After gazing upon the delightful new video for “Heartbeat Song,” the new single from the English power-pop quartet The Futureheads (taken from their excellent album, The Chaos), I was struck with a feeling of déjà vu: The video is set at an undetermined point in the past, on a game show that loosely references “The Family Feud,” complete with a cheesy, over-the-top host, chintzy set and old-school TV film stock. I’ve seen this video before! Of course I had. Bands have repeatedly defaulted to the retro TV music video setting. Allow me to illustrate five such examples!
1.) Nirvana, “In Bloom”
For the video for this classic off of Nevermind, Nirvana paid homage/lampooned the legendary appearance of The Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” complete with hysterical screaming fans.
2.) Weezer, “Buddy Holly”
Weezer and Spike Jonze ingeniously inserted the band’s performance into an episode of “Happy Days,” with attention paid to the smallest detail, right down to the film stock. “Sit on it!”
3.) Outkast, “Hey Ya”
For Andre 3000’s hip-hop power-pop anthem, the ATLiens also used an “Ed Sullivan Show”-type of setting, albeit a show hosted by Ryan Phillppe of all people. However, unlike Nirvana’s clip, “Hey Ya” is set in London during the Mod heyday.
5.) The Futureheads, “Heartbeat Song”
The latest in a crop of retro TV fake-outs!