In the days before YouTube and after MTV stopped playing videos, it was hard to find copies of videos for watching. There were a few collections out from the glory days of music videos. One of those was the “Essential Music Videos” series on DVD. This series was released a few years back and showed some promise. There were a few problems, one of which is that the DVDs are way too short. All of them have just six songs on about 20 – 25 minutes of airplay.
The other is that some of the titles seem to blur the lines. Pop metal, heavy metal, hair bands, hard rock, alternative metal – it all seems to blur a bit when looking at the bands and the songs that were selected to represent that particular category.
This disc does do a better job than some others with at least getting decent songs to represent the artists. In other cases, I would see the artist and have never heard of the song. I’d think “Why didn’t they choose the video for __ instead?” At least here, it seems as if they managed to get the songs to represent the bands very well.
Another issue is the quality of the picture. It has not been digitally enhanced, that’s for sure. They basically took the copies of the old videos and transferred them to DVD without any digital enhancement. While that might be okay sometimes, it would be nice to see some of these performances without the lights bleeding all over into everything else.
Another point is that it’s a DVD that I bought or rented for my own private use. Why is there a censor (black box over body parts)? I don’t think it’s part of the video by Jane’s Addiction. Could it have been done by the studio? The videos should have been released as is and let me decide what I want seen in my home – not the ones who make the DVDs.
Hey Man Nice Shot (Filter)
This band was formed in 1993 by Richard Patrick, brother of actor Robert Patrick. One of their most notable accomplishments was a soundtrack inspired by The X Files, a show which his brother would later star in.
This song was somewhat controversial as it was penned as a reaction to the very public suicide of Pennsylvania politician Budd Dwyer. Here, it’s a performance video and very hard driving with abstract images.
Mountain Song (Jane’s Addiction)
This very popular band was together for their first go-round from the mid 1980’s through 1991. This song was off of their first studio album, which was certified Gold and won a Grammy Award.
Like most of the hard rock and metal videos, it’s simply a performance video, but it’s a great way to see how this band emerged and why there was such a buzz about them.
Midlife Crisis (Faith No More)
Formed in San Francisco in the early 1980’s, this band went through a variety of singers including Courtney Love, before hitting the lineup which would garner them notoriety.
This song is off of their third album. It’s another performance video cut with images of drawn & quarter torture, religious icons, and more. This band never minded be edgy and challenging people’s perceptions and this video represents them quite well.
Coming out of Chicago in the early 1980’s, this industrial rock band has had an ever-changing lineup through the years with the exception of Al Jourgensen who has always been there.
This song was their biggest hit and was a protest against the first President Bush. It’s a performance video set to scenes of rioting in California along with the President showing off his manhood as it were.
This band came out of Texas in the early 1980’s but didn’t really achieve success until into the 1990’s as they evolved into what was termed “groove metal”.
This song was off of their second album, and is basically a performance video.
Fiction (Dreams in Digital) (Orgy)
Veterans of the hair metal era formed this band in the late 1990’s. The notoriety of the band’s members on the club circuit allowed them to be signed to a label without ever having played a live show together.
This is finally a video that seems to be what I remember being called a video. It’s a Frankenstein-like story of a mannequin-like woman brought alive intercut with performance by the band.
With a better selection of songs, Alternative Metal is a notch above many of the other discs in this series. However, with the advent of YouTube, the existence of many of these collections has been rendered moot. There’s also the fact that the videos haven’t been remastered from the days before digital was the norm. Although there might be one or two you can’t find anywhere else, I don’t see a reason to buy this.
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Categories: Music Video Collections