Apologies for the long delay between transmissions, but apparently, some strange things were afoot at Mission Control — the S.S. M.T.V. wasn’t able to raise anyone at the home base for months. It seems as though everything’s back up and running now, so if you’ve got the stomach for it, let’s see what dreaded beast we’ve been able to drag out of the 1980th Dimension this month, shall we?
Fuck! It’s Air Supply!
CAPTAIN VIDEO! will understand if you want to run now, Videots — this could get ugly in a hurry. First of all, Air Supply sucks; second, Air Supply videos suck; and third, where Air Supply songs and videos go, dozens of impassioned housewives inevitably follow. In other words, we might very well soon be pelted with granny panties and harsh words from Airheads all over the Web.
Are you still with us? Are you sure? Okay, let’s get this party started. Well, not a party, really; we are talking about “Making Love Out of Nothing At All,” after all. More like a sunset walk on the beach. (A beach littered with Members Only jackets and high-pitched wailing, but still.)
“Making Love Out of Nothing At All” was part of Air Supply’s seemingly interminable early ’80s hot streak, arriving between “Two Less Lonely Eunuchs People in the World” and “Just As I Am.” Interestingly enough, the song wasn’t originally intended for the Australian Russells — Jim Steinman wrote it for Meat Loaf’s Midnight at the Lost and Found album, but legal squabbles left Meat “Making Love”-less, and the rest is mellow, mellow history.
And really, the drop from Mr. Loaf to Air Supply really isn’t very steep. Steinman’s songs are uniformly ridiculous, over the top, and unavoidably catchy; all they need is a singer with a big range and the ability to oversell line after line of shockingly stupid lyrics. Russell Hitchcock, come on down!
CAPTAIN VIDEO!’s favorite lines might be these — but it’s so hard to choose:
I can make the runner stumble
I can make the final block
And I can make every tackle at the sound of the whistle
I can make all the stadiums rock
Rock? Really? Because we…well, never mind. Let’s move on to this terrible, terrible video.
Even nestled among the other jewels in the Air Supply crown, the “Making Love Out of Nothing At All” video is really something special, because it adds bad acting to the mix. Blessed with a string of hits, the Russells did what everyone else with a decent video budget was doing in the early ’80s — namely, trying to make a mini-movie to go along with their song. This one starts off with a string of unintentionally hilarious scenes between Graham Russell (looking for all the world like a miniature Larry Bird) and some chippie who’s clearly too young for him. With all the passion and urgency of a cashier counting out pennies, Russell “pleads” with his girl to join him on the road (he starts off with “So, won’t you reconsider?”), telling her he can give her anything.
Her response, natch, is “All I want is you.” CAPTAIN VIDEO! would ordinarily assume this poor woman has some sort of severe mental handicap, but since she’s the one driving to the airport, that’s out of the question. Maybe she was just after his money. Anyway, Graham leans in for a kiss on the tarmac, she pushes him away, and then the fun begins:
Which one’s the microphone?
Pull the camera back! BACK!
Early on, the video’s director proves he’s just as subtle as Steinman, timing the shot below — in which Graham stares longingly at a picture of his baby back home while a bored-looking groupie rolls over next to him — with the lines “I know just how to fake it / And I know just how to scheme”:
Followed by this shot, of our rakishly unbuttoned hero looking sad on the plane, thus underscoring that he didn’t really want to bone that groupie. If only his selfish bitch of a girlfriend had been willing to join him on the road:
All the while, Russell Hitchcock is screeching like a castrato with his ass on fire. And on and on it goes — dull performance footage, painfully squidgy “acting” by Graham, pictures moving in frames — for over five fucking minutes. (Steinman never met a three-minute song he couldn’t stuff with an extra couple hundred seconds’ worth of lard.)
The song goes on for so long, in fact, that Graham’s girl has time to pack her bag, hit the road, change her mind, and high-tail it to the gig, where she sashays past security and plants this groin-melting look on him:
Bored groupies behind him once more, Graham meets his lady beneath a strategically placed laser lightshow:
Making love truly out of nothing at all. The song went all the way to Number Two, which makes perfect sense in a world where According to Jim is entering its seventh season. It’s lonely in space, but at least this video was never a hit out here:
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That’s all for now, Videots! Meet you back in the 1980th Dimension next month!