Hello again to all 6 of my loyal readers! It’s good to be back and writing my very first requested music video article:
Do you take requests? I'd love to see a review of Love Plus One!
Abra, without further ado, this one’s for you!
How does one become a One-Hit Wonder? In the case of England's Haircut 100, the answer’s simple. Lead guitarist/vocalist Nick Heyward, apparently convinced by someone that he was wasting oodles of star potential, left the band in early 1983 to embark on a solo career just as Haircut was enjoying its first wave of success.
This unfortunate decision (sometimes referred to as “The Limahl Delusion”) ruined many a promising new wave act in the 1980s.
Haircut 100 was actually more of a Two-Hit Wonder – "Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)" was their other fun single from ’82 – but technically only LOVE PLUS ONE charted in the U.S., so on this side of the Atlantic the band does indeed reside in the One-Hit Wonder file.
But one hit or two, the video they’re best known for is undoubtedly LOVE PLUS ONE, a tropical-themed piece of fluff made back in the good old days, when erupting volcanic ash merely served as an atmospheric backdrop to a music video and not a flight-delaying mess.
While arguably not one of director David Mallet’s finest moments, the clip does capture the playful spirit of the music and looks like it was tons of fun to shoot.
One thing I’ve never been clear on: Is the band supposed to be on safari? Stranded on a deserted isle? Trapped in a Tarzan movie? African-American “natives” are present, yet so are white women in leopard bikinis.
The band appears to be quite at home in this setting, yet they’re all dressed in thick sweaters and substantial slacks. Voodoo and cannibalism are involved, but so are surfboards. The contrasting symbols abound.
The song’s lyrics seem to suggest a moment of regret involving an attempted phone call and an unanswered ring, yet the video comes across as a particularly upbeat installment of Danger Island. In fact, when the guys in skeleton costumes start dancing around the girl in the soup tureen, one can almost sense the clumsy hands of Hanna-Barbera at work.
The most entertaining moment of the piece is an accidental (one hopes) lingering full-frontal crotch shot of Nick Heyward in a loincloth. What the MST3K guys would refer to as his “area” is covered up, but it’s still a bit cringe-inducing. Could they not have gone with a different camera angle?
Johnny Weismuller he may not be, but Nick and the Haircut boys sure made some happy music while they were around. And fans might be interested to know they are contemplating reforming! Nick, if you decide to create a sequel to LOVE PLUS ONE, here’s a tip: close the legs and swing the vine AWAY from the camera. Thank you.