Hairstyles aside, the ’80s were the Golden Age of videos. When they were good, they were very good. When they were bad, they were hysterical.
And it was in the ’80s that Heart, in the midst of slowly shredding their rock-n-roll cred in a long descent into synthesizer balladry (the nadir being All I Want to Do Is Make Love to You), gave us the video for the otherwise forgettable Nothin’ At All:
A few highlights (and no, I don’t mean the hair) …
– Full-band videos can be tough on drummers if there’s no easy way to work a drum set into a video. In this case, I think Denny Carmassi must have pissed off the director. There are plenty of places to get his drums into the video. But no. He’s stuck there banging his sticks on a post and a couple of railings.
– This will send us on a tangent. For no apparent reason, there’s a panther in this video who keeps morphing back and forth into a cat. I have no idea what this has to do with anything.
Now, in Hall and Oates’ Maneater video, it makes sense. A panther could theoretically be a maneater, right?
Tangent, step 3: For more disturbing imagery from Hall and Oates, check Jefito’s take on Jingle Bell Rock, which sees the duo and their bandmates cavorting as if stuck on the world’s goofiest Christmas special.
Tangent, step 4: Oates’ painfully stiff mannerisms in Jingle Bell Rock make him a dead ringer for Eddie Murphy’s whiteface character in the classic SNL “White Like Me” sketch.
Tangent over. I’ll get to the point …
– Ann sings the song in the girls’ bedroom while Nancy is getting spruced up. Presumably for a date. Presumably with the same guy Ann is singing about.
All together now: Ewwwwwww …
And, of course, while primping (a word whose similarity to “pimping” never seemed to appropriate), Nancy picks the cleavage-enhancing model she wore so well in Heart videos. ZZ Top had the guitar spin — Nancy had the 45-degree tilt that drove 15-year-olds like me wild with feelings we didn’t quite understand.
Sure, that was probably the point. Put Nancy in the hot outfit and hint, not so subtly, they don’t mind sharing. They’re already in the same bedroom having a cute girly conversation. Years later, South Park‘s Chef would provide the theme music for the fantasy they’re selling here — “You … and me … and her … simultaneous!”