Thursday, February 25, 2010

Remembrance Of Video Past #66: Billy Joel, "You're Only Human (Second Wind)"

This song doesn't have much retro kitsch value. When people remember the good ole days, they wanna remember Duran Duran's "Rio" or Michael Jackson's "Thriller." They don't want to remember this midtempo adult-contemporary blue eyed soul hit from 1985 about suicide. "You're Only Human" was written by Billy Joel in order to prevent teens from killing themselves. Might as well fix a drum by cutting it open and doing surgery.

I don't know what's sadder; that this existed or that when I was nine and I saw this at the end of "Entertainment Tonight" I was moved. The metal guys were "mean" in my opinion back then because the news said they sang about suicide as a good thing but Billy Joel wanted people to NOT do that, so he joined Mr. T and Punky Brewster in my League of '80s Good Guys.

The video is about this kid who wants to jump off a bridge (presumably because he's wearing a denim vest) but Billy Joel swoops in and shows him what life would be like without him like in "It's a Wonderful Life." The drowning teen is Adam Savage, host of MythBusters. Ironic moment: at one point Billy Joel is sipping champagne while sitting on a car.

Despite the depressing lyrics, the music is upbeat and peppy. Even ABBA knew better than to write a song about suicide with...

Oh yeah, at one point, Billy Joel flubs a verse, and laughs. Glad to see you're having fun Piano Man. If it's OK with you, I'm going to choke myself on the vomit you've so graciously induced from me. One of the lines in the song is "You're supposed to make mistakes." Ah, but you're not supposed to record them.


1 comment:

josewyatt007 said...

Lookit that smartphone Billy Idol has where he's wearing the fedora! OK....iKnow those weren't invented yet so this video is ahead of its time. To get more info please visit