Here’s a shameless marketing idea: Take a music video clip that’s already been on MTV a jillion times (or is available on a longform videocassette) and release it as a ”video single.” That way, people can pay up to $12.98 for a few minutes of video that they could easily tape from TV.
A revival of the video single format (which had a brief, unsuccessful run in the early ’80s) began last December when Madonna released her racy ”Justify My Love” clip after MTV gave it the thumbs down. Last month, Whitney Houston released her Super Bowl take on ”The Star-Spangled Banner.” But both those tapes captured special events, and these new singles offer nothing at all special.
The Doors: Light My Fire is a 10-minute excerpt from a one-hour program released a few weeks ago under the self-explanatory title The Doors Live in Europe 1968. The crude footage of ”Light My Fire” is darkly thrilling, but for only 10 bucks more you can get the longform video — with nine more songs.
The Bingoboys tape is similarly meager, featuring a remixed version of the catchy single ”How to Dance” that’s a bit longer than the clip on TV. It’s cute, including an Arthur Murray type teaching various campy couples how to shimmy, but it plays on MTV about every five minutes.
Ditto for Gerardo’s ”Rico Suave,” which eagerly focuses on the Latin rapper’s exquisite body (his tape does add a rarer Spanish version of the single).
As for M.C. Hammer’s ”Here Comes the Hammer,” set in a haunted house, the clip is nothing more than a mess of special effects, proving that even brief tapes can be insufferably dull.
All four tapes: D