14 Alternate Videos

Sometimes bands aren’t happy with their music videos. Other times it causes such a stir that a different version has to be made. Whatever the reason some artist will release several different versions of their videos. And I’m not talking about different edits, extended, or censored versions. These are clips that they completely different from their original concepts. Sometimes the alternate video is better, sometimes worse. Either way, here are 14 videos with alternate versions.

14. “Disposable Teens” – Marilyn Manson

It’s not surprising to find shocking and controversial content in Manson’s videos and this one is no different. In the first version, there are several references to the Bible, including a reenactment of the Last Supper featuring a monkey, and Manson dressed up as the Pope. It’s actually one of his better videos full of gruesome and awesome imagery. The same can’t be said for the second version. This one is comprised only of performance footage. Some of it was included in the original, but this one features the entire band miming the song. It’s still interesting to watch and Manson kills it as usual, but it can’t compare to the eerie original.

13. “Strangelove” – Depeche Mode

The original Anton Corbijn directed clip features many iconic images of the band and is one of their best videos. So it’s odd that they would decide to re-release the single in the U.S. a year later with a brand new video. Whereas the first version is cool and even a little mysterious, this one is just cheesy. It features a big corny set of sky scrapers to some nameless city while various symbols and the song title scrolls across the set and even the member’s faces. There’s one not-so-subtle shot of a heart moving across Dave Gahan’s crotch. All of the guys look uncomfortable as they mime the song while trying to avoid looking into the bright lights. Not even Gahan’s epic dance moves and spinning could save this one. There’s no question about which version is the best here.

12. “Gave Up” – Nine Inch Nails

The original clip for this NIN single features the band in the Le Pig house (AKA the Tate House) recording the song. There’s even a cameo appearance from a young, gaunt Marilyn Manson who helps out on guitar. It’s not the most exciting NIN video, but it’s entertaining. The second version is actually the conclusion to the infamous Broken movie, where the film’s killer chops up his victim while the song plays over the footage. Made to look like a snuff film, it’s gritty, gruesome, and at times difficult to watch. After one viewing it’ll stick in your head whether you want it to or not. If you can’t handle this then you may want to avoid this entire movie.

11. “Hot in the City” – Billy Idol

The original clip to this Idol single is pretty tame and kind of dull. It’s the singer in front of a green screen dancing while images of New York and explosions pop up behind him. Being a product of the 80s, let’s just say it hasn’t aged very well. Idol redid the video in 1987 with a more “intricate” concept. It begins with Idol dancing in a decrepit apartment followed by him peeping in on some weird S&M club/sex party via a hole he made in the wall for no reason. Lots of grinding, thrusting, and fist pumping comes after that, but during this time it was just standard Idol fare. This version ended up being banned by MTV for the closing scene that feature Idol’s then girlfriend Perri Lister strung up on a cross. Even though this one has the bigger budget, I’ve always liked the first version. Sometimes simple is all you need.

10. “In One Ear” – Cage the Elephant

The original clip, which also marks their first music video, features the band performing in a padded cell while singer Matt Shutlz does what he’s known for: flail around the room spastically. The single was then re-released in 2010 with a new video directed by Issac Rentz. This version has more of a wild, house party vibe as the band perform, run around, destroy a school bus, and have what looks to be a kick ass time. Just like the previous clip, this one also shows off Shultz’s wild dance moves and his love of crowd surfing, which he does during the bridge. Both of the videos are fun and do a great job showing off the band’s style. The first version is a little more humorous since Matt is jumping around in a hospital, scaring the shit out of the other members, and making funny faces, but both do the song justice.

9. “Killing Loneliness” – HIM

For this track from their 2005 effort Dark Light, HIM released a UK and a US version of the video. The more well known US version features the band performing in a club and has an appearance by Kat Von D. The more interesting, yet slightly weirder UK version finds the band working in a coin operated peep show while various patrons get their HIM fix. It only gets weird when some of the people get hot and bothered by the performance and begin taking off their clothes or are clearly on the verge of an orgasm. Maybe they thought it would be too much for the States to handle and released the more tame version. But no matter which video you watch you’ll still get your fill of Ville Valo close ups, which is what most HIM fans want.

8. “My Friends” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

What’s interesting about the two videos made for this song is most people are actually familiar with alternate version, so much so I always thought it was the original. The video that’s considered the official one, and is the second version, features shots of the band in the studio playing the song. Nothing more than that, but the first one shot was actually more interesting. The band is on a canoe in the river in various costumes. It starts out pretty simple, but then it gets weirder as they don strange outfits and make up. There’s even a shot with Anthony Keidis where his long hair is standing straight up. It’s a bit weird and may not be easy to figure out what the hell is going on, but it’s definitely more appealing since something is actually happening in the video. Rumor is they felt the video was too artsy and may alienate their fans, which is funny because going by the video comments many prefer the first version.

7. “Viva La Vida” – Coldplay

The original clip for Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” is pretty standard video fair: the band performs the track against a blurry and distorted background. Not super amazing, but not terrible either. Alongside this version, the band released another video for the single directed by Anton Corbijn. What makes this one so special is it pays homage to Depeche Mode’s clip for “Enjoy the Silence.” There’s the same fuzzy quality and Chris Martin walks around in a similar king getup as Dave Gahan. It’s a faithful reenactment and a cool way to honor a timeless video.

6. “They Don’t Care About Us” – Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson ran into some controversy with the release of the fourth single from HIStory. First it was the lyrics, which you can read all about the offending line here. Then there was the original music video directed by Spike Lee featuring Jackson dancing and singing in Rio de Janerio. The state tried to ban Jackson from filming there because they feared images of the poverty stricken areas would affect tourism. Jackson was even accused of exploiting the poor people there. A judge banned all filming from taking place but this was overturned by an injunction. 1,500 policemen stood surrounding Jackson along with residents who were singing and dancing with the artist. Since it stirred up so much controversy, Jackson filmed a second version that found him in prison with other inmates while disturbing footage of riots, war, the KKK, and police attacks were shown. Considering the harsh, difficult content found in this version, it’s surprising that the original was the troublemaker.

5. “You Only Live Once” – The Strokes

No matter which version you get, both clips for this Strokes single are pretty awesome. The original, directed by Samuel Bayer, features the band in a small space performing the song while the room fills with tobacco tar. The band keeps playing even when they’re completely submerged under the goo. It’s a simple concept, but it works. The second video is a little more elaborate. Footage of the band performing is mixed with shots of a space ship clearly patterned after 2001: Space Odyssey. This one was directed by Warren Fu and premiered a year after the original. Unlike the stylish first version, this one is seen as a protest against war, hunger, and consumerism.

4. “In Bloom” – Nirvana

Back when they were on Sub Pop, Nirvana released “In Bloom” as a single along with making a music video for the Sub Pop Video Network Program. It’s pretty simple clip featuring the band walking about Manhattan being silly. The song got the video treatment again when it was re-released for their 1991 album. This time around, the band takes the piss out of 1950’s variety programs where artists were praised for being clean cut. Shot entirely in black and white, the guys look straight laced and strange in stiff suits and slicked back hair. Cobain even sports some black rimmed glasses. This is mixed with footage of them destroying their set while wearing dresses. It ends with them back in the suits standing on top of the broken set while the announcer praises them for being nice young men. There were actually three different edits of the latter vid: this one, one with only footage of the band in dresses, and one with all suits.

3. “Stockholm Syndrome” – Muse

Similar to HIM, this single received two videos for the UK and the US. Shot entirely with thermal cameras, the first version is the creepiest video Muse has to offer. Since the camera displays the varying temperatures on everything, much of what’s going on in the video is distorted making them even just performing seem disturbing. It doesn’t help that they keep splashing water around which looks like blood being spilled thanks to the camera. Matt Bellamy look like a foreign being as he sings. The alternate version for the States features the band performing on a cheesy late night show when the sky goes red and an intense wind comes in and destroys the set taking the show’s guests with it. Both vids are intense and do a great job capturing the vibe of the song, but the original is unnerving, no doubt about it.

2. “Sick, Sick, Sick” – Queens of the Stone Age

If you thought the original video for this QOTSA single, which featured a lady stuffing all sorts of food and human parts, into her face without any shame, then the alternate version is even worse. Filmed outside of the band’s label and later made the official video for Germany, this version features Wendy Rae Fowler and Josh Homme “dancing” in front of a green screen with flashing colors and weird images glaring behind them. It has similar animation the band previously used for the “Go With the Flow” video. This one is like a bad drug trip: one minute you’re looking at a hot topless chick, the next eyeballs, multicolored pills, and Homme’s distorted face invades the screen. It has to be their most bizarre video. It’s a bit weird, but worth it if you want to see Homme flail around like a drunken frat boy.

1. “Wait and Bleed” – Slipknot

Slipknot’s breakout hit got the double video treatment back in 1999. While the original and most well known clip features live footage of the band at Ozzfest, the alternate version is more unique and slightly creepy. Each of the members are depicted as little dolls that come to life and gang up on a man trying to catch them. It ends with mini-clown, who is the creepiest of them all, setting fire to the screen. Because of its stop motion style, it stands out among the band’s videos. The dolls are both kind of cute, like you’d want a set for yourself, but also disturbing. Out of the two clips, this one is definitely the coolest and gets right under your skin.

Which alternate video is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!


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