Sunday, April 22, 2012

Laura Branigan And The Director Of The Exorcist Lose Their Self Control

Can Aerobic Rock lightning strike twice? If you're Laura Branigan, the answer is yes. As with "Gloria," Branigan took a sleazy Italian song and turned it into a sleazy '80s pop song.

I remember hearing "Self Control" when I was five years old, and it sort of gave me the creeps. At that age, I could not have possibly known what sleazy urban sex was, and yet even I could sense something disturbing going on:
I, I live among the creatures of the night
I haven't got the will to try and fight
Against a new tomorrow, so I guess I'll just believe it
That tomorrow never comes

A safe night, I'm living in the forest of my dream
I know the night is not as it would seem
I must believe in something, so I'll make myself believe it
But this night will never go 
You've even got the creepy zombie army in the background chanting "Oh-Oh-Oh (BOOM!), Oh-Oh-Oh."

But there's no way the video could match the creepiness of the music - right? Au contraire, mon frere. Someone at the record company must have realized that a "single stage with a disco ball" video wasn't going to cut it this time. Enter Exorcist director William Friedkin.

If all the scenes from Ghostbusters with Sigourney Weaver in them were somehow turned into a music video, it might look something like the video for "Self Control." Take some aluminum foil, some dry ice, add a coterie of anonymously masked Aerobic minions, and presto! From Wikipedia:
Branigan was one of the first artists of the video era to work with an Academy Award-winning film director on a music video when William Friedkin (The French Connection) directed the clip. Filmed in New Jersey and New York City, the video was produced by Fred Caruso and first aired in April 1984.[2] The video ultimately drew controversy, as it was considered so shockingly steamy that MTV required some edits before it could air.[3]
Oh really? Just wait, MTV. You'll soon be wishing your videos were as "steamy" as this one.

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