Being white is more than just the colour of your skin: it’s an inherent awkwardness that manifests around absolutely anything and everything on a day to day basis. This is never more apparent than in music. I don’t want to come across as a race traitor, but black people will always be cooler than us; they have an inexplicable natural rhythm that makes them genetically pre-disposed for a career in the arts or DDR championships. While some whiteys are able to give them a good run for their money, even the really talented ones end up looking goofy as shit half of the time.
In this list I’ve attempted to compile the five strongest examples of white people in music videos doing what they do best: embarrassing themselves.
Cliff Richard – Wired for Sound
Cliff Richard is what happens when the only women you have contact with on a regular basis are over sixty and attached to breathing apparatus. With each year that he clings to life, Cliff has begun to look more and more like a waxwork displayed in the Museum of History’s Saddest Lesbians, but even in his prime he looked like he’d been designed by the British Society of Christians Afraid of Sex or, as I like to think of him, then: Bootleg Elvis.
Life has been tough for poor Cliff: he’s now older than most continents and, despite releasing at least four hundred albums, has never been able to gain the credibility and approval he so desperately seems to crave. Maybe if you stopped releasing horrible mashups of classic songs and recorded another ‘Devil Woman’ we’d be more sympathetic to your plight, Cliff.
But before he was making a fortune from exploiting the elderly, there was a beautiful day in the early 80’s, when Cliff sat up and said, ‘no more,’ put on his best leather suit, and recorded ‘Wired for Sound’. For today’s historians it stands as one of the greatest examples of what happens when a man old enough to have served in the Napoleonic war tries to look cool and/or sexy.
The video I linked has sadly been edited to remove the fantastic intro of cliff water-skiing while crammed into the kind of tiny shorts that you usually only get free your subscription to Paedophile’s Quarterly. Also, he’s screaming, ‘I’m wired for sound!’ which I think might have been code to the crew for ‘leave my body to the sea,’ judging by the sadness in his eyes.
Anyway, since the intro is missing, you are getting the full brunt of Cliff’s raw sexuality, straight off the bat, as he slowly floats toward you through ethereal mist…on roller-skates. This is one of those things that, before Youtube, if you tried to describe it to any of your friends they would insist it was all in your imagination and it’s so utterly insane you’d start to believe them.
I’m actually going to give Cliff the benefit of the doubt here and say he only made this video to document the strange phenomenon of people following him around in roller-skates wherever he went in 1981.
Boney M – Daddy Cool
Boney M were an experiment to see how much sexually devastating black man you could stuff into a pair of ladies size 8 leather flares before the first five rows of the audience got a contact pregnancy. They are an industry standard in the genre of ‘Oh I didn’t know it was them who did that’ songs and they used every single appearance on television to scare the shit out of white men.
If this doesn’t tell you absolutely everything you need to know about Boney M then I can’t help you.
Their performance of ‘Daddy Cool’ on whatever show I’m about to link is one of the most incredible things you will ever see, and I’ve seen enough of their other performances to know that it’s not a one off: the guy in Boney M either has a severe case of ADD or he is literally addicted to dance. He can’t stand still for more than three seconds and adds a pirouette or the splits to every single thing he does, meaning it takes him four hours to get dressed in the morning and three minutes and twenty two seconds to make every white man in the audience wish they were dead. Check it:
About half way into the song, his shirt comes off and things start to get tense. There’s a lot of nervous laughter and staring at the floor, but shortly after lord of the dance starts grinding on his microphone stand –carving the memory of his phallic outline into the retinas of everyone present– any veneer of ‘not a homophobe’ that the white men in the audience may have been clinging on to evaporates instantly. Their jaws clench and you could not get them to turn their heads toward the stage without breaking their necks.
I’ve seen murderers in court throw up better poker faces after the prosecution shows a photo of them elbow deep in the victim.
Sparks – All You Ever Think About is Sex
Best case scenario: If you’ve heard of Sparks, you only know them as, ‘the ones who sang This Town Ain’t Big Enough and the keyboard player looks like Hitler.’ In actual fact, the band have been going for forty odd years now and have released some really amazing albums. ‘In Outer Space’ is not one of them.
Let me be clear: the 80’s were not a good time for Sparks. Statistically speaking, no musician came out of the 80’s smelling of roses, and the main reason for that was the rise of the synth. Before the synth became prominent, you had to rely on your instruments sounding like instruments. If you wanted the sound of 50 cats screeching, you either went down to the shelter with a dictaphone to distress some animals or you were shit out of luck.
Some artists experimented with this concept: Sparks released three or four albums based solely on the premise. Luckily, the fact that they are exceptional musicians meant that the tunes were still listenable, but the 1,001 sound samples Ron (the keyboard player) now had at his disposal meant we got songs like ‘All You Ever Think About is Sex’. The video starts with Russell (the singer) eyefucking the camera into submission –his giant perm and fifties mobster suit a testament to the 1980’s services to bad taste– then, at about twenty seconds, something magical happens:
Let me just say that Russell is an incredible singer, (a fact this song doesn’t make readily apparent): he has the vocal range of ten men which almost makes it excusable that he has the dancing skills of a lonely gay boy in clogs. I guess it’s one of those karmic balance things where, if you get all the good singing genes, then you don’t get any of the ones that make you not dance like you’re trying to dislocate both your shoulders
Also, given that this is a song about sex and no one in 1983 had heard of subtlety, Ron is constantly blasted with pies throughout the video, covering him in cream, and I honestly don’t think anyone told him it was going to happen because he looks genuinely upset and at one point he falls over and can’t get back up. This was officially the saddest music video about sex until Madonna stole that Abba song and waged a one-woman war on erections.
The Osmonds – Crazy Horses
The first time I heard this, I thought it was a joke. Hypothetically speaking, do you hypothetically remember when you first started using Napster, hypothetically, and you’d search for a song like Stairway to Heaven and get results like ‘RARE LIVE RECORDING ELVIS JIMI HENDRIX THE BEATLES SINGING STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN’? Well that’s what I thought was going on here: I found it so hard to believe the Osmonds could write a song as metal as Crazy Horses, I thought Youtube was taking the piss out of me.
Of course, I had to watch the video for everything to become clear: they might have been singing a rock song with an awesome scream as a hook, but they were still white as a racist’s bedsheet. Also, this song is apparently about pollution. So, whereas Iron Maiden might write a song about horses that was a metaphor for the massacre of Native Americans, the Osmonds used their own shot at being cool and edgy to write a song that basically amounts to ‘Just cool it with the cars, okay, guys? We’ve only got one Earth! Yeah!’
That’s not the whitest thing about this video, though –it’s not even the singer’s attempt at a gruff voice that’s supposed to convince us he’s imbibed copious amounts of any alcohol other than communion wine– it’s the glorious moment at 0:45 when the singer launches into what I have titled the ‘Look How God Damn White I Am’ dance.
Right before the chorus, some careless prat off-camera opens the box from Hellraiser and it starts pulling apart the singer by his knees and elbows, while simultaneously destroying the Osmonds one and only shot at musical credibility.
Toto – Hold the Line
This is it, the band every group of overweight forty-somethings aspires to be; the kind of music you put on to let your victim know it’s personal. Displaying all the musical elegance of a drunken uncle at a wedding, starting a punch-up with the DJ, there isn’t a single member of Toto who doesn’t look like he’s spent some time on a register. In particular, watch out for future star of a ‘Historys Worst Sex-Killers’ Discovery Channel special that kicks off the video:
There’s nothing else I can say that this video doesn’t say for itself so, I leave it as a gift to you: the whitest music video that has ever existed or, indeed, ever will.
Completely unrelated to anything, does anyone know where I can score some melanin injections?