5 Best Take That Music Videos - at least according to us
You may or may not have seen our big announcement last week – Take That’s Greatest Hits Live tour is coming to cinemas! We’re so thrilled to be working with the boys again, and in the anticipation of the tour, we decided to take a look at their extensive library of fantastic music videos – and some stories behind them.
Here are our top favourites:
BACK FOR GOOD (1995)
Let’s open up with the most iconic one of them all. I personally can’t think about the 90s and not immediately see an image of Mark sliding down the side of that custom Mercury Coupé. And apparently, we should thank Howard and Jason for those fabulous jackets – they’re the ones that picked them up! ‘I remember thinking: what the hell are these two playing at?’, recalls Gary. The puffy outerwear didn’t stop a few of the band members from coming down with the flu though – blame those practical rain effects!
The monochrome video may have a very simple premise (and is there anything more 90s than a black and white music video?) but it’s now easily one of the most recognisable promos. That also means it’s been spoofed many times – and other bands chose to pay homage to it in their own videos, such as The Wanted (in Walks Like Rihanna) and most recently, New Kids On The Block (in Boys In The Band). The latter must be particularly special to TT, considering that NKOTB were a big influence on their own beginnings!
DO WHAT U LIKE (1992)
I know, I know, it’s the one Take That video you might see appear on a ‘worst videos of all time’ list instead of on someone’s favourite. But it’s hard not to smile while watching it: it was their first single, and the band was on a very tight budget, desperately trying to get themselves noticed. So the management decided to go for something controversial and inappropriate – hence the almost naked band rolling around in jelly!
‘I remember being given about £300 and told “Go and get yourselves some outfits,” so me and Jay [Jason Orange] picked up a load of fringed leather jackets from Kensington Arcade and G-strings from [gay sex shop] Clonezone.’ - Gary told Time Out. In the same interview Mark recalls that with different attitudes towards the LGBTQ culture back then, they were trying to do their bit by breaking down some barriers and being more inclusive. ‘People were much more judgmental about jelly in the early ’90s’, joked Howard.
With their second single from the album Progress, Take That got a little political. Some fans even assumed that the lyrics to Kidz were inspired by the student protests taking place in the UK at the time, though that was never confirmed. The video sees the band playing a group of alien time-travellers, dressed as war heroes from different times. They broadcast their message to the world before descending on Earth – and seemingly ‘infecting’ people with the love of music and dance.
‘We shot the promo in two hectic days with spaceship interiors, exteriors, SWAT teams, army, police, Humvees, ambulances, armored vehicles, a fake helicopter, 200 extras, and most importantly... Take That’, recalls Eran Creevy, who co-directed the video with Mat Whitecross (Oasis: Supersonic, Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams).
The video features a giant TT spaceship created partly by a production designer in Bulgaria, where the footage was shot, and partly by a VFX studio in London. So no, unfortunately we can’t fly it!
HAPPY NOW (2011)
Ahh, the glorious Take That/Fake That music video. Recorded specifically for the British charity Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day, it featured comedians Alan Carr, James Corden, Catherine Tate, John Bishop and David Walliams. The promo sees Take That sitting as a Judges’ panel, auditioning a number of groups hoping to become their ultimate tribute act – Fake That. A number of various teams appear, until one very persistent one – made up of the five aforementioned comedians – steals the show. They try to audition 4 times, by impersonating the band members as they appeared in their videos to Do What U Like, then The Flood, then Pray, and finally Back For Good – eventually winning Take That over with the last one.
Take That’s own choreographer, Kim Gavin helped the comedians pick up some of TT’s most iconic dance moves for the shoot. It took 5 months to align all 10 artists’ schedules together – and only 6 hours to shoot. According to James Corden, Take That’s self-proclaimed biggest fan, the boys really wanted to be involved in the comedic side too – so in the end of the vid, you see them walking out to their car all dressed up in their old Do What U Like gear.
Funnily enough, Jason ended up dating his doppelganger Catherine for a short while after that!
THESE DAYS (2014)
Last but not least, Take That’s first single as a trio – and no doubt one of their greatest promos to date. The concept, which came from the amazing mind of Mark Owen, is a tongue-in-cheek way of picturing the boys’ return to stage.
We see them waking up together, brushing their teeth, Howard gets spray-tanned (apparently in tribute to Jason Orange) and Gary and Mark get hilarious ginger perms.
The one-take look applied here is a true visual treat, and all the humorous bits let you believe the band really had a lot of fun shooting this. Howard even ends up with no pants at one point. ‘Find an excuse to get Howard naked!’ – joked Gary.
Honourable mentions go to Patience (we all waited patiently a long time for that one, didn’t we?), Babe (who doesn’t love a good story video) and Get Ready For It (Gary, Mark and Howard as Kingsmen? YES PLEASE!). Did your favourite make our list? Let us know on social!