So, here’s the deal; one amazing Frankie Valli song, “Beggin'”: two quite excellent re-mixes/re-envisionings (read about the various re-incarnations of the song here) which each have quite excellent videos. So, which is better?
I was introduced to the Pilooski re-edit first (the top video), and fell in love with it. The song is precisely a re-edit; there is nothing new, but elements are re-arranged, repeated, and adjusted. The video, which has since dissappeared from YouTube in its official (and good quality!) version, is brilliant. Through setting, costume, and choreography, it traces the intervening years and influences between the Four Season’s version and the world that gave birth to Pilooski and DJing. Watch for subtle changes in costume as well as lighting and choreography- look for the twist, disco, locking, b-boying, and good ol’ rockin’ out. Don’t forget to check out the DJs in the back- they change too!
Because I was so attached to the Pilooski version, my initial reaction to the Madcon version was adverse. But on its own it is really quite good too. It has a strong aesthetic playing off of the films of the era of Blaxploitation, complete with bell bottoms and afros, and features strong rap verses, using the original song as the hook and building off of it. One ‘plot’ element I don’t really understand is that of the video games. I interpret this as a similar tactic to the contemporary elements in the Pilooski video; because the original song is ‘vintage’ the new version must distinguish itself from that label (although clearly each video has an affinity for some nostalgic past, both of which are more than a little anachronistic, especially the Madcon vid). However, the video game thing just doesn’t work for me.
In the end, I think I still like the Pilooski vid/song better. I think this may also have to do with the fact that Pilooski’s video appeared first, and has since been removed (I suppose for copyright purposes?) while Madcon’s video is hosted by VEVO. But they both are very good. Unfortunately, and characteristically, I cannot find information about the directors or choreographers of either video, so they both lose points for that!
What do YOU think? Let me know in the comments below.