M'Lady

John Rowles, Music Video, 1969

In 1968 John Rowles scored a top three hit in the UK. Late that year he returned to New Zealand to a rapturous welcome. A fly-on-the-wall documentary was made about his homecoming tour, from which this clip of Rowles performing ‘M’Lady’ is taken. On the tour he launched 'M’Lady' as his next NZ single; he tells an Auckland DJ that it's his best "uptempo" song yet, and the tune scores scenes of Rowles galavanting around a playground with a cigar, pretending to drive a tractor, and licking an ice cream on the beach. 'M’Lady' went on to top the Kiwi charts.

I Feel Love

Fan Club, Music Video, 1989

"Hey you, you’ve got the moves … I can’t refuse!" Aishah and the Fan Club scored a run of pop hits in New Zealand and Malaysia in the late 80s with songs like 'Sensation' and this single (which peaked at No.8 in the charts). This bold studio-set video, directed by Paul Middleditch, won Best Music Video at the 1989 New Zealand Music Awards. With paint splashes, leather jackets, shades, silhouetted choreography, Dr Martens, and slick camera moves and editing, it’s an unmistakably 80s video, coupling the crisp pop beats with a fashion shoot or dance floor vibe.

Private Detective

Satellite Spies, Music Video, 1987

The music video for this 1987 Satellite Spies single is a straight down the line performance piece, focusing on vocalist/songwriter Mark Loveys. After scoring a hit single in 1985 – 'Destiny in Motion' – Satellite Spies won Most Promising Band and Most Promising Male Vocalist at that year’s NZ Music Awards. This single was recorded for their second album, which would finally be released in 2011 as Us Against the World. The album was made without guitarist Deane Sutherland, who left the group in 1986 — and later launched a band of the same name in Australia. Rock’n'roll!

Listening for the Weather

Bic Runga, Music Video, 2002

After Bic Runga's debut album Drive sold — and broke — a bunch of records, another five years passed before she found time to perfect her follow-up. Fears it would join the long list of disappointing second albums proved unfounded: Beautiful Collision scored three NZ Music Awards, and became the biggest-selling local release of 2003. The album's third single 'Listening for the Weather' spent 20 weeks in the Kiwi charts. Shot mostly on DV and Super 8mm, the video offers a snapshot of life on tour: dressing rooms, concert halls, road signs...and lyrics about home not being too far away.  

The Booyeouw Shamble

The Inkling, Music Video, 2005

A drummer plays in four locations and keeps playing as he moves; and, at each, a woman is at a different stage of her life. The Booyeouw Shamble was shot in Wellington by director Sam Buys and DOP David Paul in one continuous 54 minute take. Drummer P-Hill had to follow a score taped to his snare; and each hit had to be in the correct sequence for the entire 54 minutes. In editing the footage was sped up or slowed in at least 1000 places to get the drum hits in time with the music. There were no rehearsals and there was time for only one take.  

Tumblin' Down

Maria Dallas, Music Video, 1967

Singer Marina Devcich had been working as an apprentice hairdresser when she won a Waikato talent quest. A signing to Viking Records and a name change to Maria Dallas followed. ‘Tumblin’ Down’ was written by Taranaki musician Jay Epae, and recorded at a session in Wellington. It went to 11 in the pop charts and won the 1966 Loxene Golden Disc Award. Later the song was used to score a series of Telecom ads in the mid-80s. Dallas recorded in Nashville, moved to Australia and had a trans-Tasman career — her single ‘Pinocchio’ topped the NZ charts in 1970.

Baked Beans

Mother Goose, Music Video, 1977

Dunedin band Mother Goose scored their biggest hit with this novelty song extolling the previously overlooked romance-promoting qualities of sauced legumes (and won extra marks for avoiding flatulence jokes). The Australian-made video references Queen's pioneering Bohemian Rhapsody clip and features Melbourne trans-sexual drag show performer Renee Scott as the recipient of one of the more bizarre pick-up lines. In his post Mother Goose career, keyboard player Steve Young (the bearded ballerina) directed The Chills' classic Pink Frost music video.

System Virtue

Emma Paki, Music Video, 1993

This evocative music video scored a double-header: it was voted best video at both the NZ Music Awards, and the NZ Film and Television Awards. Emma Paki won gongs for singing and songwriting. Director Josh Frizzell mixes images of Paki singing on the streets with often sombre portraits of locals in their element, from children to gang members. Widely regarded as Paki's magnum opus, System Virtue became one of the most played local music videos of 1994. Killing Joke's Jaz Coleman produced the song; a much lusher version later appeared on 1996 album Oxygen of Love

Better, Not

Inverse Order, Music Video, 2008

Directed by Rollo Wenlock (founder of video production tool Wipster), this dark, moody music video was shot in a studio with a lot of cooking oil, dodgy transmission and some flickering fluorescent lights. If you like watching well-oiled male torsos, you’re in luck. After gaining a new drummer, the band reinvented itself as Villainy, and went on to score NZ Music Award-winning albums Mode.Set.Clear. and Dead Sight

Impressions

Urban Disturbance, Music Video, 1994

On their second single, future BBC radio star Zane Lowe and his 90s hip-hop crew proclaim themselves to be an expression of their "headphones and kerbstones", as they dedicate themselves to "knocking down the doors of the hip-hop frauds". Director Craig Jackson provides an appropriately urban setting in which the crew voice their declaration. As his footage alternates between monochrome and colour, deserted cityscapes (including the old Auckland Railway Station) combine with drifting, jazzy notes to make for a aptly impressionistic scoring of the streets.