…When Bananarama’s "More Than Physical" was the Naughtiest Thing on MTV

I will always remember when this video first hit MTV. Bananrama had just scored a number one single in the United States with “Venus” and were as hot as they were ever going to be outside of England. Every weekday at 3 in the afternoon, MTV would count down the top ten requested videos of the day, based on viewer call-ins to 1-900-DIAL-MTV. No TRL, no studio with screaming kids, no Lindsay Lohan surprise visits. Just Martha Quinn talking to the camera, usually sporting some kind of beret or flourescent suspenders.

Throughout the hour, Martha would tease that day’s world premiere video, which always followd at four o’clock on the dot. I wasn’t completely sold on the notion that I was gay yet, but when this video hit my screen, not only did I decide that men were for me, I also decided I wanted to become the fourth member of Bananrama. They were always being so naughty and delighting themselves, while objectifying dancing shritless men.

But there’s another reason I like this video and that’s because of the director, Peter Care. Care directed “Drive” by The Cars, one of the first videos ever aired on MTV. He’s also responsible for REM’s “Man on the Moon,” “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight” and “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth.” His eighties music-video work is pretty easy to spot – multi-layered images running slightly out of sync, color filters, rapid-fire editing, and of course, making it look like Bananrama can dance where they’re pretty much not moving at all. Care directed several episodes of “Six Feet Under” and the Jodie Foster movie “Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys,” but not much else as far as I’ve found. But the minute I need a music video of my own, he’s the man I’m hiring, after I hire the shirtless men who will dance around me.

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