On my blog today, Matt Cain, author of Nothing But Trouble and Shot Through The Heart shares his favourite pop videos! Great picks, Matt!
Vogue by Madonna
From the start of her career I was a huge Madonna fan and one of the things I loved most about her was her videos. Vogue has to be one of the best – it’s simply shot, Madonna looks beautiful and its classic Hollywood feel is a great fit with the song. It also introduced Madonna’s fans to the dancers who’d perform alongside her on her game-changing Blond Ambition tour and appear in the behind-the-scenes documentary In Bed With Madonna. This is one of my favourite films of all time and it ignited my fascination with the music industry – the same fascination that inspired me to write Nothing But Trouble.
Venus by Bananarama
The song is a camp classic but the video is even camper – and Bananarama look like they’re having so much fun! I think the best pop music should be about having fun and I always switch off slightly when popstars take themselves too seriously or you can see they’re just trying to make money out of their fans. But Bananarama always looked like they were in it for the laugh, and it’s this spirit that I channelled into my fictional popstar Lola Grant. If I’ve done my job well she should come across as the kind of girl you’d like to go on a night out with, which is how I always felt about Bananarama.
Say You’ll Be There by the Spice Girls
The Spice Girls had a similar appeal to Bananarama – it was always about personality rather than polish. The fact that they weren’t perfect or intimidatingly talented is what made them so great and encouraged so many of us to engage with them. For me, Say You’ll Be There is their best ever video and I love the way it establishes all five girls’ characters on screen. I can still remember the excitement around the band as they became successful all over the world and it’s this excitement I wanted to build around my own popstar Lola Grant as her career starts to soar.
Love at First Sight by Kylie Minogue
Before I became a writer I spent years working in TV production and I was lucky enough to film with some of the biggest popstars around. For one job I filmed Kylie Minogue making the video for her song Love At First Sight. At the time she was more successful than she’d ever been but she still made a point of chatting to us and was utterly charming. Once again I was fascinated to see how things worked behind-the-scenes in the pop industry – and I drew heavily on this experience when I was writing chapter 4 of Nothing But Trouble, when my fictional popstar Lola shoots a video for her single Tramp.
Single Ladies by Beyoncé
I was never a massive fan of Destiny’s Child and when Beyoncé first went solo I loved the songs but there was always something missing for me. I just thought she was a bit too perfect and glossy and I could never really connect with her as a real woman. But then she started being all feisty and feminist and I was suddenly drawn in. Single Ladies is a brilliant video and I think it perfectly captures Beyoncé’s growing confidence and her new-found desire to speak her mind. It was a big inspiration when I was creating Lola in Nothing But Trouble. If Beyoncé ever finds out I hope she’s flattered!