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.
#74: Electronic “Getting Away With It”
Electronic was supposed to be the ultimate superduo, composed of what we consider to be the driving forces of the two best bands of the 1980s: New Order (Bernard Sumner) and the Smiths (Johnny Marr). This combination of Manchester’s greatest musical minds couldn’t possibly lose. But when first single “Getting Away With It” appeared in late 1989, the results were only mediocre. Adding to the disappointment was the appearance on the track by the Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant. It’s kind of like hanging out with Fonzie and James Dean, and then Urkel shows up. It only underscored that 1991’s Electronic ultimately ended up sounding like the Pet Shop Boys, and even after Marr and Sumner jettisoned Tennant on subsequent albums (1996’s decent Raise The Pressue and 1999’s did-that-come-out? Twisted Tenderness), it was apparent the chemistry just wasn’t there.
The above clip is the U.K. version of the video; rest assured, the U.S. version wasn’t much more exciting.