Army Of Lovers' "Obsession"
After Army Of Lovers enjoyed a great deal of global success and attention with the now-legendary “Crucified”, music enthusiasts and experts alike were eagerly anticipating their sophomore single.
When the first bars of “Obsession” eventually began to play on Swedish radio stations in early August 1991, most listeners were flabbergasted.
The unexpected atmospheric sound, combined with Alexander Bard‘s mystical-childlike vocals and the cumulative lyrics – ranging from bitter-sweet to insanely obsessive – came as a big surprise.
The song didn’t follow a certain formula, nor was it a desperate attempt to strike the iron while it’s still hot.
Rather, Army of Lovers completely reinvented themselves only a few months after their breakthrough.
While “Obsession” has an infectious chorus, the underlying mood is dark and dystopian throughout.
The background sound, which consists of a looping ‘Ha Ha Ha Ha…’ bit (performed by Jean-Pierre Barda) was inspired by Laurie Anderson‘s experimental “O Superman” from 1981.
La Camilla‘s lascivious breathing of the song’s title, was another ingredient for this haunting and unusual pop-ballad, or as some fans like to call it:
‘Shizoperetta’ (based on one of the song’s remixes).
Did all of this stop Army of Lovers from conquering the charts one more time? Not at all.
“Obsession” became a massive hit in all of Europe, selling like hot cakes and storming the Top 10 in over 20 countries.
Due to its non-blasphemic lyrics, the airplay in Europe went through the roof, making it an even bigger radio hit than “Crucified”.
Since the uncut version of the clip was “too bloody” for MTV’s daytime program, the director Fredrik Boklund semi-censored the notorious brain surgery scene, in which Jean-Pierre and La Camilla “test” their torture equipment on Alexander.
Instead of a blood-splattered screen, you can see various shots of Alexander rotating on a round area with dream-like sequences of the other two members fading in.
Nowadays, the uncut version of this video is more widespread than the “clean” one.
When MTV Europe presented their 20 Years Of MTV special,
“Obsession” (along with “Crucified”) was chosen as one of the most important clips in the channel’s history.
The network described the video by saying:
“Straitjackets, borderline erotic and an overload of kitsch – only a band like Army of Lovers could come up with such a surreal short film”.
A remake of the original video, starring Michaela de la Cour, was shot for the US market in 1992.
P.S. Anyone who is willing to ask questions to the Army Of Lovers creator and inspirer Alexandr Bard - feel free and you are welcome!
He has kindly agreed to answer them at my disco80 community!
P.P.S. Sorry for my colours-games - it is MY obsession!