120 Reasons To Live: The Blue Aeroplanes

Nothing did more to further the cause of Alternative Nation-building than 120 Minutes, MTV’s Sunday-night video showcase of non-mainstream acts. For nearly two decades, the program spanned musical eras from ’80s college rock to ’00s indie, with grunge, Britpop, punk, industrial, electronica and more in between. MAGNET raids the vaults to resurrect our 120 favorite and unjustly forgotten videos from the show’s classic era.

#32: The Blue Aeroplanes “Jacket Hangs”

You might want to check your Facebook profile page and see if any of your “friends” were in the Blue Aeroplanes; upwards of 80 people have served time in the Bristol, England, band since its start in the early ’80s. The other joke is that 77 of those musicians were playing Rickenbackers. And while we’re discussing personnel, you may notice the designated dancer in the video for “Jacket Hangs” (a track from 1990’s Swagger). If anything, it’s refreshing to know that bands other than Happy Mondays and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones employed a dancer, and furthermore that this one was apparently instructed to “Stipe it up.” All that snide commentary aside, the Blue Aeroplanes are treasures of the art-pop world, perhaps limited in sound by the talky range of singer Gerard Langley but unbounded in terms of clever, erudite lyrics and sheer durability. The last album of new material issued by the Blue Aeroplanes, 2000’s Cavaliers, slides right in among the band’s best, but a best-of album may be the place to start.