I admit it, I like the song. It's catchy, it's fun, it's good to dance to. But it's dumb. Take this snippet:
My fantasy has turned to madnessNothing I can add to that, really.
And all my goodness has turned to badness
I never would have thought anything could make "Obsession" goofier—until I saw the video.
Though I came of age when MTV emerged as a cultural force (and, you know, actually played videos), my family didn't get cable. I missed a lot. So today I filled in a bit of my pop culture past. I found "Obsession" on YouTube and watched it for the first time.
Oh. My. God.
First of all, you can't do a tune about unrequited passion as a duet. It doesn't make sense. This is a fundamental problem with the song itself, I grant you, but the visuals make it even more obvious.
Second, there's ... oh, hell. Pretty much everything else. The dance moves by the lead singers, which looked as though they were choreographed and performed by twelve-year-olds. The guy who kept raising his eyebrow at random intervals. The expression on the male singer's face as he lip-synched "All my goodness has turned to badness."
If I had seen this at age 16, when "Obsession" was released, I wonder what my reaction would have been.
Yes, I probably would have found it cheesy and kinda stupid. But I don't think I would have realized how indistinguishable it was from parody. That's just what videos were back then.
I blame my lack of discernment on my youth. Then again, the people involved in the production of this thing were all adults. What on earth were they thinking?
I wonder what we'll say "what were they thinking" about 20 or 30 years in the future.