his week's installment doesn't have anything as ambitious or planned as a “theme,” unless you're willing to accept “Versions of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and a few other things I stumbled onto while looking for versions of “Total Eclipse of the Heart”” as one. So let's get into it, without further delay except to note that I didn't bother with Nicki French's version as it is a bit crap.
Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart
And so we start with the classic, the font from which all others spring, the original. Still creepy after all these years, Bonnie Tyler's moment of Jim Steinman-fuelled glory has a video with a theme (female teacher desperately wants to get into the pants of her young, supple male charges) that has aged spectacularly poorly. And what with the literal depiction of the whole “bright eyes” thing, it's visually unnerving as well. But the true wonder of this song and video combination is captured, I think, in a brief MSN dialogue between myself and an anonymous friend:
A: I'm so making my mom watch this tomorrow
A: I want to be her for halloween
I: bright lights!
I: THIS IS THE PINACCLE OF HUMAN CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT!
A: in FOOTBALL PADS.
Hurra Torpedo – Total Eclipse of the Heart
There are some things I don't like about Hurra Torpedo's version of the song, from Norwegian TV. Having all three members display plumber's butt is just juvenile, and along with the mocking “turn around” at the beginning makes me think that this is an example of that dreaded species, the Ironic Cover. But the actual performance does the song justice, proving that you can indeed do Jim Steinman on a guitar and some stoves and a freezer. By the end, it's quite stirring.
DragonballZGT - AMV - Total Eclipse of the Heart
YouTube wouldn't be YouTube without the bizarrely popular fan-made music videos that clutter up the place; if you're looking for a song that never had a real video, chances are you can find it soundtracking some TV show beloved by nerds. This particular example, of the execrably dumb anime Dragonball Z, is extra special because the song seems so poorly chosen, given the footage our budding auteur uses. In any case, it's bizarre enough to have pre-empted the other video I was going to use, so you're spared the sight of three frat boys miming along to the Dan Band's version, for better or worse.
Mundelein High School "Sound" Show Choir 2005
The quality isn't great, the camera operator might be drunk and it cuts off suddenly, but otherwise this video is one gigantic YES. Massed vocals, cut rate Busby Berkeley dancing, raucous appreciation from the crowd... all to the strains of “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” You wish your high school was this awesome.
Long Lake Camp – Total Eclipse of the Heart
I don't as a rule make fun of the religious beliefs of others (well, except Scientologists), and I'm really not trying to do that here. But even with that in mind, it's hard not to be entertained by “Total Eclipse of the Heart” transformed into a passion play. Especially when Jesus, Satan, and the fallen Christian are all played by kids at summer camp.
Will Young – All Time Love
I wanted to toss this in both because I think it operates on a similar level as the original “Total Eclipse of the Heart”—great song, grandiose and slightly loony video, and because while I've liked “All Time Love” for a while, I only recently stumbled on the video. And what a video! Our Man Will is bravely printing up anti-government leaflets and amassing lovelorn looks from both genders in... Franco's Spain? Intercut, of course, with shots of his trial after his sudden but inevitable downfall. “All Time Love” the song is pretty purely romantic in content as opposed to making some sort of social point, but the video is full of all kinds of juicy, delicious subtext. And if the closing shot of Will sat on a chair in the middle of the darkened street, waiting for la Policia to come get him doesn't move you at all, you probably don't like “Total Eclipse of the Heart” either. And that's horrible.
By: Ian Mathers
Published on: 2006-08-31