By Hans Ebert
“Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears – it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear. But for many of my neurological patients, music is even more – it can provide access, even when no medication can, to movement, to speech, to life. For them, music is not a luxury, but a necessity” — Oliver Sacks
Centrefold: J Geils Band
Peter Wolf at his Moves Like Jagger best and the shot where the snare drum being whacked and turning into milk being copied numerous times since. Fascinating to think Peter Wolf was married to actress Faye Dunaway at the time- and a piece of Pop as infectious as ever.
Cry: Godley and Creme
One half of 10cc, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme made some very much neglected music, but “Cry” was the duo’s “Citizen Kane” with its multi-tracked vocals, and a haunting and achingly sad melody. Kevin Godley was to go on and direct groundbreaking music videos for Police (“Every Breath You Take”), Herbie Hancock (“Rockit”) and Michael Jackson (“Black Or White”), but his experimentations here with a lock-off camera dissolving from one face to another is stunning and predated morphing which he used on the Jackson video.
Strawberry Fields Forever: The Beatles
One tends to forget that the Beatles made so many short experimental films for their songs long before MTV arrived on the scene along with the term known as the Music Video.
All those songs from “Hard Days Night”, “Help”, “Let It Be”, “Yellow Submarine”, and the trippy “Magical Mystery Tour” had their own “music videos”, which weren’t music videos and, again, showed just how ahead of the game John, Paul, George and Ringo were along with their tight group of friends led by their brilliantly creative publicist Derek Taylor.
Never underestimate the influence Taylor had on the band and their mind altering side trips.
Big Love: Fleetwood Mac
“Tusk” was an enormously ambitious work of music by Fleetwood Mac though, in many ways, it was a Lindsay Buckingham solo record where this absolutely brilliant guitarist, ignored by many, created his own “Sgt Pepper’s” and “Pet Sounds.”
The video for “Big Love” off the album is worth watching purely for the ending where the entire events shown earlier are reversed and go back in time as the music builds and builds. There’s something orgasmic about the track and the video.
Subterranean Homesick Blues: Bob Dylan
I’m unsure if this falls into the “most underrated” or “most groundbreaking” category. This video- and like the Beatles’ short films, not a music video- is a breakthrough in its simplicity: Dylan filmed in black and white, standing in an alley way and holding up key words to what must surely be one of the very first Rap tracks. Simply brilliant in every which way.