Five Videos That Are More Bloated Than A Belly After A Beer-And-Fries Binge

Jun 26th, 2008 // 21 Comments

10_still_07.jpgToday’s completely dubious claim about why an arm of the music industry might be hurting comes from Wired‘s Scott Thill, who wrote in response to R.E.M.’s new, ad-agency-created video for “Man-Sized Wreath”: “Music videos aren’t dead, they’re just dying, and they’re dying because of bloated videos like ‘Everybody Hurts.’ When fans can use their favorite songs to make their amateur films without fear of losing their comparatively miniscule cookie jars, then the new age of promotional video will be here at last.” Say what?

Friend of Idolator Eric Harvey demolishes this point pretty well (seriously, has any techno-utopianist actually watched more than the top 1% of the “user-generated content” they’re so quick to rhapsodize about? especially all the pieces of it that are 100% reliant on “bloated” mainstream media’s products?), pointing out that music videos as a medium are really dead because, surprise, there are fewer outlets for them to be broadcast in full than there were 10 or 15 years ago. So I won’t rehash his point, although I will point out that the one-minute snippets of videos on those remix/reruns of FNMTV don’t really count as “broadcast in full.” Instead, I’ll run down a few videos that are really, truly, full of hot air and gas–overly grandiose money pits that aren’t just a little too “artsy,” which is the word that I think Thill was actually going for, but that actually, from a distance, resemble flaming piles of cash. And yeah, they may be obvious, but apparently we need to be super-obvious these days so as not to get run over by those people who think that because they’re on the Internet, they invented the entire world.

5. Meat Loaf, “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”

The parenthetical in the title only adds to that bloat.

4. 2Pac, “California Love”

Eric nominated this mini-Thunderdome extravaganza, for obvious reasons.

3. Britney Spears, “Toxic”

Sure, the song is undeniable, but this clip seems more like an excuse to try out new nipple-obscuring technologies than anything else.

2. Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson, “Scream”

This video cost $7 million in 1995 dollars. Which is $9,675,434.17 in 2007 dollars, and probably over the $10 million mark in right-now dollars, what with the price of oil shooting up on a daily basis.

1. “Weird Al” Yankovic, “Fat”

This definitely qualifies as “bloated.” Plus I can never get enough of the “yo, Ding Dong, man” part.

Is There Even A Middle Ground Anymore [marathonpacks]
Meat Loaf – I would do anything for love [YouTube]
2Pac – California Love [YouTube]
Britney Spears – Toxic [DailyMotion]
Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson – Scream [DailyMotion]
Weird Al Yankovic, “Fat” [DailyMotion]

  1. bcapirigi

    i don’t think the scream video’s as bad as the no scrubs video, which was very similar for no reason whatsoever.

  2. Kate Richardson

    Celine, “All Coming Back to Me Now”


  3. Anonymous

    I’ll take Guns and Roses Don’t Cry

    or November Rain for $500 Alex.

  4. Chris N.

    “Sure, the song is undeniable, but this clip seems more like an excuse to try out new nipple-obscuring technologies than anything else.”

    Which frankly only diverts needed resources from the development of nipple-revealing technologies.

  5. mexiback

    I’ll take bloaty and overproduced over “fan genetared in bedroom” any effn’ day, thankyouverymuch.

  6. Anonymous

    Re “Toxic”: I firmly believe that any less than what was given would be an insult, both to the song and to Britney’s nipples.

  7. revmatty

    ++ Weird Al. My 4 year old LOVES this video.

  8. Nicolars

    I absolutely love the Meatloaf video, it’s like a middle-aged version of November Rain!

  9. Dickdogfood

    Bloated Braxton homage to bloated Streisand movie:

  10. Dickdogfood

    Also: Wikipedia’s list of the most expensive videos ever made:


  11. dyfl

    You are correct that this list includes a number of videos on which truly retarded quantities of money were spent, but this list also contains some EFFING RAD VIDEOS. And by “some,” I mean pretty much all of these are totally awesome. Sigh. I wish the music industry was still fueled by cocaine, and not by its withdrawal symptoms. Those were fun times.

    The correct answer for shittiest video that still cost eight billion dollars was that one Puffy video with the rain and the gargoyles and Busta Rhymes and too many spotlights.

  12. derby

    janet jackson’s boobs do look nice, however. they make me wanna scream…

  13. Chris Molanphy

    @radio2019: Word on ’91-’93-era GnR. And don’t forget “Estranged,” the third part of the incomprehensible, dolphin-laden “trilogy”:

    Props also to Maura/Eric for calling bullshit on “California Love.” I’ve never understood the universal praise for this video (or the song, frankly). It seems conceived solely to flaunt its cost and produce a clip worthy of the all-time musicvid canon, but it’s boring as hell and a tired homage to its Mel-based source material. I’ll take the gloriously cheap-ass “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” (notwithstanding its instance of mirthful woman-bashing) over “CL” any day.

  14. Anonymous

    @dyfl: Blasphemy. Danny DeVito AND Dennis Hopper. It even made “Whoa” look understated. I’ve always hoped that Diddy did his own stunts in the late 90′s.

    Puff Daddy and the Family – “Victory”

    Black Rob – “Whoa”

  15. cassidy2099

    @derby: Janet’s boob’s look amazing, yes, but I’ve never understood why she goes to pee standing up.

  16. How do I say this ... THROWDINI!

    @mexiback: I’ll take bloaty and overproduced over “fan genetared in bedroom” any effn’ day, thankyouverymuch.

    My thoughts exactly. (Including, those girls who do the Pixies’ “Hey” video that has untold millions of hits on YouTube. Unless they’re 18, in which case, I approve.)

  17. Anonymous

    @Chris Molanphy: Oh, I didn’t forget. More like erased it from my memory. For reals. That was such an awful video. The dolphins. OH GOD WHY THE DOLPHINS?!!

  18. Anonymous

    No wonder it cost $7 million — they’re playing a beta version of the Wii.

  19. 30f

    I know that ‘user generated’ is this year’s ‘viral’ which was they year befores’ ‘value added’ content. But I can’t help but think that you haven’t watched much of the home-brewed stuff if you think folks will be interested in watching amateur videos as a replacement for professional work. In fact I have a whole post about that – []

    I guess if it makes Stipe happy he should have his dedicated fans remix REM songs with footage from “The Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day” on the band’s website. But music videos (with or without the dreaded bloat) were created to help a band’s career – sell music and find new fans. This REM thing seems about as useful for that as the Character Sudoku game on the USA network site. []

  20. Anonymous

    Why no love for Hype Williams in the over the top video category? Also, user generated videos are preferable to commercially produced ones?? Ok, perhaps if the user is 100x more intelligent/talented than your average youtuber, but generally we are talking about shit like clips of second rate anime put over an overwrought Evanescence-type ballad, right? Thanks, but I’d rather just watch Chris Brown singing with Elmo.

  21. TheMojoPin


    Wow, “Victory” is epic fail on a massive scale. These other videos might be “bloated,” but they’re at least remembered. People know what they are as soon you mention them…but “Victory?” I probably saw that a hundred times when it was new and had completely shut it out since then until you posted the video.

    Odd fact…as a Michael Jackson song, “Scream” isn’t terribly good or memorable, but as a Janet Jackson song, it’s fucking amazing.

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