The Smashing Pumpkins double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness celebrates it’s 25 birthday this year (actually October 24th is the official date). This album, was a huge game changer and has gone on to influence and inspire countless bands and artists throughout the years. I still remember buying the album when it came out, and the countless hours I’d sit in my room and listen to it. One of the memorable moments I have about this album is when I first saw the video for “Tonight, Tonight.” I was absolutely blown away by how visceral the video was along with how interesting it was. The video was directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (who would go on to make other pretty awesome videos for Korn and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, to name a couple). The video won multiple MTV Video Music Awards as well as being a Grammy nominated clip. Another interesting tidbit about the video is that it stars Tom Kenny and Jill Talley who you might recognize from their work on Spongebob Squarepants and Mr. Show. This video is one of the all time greats and it deserves to get its acclaim and be celebrated along with the masterpiece of the album it belongs to.
The other day, I was talking with a friend of mine about how music videos these days just don’t have the allure and luster of the days before. Yes, we all know about the industry changing and all that but, there was something really cool about the way so many music videos had an effect not just on the song or band but, how it shaped filmmaking in general. One of th videos we were talking about was Korn’s “Freak On A Leash.” This video was directed by Todd McFarlane (of Spawn fame) and assisted by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (who would go on to make the Californication video for the Red Hot Chili Peppers). The “Freak On A Leash” video is over 20 years old now and it’s still one hell of a cool video. The way the animation and real world footage comes together is quite intriguing. The whole following the bullet aspect was pretty cool too. It’s not a surprise that the video would go on to win multiple awards.
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.