Reportedly, the video for Lionel/Shania's duet of "Endless Love", will be developed and produced by someone who's done some of her earlier music videos. I've seen his name, but don't know or remember which of her videos he did in the past. That might be a clue to what will show up in this video.
Meanwhile, last night, TV had a show called "Following Lady Gaga" or something like that. It was a background, semi-documentary. I was curious and some of the info satisfied my curiosity. But I was flipping back and forth from this show, and "The Voice", which also had some good parts (and some not so good parts). Hard to catch the best parts of each show and avoid the less interesting parts. After that, I watched "Smash", a new program about the rise to fame for one or two (fictional) musical performers. While interesting and enjoyable in parts, that too, was somewhat less than the advertisements promised.
All of this got me to thinking about the trend in music performance, live and in videos.
There have been many transitions over the decades. Each generation seems to have "pushed the envelope" along with pushing the buttons of their parents' generation.
The folk singers of the 40's were labeled as liberals and communists.
Elvis Presley and others in the 50's, were considered shocking and sinful with his sexually suggestive pelvic gyrations.
In the 60's, it was the hippies, drugs and anti-war generation of musicians.
Further developments happened in the 70's and 80's, I guess including hard rock, acid rock and similar, only a limited percentage of which I liked. I remember MTV videos in the 80's, some of which were a very enjoyable weave of musical melody, harmony, and rhythm, with exciting, corresponding video.
Michael Jackson did a number of excellent music videos and concerts, during a rather long span of years. However I did not personally see a lot of that. Probably too preoccupied with my own career, etc.
Among the changes in the 90's, included the repopularization of country music, a sizable part of which involved Shania Twain.
Somewhere along the way, Madonna turned much of music in a new direction. She had some pleasing songs and catchy tunes. But many did not catch my attention. Her running around in overstated, dramatic underwear and foundation wear was something of a turn-off for me. A bit too cold, crass and in-your-face. Not really adversarial or insulting, but with implications in that direction at times.
Hip-hop and rap also developed a sizable new following. That included a lot of explicit hostility and semi-violent attitude. I did not relate to hardly any of that. Some of it had a good beat, but I didn't see a lot else with constructive appeal. Perhaps the under-served portions of our populations needed a cathartic outlet, to express their rage and disaffection.
In recent years, some parts of music have gone on an increasingly irresponsible and dark side. People like Britney Spears have been worshiped by droves of younger generations, even while her personal life is almost a text book case for mental, emotional and social dysfunction. Virtually a worst case example of behavior to copy.
Then there's Lady Gaga. I can not say she is mentally, emotionally or socially dysfunctional. She's a hard worker, with good humane goals and intentions. And she has one or two songs that sound like dynamite to me. I really like "Caught in a Bad Romance". It keeps popping up in my head. I mean the sound, not the video. The video is very ostentatious. She's making a statement of one kind or another, some of which eludes me. She runs around in underclothing even skimpier than Madonna. However it's not as much of a turn-off. I tolerate it, sort of like I would a child's getting a bit carried away, during their learning, development and communication.
The first time I saw a Gaga song, was a variation of "Bad Romance", where she was more tastefully dressed, and the focus was on her excellent singing and her dancer's group rhythms. I've never seen a dance troupe look that good before. These were mostly her guy dancers prioritizing their great dancing moves, not her girl dancers prioritizing mostly just how much of their bodies they could uncover.
This "following Gaga" show last night covered quite a lot of ground. Some of which I missed due to channel switching. I didn't know she was such a strong supporter, maybe even advocate, of gay and lesbian life style. I don't find that life style as the most natural and constructive for human beings. There is a natural range of human genetics and sexual predispositions. So I tolerate it and respect individual rights for gays and lesbians. But I do not promote it. And I do not believe it should be promoted as an optimal way to live, for the vast majority of populations. I remember being taught history, and how civilizations became carelessly decadent and collapsed.
Overall, Gaga seems to have a wide range of video content. A lot of it is in stark colors, action and themes. But it seems to have a soft underpinning. I get the impression that she wishes well for the members of the viewing audience, even though she is sometimes giving them or their conscience, verbal or musical jabs.
My point in writing all this, is to wonder what is the potential of video in music, as time rolls on. And specifically, what is the potential for video in Shania's music.
Lady Gaga and some others have gone so far over the top, that maybe a niche would be better for Shania, rather than trying to expand the envelope again, like she did with the videos in "Any Man Of Mine", the "Come On Over Album", or the "Up!" album.
A few months ago, I noticed that Gaga's "Bad Romance" had nearly half a billion views on youtube. Shania's top song had just shy of 50 million, or about 1/10th as much. I wonder how much that is due to the passage of time, the change in music, change in audience, or maybe just the increase in a shapely lady running around in skimpy underwear. I think the latter has some influence on the numbers. But I don't know how much. It might be nice to compare apples with apples, eg just the music, with similar video content, instead of very different video content.