We all want to be rock stars. From singing along in our cars to performing karaoke in front of strangers, the lure of fame and riches pulls gives us false hopes of what might be if we are just given the chance to show the world how talented we are. But sadly, most of us aren’t not talented and our singing careers should remain in the shower, not broadcast on MTV (if they actually showed music videos anymore). But the good news for us is this, even though these amateur performers aren’t very entertaining as singers, they provide more than enough unintentional comedy to keep you riveted to their music videos…much like watching a train wreck, but without the carnage.
10. “Why Must I Cry?” by Reh Dogg
We’ll give Reh Dogg this; the man is absolutely dedicated to his art, and showing off his incredible abs. He’s also laying down the vocals live, right there on camera. Now if only the video had, say, lighting or direction or artistic integrity…that might help a bit.
9. “Break It Up” by Carl Lewis
Carl Lewis is an immensely talented and brilliant athlete. He still holds the world record in indoor long jump even after athletes started munching the fancy new steroids like candy. He has one of the longest undefeated streaks in history. He has one of the worst music videos known to man.
We’re not sure if it’s the repeated use of Olympics footage, or whatever that thing is he’s making out with in a hot tub, but either the money was amazing, his ego was huge, or both.
8. “Come Play With Me” by Grill Champions
We’re just going to take a wild guess here and assume that, in light of the song’s lyrics about grilling vegetables, and in light of the name of the band, it’s a promotional video. Granted, we have a long history of food in advertising encouraging us to burn it to death and then rip it apart, but we’ve never had a creepy techno pop song about it! Way to break new ground!
7. “Losing You” by Jan Terri
Jan Terri has no shortage of talent, or at least desire to succeed, as witnessed by the fact that she actually produced this video and gave it to anybody who stepped into her limo. Too bad the video itself was shot on…wait, what was this shot on? VHS? Beta? Maybe a webcam? Either way, despite a clever use of resources, she never got her fifteen minutes of fame…wait, she eventually got on the Daily Show. Wow.
6. “Average Homebody” by Denny “Blazin'” Hazen
There’s nothing quite as entertaining as watching white people try to rap. Especially in the ’80s, when rap was a daring, edgy art form expressing urban angst and frustration with the oppression foisted on the Black population by society. So let’s try and translate that out into white suburban anomie. Denny Hazen has actually made an industry out of this video, and good for him, but wow, dude.
5. “He Loves a Fat Girl” by Ellen and Donald
For the sake of anonymity and the fact that, really, we didn’t want to research these people any further, the above is the only name we’re giving. Hey, they’re happy, it’s legal, more power to them, we’re just going to be over here, trying to get the image of them making love out of heads by pouring bleach into our eyes.
4. “Apache”, by the Tommy Seebach Band
It kind of amazes us we got this far without offering up a video rife with idiotic racism, but in a list like this, it’s all but inevitable. Whether it’s the “Indian” outfits or just the fact that they’re taking a glittery disco chainsaw to a surf rock classic, you just kind of want to punch Tommy Seebach until the cocaine comes back out of his nose. If you were wondering what a GOOD version of this song sounds like:
3. “Little Wings” by Mark Gormley
We have a standing policy of not mocking (most of) the singers for this article, because putting yourself out there is really difficult. Fortunately, production values are fair game. We don’t know why they put Mark Gormley on a green screen, or why they started pressing random effects buttons, or why they cut in bland footage of a seagull. But it could have been so much worse. As amply demonstrated by the rest of this list. Be careful, the disorienting camera angels and movements mixed with the water waves backgrounds may make you seasick. But it also just may be the video itself providing the symptoms of nausea.
2. “Carribean Moon” by Kevin Ayers
We do not like this video, and no, we’re not letting the fact that it’s from the ’70s mitigate that statement at all. Whoever Kevin Ayers is, and we’re sure his fan will object to our dismissing him, we’re amazed that when presented with the storyboards for this video, he didn’t torch the studio and change his name. And that’s the thing; this took a lot of preparation. There were storyboards. People laid this out and paid for it and nobody, at any point, realized what a bad idea it was. Just skip to the 1:30 mark for some incredible homo-erotic confusion.
1. “Love in a Pub” by Leoncie
This is probably the apex of where bad music meets bad video production. The music is sickeningly sweet, the video is about as unprofessional as it gets, including the opening which is designed to create motion sickness. In general it’s the video definition of bad idea. When the couple in this video saw the final product, we wonder if they screamed at the musician or if they just dropped all pretense, pulled out the Glock, and started shooting.
by Dan Seitz