13 of the yuckiest music videos we could drum up … all for you

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The rites of Spring are upon us. Once again the fields of gloom are adroitly plowed under. Young lovers coo on the Detroit RiverWalk and … Look just don’t get your hopes up. The invigorating effect of the sun’s rays can lead one into a false sense of optimism. Lest you forget the innate cruelties of our universe, I’ve compiled a list of 13 music videos to remind you. Some were selected for the repulsive nature the tunes; others for their imagery. Make no mistake, these videos will put you in your place, for, after all, it was you, humanity who took them to the top. Please enjoy and feel free to share your own selections in the comments section.

Mr. Mister • Kyrie

Ever wanted to spend the day with Mr. Mister? If you’ve watched this video, you’ve done just that. I recommend you wipe down all of your car sets with a quality industrial strength disinfectant. Wash the clothes you’re wearing in the hottest water available, and any cuts or open sores must be thoroughly cleansed and re-dressed. A white camel’s hair trench coat with the sleeves rolled up? Though I must admit the action figure look is more appealing than today’s lumbersexual or Bywater crusty.

Taco • Puttin’ on the Ritz (uncensored version)

This is precisely what David Bowie was complaining about in his "Teenage Wildlife" from the Scary Monsters and Super Creeps album. This and shit like Gary Numan. You’ll notice that this is the uncensored version complete with dance breaks and blackface. Way to go Taco. How does it make you feel, dear readers, to know Taco has avoided a real job most of his life from the success of this cover of a beloved standard?

Bonnie Tyler • Total Eclipse of the Heart

Before the melody of her Total Eclipse of the Heart was used to sell poop-inducing cereal bars, Bonnie Tyler was an enchantress who imprisoned young athletes in her Nightmare Fortress. Through darkest bloodmagicks, her captors became her army of eyeless wights; her lair guarded by ghoulish acrobats and undead ninjas. Why didn’t anyone do anything about this? Those poor boys.

Laura Branigan • Self Control

Another modern dance amid scaffolds music video. Watching this video, I learned a lot of unpleasant things about myself. What terrified me as a boy in 1984 titillates me now. I want to dance-menace Laura Branigan in a tarp-strewn alley while wearing a greasy plastic harlequin mask. To live among the creatures of the night; to live in the forest of the dream. Does that make me a bad person? I can’t be the only one, for this little number shot to No. 4 on the Billboard hot 100.

Steve Winwood • Back in the High Life Again

Second only to Peter Cetera in ghastliness, Steve Winwood’s singing sounds as if his vocal chords are made of shaved ham. The worst kind of ham. Watery, unnatural and sickly sweet. Served at the rehab center where they’re helping your grandmother with her broken ribs. Steve Winwood is nothing more than unwanted leftover from the London blues rock scene of the 1960s. Just like Eric Clapton. I hope you enjoy watching him pretend to sing as he escorts his lady love for a walk on the moor.

Marc Cohn • Walking in Memphis

Just who the fuck does this guy think he is? "Walking in Memphis"? I don’t ever want to see a bearded Marc Cohn clad in a leather vest over a blouse nor do I want to hear his soulless voice wax poetic about his approximation of “the land of the Delta Blues.” But you sure did, humanity. In 1991, you took this revolting ditty to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #22 in the UK. He also won the Grammy for ‘best new artist’ in 1992. 

No Easy Way Out • Robert Tepper

There was a time when anyone could be a popstar. And I mean anyone. Even Robert Tepper. Dress him in a lady's blouse, vest and pleated pants; put him in a warehouse filled with scaffolding and spotlights and — boom … instant heartthrob. If you close your eyes and open your ears, you can almost hear the cigar-chomping, hairy-knuckled executive growling, “He’s got a song on the Rocky IV soundtrack, what do you mean he’s got no sex appeal? Ooh, just look at him climb that fence in that warehouse. He’s sopping wet and so am I.”

John “Cougar” Mellencamp • Jack and Diane

We once saw an interview, unwittingly, with JC on VH1. In it he proclaimed, “In my opinion, there’s only been one female artist and that’s Joni Mitchell.” Need we go on? Ok, we will. Fuck this guy and his constructs of small town living. While you’re at it, fuck this video, too.

Toto • Rosanna

We're not sure which is worse: knowing that this was written about Rosanna Arquette or imagining the taste and smell of those mustaches. Wait … it’s definitely the New Wave West Side Story aesthetic. Like Steely Dan for those who find Steely Dan to challenging. Just plain yuck.

Bruce Hornsby & the Range • The Way It Is

Bruce Hornsby is for people who hate music and all human joy. Should he never touch a keyboard again, the gods will have exhibited uncharacteristic mercy. That poorly executed piano riff conjures the flavors of stagnant hot dog water. His voice, the feeling of excess Hot Pocket filling burned to the glass door of one’s toaster oven. I’m sure glad his record company believed his ham face was enough to carry a three-and-a-half minute video. Bruce Hornsby, of all people, knows “the way it is.”

Warrant • Uncle Tom’s Cabin

While Uncle Tom has become a derogatory term, abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was and is an important piece of fiction as well as an historical document. Her reasons for writing the book were pure and honorable as she sought to depict humanity in those whom the slave traders deemed sub-human. But don’t tell that to Warrant! They’ve taken the title of Stowe’s novel and used for the title of a song that seems like it was written by a computer; selecting random phrases with cold logic to please its human creator. The video depicts that band getting all folkloreique, holding banjos — though none are heard in the song — in a bayou cabin. Two totally sexy models are menaced by another sexy model dressed as a policeman. “Suck it, Harriett Beecher,” says Warrant.

Oran “Juice” Jones • The Rain

Oran “Juice” Jones is a jilted lover who admonishes his “cheating” girlfriend over a predictable and sleazy drum machine for four minutes. I’ve never seen or heard anything like this. Perhaps it was intended as a novelty tune meant to replace the Monster Mash on your Halloween party mixtape.

Klymaxx • Meeting in the Ladies Room

If we had a nickel for every time we’ve gone for a piss in the ladies room and have been de-shirted and hooked up to a Frankenstein synthesizer and forced, by science and sorcery both to pop and lock for an unrelenting cabal of sexx dancers, we’d have enough money for a moonpie. The terror. The shame. OK…you got us. We really like this video and the band Klymaxx…and that bass player is out-of-this-world sexy. Director Gerald V. Casale is a genius. ...

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