MTV VMA Best Female Video Series: 1986   2 comments

1986

Hey everyone! We’re now on our third week of the MTV Best Female Video Series. The past two weeks we’ve been to the 200s and the 1990s, so it’s now time to jump back further and celebrate the 80s. This particular year that we’d be tackling for this week is a great one. As for one, it’s a line up with four black women in contention. Rarely does it happen especially in the current scheme of the VMAs. But more than that, this one has a really good set of nominated videos. So let’s get the ball rolling on the 1986 line up.

And we begin with Aretha looking every inch glam in Freeway of Love. The funniest and most noticeable thing in this video is that five seconds in, there’s already a shot of… you guessed it… a freeway! Talk about taking things literally. In here, Aretha is the life of the party as she switches back and forth from waiting for her car to arrive and performing in the body of a big crowd. Ir’s also one of the few black and white videos that has been nominated in the history of this category.

Oh God there’s a lot to say about this video. As for starters, there’s the fact that it was directed by Jean-Paule Goude. So that’s a plus already.  Then the amazing detail that Jones did not shoot any new material in this video and it was a rehash of some of her previous cut out appearances in her prior ones. That said, all it needed was one director that will handle this with his creative hands, and voila, Slave to the Rhythm was futuristic and trailblazing. Never mind the effects now, I’m certain it was impressive during the time of its release.

This one was interesting because of the fact that Bush refused to lip sync her song in the video. It was a full four minutes of heavy choreographed dance of her and dancer partner Michael Hervieu.It was continuously rolling and lifting and twisting of bodies which was done gracefully and precisely that it’s really impressive. For what it’s worth, I’m really not a big fan of the song, but the video caught my interest with it.

As a soundtrack to her movie Mad Max, it’s basically Tina wearing a chain mail gown as we shift back and forth to her singing in her fierce Tina style and clips from the movie. It wasn’t remarkable or groundbreaking per se especially for Tina’s standards, but you know Tina in her safest is still miles ahead than most during that time.

And then there’s Whitney. In How Will I Know, Houston showed her the other side of her in this glitzy colorful and fun music video which has walking to a room as she opened doors and move places. It was a playful Whitney and one that I think, during that time, was emulated by a lot of young girls. There was even a cameo from co-nominee Aretha in her nominated video above. It also doesn’t hurt that this is my favorite Whitney song from her whole discography so there’s that.

This is really a strong group, and I’d even dare say that it’s one of this category’s better line ups ever. That said, I continue to go back and forth with Grace Jones and Whitney Houston. Grace has the futuristic boundary pushing video, but Whitney brings in the fun in hers and this is her only Best Female Video nod throughout her career. I guess I can go back and forth with this on any other day, so for now, I’d go agree with MTV’s choice and pick Whit.

Personal pick: Whitney Houston, “How Will I Know
MTV VMA pick: Whitney Houston, “How Will I Know

Full Rankings:
01. Whitney Houston, “How Will I Know”
02. Grace Jones, “Slave to the Rhythm
03. Aretha Franklin, “Freeway of Love
04. Kate Bush, “Running Up That Hill
05. Tina Turner, “We Don’t Need Another Hero”

Now go on and vote in the poll below to reveal your choice!

As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

 

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2 responses to “MTV VMA Best Female Video Series: 1986

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  1. Why does Aretha look so bored?
    I’m kind of ashamed that I’ve never heard a Grace Jones song before today…don’t really care for the song, but that video is awesome!
    Kate Bush is a goddess in that video!
    That Turner video kind of felt like a lazy nom here…
    Slay Whit…SLAY!!!

    1) How Will I Know
    2) Running up that Hill
    3) Slave to the Rhythm
    4) Freeway to Love
    5) We Don’t Need Another Hero

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