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Pop Facts

Madonna

I was gently swaying in the breeze to ‘Rain’ on Hubs earlier today and decided to dig around a little and find out more about one of my favorite childhood videos (shh). Did you know it was shot entirely in black and white with each frame hand colored to get that intense saturation effect? It was also the FIFTH single off Erotica (thanks Wikipedia). Those were the days.

That part, half way through the song, where the wall of lights slowly reach full intensity during “Here comes the suuuuuuuun” gets me every time…

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RIP MJ

It’s difficult to pinpoint Michael Jackson’s biggest contribution to popular culture. Was it his ability to seamlessly combine soul, R&B and pop? Or the way he spread urban culture to every conceivable corner of the globe? Or was it his mastery of spectacle, which transformed concerts into high tech extravaganzas that defined the entertainment revolution?

But for us, the magic of MJ was always about his music videos. No artist, before or since, could turn music videos into a global event. We’ll always have memories of crowding around the living room television waiting for his clips to debut on MTV. Over-the-top, big budget affairs, a Michael Jackson video felt more like a mini-feature; perfectly executed rock operas that could ignite the imaginations of millions of people all over the world.

It’s pretty difficult to nail down his best video. The obvious choice is, of course, “Thriller,” a 13 minute, fastidiously choreographed masterpiece that remains seared into the cultural memory. But Thriller is only part of the story. Another perfect pop cultural gem is “Bad,” a Martini Scorsese foray, which featured a then unknown Wesley Snipes. From there he went from the high concept (the groundbreaking morphing effects in “Black or White”), to the zeitgeisty (Herb Ritts’ sepia toned video for “In the Closet” which featured Naomi Campbell) to the bombastic (the “Scream” video with Janet Jackson, which remains the most expensive clip ever made). We could go on…

But for now, hats off. glitter gloves on. Let’s salute the best music video artist of all time with HubsTV’s fave MJ clip.

MichaelJackson

Michael Jackson ‘Scream’

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Madness ‘Devil Dust’

Madness

One of the best things about being a Hubs editor is the amount of new music that gets shoved in our ears (obviously). On receiving the new Madness video I was pretty skeptical, I mean ‘House of Fun’ is a classic but one of those songs I can barely tolerate at Karaoke let alone consider adding to my Favorites on Hubs. ‘Devil Dust’, however, went straight to the top of my list after a few listens. Madness have been around for 30 YEARS and it’s most excellent to know they can still swirl out a catchy tune after all this time.

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The Bloody Beetroots ‘Warp’ (feat. Steve Aoki)

Steve Aoki

Practically everything about Steve Aoki makes my blood boil and give off fumes toxic enough to knock-out small children (expect, perhaps, his kinship to Devon). I mean, have you seen his clothing line? Bloody hell… Thankfully on this track with Bloody Beetroots his vocals have been churned through the Cher synthesizer and I can blissfully imagine him getting mangled in the machine cogs. Aoki aside, the latest Bloody Beetroot track is pretty catchy, they’ve gotten an obscene amount of publicity recently and is the first time I’ve had a proper listen (I’m lazy ok), now I understand why.

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Feeling mossy

Primal Scream

With the Topshop hysteria sweeping Manhattan and news that Kate Moss is going to be lending her less than stellar pipes to a new Lemonheads track, we’re in the mood for a Thursday afternoon flashback.

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From the dept of WTF…

Ron Howard

When you’re all out of ideas call in the A list party favors. 

That appears to be Hype Williams’ approach in this new – spectacularly lame and predictably bombastic – clip for Jamie Foxx and T Pain’s Blame it.

As you may know, we’re rather fond of celebrity cameos in music videos. But in this new paean to hobo’s remorse we were pretty weirded out by the appearance of Jake Gyllenhaal and Ron Howard. Forest Whitaker and Samuel L Jackson we can forgive, but Ron Howard bringing the crunk up in the club is just too much for this fragile Friday morning.

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It’s always fashion week on HubsTV

With New York Fashion Week in full swing, we’re longing for days past when high fashion and music had a much more incestuous relationship. Who could forget Tyra Banks in ‘Too Funky’, Naomi Campbell in ‘Erotica’, and perhaps most importantly Stephanie Seymour in the rock opera that is ‘November Rain’.

While Kate Moss has tried to keep the dream alive in a few tepid MV appearances (who could forget her weirdly asexual dancing in The White Stripe’s ‘I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself’?), the days when music videos were a showcase for beautiful models and the men that loved them seems to be over.  

Let’s relive it now, with one of the best ever… George Michael’s Freedom, which features Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, and Tatiana Patitz.

George Michael

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