by Eve Vawter
Two of the greatest music videos of all time have got to be Robert Palmer's 1985 Billboard hit "Addicted To Love" and Tone Lōc's "Wild Thing," which peaked at number two on the Billboard chart in 1989.
The main issue with both of these songs is that the videos are almost identical. And yeah, sure, Tone DID copy Robert because Robert did it first but did Robert do it better? Let's discuss, shall we?
Robert Palmer: "Addicted To Love"
Fun "Addicted To Love" fact: The song was supposed to be a duet with Chaka Khan. If Chaka Khan had been able to record the song with Robert Palmer we wouldn't even be having this discussion because it would have won, hand's down, regardless of what the video looked like. The video could have been performed with sock puppets by six-year-olds and it still would have won. But because Chaka was unable to get permission from her record label we find ourselves here. And where is here? With five models wearing super-heavy makeup so they look like they are from a Patrick Nagel poster. But admit it, you so wanted to look like them. They cannot play their instruments, at times their moves are out of sync, but they are basically the coolest ever. Except they have competition from our next entry...
Tone Lōc: "Wild Thing"
Young MC wrote the lyrics to "Wild Thing." This pretty much tells you all you need to know about the 1989 banger. This is a great song. This is a great song that tells a story, because for those of you who remember it goes a little summin like this:
So we journeyed to her house
One thing led to an other
I keyed the door, I cold hit the floor
Looked up and it was her mother
I didn't know what to say
I was hanging by a string
She said, "Hey, you two, I was once like you
And I liked to do the wild thing"
The girl's MOTHER walks into the room and sees them getting busy and just adds her opinion to the mix like no big. Because she also likes to do the wild thing. In the video we have basically the same faux model band like in "Addicted To Love," but at least one of the members seems like she may be mixed race, so props to Tone Lōc for at least having some diversity. Another issue with the song in general is towards the end of it Tone hooks up with a "fine young chick" at the "local discotheque" who turns out to be a sex worker who wants to charge him $50 to make him dollar, and I am pretttttttty sure she isn't charging enough.
The dresses the models wear in ATL are sexier, I mean, they cover more but that makes them sexier. Plus, they all have on that red lipstick and because Tone's video was shot for like $300 I am pretty sure they couldn't afford red lipstick for the models. None of these models can play any of their instruments. All the chicks in both videos seems like they would rather be doing anything other than pretending to play their instruments while wearing teetering heels for both Robert and Tone.
This is a very hard decision to make. There are no winners in this game. And as much as I adore Tone in general I still cringe at the weird transphobia illustrated in "Funky Cold Medina." And as much as I adore Robert I can't quite forgive him for dying at such a young age (52).
So this death match has no winner, but I am going to go put on a tight black dress and some heavy makeup while I pretend to fold my laundry. Both Tone and Robert would approve.