Video Hangover: “You’re Only Human (Second Wind)”

Twice a week we dig up a music video so ill-conceived it’s no wonder MTV stopped playing the damn thing. But hey, at least we learned something…

?You?re Only Human (Second Wind)?
Billy Joel, 1985

THE CONCEPT
The ghost of Billy Joel gives some life advice to Marty McFly in this mash-up of It?s A Wonderful Life and the bridge scene from Saturday Night Fever.

WHAT THEY WERE THINKING
Billy Joel is an unimpeachably wholesome pop star with tons of money, a beautiful wife, and several fully functioning automobiles. Perhaps there are some well-worn visual clichés and banal lyrics he could use to convince young people not to kill themselves?

WHERE THEY WENT WRONG
We?d be the first to admit that this is not the Piano Man?s best work, but the director doesn?t do him any favors. If you want to make a serious video, make a serious video. If you want to make a zany video, make a zany video. But if you?re going to have a scene where a jock rescues a drowning nerd, don?t follow it up with a scene where a devastated mother weeps for the loss of her child.

THE LESSON
Billy is right about teenage suicide (don?t do it!), but overall he gives some questionable advice. The gist of it seems to be: graduate high school, become a lifeguard, and marry your high school sweetheart. Keep in mind, this is a girl who apparently breaks up with George after he drives into a fruitstand. One fruitstand! And Billy?s advice is to hang around Manhasset and marry this shrew? The lesson, as always: don?t listen to Billy Joel, especially after he?s been into the champagne.

BONUS CONTINUITY ERROR
The fruitstand is next to the hydrant. In order to hit the friutstand head-on, George must be driving perpendicular to the curb. But in order to run down the hydrant, as he does a few seconds later, he must be driving nearly parallel to the curb. So how does he hit both?

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Tags: Billy Joel