Really, I'm just waiting for The Protomen to do this.
July 14, 2011 7:47 AM   Subscribe

Music videos are a dime a dozen. However, it's pretty rare for an entire album to be made into a single video with a coherent narrative. What are some examples of this?

Last night, somebody pointed me to the fantastic video of TV on the Radio's Nine Types of Light, which is an hour-long music video that encompasses every song on the album.

What other albums have been made into a single video with a coherent narrative to tie everything together?

My criteria:
  • It's gotta be good.
  • I'm not looking for a series of single videos played back-to-back. There needs to be some sort of narrative or thematic link between tracks.
  • I'm not looking concert recordings, unless the live performance adds some kind of narrative element that was not present on the album.
  • No soundtracks, unless the film was genuinely focused on the music. Let's arbitrarily say that the film needs to be at least 80% music.
  • EPs, and really long single songs are OK.
  • Collaborations and compilations are also OK.
  • Normal-length songs with extended videos (ie. Telephone by Lady Gaga, and O Valenia by the Decemberists) are cool, but not really what I'm looking for. We'll save that for another post.
The only other video like this that I can think of is Vincent Moon's rendition of Beirut's The Flying Club Cup. I'm sure I'm missing some others. Enlighten me!
posted by schmod to Media & Arts (31 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
If you can find it, "Broken" by NIN.
posted by jbickers at 7:51 AM on July 14, 2011

The film versions of the "rock operas" Jesus Christ, Superstar and Tommy fall into this category.
posted by The Deej at 7:51 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

(Prolly would have been smarter to link here instead, sorry.)
posted by jbickers at 7:51 AM on July 14, 2011

Pink Floyd: The Wall
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:52 AM on July 14, 2011 [5 favorites]

Daft Punk's Discovery (via Interstella 5555).
posted by Dr-Baa at 7:52 AM on July 14, 2011 [5 favorites]

DJ Q-Bert's Wave Twisters.
posted by box at 7:53 AM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

R.E.M.'s Left of Reckoning takes the first side (called the Left Side on the LP) as its subject. Not the whole album, but half!

This definitely leans to the art side versus a narrative, in my opinion, but I'll let you be the judge of that.
posted by hijinx at 7:55 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

A Hard Days Night
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:07 AM on July 14, 2011

Ditto Interstella 5555, by Daft Punk and Leiji Matsumoto.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:09 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Quadraphenia was made into a movie.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:15 AM on July 14, 2011

R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" sequence works this way.
posted by cgc373 at 8:21 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Decemberists made Here Come the Waves - The Hazards of Love Visualized to showcase their Hazards of Love album.
posted by cabingirl at 8:25 AM on July 14, 2011

I'm not sure how many songs it encompasses (it's on my to-watch list), but Arcade Fire/Spike Jonze's Scenes from the Suburbs would seem to fit.
posted by supercres at 8:40 AM on July 14, 2011

I like to think of Koyaanisqatsi as an hour and a half long Phillip Glass music video.
posted by cjemmott at 8:57 AM on July 14, 2011 [5 favorites]

posted by sexyrobot at 8:58 AM on July 14, 2011

Kanye West did something similar to this for "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" (although it wasn't the entire album, it did feature many tracks from it).

Girl Walk is a project that takes the latest Girl Talk album and sets it to interpretive dance.

I'm pretty sure that the Liars have come close, as they released a DVD with their album Drum's not Dead with a lot of video content (although I don't think it matches 1-to-1 with the album).

As an aside, per Wikipedia, "In 1971, avant-garde group The Residents began filming what was supposed to be the first feature length music video "Vileness Fats". Due to time constrains and technical problems, the group abandoned the project in 1976."
posted by codacorolla at 8:59 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

The The did this with Infected, good in a mid-80's kind of way.
posted by N-stoff at 9:00 AM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Indirectly- Dark Side of the Rainbow
posted by mkultra at 9:06 AM on July 14, 2011

Carina Rounds did it for her Slow Motion Addict album. Don't know how you'd go about procuring such film, i could only find a few episodes on her youtube channel...
posted by palbo at 10:53 AM on July 14, 2011

Sean Lennon did it with his 2006 album Friendly Fire.
posted by agress at 11:13 AM on July 14, 2011

cgc373: "R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" sequence works this way."


posted by schmod at 11:20 AM on July 14, 2011

The 20 minute video Fight for your Right Revisited (found from MetaFilter) isn't the whole of the Beastie Boys new album, but features a number of tracks from Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:35 AM on July 14, 2011

Queensryche made a long-form music video for *Operation: Mindcrime* that has *most* of the album on it (a couple songs aren't included).
posted by kindall at 11:44 AM on July 14, 2011

Prince - Sign o' the Times
Prince - Purple Rain
posted by elle.jeezy at 1:20 PM on July 14, 2011

obligatory Hold Steady example:

Seperation Sunday: The Movie (it's in 5 parts. that's just part 1). the whole album makes one (mostly) coherent narrative, so its perfect for this
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:51 PM on July 14, 2011

It may not be a coherent narrative, but I think that Blondie's Eat to the Beat was the first album I know of released as an entire video sequence, on Laserdisc.
posted by ovvl at 6:19 PM on July 14, 2011

This isn't quite what you're talking about but it's similar. In the 1990's there was a series of shows released on VHS and Laserdisc called "The Mind's Eye", consisting of computer animation along with original background music. There were four of them. Thomas Dolby did the music for one, and Jan Hammer did another. (I owned the one Jan Hammer did, and it was really cool.)

posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:59 PM on July 14, 2011

Heh. Sorry, schmod. R. Kelly may not meet your first criterion, "gotta be good."
posted by cgc373 at 9:28 PM on July 14, 2011

ovvl: I think Blondie might have just been pipped by ELO's Discovery. The album was released in May in the UK & June in the US; I think the video was released concurrently with US release. That puts it a couple of months before Blondie.

Thematically it's a bit all over the place (unless you count "80's hair and video effects" as a theme ;-), but there's some degree of consistency.

(Trivia: The guy on the album's back cover, holding the big-ass sword, is Brad Garrett.)
posted by Pinback at 11:05 PM on July 14, 2011

ABC teamed up with Julien Temple for an hour-long film, "Mantrap,"(1983) that weaves in most of the songs on The Lexicon of Love with a story that pays homage to 50's espionage movies.
posted by prinado at 11:58 PM on July 14, 2011

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