Seriously What the Hell is Going On In This Video
Posted on June 1, 2021 Posted by John Scalzi 41 Comments
I hadn’t thought of this video in probably a couple decades and then suddenly today it was all over my brain. Welcome to pointless freaky eighties surrealism! Pretty good song, if you’re into 80s electro-pop, which I think it’s pretty obvious I am. I had deeper thoughts today, I’m sure, but they were all chased off by this video. I’ll let you know if they come back. In the meantime, please be deeply confused with me.
But… I mean… I don’t understand…
Also needs explaining: the cabbage wedding/carwash from “Solsbury Hill.”
Same dance troop that did ‘She Drives Me Crazy’, if I’m not mistaken…
This song (as well as Blue Monday and Bizarre Love Triangle) was played at every party when I was in college, and yet I never saw this video before today.
Fish Slap Dance with 12 Monkeys and Cirque De Whatdahell?
this brings back fond memories, or at least memories, of working in a pub back in my student days. I heard this song a lot on.the juke box. Fortunately, I was a huge New Order fan.
Curiously, this is the first time I have seen this video.
I have no idea what’s going on.
There is a definite air of “TELETUBBIES as directed by Tex Avery” air to the video, which – doesn’t really fit the lyrics about the singer embracing the freedom of no long caring what’s expected of him…?
Great… now stuck in flashback mode. Sigh.
I blame Monty Python.
And maybe Benny Hill.
This is one of the very few music videos I still remember from my childhood, that intro is just stuck in my brain somewhere. 1 point for the absurd I assume.
I also do like the song a lot too though, Unfortunately, now my brain went into eighties/early nineties MTV archive mode. I really do not need to mess up my youtube algorithm by watching Meat Loaf and Crowded House videos.,.
Oompa-loompa aerobics! Signing post-apocalytpic turtle-person! What’s not to understand?
Someone clearly got a good deal on foam sheets and body paint.
I’m going to guess nobody involved in development would have volunteered for a drug test.
I remember going to see some film in a cinema in Leicester Square in London in 1987 and this video was shown before the film. I was entranced and confused by it then, and to this day I cannot remember what the film was that I went to see.
I am now also deeply confused.
As my ex-husband used to say: It’s art. You aren’t supposed to understand it. You’re supposed to let it just wash over you.
This video does pop into my mind periodically, but then I was was 12 when it came out. It kind of left its mark..
Is it me, or does that song sound a lot like “Mad World” by Tears for Fears?
New Order is supposedly one of the five “essential” 80’s alternative bands, along with Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, the Smiths, and the Cure. Some of those bands also have pretty bizarre videos.
@Jon Chaisson – that would explain why that was the first thing that immediately came to mind after watching this.
@everybody who has no idea what we’re talking about:
…well that didn’t work. Try this:
I’d never seen nor heard of this before. But then, in the 80s I had very little access to MTV, which is more most music videos were appearing at the time.
One video from that time I did see that I’ve been unable to locate since, as I don’t remember the band or the song, was a simple shot of the band, in a white room, playing air instruments. It seemed like a logical thing to do with videos, and that was the first time I saw it done. Anyone know what it was?
Based off of Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadisches Ballett.
Freaky surrealism doesn’t need a point.
…and sometimes I’m not sorry that I had virtually no access to MTV back in the day. Wow. I think I would have remembered that one!
Gotta say, I’m impressed by both the sheer insanity of it and the ridiculous level of physical talent needed for some of the stuff they were doing.
The folks on the trampolines bouncing away in furious synchronization while holding their upper bodies almost perfectly level was probably the absolute peak of that.
I like to imagine the casting call for videos like this.
Interviewer: great, so you can sign in time to music. How do you feel about doing that while dressed as a speed bag?
For a different take on another New Order hit, check out the following link – it’s an interesting mix of Blue Monday that I think you will enjoy.
Looked like a re-enactment of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 to me.
timeliebe: Or Teletubbies meet Mad Max.
Wow. All the times I’ve listened to that song, and I never saw the video. No idea what they’re doing, but it was fun to watch. I especially liked:
1) Geometric solids. Love ’em! (yeah, I’m a math nerd)
2) Those dancers looks amazing doing what could have been awkward moves because they have ballet training.
So many street/hip hop dancers nowadays can do a lot of moves really well and fast, but it’s also clear they don’t have training to back up the more difficult moves.
It’s a pet peeve of mine, probably because I was a pro-level dancer in my youth. It’s like someone trying to do science without the math background. They may be incredibly gifted, but they will always hit limitations.
This was my introduction to New Order. Coming on the heels of my falling in love with West End Girls, it cemented synthpop as my blood music and I have never looked back. (Gary Numan has a new album out and it’s fantastic #getoffmylawn.)
I heard that song a lot when it was on high rotation, watched a lot of MTV, and did a lot of clubbing in the 80’s. Yet this is the first time I’ve seen the video I am now deeply confused with you. Thanks(?)
@Kshandra I remember thinking the same thing when I first saw “She Drives Me Crazy.” I think I read somewhere that they had the same director.
Deliberate nonsense intended to annoy those people who insist on assigning meaning to everything? Goo goo g’joob!
Seems derivative of this:
Clearly, it depicts man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man against the futility of striving for the unattainable, particularly while wearing pufffy suits and pointy shoes.
Plus, it was the 80s
Reminds me of one of the TMBG documentaries where they talk about how in all their early videos they made sure that their videos had nothing to do with what they were singing about.
Can I stay on your lawn if I mention how eager I am to hear the new album? Savage was fantastic and I’m hoping for the same from Intruder.
I’d not seen the video before. Surreal much? I love the song. I’d forgotten about it! Thanks for the reminder.
Admittedly, my first thought was Monty Python’s Fish Slapping Dance. Dad rolled his eyes. I think he’s seen that dance too many times.