Thursday, 24 January 2008

A video tweet

Who made the best music videos during the 1980s? It's a question that's provoked fierce debate amongst pop philosophers the world over for centuries. Except it hasn't, obviously. But it's still an interesting one. Wacky funsters Madness would have to be right up there, clearly, as early masters of the art. Then there's The Housemartins, whose promos were always entertaining and frequently laugh out loud funny. And it'd be churlish to overlook Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer, which still looks pretty amazing to my eyes even after all these years. I was always partial to a bit of Go-Betweens video action, too. (their Video Singles compilation is fantastic.)

To this list I'd like to add the name of the Frank Chickens. The band's classic line-up of Kazuko Hohki and Kazumi Taguchi first met at an evening class in art at the Camden Institute, after both had independently relocated to London from their native Japan. These shared art school sensibilities clearly served the Chickens well when it came to making pop promos, as the following pair of gems from 1984 illustrate perfectly:

We Are Ninja (Not Geisha)

Blue Canary

Great, aren't they? Forget Agadoo, it's the We Are Ninja hand actions that people really ought to have been mimicking at birthday bashes, wedding do's and holiday camp discos all those years!

And, while we're at it, here are both songs on mp3 (for the next 7 days).

We Are Ninja (Not Geisha) mp3

Blue Canary mp3

Buy Frank Chickens stuff here.


JC said...

I liked a lot of the Talking Heads videos.

Crash Calloway said...

I was starting to think that I'd somehow made up Frank Chickens. Thank you for some timely reassurance.