Duplicated Divas

While every diva from Mariah to J. Lo and Britney to Taylor have taken to playing multiple roles in their music videos, there’s something to be said for those who went a step further. So, today we’re hopping into the way-back machine and setting course for the early-to-mid 1990s, when divas didn’t just populate their videos in multiple roles, they populated them with multiple versions – of themselves.

So Many Multiples

Paula Abdul – Will You Marry Me? (1992)

When Terminator 2: Judgement Day  heralded in a new era for realistic visual effects in film, music videos were quick to jump on the bandwagon. One early adopter of the new technologies that became available was Paula Abdul. Already a veteran of dancing with an “added-in-post-production” partner (MC Skat Kat in her Grammy-award winning video for  “Opposites Attract”),  Abdul took that experience, personalized it, then multiplied it by five, resulting in the video for “Will You Marry Me?”, where Paula has what is probably her most ideal set of back-up dancers – a bunch of other Paulas! (a peck of Paulas? A gaggle of Paulas? hmm…)

 

Kylie Minogue – Did It Again (1997)

Even though it came out just a few years after “Will You Marry Me?”, Kylie Minogue’s video for “Did It Again” looked light years ahead in terms of realistic visual effects. Taking a gentle jab at her own persona(s), the vid showcases a quartet of genre-spanning Kylies as they take part in a mug shot session that goes splendidly off the rails.

 

Lots n’ Lots of Lookalikes

Annie Lennox – Little Bird (1992)

Sometimes you don’t need special effects, sometimes you just need a creative solution to a problem. After the release of her debut solo album Diva, Lennox became pregnant. So, by the time she was ready to release the third single from that set, “Little Bird”, she was very much not down for the rigours of a full-on video shoot. Solution? A video concept that places Lennox up on a nightclub stage where she presides over the evening’s actual entertainment – all of whom happen to be Annie Lennox impersonators, each depicting one of her iconic video looks from across her Eurythmics and solo career.

 

Gloria Estefan – Everlasting Love (1995)

Well, if it was good enough for Annie Lennox…

Already pregnant in the video for “Turn The Beat Around, the lead single off of her Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me  covers album, Estefan was probably couch-bound and waiting for her water to break when it came time to make a video for her (U.S.) follow-up single “Everlasting Love”. Taking a tip from Lennox, Estefan avoided an exhausting video shoot by enlisting a number of impersonators in her stead.  The resulting video becomes a fun, frenzied, female-impersonator free-for-all as Gloria after era-specific Gloria strive to steal the spotlight from one another (as well as from other assorted drag divas). Unlike Lennox in “Little Bird”, the one true Gloria makes nary a cameo, appearing only in clips from her former videos whose looks are being replicated in this one.

 

Bonus: 3 x 3

Destiny’s Child – Lose My Breath

And here to show that it wasn’t just a 90s thing, Kelly, Michelle & Beyonce go head to head to head with rival versions of themselves as “Street DC” dance battles “Sleek DC” before both end up falling in line when “Diva DC” arrives on the scene.

5 Become 3: The (Spice) Girls of GEM

Last week, a single from new girl group GEM was leaked online (you can have a listen at the end of the post). For those who aren’t aware, GEM is Geri Halliwell Horner, Emma Bunton and Melanie Brown, who, along with Melanie Chisolm and Victoria Beckham, ruled the worldwide airwaves in the mid/late 90s as the pop powerhouse Spice Girls.

Earlier this year, Geri, Emma and Mel B announced that they would be reuniting as a trio (Mel C and Victoria were not interested in reforming the Spice Girls again) and would be known as GEM (an acronym of their first initials).

gem2Now, a fun fact that most people outside of the UK aren’t aware of is that the Spice Girls are one of the few musical acts in history that have had all of their members find success (to varying degrees) as solo artists, so in light GEM’s imminent official arrival, I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of pedigree as solo artists these girls are bringing with them into their new group (and just for kicks, we’ll make it an “Allspice” look, and include Mel C and Victoria).

First, a quick refresher in Spice history:

Their debut single, “Wannabe” was released in the UK in July, 1996. After a seven week reign at #1 on the UK charts, it went on to become a global smash, ultimately reaching the top spot in 31 countries. More hits followed, with the group notching an impressive tally of 9 #1 hits in the UK alone.

In 1997, they released a movie, Spiceworld, and in 1998 Halliwell left the group. They continued as a quartet until the end of 2000, when they announced the group would be going “on hiatus”.

In 2007, Halliwell rejoined the group for a wildly successful reunion tour, The Return of the Spice Girls. In 2012, Viva Forever! a jukebox musical based on the songs of the Spice Girls, opened in London’s West End. It ran for seven months, closing in June of 2013.

Geri Halliwell
Solo Albums: 3
UK Chart Singles: 9 (8 Top 10s)

As mentioned above, Halliwell was the only member to quit the Spice Girls. She made her highly publicized exit as the group was midway through their Spiceworld World Tour, causing the whole show to be restructured and disappointing thousands of Geri wannabes worldwide. Halliwell launched a solo career soon after, to quick success. She not only has the distinction of being the Spice Girl with the biggest solo hit – a cover of “It’s Raining Men”, (her fourth UK #1 hit, it also topped the charts in Belgium, France, Ireland and Italy) but she is also the Spice Girl with the lowest charting single on ANY chart worldwide. Her 2013 single “Half Of Me” belly-flopped onto the Australian charts at #281(!) and then quickly sank without a trace.

Emma Bunton
Solo Albums: 3
UK Chart Singles: 11 (7 Top 10s)

Bunton’s debut as a solo artist, a pairing with Tin Tin Out on their cover of “What I Am”, peaked at #2 on the UK Charts, being locked out of the top spot by none other than Geri Halliwell and her second #1 hit, “Lift Me Up”. Two years later, Bunton released “What Took You So Long?” as the lead single off her debut solo album, and it had no such problem reaching the top spot, becoming her first (and only) #1 hit.

Melanie B
Solo Albums: 2
UK Chart Singles: 6 (3 Top 10s)

Mel B was the first solo Spice out of the gate when she released her #1 collaboration with Missy Elliot, “I Want You Back”, in September 1998. After Halliwell’s departure, each of the remaining Spice Girls would make their solo debut on collaboration singles, but Melanie B was the only one to be listed as the lead artist on her single, the others were all the “featured” artists on their respective collaborations.

Melanie C
Solo Albums: 7
UK Chart Singles: 18 (6 Top 10s)

In terms of overall album sales, Melanie C far surpasses all the other Spice Girls. Her first album, Northern Star, was certified 3x Platinum in Britain and her total worldwide sales have topped 12 million. After releasing two albums (including 2 UK #1 singles, “Never Be The Same Again” and “I Turn To You”) on Virgin, she parted ways with the label and started her own imprint, Red Girl, through which she has released 5 subsequent albums over the past decade.

Victoria Beckham
Solo Albums: 1
UK Chart Singles: 5 (5 Top 10s)

The last Spice Girl to release a solo album, Beckham also released the fewest singles, and is the only Spice Girl to not score a UK #1 hit. Her closest attempt was her collaboration with Truesteppers and Dane Bowers, “Out of Your Mind”, which peaked at #2. However, in a case of quality over quantity, she has had all of her solo singles reach the UK Top 10, which is a distinction none of the other Spice Girls can lay claim to. After her one and only album was released on Virgin, she signed with the Telstar label and began recording a double album – half R&B/hip hop half electronica/euro dance – but after the release of a double-A-sided single featuring the R&B-ish “This Groove” and the dance-infused “Let Your Head Go”, the label ran into problems, filed for bankruptcy and shelved her unfinished albums. Since then, Beckham has moved on and carved out a new career running worldwide respected fashion label, Victoria Beckham.

So, not too shabby at all for the solo ventures of the gang formerly known as Ginger, Baby, Scary, Sporty and Posh (and it’s actually understandable why Mel C and Victoria didn’t want to reunite the Spice Girls – seeing as how Melanie C is the only Spice Girl who is still consistently recording and releasing solo material and Victoria Beckham most certainly has her hands full this days running her business/fashion empire).

And now, here it is – “Song For Her” by GEM. It was confirmed by Emma Bunton that this indeed was a leak, and it is not the song that they had pegged as their first single. Nonetheless, it’s still a catchy, breezy bit of pop that has a very “now” message of empowerment, which ties in nicely with the whole “Girl Power!” mantra of the original Spice Girls. It will be interesting to see how the rest of GEM’s output shapes up.

 

 

Pop, Pop, Pop!

The three “Pop”s in the title above refer to that magical instance when: Pop (1) meets Pop (2) and it results in a Pop (3), a piece of pure perfection.

Or, to be less vague, it’s when Pop (Singers) collaborate with Pop (Drinks) to make commercials that become pieces of Pop (Culture) perfection.

Now, singers have been shilling sodas for decades, but starting in the early 1990s and peaking just over a decade later, the big soft drink companies of the world went all-in on their popstars + pop drinks mission, and the results just kept getting bigger and better. Today I’m going to touch on just a few notable ones that have remained my favourites over the years.

Also, be sure to check out the very end of the post for a little gem that predates this whole era and is not only a blast from the past but a blast of yesteryear pop culture that will blow your mind.

Paula Abdul (Diet Coke)

Paula Abdul brought a whole new visual dynamic to pop music when she burst on the music scene following years of choreographing music videos for other artists. It only made sense then, that in the early 90s she was tapped by Diet Coke to be their spokesperson and star in a series of commercials that utilized her talents as both a vocalist and dancer. The most notable of these was a highly ambitious project that took remastered film versions of older Hollywood stars like Cary Grant, Groucho Marx and Gene Kelly and integrated them into newly-shot scenes with Abdul (remember, this was LONG before CGI and hologramming). For Abdul’s part, she was already a pro at dancing with and reacting to someone wasn’t actually there (namely, one MC Skat Kat, the animated costar of her “Opposites Attract” video), so she’s aces all around. Also, I believe at the time, this was one of the most expensive commericals ever made.

 

Spice Girls (Pepsi)

Somehow during their non-stop whirlwind tour of world domination in the mid 90s, the Spice Girls found the time to do some shilling for Pepsi – and it was some serious, next-level cross promotion. In this particular advert, our lovely Spices are singing the track “Move Over” from their then-current second album Spiceworld. One of the oft-repeated lyrics of “Move Over” has the girls chanting “Generation Next, Generation Next”. And guess what Pepsi’s slogan at the time was? Yup. So, with Pepsi’s slogan earworming its way onto every Spice fans playlist, not only did “Move Over” become “that Spice Girls song in the Pepsi ad”, it became “that Spice Girls song that IS a Pepsi ad”.

 

Britney Spears (Pepsi)

And then there was Britney.

This is what I feel is the peak of the popstar/pop drink collaboration era, because I doubt we’ll ever see such a long-running, high profile pop/pop collab as the one forged between Britney and Pepsi. One that resulted in the pieces of pop culture that is their Holy Trinity of ads from the early 2000s. Each Pepsi commercial that Spears did was an EVENT and they were treated as such (and premiered during Super Bowls, natch). The first was a full-on music video, (Brit’s “The Joy of Pepsi” is closer to an actual commercial single than commercial jingle) with Britney and her legion of backup dancers taking over a Pepsi factory before relocating to a rooftop billboard (hello Justin Timberlake cameo!), while the third was a historical mini-movie set in the Roman Coliseum and featured not only Britney, but Pink (!) AND Beyonce (!!) as gladitors singing “We Will Rock You” (also there, in a non-singing role, Enrique Iglesias – because, why not?).

But my favourite was her second commercial (showcased below) which featured Britney in snippets of Pepsi ads from “across the eras” and fans could vote for which version got her full stand-alone commercial (decade-old spoiler alert, the 50s version won). How much do I love this one? Well, let’s just say that I ripped the audio from it, put it in my iTunes library and it is STILL one of my most top-played tracks ever (what that says about me, I’m not so sure…)

 

Beyonce (Pepsi)

As I mentioned, since the Britney era we haven’t seenas  many of the high profile pop/pop ad campaigns as before, but that doesn’t means the soft drinks companies have gone soft on pop stars. These days they just seem more focused on smaller campaigns featuring more “niche artists” like Tori Kelly and Janelle Monae. However, Beyonce did do an advert for Pepsi just a couple of years ago, that for some unknown reason was never released. But it is STUNNING, and it is right up there with the best from Brit’s heyday, so it’s being included here as well.

 

And now for an extra-special, way,way back bonus:

Ann-Margaret (Canada Dry)

This musical number/crash course in late 60s pop culture is BONKERS and I love it. If ever there was such a thing as a “soft drink expert”, Ann-Margaret has convinced me that SHE is IT, now and forever. Cheers!

Pop Music’s Comeback Queens

Everyone loves a good comeback story, and pop culture is full of them. But while actors can easily bounce back from a flop film or short-lived TV series, recording artists tend to find it much harder to reverse directions once they start sliding down fame’s slippery slope. Here however, are three divine divas who managed to not only buck the odds, but to crush them underfoot with their comebacks of the highest order.

kylie light yearsKylie Minogue

The Rise: In 1987, Kylie Minogue, then starring on the Australian soap opera Neighbours, launched her pop music career. From 1987 to 1995 she managed to send over 20 singles into the Top 20 of the UK music charts, including her worldwide hit “The Loco-Motion”, which became a smash in North America, reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Fall: After fulfilling her contract with PWL Records, Minogue wanted to move to a less-controlling label, one that would allow her to branch out in a new direction and hopefully help her be taken more seriously as an artist. She signed with Deconstruction and released two albums with them. The second set, Impossible Princess, has since become a fan favourite, but upon its release it was noted mainly for being Minogue’s first big “miss”. The lead single from the album, “Some Kind of Bliss” not only became her lowest-charting lead single, but it became her lowest charting single ever, missing the UK Top 20 completely (peaking at #22). Her follow-up singles, “Did It Again” and “Breathe” faired slightly better – both peaked at #14 – but the message was clear, radio didn’t care much for “serious” Kylie and without radio support, a UK artist is pretty much in a sinking ship (at least back in the pre-YouTube/iTunes age). It seemed that Kylie’s days of big hits were behind her, and Deconstruction dropped her from the label.

The Comeback: Minogue managed to pick herself up, dust herself off and get herself signed to a new label, Parlophone. However, there was one caveat – they wanted “fun” Kylie back. Her resulting Parlophone debut, 2000’s Light Years, featured a confident, bold, disco-tinged sound. Lead single “Spinning Around” was quickly embraced by Minogue fans old and new and debuted at #1 in the UK. Her comeback then became a full-fledged career resurgence with her next album, Fever. That set included the smash single “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”, which not only hit #1 in dozens of countries around the world, but also returned Minogue to the top U.S. charts, landing her in the Billboard Top 10 for the first time in almost 15 years.

mariah mimiMariah Carey

The Rise: From 1990 to 2000, Mariah Carey dominated the airwaves and sales charts, releasing a non-stop barrage of hits (15 of which topped the Billboard Hot 100), including “One Sweet Day”, her 1995 duet with Boyz II Men that spent a record-breaking 16 weeks at #1.

The Fall: After signing with Virgin in 2000 for a highly publicized $100 million contract, her first product was the soundtrack to her motion picture debut. Glitter became a double debacle, the film flopped at the box office and the soundtrack under-performed on the charts. Virgin quickly cut their losses and bought out Carey’s contract. She then signed to Island Records but her first album for them, Charmbracelet, did little to reverse her fortunes. Poorly received by critics and avoided by radio, the set’s lead single, “Through The Rain” only managed to limp to #81 on the Billboard Hot 100. Two follow-up singles, including a cover of Def Leppard’s “Bringin’ On The Heartbreak” failed to make the Hot 100 at all.

The Comeback: Island Records stuck by Carey though, and she went to work with a number of different songwriters and producers for her next album, 2005’s The Emancipation of Mimi. Things got off to a promising start with lead single “It’s Like That” charting at #14, but no one could have expected what happened next. Her follow-up single, “We Belong Together” was heralded as a return to form for the songstress and not only did it bring her back to the #1 spot on the Hot 100, it stayed there for 14 weeks, making it her biggest solo hit ever. It was such a massive hit that Billboard eventually crowned it “Song of The Decade”. Carey kept the momentum going, sending third single from the set, “Shake It Off” to #2 and then the fourth single (from a re-released deluxe version of Mimi), “Don’t Forget About Us” once again brought her back to the Hot 100’s penthouse position.

pink deadPink

The Rise: Pink burst on the music scene with her tough-girl swagger in 2000 and in short order released two hit albums along with a handful of Top 10 hits like “Most Girls”, “Don’t Let Me Get Me” and her #1 collaboration with Christina Aguilera, L’il Kim and Mya, “Lady Marmalade”

The Fall: Experimenting with a rawer, rock-tinged sound, Pink’s third album, 2003’s Try This, didn’t catch on with radio or music buyers. Only one of the set’s three singles, lead release “Trouble” (which would eventually nab her a Grammy for best female rock performance), managed to make any chart impact, peaking at a lowly #68 on the Hot 100. This only furthered the notion Pink was already on her way out – which was sparked earlier that year  when “Feel Good Time”, her contribution to the soundtrack to Charlie’s Angel’s Full Throttle stalled at #60 (which was especially harsh since the soundtrack to the first Charlie’s Angels had produced a #1 smash hit in the form of “Independent Women” by Destiny’s Child).

The Comeback: Never to take anything lying down, Pink resurfaced in 2006 with her fourth set, the knowingly titled I’m Not Dead. Lead single “Stupid Girls” climbed to #13, bringing her back to the Top 20 for the first time in 4 years, and subsequent releases “Who Knew” and “U + Ur Hand” broke into the Top 10, both peaking at #9. And just as Kylie Minogue before her, Pink proved with her next release that she wasn’t just having a comeback, she was having a career resurgence. After embarking on a massive world tour, she released Funhouse in 2008 and lead single “So What” became her first solo #1 hit. She’s since topped the charts two more times – with “Raise Your Glass” in 2010 and with her duet with Nate Ruess, “Just Give Me A Reason” in 2013.

Have Yourself An Unconventional Little Christmas

So here it is, Christmas Eve. And while most people are making last minute preparations for tomorrow and just bursting to the brim with Christmas spirit, there are others who have just had it with the season of joy and happiness.

Are you all Christmas-cheered out? Do you want to deck your neighbour instead of decking the halls? Or maybe you’re just sick of hearing the same old cloying Christmas songs wherever you go? Well, if that’s the case, then just settle right in and listen to the sounds of some kindred spirits – namely Blink-182, Save Ferris and Cyndi Lauper – for some unconventional Christmas cheer and some ho-ho-humour.

 

For The Person Who Hates Christmas

Blink-182  “I Won’t Be Home For Christmas”

This song by the pop-punk band details a hilarious worst-case scenario of what happens when someone finally snaps at hearing yet another group of Christmas carollers approaching his house. It also includes a lyric that for many, sums up their true feelings of Christmas:

It’s Christmas time again
It’s time to be nice to the people you can’t stand all year
I’m growing tired of all this Christmas cheer
You people scare me

 

 

For The Person Who Doesn’t Celebrate Christmas

Save Ferris – “Christmas Wrapping”

The ska-punk act from California gave a unique spin to their cover of The Waitresses modern Christmas classic, turning it into an chuckle-filled account of what it’s like to be Jewish and be assaulted with Christmas craziness for two months out of the year. While some pop culture references clearly show its age (Beanie Babies, Kabbalah Madonna), the hilarious insights from a Christmas outsider are pure gold:

Ho Ho Ho woke up this morning with a scary feeling
Realized it was November first
Christmas – oh my god, its nearing

 

 

For The Person Who Is Sick Of The Same Old Stuff

Cyndi Lauper – “Christmas Conga”

So, maybe you’re just burnt out on hearing the same old Christmas songs each year and doing the same old Christmas traditions with your friends and family. Well, if that’s the case, then Cyndi Lauper is here for you, serving up a unique Christmas song AND a new tradition, all in one – it’s Christmas Conga time! Now I don’t know if this is an actual tradition anywhere or if it’s just something that Ms. Lauper made up herself because she thought it would be a kitschy and fun addition to her 1998 Christmas album, but I dare say that it sure sounds like there’s some good times to be had doing a conga line ‘round the old Christmas tree:

Come on and hold my hips a little longer
As we do the Christmas Conga,
Bonga, bonga, bonga, bonga
Do the Christmas Conga

 

Bonga, bonga, bonga, indeed.

Merry Christmas!

When Lightning Doesn’t Strike Twice

When the following pairs of artistic professionals initially collaborated, they didn’t only find success, but they also managed to create landmarks in the world of pop culture. So of course it seemed only natural for them to collaborate again. Unfortunately, their subsequent projects proved just how hard it is to make lightning strike twice.

John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John

The Hit: Grease (1978)

The Miss: Two of a Kind (1983) 

After the smash success of Grease (with an initial domestic gross of $159 million – at the time one of the top money-makers ever) the Twoofakindduo who immortalized the summer lovin’ Danny and Sandy reunited onscreen for another tale of romancin’ – albeit this time without the dancin’…or a sensible plot. Two of a Kind involves Travolta as would-be inventor who bungles a bank robbery and Newton-John as the teller who gives him a bag of deposit slips instead of cash and takes the loot for herself. The film then follows this upstanding duo on a series of chase scenes and musical montages while they randomly start falling for each other. Oh, and the whole thing is being observed by a gaggle of heavenly beings who have made a bet with God that if this misguided duo can reform, then he won’t wipe away mankind and start all over, like he’s been itching to do. Yup.

Needless to say, movie-goers didn’t really go for this pairing of the former Rydell High lovebirds, and critics didn’t go for the film’s nonsensical story. Two of a Kind managed to eke out $23 million at the box office before going off to celluloid heaven. (However, as with her previous flop, Xanadu, Newton-John fared much better with the music from the movie. Her rendition of the film’s lead single, “Twist of Fate” peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100).

 

Wes Craven & Kevin Williamson

The Hit: Scream/Scream 2 (1996/1997)

The Miss: Cursed (2005) 

Director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson did the near-impossible back in 1996. Not only did their collaboration, Scream, become a mainstream hit horror movie (domestic gross: $103 million), but it also resurrected the long-dead “teen slasher” sub-genre, deconstructing and updating its tropes along with help from a witty script full of savvy characters and filmed with genuine shocks and scares. Striking while the iron was hot, the duo re-teamed for Scream 2 just one year later, and it was just as big a success as the first, pulling in $101 million.cursed_poster

Commitments to his show Dawson’s Creek kept Williamson away from working with Craven on Scream 3, but the two were still itching to collaborate once again, but this time on something different. Thus, Cursed was born – and if ever there was an apt title for a film, this was it. The movie, concerning a brother and sister (Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg) who stumble across a werewolf attack was plagued by one problem after another: production delays, script rewrites, characters being recast or just cut completely (some even after they had filmed their scenes). Mandy Moore, Skeet Ulrich, Omar Epps and Scott Foley are just some of the many actors who were originally in (or intended to be in) the film at one time or another. After more than a year’s delay, Cursed was finally released, but not without one last stumbling block. The studios wanted this film about savage werewolf attacks to come with a PG-13 rating – which is pretty much the kiss of death for any horror movie – so Craven had to go back to the editing room and comply.

When this bloodless, scare-free, jumbled mess of movie finally limped into theatres, critics killed it and movie-goers buried it. Cursed closed with a gross just shy of $20 million (or about 2/3 of what Scream 2 made in its opening weekend).

 

Brandy & Monica

The Hit: “The Boy is Mine” (1998)

The Miss: “It All Belongs To Me” (2012)                                                                                                                                                                                                          

In the summer of 1998, you couldn’t turn on a radio or channel surf past MTV and VH1 without hearing Brandy and Monica smoothlyBrandy Monica staking their claim for the same man. “The Boy is Mine” spent a staggering 13 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the biggest single of the year and eventually netting the songstresses the Grammy award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group.

So while it wasn’t surprising that they reteamed for another single, it was surprising how long it took for them to do it. 14 years after their first collaboration, the duo released “It All Belongs To Me”. Now, in the music biz, 14 years is a lifetime – heck, two lifetimes even – and the pop music scene itself is ever-changing. When “The Boy is Mine” topped the charts, Brandy and Monica were both entering the peak of their careers (it was the lead single for each artist’s second album) and most importantly, R&B and Hip Hop artists were dominating the crossover charts.

Monica BrandyCut to 2012 – with Brandy and Monica both having much lower profiles, R&B not enjoying as much crossover success as it has in the past and a song itself that was roundly dinged for being lacklustre, and the end result was pretty much “too little, too late”. “It All Belongs To Me” became a moderate hit on the R&B charts (#23) but didn’t even manage to crack the Hot 100 at all.

Movie-Inspired Music Videos

Many music videos have looked to key scenes or memorable sequences from films for inspiration. Madonna’s “Material Girl” video (a nod to Marilyn Monroe’s “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” number from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) and Paula Abdul’s “Cold Hearted” (a take on the “Airotica” sequence from Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz) are just two of many notable examples.

However, some music videos go that extra mile and don’t just use a scene for inspiration, but rather the whole film, and end up becoming mini-remake masterpieces. And one such video just happens to belong to the current #1 single atop the Billboard Hot 100. So, in honour of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”, let’s take a look at some of the more exceptional movie-inspired music videos.

Iggy Azalea ft Charli XCX – “Fancy” (2014)

Australian newcomer Iggy Azalea no doubt owes part of the chart success for her debut single “Fancy” to its video, which is a spot-on redux of the classic comedy, Clueless. Azalea and her crew deftly navigate key scenes and fashions that Alicia Silverstone and company first did a lap with in 1995.

Faith No More – “Last Cup of Sorrow” (1997)

With Jennifer Jason Leigh stepping in for Kim Novak, the members of Faith No More give their melodramatic best in this homage of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. “Last Cup of Sorrow” from Faith No More’s final studio release, “Album of the Year” peaked at #14 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart.

Paula Abdul – “Rush Rush” (1991)

While Keanu Reeves’ floppy hairstyle is so totally 90s, everything else about this Rebel Without a Cause-inspired video, from the fine n’ flirty fashions to the vintage vehicles hits that 50s sweet spot. “Rush Rush” spent 6 weeks at #1, and while they may not give Natalie Wood and James Dean a run for their money acting-wise, Abdul and Reeves still make a damn fine good looking couple.

Berlin – “No More Words” (1984)

For the video for what became their first Top 40 hit, Berlin chose to give their take on 1967’s iconic outlaw flick Bonnie and Clyde. Faye Dunaway was certainly fashion-forward in the film, but she still managed to “look period” — however, much like Keanu Reeves anachronistic hairstyle in “Rush Rush”, the two-toned hair of Berlin’s Terri Nunn is so totally 80s.