Music videos are noted for being weird, offbeat, and artistic, all of which are code for "ridiculous." Then there are the music videos that nobody actually bothered listening to the song before putting out.
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By Dan Seitz
8. "Hold On" by Korn
Jonathan Davis, probably history's only fat emo metal kid, actually had a good reason to write a song about getting through deep emotional difficulty, for once. Namely, he had a rare blood disease that nearly put him in the ground, namely idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. Roughly translated: "idiopathic" means doctors have no idea what the hell that causes it, and "purpura" means you're going to be covered in inexplicable bruises.
That really calls for a comedic video set at a rodeo in a town calls "Ballsville" which has a close-up of a bull's nutsack within the first 15 seconds. That really properly reflects the pain and suffering that went into the song. Great choice.
7. "The Reason" by Hoobastank
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We all remember this crappy, inescapable love ballad. It's pretty much a song about some loser who has realized the only thing he has going for him is the love of a woman, which he's probably never experienced before. So he promises he'll be better, because she makes him better. The kind of woman who goes back to the abusive husband repeatedly melted when they heard this, and it polluted the airwaves for months, and is no doubt the theme of many a tearful reunion, followed by both parties remembering why they broke up.
The weird thing is that this video actually starts out making sense, although it still has nothing to do with the actual ballad. The head Hoob, whatshisname, runs over some woman and obviously doesn't feel good about it, which gives those treacly lyrics an admittedly interesting little spin. Then the rest of the band pulls off a heist. Seriously. That's the video. Admittedly, the heist is kind of awesome, but still, we kind of want more of the head Hoob feeling bad. That actually makes the song interesting.
6. "F**k You" by Lily Allen
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What we love about Lily Allen is how adorable yet utterly cynical, profane, and rude she is. It's like your little sister suddenly developed the personality and comic timing of George Carlin. And she's at her best with this jaunty little ditty telling a racist, ignorant jerk to never speak to her again. We use it to end bad job interviews at Spike.com.
This song, of course, naturally lends itself to Lily Allen being a screaming bitch to everybody around her. First off, the concept of this video, shot through Lily Allen's eyes as she treats the entire world like an iPad, is kind of ridiculous. Secondly, it kind of undercuts the punch of a song complaining about people acting like douchebags when your singer is walking around performing a literal version of the Kids in the Hall "I'm crushing your head!" bit. Seriously, the entire video consists of her mutilating random bystanders for no reason other than it looks neat.
Also, nobody that adorable would do that. We refuse to believe it.
5. "Coffee and TV" by Blur
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Yep, they did something other than the "woohoo" song. In fact, this is actually a kind of a touching song about a guy who's absolutely sick of the world and wants to go away with his significant other and, well, drink coffee, watch TV, and not talk to anybody.
So, what kind of video do you make about a song about not going outside? One about a dancing milk carton going on a grand adventure to find one of the band members and reunite him with his family!
Granted, the video is full of imagery explaining just how miserable it is in London, which makes sense, since London isn't exactly full of Care Bears. Still, it's a video about going outside and making the best of a tough world. But we understand why Blur went with the video. That dancing milk carton is just too cute to resist.
4. "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler
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We know that Spike.com readers, being manly men who do manly things, have never heard of this melodramatic song. Basically, it's the most drawn-out, painful song about a break-up that's ever been written. And it's very cathartic to cry to it.
Which makes it ideal for a video set at a boys' boarding school where Bonnie Tyler is a teacher who makes them assume various sexual personas in her dreams because she's ragingly horny or something.
Seriously, who the hell came up with this video, and where are they currently awaiting trial for statutory rape charges? The video's famous for being weird and stupid, but the meaning becomes all too clear at the finale. Banging your way through a high school is not the way to get over a bad breakup, Bonnie Tyler, and not just because not being able to go within 200 yards of a school can screw up your life more than you'd think.
Not that we'd know anything about that.
3. "Leave Me Alone" by Michael Jackson
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It's a pretty straightforward song: a man is tired of a woman draining his finances and his energy, and he tells her to go away. It's basically a country song, except performed by the whitest black man to ever walk the Earth.
To be fair, it's reasonable to assume that a song called "Leave Me Alone" by the most famous entertainer on the entire planet is about his near-constant press harassment, especially since it's really, really hard to imagine Michael Jackson having sex with anybody, forget a woman. Brilliant he may be, but macho he never was.
Still, what's with the amusement park built around the gigantic Michael Jackson? It's not a song about his ego, either.
2. "Today" by Smashing Pumpkins
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"Today" is probably the sweetest, happiest song Billy Corgan ever wrote. It happens to be about suicide. Although after listening to anything from Zwan, Billy Corgan committing suicide does seem to be a cheering thought.
Sure, suicide was kind of a no-go topic on MTV, even now, so that was kind of off the table, although it probably wouldn't have killed the director to maybe drop a hint or two about the real nature of the song.
Instead we've got Corgan driving an ice-cream truck, picking up the rest of the band and painting it wacky colors. Why? Because it's a happy song, right?
1. "Lovefool" by The Cardigans
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"Lovefool" is a song about a woman trying desperately to deny her relationship is falling apart and that her lover is disinterested. And it's not exactly implicit about it, either. Remember that chorus you couldn't stop singing for weeks? Notice that it's not about a woman demanding her lover actually love her, but just to lie to her so she feels better? Look through the verses, and you've basically got the story of a woman trying to keep her relationship together even though she knows it's not happening.
So it's a love song, right? Let's make it about lost lovers pining for each other! That makes sense! Let's strand some douche on an island and have a woman yearn after him! And let's put that hot blonde chick in the bottle that he put his note into! That'll totally make sense.
What makes this really bizarre is that there already was a video for this song that kind of makes the lyrical content a lot more explicit. As in, the boyfriend is kind of a disgusting perv.
Then again, we guess ending on that note would have been a little too profound for record labels. They kind of avoid thought, as a rule.