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Top 10 Music Videos That Are So Bad They're Good

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Owen Maxwell
These music videos are so bad they’re good! For this list, we're looking at those music videos that transcend awfulness into something entertaining on a whole different level. We're basing our choices on a mix of goofy visuals, outdated effects and concepts that leave us scratching our heads. We’ve included music videos like “Dancing in the Street” by David Bowie and Mick Jagger, “"Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” by Journey, "Tainted Love" (1981) by Soft Cell and more!
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Top 10 Music Videos That Are So Bad They're Good


Some videos are like train wrecks, it's ugly but you just can't look away. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Music Videos That Are So Bad They're Good.

For this list, we're looking at those music videos that transcend awfulness into something entertaining on a whole different level. We're basing our choices on a mix of goofy visuals, outdated effects and concepts that leave us scratching our heads.



#10: "Dancing In The Street" (1985)
David Bowie and Mick Jagger


The deadpan wall shots that open 'Dancing In The Street' are almost as hilarious as the wacky foot stomping that sets the video in motion. While Mick Jagger's eccentric moves are usually exciting, his crazy eyes make it all a little much. At the same time, David Bowie's hand dancing is comically lazy considering the energy of the song. Bizarre slow-motion shots, butt wiggles and unexpected zoom-ins make the video even sillier. At least the duo's hearts were in the right place, since the video was originally part of Live Aid. Even with Bowie and Jagger's contagious smiles, 'Dancing In The Street' keeps us giggling.





#9: "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" (1983)
Journey


At the height of their stardom, Journey made the baffling decision to shoot 'Separate Ways' on a dock. On top of the confusing location, the video's dramatic zooms and repeated cuts of Steve Perry are hard not to laugh at. Many of Journey's actions and the camera angles focused on a woman are downright creepy. The air instruments look childish, and make the keyboard on a wall scenes seem stylish by comparison. This was Journey's first choreographed video of course, despite Steve Perry's vocal protests against the format. Maybe if 'Separate Ways' wasn't so melodramatic, it wouldn't be such a riot to watch.



#8: "I Do (Cherish You)" (1998)
98 Degrees


All the shots and blurry effects that fly by as 'I Do' starts lets you know that you're in for a cheesy ride. Nick Lachey's hand-heavy delivery right to the camera in 'I Do,' feels like a parody of typical boy band videos. The visual plays like greatest hits of romantic clichés, as the boys seduce women on the beach, in front of fireplaces and in baths. All the soft focus and the jarring twist just add to the video's tacky look. Though we may have thought this was simply a romantic video as kids, 'I Do' is 90s cheesiness at it’s best.



#7: "Tainted Love" (1981)
Soft Cell


In 'Tainted Love' a Greek god, a cricket player and a Victorian woman playfully harass a poor little girl. Though it's not clear what any of these people are doing together, Marc Almond's ridiculously evil acting quickly takes all our attention. The cross-fades to background actors during the harmonies resemble horror movie effects. Though these haunting edits are laughable, the seemingly romantic gestures at the girl come off as borderline pedophilic. Despite singing in the stars for a second music video, this original is particularly quirky. Along with the lazy backdrops, 'Tainted Love' succeeds by being utterly confusing.



#6: "We Like To Party! (The Vengabus)" (1998)
Vengaboys


As the Vengaboys' bus zooms across the Spanish countryside in 'We Like To Party', the group keeps taking breaks to dance. While their moves are mostly goofy, the way every dance sequence is shot is constantly cheesy and framed weirdly. Along with the excessive dated visual effects, the Vengaboys' outfits are the epitome of stereotypical '90s fashion. Though much of the group's antics seem forced, it's too kitschy not to love. Even the cheap Village People and Michael Jackson impersonators fit in with the band. 'We Like To Party' has aged about as well as Europop, but that's exactly why it's still so fun.

#5: "Barbie Girl" (1997)
Aqua


Presented in Aquascope, 'Barbie Girl' feels extremely tacky from the moment the video kicks off. Considering the song though, it kind of works.The bright colors and low-budget effects are a lot to take in, especially with all the goofy expressions on everyone's faces. Many of Aqua's silly haircuts and sexual posturing make the video just a bit creedpy. The over-the-top and heavily stylistic look of it all has helped the video stand out over the years. However in theme with the song, the overt sleaze and phony feeling of the video is all part of its satirical message. Whether it's detachable arms or random horses, 'Barbie' girl is horribly fantastic.



#4: "I Want Your Sex" (1987)
George Michael


From the opening lingerie shots of 'I Want Your Sex,' it's clear George Michael wasn't looking for subtlety here. All the out-of-focus dancing and extra edits are just disorienting and corny by today's standards. Each one of Michael's guttural growls is hilariously zoomed in, and the steamy water section plays out more like a parody. George's lipstick writing on a woman's thigh is so literal, that it feels more silly than sensual. Though 'I Want Your Sex' is very extra, George Michael's energy and eccentric dance moves sell it as a fun exploration of '80s excess.

#3: "Girl You Know It's True" (1988)
Milli Vanilli


With hair whipping all around, Milli Vanilli look like children spinning around at the start of 'Girl You Know It's True.' Despite how popular Milli Vanilli was at the time, the sets and editing look comically cheap. All the city footage is in a painfully grainy quality, which doesn't help the duo's bad acting chops. There's also some random aspect ratio changes every chorus, which just moves the setting farther away from viewers. Even their high kicks and a split look more painful than impressive. Along with their little foot stomps, the embarrassing boogying has made 'Girl You Know It's True' a tacky classic.


#2: "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" (1983)
Bonnie Tyler


Whether it's the flying doves or lighting that couldn't appear at night, 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' is melodramatic to the max. As Bonnie Tyler wanders a huge mansion, rooms are filled with students, half-naked men and angels. We even see dancing ninjas before a gang in leather jackets appear to impersonate Michael Jackson. None of the images are ever explained, including the boys with glowing eyes and superpowers. However it's all so over-the-top and nonsensical that it's become iconic for its surrealism. While the ending just makes things more confusing, we wouldn't have 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart' any other way.






Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:


"I Wanna Sex You Up" (1991)

Color Me Badd



"Tunak Tunak Tun" (1998)

Daler Mehndi


"Is This Love" (1987)

Whitesnake



#1: "Physical" (1981)
Olivia Newton-John


While many workout tapes of the '80s tried to make exercising sexy, Olivia Newton-John wanted something goofier. Despite its heavy sexual imagery, 'Physical' is filled with cringe-inducing slapstick humor. Newton-John places herself right next to as many muscles and crotches as possible, while also posing suggestively herself. Olivia is also horrifyingly aggressive with the men in the video, and seems to even injure a few. Besides all the awkward fat-shaming, Newton-John even takes a hilariously lewd shower in the middle of the video. The overt cheesiness of 'Physical' makes it more watchable every time, even through the chest expander guitar solo.
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