Thanks to yet another trapped nerve in my shoulder, I was engaged in some traditional – but unusual for me – Sunday afternoon pastimes today. Like lying on the sofa and channel hopping up and down through Virgin’s rather terrible TV offering. One of the music channels was showing a day long ‘100 best love songs’ medley because tomorrow is, of course, St Valentine’s day. The song I caught was Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’, which always conjours up faintly happy memories of school discos and suchlike, it being quite a popular ditty from childhood years and all that.
I genuinely have no recollection that the video was so wonderfully bizarre. The complete opposite of the song, which is as prosaically MOR as you get. Possibly the reason is that all videos shot in the early years of MTV this strange and pretentious, so that at the time this was forgettable. Maybe I’ve always turned over or fallen asleep before it gets interesting, or perhaps Top of the Pops never showed the second half. But by the standards of modern music promos, this is high art – albeit a particularly Greek (as in ancient) type of art with distrubingly paedofilic undertones.
If, like me before this morning, you remember the Jim Steinman-penned song but not the accompanying film, watch it from 3minutes on (the instrumental break). The sanest thing about it are the loincloth-wearing dancers circling Bonnie while trying to walk like crabs. The school choir, whose ocular cavities have been hollowed out and replaced with torches, are the most literal interpretation of a song line ever – ‘turn around bright eyes’. The final few seconds, in which Bonnie is apparently revealed to be a teacher at a posh school who harbours highly innapropriate feelings for her charges, would surely never be made today.
Oh yeah, and it has ninjas too. Maybe they were edited in around 1990?