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SOUND & VISION

The Year of Tawny's Legs

December 27, 1987|CHRIS WIlLMAN and TERRY ATKINSON

If 1986 was the year of Peter Gabriel in the world of music videos, then 1987 was the year of Tawny Kitaen's legs.

Of course, the various annual pop-video awards programs don't include a category for Best Limbs, and MTV is going to look fairly ridiculous presenting an award to anybody for top achievements in 1987--quite possibly the worst year yet in the art's brief history.

This was a year of rock stars endlessly parading and necking with their girlfriends and boyfriends (or wives or husbands) on camera (Kitaen in all three Whitesnake clips, Morgan Mason in all of Belinda Carlisle's). The year in which that old American custom of gangs harassing lone women on the street at night was celebrated as a great way to meet a girl (Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel").

It was also the first year in a while without at least one or two outstanding directors to laud amid the carnage of cliches.

Pinned down, you could say Meiert Avis was Director of the Year, but only because he not only continued making U2's videos (reasonably artfully too with one glaring exception) but also started making them for that other mega-everything rock act, Bruce Springsteen. And Australian Alex Proyas is starting to make waves, scoring twice in Sound & Vision's year-end picks below. Or you could say Marty Callner was Director of the Year--his knack for stoop-to-conquer stupidity never left him no matter what bad-video champ he worked for.

Considering how awful the '87 crop was, we weary-eyed video watchdogs have added a composite Worst 10 to our individual Best 10s. If things don't improve, next year there may be nothing but a Worst 10 list.

CHRIS WILLMAN:

1--"Still in Hollywood," Concrete Blonde (Director: Jane Simpson).

2--"Your Ugly," Velore & Double-O (Doug Cameron).

3--"The One I Love," R.E.M. (Robert Longo).

4--"I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man," Prince (Prince).

5--"Big Love," Fleetwood Mac (Danny Kleinman).

6--"Beethoven (I Love to Listen to)," Eurythmics (Sophie Muller).

7--"Keep Your Eye on Me," Herb Alpert (Zbigniew Rybczynski).

8--"Holiday," the Other Ones (Alex Proyas).

9--"Never Let Me Down," David Bowie (Jean-Baptiste Mondino).

10--"Got My Mind Set on You" (conceptual version), George Harrison (Gary Weis).

TERRY ATKINSON:

1--"Don't Dream It's Over," Crowded House (Alex Proyas).

2--"Beethoven," Eurythmics.

3--"Big Love," Fleetwood Mac.

4--"Still in Hollywood," Concrete Blonde.

5--"Holiday," the Other Ones.

6--"Pop Goes the World," Men Without Hats (Tim Pope).

7--"I Against I," Bad Brains (Paul Rachman).

8--"Don't Give Up," Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush (Jim Brashfield and Melissa Marsland).

9--"Never Let Me Down," David Bowie.

10--"The One I Love," R.E.M.

Worst videos::

1--"Girls, Girls, Girls," Motley Crue (Wayne Isham).

2--"I Want Your Sex," George Michael (Andy Morahan).

3--"The Way You Make Me Feel," Michael Jackson (Joe Pytka).

4--"Is It Love," Whitesnake (Marty Callner).

5--"I Found Somebody," Cher (Cher).

6--"Here I Go Again," Whitesnake (Marty Callner).

7--"Mony Mony," Billy Idol (Larry Jordan).

8--"Alone," Heart. (Marty Callner).

9--"Where the Streets Have No Name," U2 (Meiert Avis).

10--"Too Hot to Stop," Benjamin Orr (Jon Small).

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