When music videos became famous.
I remember a song called ‘Video killed the radio star’. It was released in a time when music TV got more & more important and musicians better released a video for their single to be heard. Since then, we expect a music video when our favourite bands release a new single. I love to see how the bands visualize their music & new points of view might be created by adding a kind of story. But it’s also cool to just see the band perform in a hall or maybe a special place like desert.
Now that creating music & media in general is doable for almost everyone and many bands start on their own without a label & with not that much money (maybe they even crowdfunded their releases), YouTube gets flooded by lyric videos . I’d be okay with that if only smaller bands would release such a video instead of a real music video, but also famous artists – not only in metal – seem to prefer lyric videos instead of creating a real music video. It’s a development I face with mixed feelings.
Don’t get me wrong…
Of course, lyrics are important & for some people it could be enlightening to read what they are listening to (esp. with guttural vocals). Lyric videos are a good way to transport the musician’s message to the fans. I don’t blame those who have something to say & do this by a lyric video to make more people listen & – even more important – read.
What I don’t like is that – as mentioned – big bands skip releasing music videos & as a replacement release lyric videos. Not only one, but many, because money is there. Now they just spent it on three or more videos instead of releasing one good video. Really, I can understand the intention behind it. With more releases, there are more news, more attention, more people might buy the CD. It just makes me sad to see good music videos disappearing which I would watch over & over again. I don’t watch lyric videos twice – why should I? In most of them, there is not a lot to see.
How it should be done.
I found some examples for good & bad videos. For example Nightwish released one for the title track of their current album “Endless forms most beautiful” which is okay, because you still see the band performing & the lyrics are just written next to the musicians. To be honest, I’d be really, really disappointed if Nightwish would do a simple lyric video:
This example shows, how lyric videos can look like. There is another really good one by Leaves’Eyes for ‘King of kings’ – that’s what I thought, before I realised they just took leftover snippets from their ‘The waking eye’ video and recycled it.
How it shouldn’t be done.
What I don’t want to watch are lyric videos like the following by Amberian Dawn. There are some animations showing the cover artwork of “Innuendo” & that’s it more or less… I’d never watch it twice.
I understand, if people like lyric videos like the two examples below, in which the lyrics are in foreground & you see the singers. But if these are released to replace a music video, I feel pranked somehow. Message – yes, but my example of Nightwish shows that you can have both: Attention on lyrics & a cool video. I want to see the whole band perform, not just blurry pictures of the vocalist.
Now let’s watch a good old music video!
I think, I made clear what I mean: I don’t want to miss music videos. To a certain point, lyric videos are okay, if there are real videos, too. So to close this article with something really good, I show you the music video Alia Tempora made for their song ‘Mockingjay’. Best example for how you can do it if you sit down & think about what do show in the video. Yes, the song is related to the movie! You recognize this by watching the video. This in one I keep watching again & again & again…