“Here at Consequence Of Sound, we’re always looking for brand new ways to break that musical mold that constantly rebuilds itself time after time. Call it an intense discipline in iconoclasm, nevertheless we introduce to you faithful readers a new segment called Break Yo’ TV. While television is beyond the only medium left in the world, here’s a look at some of the worst produced and overall bad music videos we’ve endured throughout our lives”
The name may not strike your music drenched hearts right off the bat, but don’t let that fool you. Far beyond the greater reaches of time and space — the year 1993 in Chicago, Illinois — a certain element of musical ambivalence found its way into the waters of Lake Michigan. From those spawned waters of the lovely Midwest, Chicago native and cult singer/songwriter Jan Terri bore her musical fruits for all the world to see. Combining a penchant for electronic drums and guitar works set against a backdrop of clashing musical timelines, Terri’s cult smash “Losing You” has all that but so much more.
While Terri released two solo records in the early 90’s, 1991’s High Risk and 1993’s Baby Blues respectively, the attention she garnered solely belonged to her music videos. MTV wasn’t necessarily calling or banging her door down and Spielberg was working on that one movie about Nazis, so needless to say, she turned to her own personal video camera. Yeah, you heard that right. Terri and her musical cohorts shot their own videos around the city of Chicago and the results are downright amazing. Who thought a love song regarding the fears and tremblings of losing love could include such epic shots of limousines, highways and motorcycles…all against the backdrop of the Windy City? You tell me.
To thoroughly break down Terri’s “Losing You” in musical terms is somewhat of a moot point. The verses are whatever, but the chorus is catchy, period, no matter how cheesy it is. “I don’t wanna lose you tonight/You’re the only thing that matters…”, all behind those clanging electronic drums and Casio 1988 keyboards. The primary focus belongs to the video in question, however.
In the first thirty seconds, we are treated with a neon-filled replica of the Chicago skyline, complete with a stunning view of the infamous lake and the city’s rare sunny skies. Then we descend down a building, to which there’s a quick cut of a limousine and a motorcycle. Could this symbolize two ideal forms of love that Ms. Terri eventually describes?
Apparently getting into a limo is the first step to not losing a lover, and the highway shots represent Terri’s ingenious visions of not wanting to lose that love. Afterward, we are treated to to Terri lip-syncing in rhythm to the song’s lyrics. What makes this shot special is her uncanny head bobbing, windblown hair and choice of location to express the song’s theme of love. Standing in front of a pillar of stones surrounding a man-made lake, Terri humorously goes off sync with the lyrics and shows off her excellent belt in the process. Then, not to be outdone, we are shown the same exact shot from the opening of the video. Eat your heart out Hitchcock, this one’s on Terri.
Next up, as mentioned before, we seem to have already established two different forms of “love” in both the limousine and the motorcycle. The next shot is of the motorcycle, complete with Man+Mullet action parked in a “No Parking” zone. What a rebel! Does this symbolize another metaphor for love? Does the fact that Mullet Man intentionally doing something he isn’t supposed to do (parking in a “No Parking” zone) signify this man will overcome anything in the name of love? Stanley Kubrick who?
Ah, ah…looks like Terri chose the bike over the car and the motorcycle gets the win, and to add to his “edge,” he blows through a stop sign. I gotta tell ya at this point, “Losing You” is pure genius of not just musical composition, but original thought as well.We’re not even at the final act yet! But wait, the highway is alive again with Mullet Man cruising down without Ms. Terri behind him. Oh no, is their love in trouble? Why is she not with him this time? Genius strikes again!
Mullet Man then decides to make a call at an abandoned pay phone (yeah, remember those?) and tries to reach what seems to be the girl who was just on the back of his motorcycle. There’s no explanation at all, and frankly, at this point, it’s just too cool. If that’s not enough, things shift to an airport at the finale, where Terri and her luggage board a plane with no correlation whatsoever. It doesn’t make any sense and any more brainpower poured into it will only take away from the fun of it. You gotta keep some of that chewy caramel center intact and flavorful before it all goes raw.
While far from being a masterpiece, Jan Terri’s “Losing You” is what it is: one woman’s vision of love her way. While there are elements far beyond repair to pinpoint out, Terri does provide a good amount of entertainment and there’s nothing but respect from this office. Hey, even her appearance on The Daily Show says it all, as well. So to conclude this first ever broadcast of “Break Yo’ TV”, Jan Terri, we salute you. For how cheesy and utterly confusing your song and video are, at least you’ve got spirit. Saddle up that old Palomino and ride off into that Chicago skyline, you’ve earned it.
Jan Terri – “Losing You”