissistically) enough with Lewis singing while he works out in a gym full of hot 80's models. Every few seconds, a clip of him going beast mode in the long jump competition is also played. They lyrics to the song have something to do with forming a human chain and working together or something. It's not good at all, but it's not the worst thing anyone's ever heard.

But at 0:59, a couple of random bubbles float in front of the world class sprinter while he's doing leg curls. This seems a bit out of place, but still pretty innocuous...until the 1:59 mark, when the source of the bubbles is revealed to be a sweet little old lady in comically over-sized sunglasses.

Much like viewer, Lewis seems perplexed by her presence. But mere seconds later, he's got the old geezer in a hot tub and is suggestively stroking her arm while to singing to her.

"I'm gonna take you out to dinner, but bring
 your AARP card so we get the discount."

The inter cut clip of Lewis athletically competing changes to him winning a race, but by this point no one cares about that. We want to know if this cougar and Lewis are going to go for the gold together...and at 2:44, that question is firmly answered.

The pair head into a sauna while the old woman (now without her sunglasses) puts up a 'Do Not Disturb' sign and winks at the camera....and the rest of us vomit.

9. Juliette Lewis: Terra Incognita

When actress  Juliette Lewis isn't busy taking on challenging and bizarre film roles, she also likes to rock n' roll...and she's actually not half bad. The single for her first solo album, Terra Icognita, is an upbeat, hard driving anthem that is pretty enjoyable to listen to.

The video, on the other hand, is all types of strange. Despite the weird "interview" at the beginning, it starts off pretty plainly: Lots of concert footage of Julia interspersed with clips of her fighting and getting the crap beaten out of her by random people meant to represent those who doubt her musical abilities.

But at 2:31 (which is identified as the end of reel 1), things to begin to go a bit off the rails....starting with Juliette and her band (along with the music critic she's been fighting the entire time) dressed up in animal masks and terrorizing and an office.


Things continue to make less sense when a random old guy shows up at 3:01 who looks like he's attempting to perform street magic. This is followed by Juliette jumping on top of the music critic and beating her senseless while her victim just smiles and sticks her tongue out at her.

The video ends with a bunch of candid shots showing Juliette and her band working on the song along with more concert footage (it also looks like the music critic turns into Juliette Lewis and disappears, but that just might be a result of sensory overload taking its toll). Meanwhile, the rest of us aren't quite sure what we just watched.

8. David Hasselhoff: Hooked On A Feeling

Many artists have covered Mark James' 'Hooked On A Feeling.' The one most people probably remember (especially if you were alive and watching televison during the late 90's) was by the Swedish group Blue Swede, which was used to represent Ally McBeal's ticking biological clock along with an animated dancing baby.

But David Hasselhoff of Nightrider, Baywatch, and drunken hamburger fame made a cover and subsequent music video that goes in a completely different direction. It starts off with the famous "ooga chaka" chant followed by David Hasselhoff turning around, singing the opening lines of the song, and staring into the camera so intensely that it might get you pregnant (even if you're a dude).

But at 0:14, the first of many shots featuring The Hoff in a ridiculous costumes in front of a green screen background begins its assault on your senses.

Perhaps the most telling shot of the video's focus is the one where Hasselhoff sings and thrusts his pelvis towards a spinning cube adorned on all sides with various images of himself.

But to offset him looking too narcissistic, there are also multiple shots of floating children in angel costumes and dachshunds wandering around on the ground.

There's also a lot of David Hasselhoff flying, but I'm pretty sure he can actually do that in real.

7. Milla Jovovich: Gentlemen Who Fell

Before she made a career out of starring in terrible Resident Evil films, Milla Jovovich was a well known model and up and coming young actress. What many people don't know, however, is that she was also a well regarded musician.

Her 1994 album The Divine Comedy received glowing reviews for its folk-influenced sound and catchy melodies. The video for her single the Gentlemen Who Fell, however, resembles a disturbing French art film.

The dizzying array of things that flash up on the screen in black and white include objects appearing and disappearing, a spider being put into a box (repeatedly), Jovavich being alsmost naked, blood flowing backwards, and an evil looking entity who is wearing a hood and has a mirror for a face.

"Don't mind me; just making the bed and looking for remnants of your soul."

There's also a man in a suit that Jovovich seems to kill and start eating at 2:13. He then comes back to life and goes to the beach and dies again. The spider that keeps showing up crawls across a piece of bread at 3:17, which for some reason creeped me out way more than anything else I saw.

By the end of the video, I really couldn't tell you what was the message or theme. I may have to watch it again a few times...for research...NOT to oggle at Milla...

6. Traci Lords: Fallen Angel

Traci Lords is probably best-known for illegally starring in a large number of X-rated films during the 1980's when she lied to her producers about her age (she was 15 but told them she was 20). In addition to making a lot of porn viewers feel pretty terrible about themselves, she also gained notoriety for writing about her experiences and her eventual denouncement of the pornographic industry.

But Lords also went on to have a pretty decent acting career. She has had multiple television and movie roles that have been well received by critics and audiences alike. Her music career, on the other hand, has been a bit scattered. 

Over the years, Lords has provided guest vocals on numerous pieces and released a few songs herself. One of those songs, Fallen Angel, is a techno/industrial rave song in which she presumably speaks about the struggles she experienced while working in the porn industry.

The video features jump cuts of Lords violently convulsing, which are contrasted by close ups of her in melancholy reflection.

This all apparently takes place in front of a very powerful fan.

 It's a bit unnerving, but nothing too scary...until the 2:44 mark. The jump cuts stop and the camera slowly zooms in on a red leather clad Traci Lords. When it gets right up into her face, she begins saying something in a husky whisper about about suicide, instructs you to come closer, and then assures you that there is nowhere you can hide.

The jump cuts start up again at 3:24, this time placing Lords in what looks like the Black Lodge from Twin Peaks while she sits on a sofa and her doppelganger blinks in and out of existence in various parts of the room.

The video looks like it's going to end with her curled up in the fetal position along with the viewer. But instead, Traci gets up, begins dancing....and then it ends. 

5. Corey Feldman: Ascension Millennium

Actor Corey Feldman has never been able to regain the fame he enjoyed as a teen heart throb during the 1980's, but that didn't stop him from making an incredibly self indulgent single shot video for his terrible new single.

It starts off with Feldman waking up in bed next to a beautiful woman. As he begins to walk around his mansion (royalties from those films must still be flowing in), we see that Feldman's home is populated by multiple babes who are all wearing sexy angel costumes that look like they were bought on clearance from a costume shop.

Not to be outdone in the beauty department, Corey makes sure that he has on more eyeliner than all of the other girls combined. It also looks like he's wearing the same jacket he wore in 1989's Dream a Little Dream.

The first real WTF moment, however, comes at 1:34 when his Goonies co-star Sean Astin shows up out of nowhere holding what looks like it might be a treasure map. After some expert eye acting from Feldman, he takes the map, walks away, and throws his old pal an asthmatic inhaler.

"Take a knee, Ruettiger."

Feldman then walks outside, where it appears that a pool party is taking place that is sponsored by some sort of energy drink. This actually would have made me feel a lot better if the whole thing was just a commercial, but sadly, that would not turn out to be the case.

The entire time I was watching this, I couldn't help but feel that Feldman was trying to channel the vocal stylings of his late friend and the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. But to say that Feldman's relationship with Jackson was complicated would be a bit of an understatement...which is why the dance break featuring Jackson's signature dance moves that happens at 2:45 is pretty unnerving.

After that bit of awfulness, Feldman walks into the kitchen, picks up a meal from his personal chef, pretends to eat it, and sits down to watch a little television. This break from the madness is short lived, however, as he almost immediately heads upstairs and begins singing the song with his band (and some gross overuse of autotune). The walls around the home recording studio explode to reveal a green screen stadium full of lifeless people who are also trying to make it through this just like you are.

The video mercifully ends with Feldman leaving the studio, taking off his shirt, and getting back into the bed where it all begin...while still wearing his eyeliner.

4. William Shatner: Rocket Man

When song writer Bernie Taupin introduced William Shatner at the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards show, he told the audience that his and Elton John's song 'Rocket Man' would be "interpreted" by the captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

It's important to note that he did not say it would be sung, because the next four minutes consisted of James Tiberius Kirk giving an oddly enthralling spoken word version of the tune. This would be more than enough to keep anyone's attnetion, but at the 2:13 mark, two other version's of Shatner's psyche begin popping up on screen and taking the spoken word reigns.

As the different versions of Shatner continue reciting the lyrics, one begins to wonder if the cigarette in the original Shatner's hand was filled with something more potent than tobacco.

The video ends, the awards presentation continues, and we are all left wondering if what we saw was completely terrible or absolutely brilliant.

3. Christopher Lee: The Bloody Verdict of Verden

Christopher Lee has done plenty of awesome things during his lifetime, but he apparently felt that an orchestral metal concept album was missing from his resume. From this desire was born Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross, an album that tells the tale of the first Holy Roman Emperor, King Charlemangne, by way of massive instrumentals and groaning vocals.

The video for the song The Bloody Verdict of Verden, which was released in 2012, uses green screen technology that looks like it was part of a high school film class project. But the content of the video itself raises a whole slew of questions...chief among them: Why is Christopher Lee the only one in costume?

Seriously, it doesn't make any sense at all. Here's a shot of Christopher Lee talking about how he slaughtered a bunch of heathen Saxon men...

...and here is a shot of the chorus.

I mean, c'mon, the dude on the right is wearing a freaking t-shirt. If Christopher Lee asks you to be in his music video, is it too much to ask that you put on some sort of themed clothing...or at least a button down shirt?

But I digress...the video goes on to display multiple visuals of fire and brimstone, a forest adorned with piles of human bones, and majestic palaces. Youtube commenter Joe Doherty probably put it best when he said:

"Despite the lameness of video, this is probably the most metal thing I have ever seen."

2. Leonard Nimoy: The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

Listening to Leonard Nimoy sing about everyone's favorite hobbit isn't something I'd normally do on purpose, but his song about Bilbo Baggins is pretty harmless (and even kind of enjoyable) by itself.

The video for the song, however, is the stuff nightmares are made of. There's nothing particularly striking about it; it's just Nimoy singing his song in some type of mountainous setting with a bunch of attractive female backup singers/dancers.

But when those women actually do start dancing, something seems very off. Maybe it's the fake plastic hobbit ears (or are those Spock ears?) that they're wearing. Maybe it's their jerky, robotic movements combined with their creepy fake smiles and dead eyes.

"Must earn...this paycheck..."

Or maybe it's the part at 1:07 where they go behind a rock and begin throwing their clothes (and even what looks like someone's hair) into the air while Nimoy continues to regal us with Bilbo's story.

But whatever it is that makes this video unsettling, it mercifully clocks in at under two minutes, meaning that there probably wasn't enough time to do any permanent damage to your emotional well being.

Unfortunately, our final video doesn't need anywhere near that long to get inside your head and wreak havoc upon your thoughts and dreams.

1. Crispin Glover: Clowny Clown Clown

In addition to being a very good actor, Crispin Glover is no stranger to bizarre behavior. But the video for his song 'Clowny Clown Clown' is something that makes me truly worried about his general mental state.

It begins with Glover talking about a clown he met...which seems innocent enough until we see that the clown in question is a sexy woman in clown make up. Glover proceeds to make out with her, describe her getting sick (while we watch her throw up), and then describe "accidentally" killing her.

I put "accidentally" in quotes because he then visits her grave, smokes a cigar, and talks about how much he hated the clown. And just to make sure that you're sufficiently creeped out, there are a couple shots of Glover and other unidentified people wearing animal masks.

Glover also points to the viewer out that he is being watched by his alter-ego, Rubin Farr. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, but by this point I just wanted the video to end so that I could start trying to get my life back together.

If you don't already suffer from any level of coulrophobia (a fear of clowns), this video will definitely take care of that...or make you deathly afraid of Crispin Glover.

And there you have it, folks; the top ten most bizarre music-cross over videos. It's a pretty specific subject, but one that has some fascinating/terrifying/hilarious material.

If there are any gems that you feel I left out, please leave them in the comments below. At this point, I'll do anything to try and erase Clowny Clown Clown from playing over and over in my head.

Even if it means watching
'Party All The Time' on a loop.

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