Tomorrow, as the Jonasphere well knows, the Jonas Brothers will release their new “Paranoid” video, off their upcoming Lines, Vines And Trying Times album. (I’ve seen the video, and I could tell you all about it, but I’d get dragged off to MTV prison, which is in the basement of 1515 Broadway and consists of the “Ice Ice Baby” master tape, an empty Real World hot tub, and the ghost of Domenico from That’s Amore!)
Anyway, “Paranoid,” as the title suggests, is all about the full-on freak-outs that ensue from mental moments and major mind games. But the Jonas Brothers aren’t the first ones to tread such psychological territory. Kanye West, The Clipse, Black Sabbath, The Avett Brothers all have published musical material on the topic of paranoia. However, we came up with five of our favorite paranoia-inducing videos below. Read on, won’t you?
1.) Rockwell — “Somebody’s Watching Me” — The granddaddy of all paranoia songs and videos is by ’80s one-hit-wonder generator Rockwell, who’s also the son of Motown founder Berry Gordy. The 1983 single is still a classic (you’ve heard an updated version of it in that Geico ad), and yes, that’s Michael Jackson on the hook. But bro, if you think your dog is turning into a pig, then I cannot help you. Also, if you turn on your shower and blood comes out instead of water, you need to call a plumber. Oh yeah — unsurprisingly, Rockwell also had a song called “Obscene Phone Caller.” (Ask your parents about the olden days before caller ID.)
2.) Radiohead — “Paranoid Android” — Most Radiohead songs are chilling enough to leave you rocking back and forth in the fetal position in a dark corner for a fortnight. But Radiohead’s video for “Paranoid Android” makes paranoia look at least a little cute in a Beavis & Butthead sorta way! Watch for a mouse and a rat going at it in the pet store, two guys doing it in an alley, and a cartoon cameo by the band in the bar… right about when a teratoma comes out of a dude’s stomach. Cute! + Watch the “Paranoid Android” video.
3.) Geto Boys — “Mind Playin’ Tricks On Me” — If you slept on this 1991 hip-hop staple, then WAKE UP. (You’re excused if you weren’t born yet.) Both the song and video detail hip-hop life before ringtones and Rocawear. The lyrics say it right there: “I’m paranoid, sleeping with my finger on the trigger,” and the video is a pretty literal interpretation of the psychological fear caused by gangs and drug warfare. “Mind Playin’ Tricks On Me” has been sampled, referenced, and/or cited by Biggie, Outkast, and The Game, to name a few, and while the video’s a bit grainy, it’s still an underground classic. + Watch the “Mind Playin’ Tricks On Me” video.
4.) Garbage — “I Think I’m Paranoid” — Director/photographer Matthew Rolston directed the video for Garbage’s 1998 single, “I Think I’m Paranoid.” (Miley fans, he also directed “The Climb.”) And while the black-and-white video appears straightforward (the band is trapped in a box!), it was actually inspired by the Beatles’ 1963 With The Beatles album cover. Oh, and Shirley Manson looking amazing, as usual, but no surprises there.
5.) Rihanna — “Disturbia” — In Rihanna’s “Disturbia” video, obsession manifests itself in freaky-deaky tarantulas, wigs, wolves, and a creepy dude in an eye patch. And S&M-y corsets. Paranoia never looked so supernaturally sexy! + Watch the “Disturbia” video | Watch Rihanna’s “Disturbia”/”Seven Nation Army” performance from the 2008 VMAs.