It’s really interesting and crazy to think that the first music video Metallica ever did was on their fourth album And Justice For All for the song “One.” I remember seeing it for the first time when I was about four years old and thinking that this was awesome. This video was without a doubt groundbreaking at the time as well as responsible for the beginning of making Metallica a household name.
The video for “One” was directed by Bill Pope and Michael Salomon and it debuted on MTV, January 20th, 1989. Something else that is quite interesting about this video is that there were three versions made. The first (the longest, album version) contained scenes of both the band and scenes from the film Johnny Got His Gun. The second was simply a shortened version of the first, and the third, often known as the “jammin’ version”, lacked scenes from the movie (the song and video fades at the last bridge in the third version).
“One” was the perfect song and video to really introduce Metallica to households across the world. The video to this day almost 30 years later is still impactful and chilling, which is what makes it such a great video.
I know I keep bringing this up but I really and truly miss the days when music videos actually meant something. In a way they were short films and the music was the inspiration and guide. I’ll never forget being 7 years old, watching MTV, and seeing the video for Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy.” What a terrific piece of art this video is. Director Mark Pellington really hit a home run with this one. The depiction of the original story of Jeremy to the lyrics of Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder, are masterful. Eddie has and always will be one of the best lyricists of all time. His connection to the story and pain through his vocals is astounding, just like the video.
It’s a shame music videos aren’t made like they used to be. Gone are the days of proper budgets to make a great video and the narratives that came along with the video have disappeared as well. Granted there are still a few directors out there that have been able to capture the essence of yesteryears. One video I will always remember fondly was for The Smashing Pumpkins song “1979.” Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Jane’s Addiction, Smashing Pumpkins, Korn, Red Hot Chili Peppers), really honed in on what Billy Corgan wrote the song about and the end result was something beautiful. It’s also crazy to think that this video is now 22 years old. My head is spinning just thinking about that. Here’s a piece of cool trivia that you’d find interesting. The video for the song “Perfect” from their Unsung Masterpiece, Adore, is a sequel to the 1979 video, and involves the same characters who are now older.
Let’s take a trip back to February 1993 when the video for the Alice In Chains epic “Rooster” was released. The Mark Pellington directed video was poignant, dark ,deep and realistic. The video featured real Vietnam War documentary/news footage as well as some very realistic, graphically re-enacted combat scenes. Jerry Cantrell’s father was a consultant on the video, as it explores Cantrell Jr.’s interpretation of his father’s war experience. Something else that is interesting about this video is, at the time the video was also the longest music video ever aired in full on MTV (running approximately 7 minutes long).
They really don’t make videos like this anymore and that is a real shame. I will always remember how impactful the video was and still is.
Alice In Chains- Rooster:
I will never forget seeing the video for “Estranged” which is my favorite Guns N Roses song. First I wanted a pair of shoes like Axl had, and second I wanted to jump off an aircraft carrier (even though it’s an oil tanker) into the ocean and swim with dolphins. Yes, we all know the video is a bit far fetched but you can’t deny how awesome it really is. They don’t make videos like this anymore. If I’m not mistaken the cost of this video was in the millions too. Anyways enjoy this great video!
Every Time I Die is one of the hardest working and best bands of the last almost 20 years. These guys continually evolve and get better and better as time and albums come and go. On their latest album Low Teens, which is one of 2016’s best albums, Every Time I Die, really got personal and let it all hang out there. The closing track on the album “Map Change,” is one of the coolest songs I’ve heard in a long time. The video is just as good too. It’s an homage to their hometown of Buffalo, New York and it gives a glimpse of life out there in what many know as the armpit of the US. Check out the video and the song. If you aren’t a fan of Every Time I Die, you will be by the time the video is over.