Every week, we dig in the archives for videos that we find noteworthy, memorable, or just unbelievably stupid. And then, Jon McMillan breaks ’em down for you. Why Video Hangover? Because when you watch as many videos as we do, you’re going to feel it afterwards.

The Cranberries, 1996

For a song with such a pretentiously overt anti-drug message, this video makes drugs look pretty cool.

Drugs and the circus: still a bad combination
Let’s just go ahead and add heroin-needle head clown to the list of scary video icons. It’s bad enough that he has syringes for hands, but when he feeds the girl from a bottle and paints her parents with clown makeup? That’s just disturbing. This guy makes Keith Flint look like a plush toy.

Ursine symbolism quiz
The yellow teddy bear represents:
a) A real bear, that is actually yellow
b) The sweet, sweet innocence of childhood
c) Kanye West
d) Mimes, the natural enemy of clowns
e) Bono’s jaundiced heart

On the other hand, somebody at A&M keeps greenlighting Maroon 5 videos
There’s some weird good angel/bad angel audio/video parallelism going on here. Musically, “Salvation” is snappy (as in efficient), poppy (as in full of hooks), and catchy (as in can’t get it out of your head). Lyrically, however, it’s like the self-help version of “Nookie.” Nice message, poor execution. Similarly, the main visual metaphors are huge and awkward and obvious (Drugs look friendly, but they’re dangerous! They’ll hold your family hostage!). But damn if the whole thing doesn’t look great. Part Tim Burton, part J-horror nightmare, it’s a good reminder of the times, not so long ago, when major labels had enough money to throw serious artistic talent (director Olivier Dahan directed the recent Edith Piaf biopic La Vie En Rose) at second-tier singles from bands like the Cranberries.

Got a candidate for Video Hangover? Email tips at stereogum dot com.

Comments (13)
  1. mrs  |   Posted on Sep 18th, 2007 0

    I vaguely remember the video, but I still think the song kills.

  2. The Other Matthew  |   Posted on Sep 18th, 2007 0

    Is it perpetual Opposites Day at Stereogum? How is that attractive? It’s a fucking psycho clown from hell! Normal clowns are scary enough. Damn it, guys. And while I’m sure Dolores is/was probably anti-drug (from experience, likely), I’m pretty confident that the song was somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Pretty obvious, looking at how she delivers the lines in the video.

    Anyway, if you have to do a Cranberries song/video, it really ought to be “Zombie,” because the song is amazing.

  3. The Smarter Matthew  |   Posted on Sep 18th, 2007 0

    ^ They’re supposed to be “unbelievably stupid” videos, genius

  4. nick  |   Posted on Sep 18th, 2007 0

    if a weekly column gets posted and nobody is there to read it…was it ever posted at all?

  5. Michael in Los Angeles  |   Posted on Sep 18th, 2007 0

    Yeah, I agree we are getting away from the original concept of video hangover, which is to show videos which are incredibly lame. This one is not.

  6. i think the message is tongue and cheek, and having not heard that song since elementary school i know feel very stupid for not knowing it was about drugs.
    but i think the fact that the band performs in a literal broken home on the edge of a cliff (like they’re going to fall off?) is pretty obvious symbolism in itself.

  7. Sorry – visually this rips off Bjork’s “Human Behavior” video. Except I LIKE that song; this one makes me want to poke my ears out.

  8. denise  |   Posted on Sep 19th, 2007 0

    I must admit I’d never seen this video! The song is a total classic. And well, Zombie is like the first I song I heard as I kid that made me realize that girls can be awesome as front- err woman.

    As for the people arguing about the content of this section. It clearly says on the introduction: “noteworthy, memorable, or just unbelievably stupid”. In my opinion the only prerequisite for this section is “old”, near a decade old minimum.

  9. Love the song too, but it certainly rips off The Pixies’ classic “Tame” in the “Uh huh huh” sections. It’s the exact same thing.

  10. Loz  |   Posted on Nov 10th, 2007 0

    whoever wrote that article is a fucking wanker and should subsequently be fired.

  11. hopelessloser  |   Posted on May 20th, 2009 0

    Wow. Sure the video is a bit scary, but it’s still funny as hell! I LOVE The Cranberries, and Dolores is amazing. Oh, and whoever said that this song is old – get a life. You sound like a pathetic teenager who will only listen to Top 40 crap. Grow up, and see the actual value of the song. Well, maybe not this song. But some of their other stuff is pretty damn good.

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