When it comes to music videos that have true staying power and also translate sound into pictorial form, three standout videos definitely live up to that difficult tradition: Coldplay’s “Strawberry Swing”, Bjork’s “All is Full of Love” and A-ha’s “Take on Me.” The criteria for these three superb mini movies is creativity that goes beyond just pointing a camera at the musicians while they lip sync, and using different art forms and storytelling techniques that would usually be seen on the silver screen.
Coldplay “Strawberry Swing”
For this 2009 Coldplay favorite, usage of stop motion animation, chalk-drawn predators and city skylines, and a bright colored superhero using umbrellas and flash lights to maneuver through it all is clearly a brilliant idea – especially with Coldplay’s awesome anthem playing along with it. Everything from outer space trips to using a paddle to sail on puffy white clouds are all possible and very cinematic inside the scope of this 4 minute and 14 second mellow daydream produced for “Strawberry Swing.”
Bjork “All is Full of Love”
Leave it to Bjork, the queen otherworld eccentricity, to bring her 1999 sensual song “All is Full of Love” to life utilizing man-made creations that have the least capability to love – futuristic robots – to dramatize the most popular human emotion. These sleek pearl white robo-people kiss, hug and caress their way into intimacy. Bjork’s hypnotic soothing singing takes you into this miniature science fiction movie and makes you hope that she has planned a sequel.
A-ha “Take on Me”
Even back in 1985 music videos were already making the necessary inroads to utilize cinema techniques to up the visual ante, especially after pop music master Michael Jackson and big screen director John Landis (Trading Places, Coming to America) changed the world with the short film music video “Thriller.” This classic synthpop hit “Take on Me” from the Norwegian New Wave musicians A-ha gets turned into a comic book that literally comes alive to increasing levels of interaction as the video evolves. Real life and fantasy coexist with beautiful results.
When it premiered in 1965, “Beat-Club” was the first show on German TV to showcase popular music. Unlike its counterpart across the Atlantic, “American Bandstand,” “Beat-Club” generally featured live performances. Here are some of my favorites from the show’s final year, 1972.
Country Rock pioneers New Riders of the Purple Sage, also from San Francisco, performed the country standard “Truck Drivin’ Man,” featuring a tremendous pedal steel guitar lead by Buddy Cage.
MC5 brought their take no prisoners pre-punk rock to “Beat-Club” for an intense half hour set.
The Jeff Beck Group also played a hard rocking extended set, even slowing it down around 18:20 for a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You.” Yes, that’s Cozy Powell, of “Dance With the Devil” fame, on drums.
Who says that the decadent life of the famous musician has to be endless groupies and empty relationships that do not last longer than the night of the first initial meeting? These three power couples not only tied the knot, but they also built a combined net worth that is now even more astonishing than before they said their vows to each other. The loving unions of Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz as well as Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon all created offspring to inherit their extraordinary wealth right along with top-notch musical abilities.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z
With a collective net worth of $775 million in 2012, the super singer Beyoncé and Jay-Z, the CEO of hip-hop, are the wealthiest married musicians – by far. Jay-Z not only records his own hit music, but he also has a successful recording label/management company called Roc Nation. With investments that include the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets basketball team and the 40/40 Club sports bar franchise and endorsements with Hewlett Packard, Chevy, Budweiser, and Armadale Vodka – Jay-Z is a big breadwinner with $475 million. Jay-Z’s gorgeous and talented wife Beyoncé is certainly no slouch herself with a whopping $300 net worth from recording and performing, right along with lucrative deals with L’Oreal, Pepsi, Samsung, Ford, DirectTV and American Express.
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon
This dynamic married duo has an amazing net worth of $515 million to save for a rainy day. Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon may have a 10-year age difference between them, but these musical mavericks surely have big bank accounts in common. Singing superstar Mariah Carey leads the way with a personal net worth of $500 million, looking to become a billionaire in her later years thanks to her ability to sell over 200 million albums worldwide and her acting career. Nick Cannon brings a respectable $15 million to the table, with plenty of growth potential with his music career, comedy, TV and film pursuits.
Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz
When you have a globally respected singer such as Alicia Keys and an internationally revered record producer like Swizz Beatz married to each other, money will be the least of their worries with a total net worth of $125 million. This powerful musical marriage consists of partners that truly meet each other half way with Swizz Beatz earning $65 from music, custom design commissions and revitalizing the Reebok shoe brand. His beautiful wife Alicia Keys has sung, performed, played the piano and acted her way into a similar net worth of $60 million.