There’s something about London’s iconography which makes it very desirable to show London, or what looks like London, in music videos.
I don’t quite know what is that something but I enjoy finding those images in videos, and I thought it could be a good idea to put them here just so that a) if you happen to know where’s one of those videos recorded, and I guessed wrong, you tell me or b) if you didn’t know, now you know :-)
Fergie: London Bridge
Seems Fergie has a problem with London’s bridges. The bridge which appears in this video is Tower Bridge, not London Bridge. Anyway, it’s amazing how easily can British icons be degraded with just a music video (just watch the Queen’s guards making some of those weird dance moves at the end of it).
Madonna: Hung up
Not all of the video is depicting London. There are some parts from USA (basically the sunny ones which even show lens flares). For the London ones, it looks like they recorded somewhere in South Bank, near the river, probably near the London Bridge or Waterloo – where the omnipresent black cab appears in scene. There’s also a train going over a bridge, so that’s why I’m inclined to think it’s near Waterloo…
Then there’s a scene inside a tube train. That’s a train they use for movies and all that (I read about this somewhere hehe). It’s not a real train. But even if I hadn’t read about that, I would tell you that normal trains have their bars painted in different colours, depending on which line they belong. I have never seen a chroma finish on a train like this one (only on old ones from the District line, I think). Also if you pay close attention you’ll note there are no adverts in this train, whereas normal trains have adverts on the area above the windows. And of course, the camera it’s not moving and trembling like it would if it was a real train, but that’s a different story.
Next is the disco/club scene, which I don’t have the slightlest idea where it was recorded, but before it looks like some of Soho’s little streets. And after that, the Dance Dance Revolution scenes are recorded in London’s Trocadero, which is in Piccadilly Circus.
Milli Vanilli: Girl you know it’s true
Not really sure if it was recorded in London, but it has all the ingredients: black cab, red telephone boxes, a market (which looks like Portobello Market), a red bus with two levels and London Transport logo, like a Routemaster.
Pulp: Disco 2000
Showing a Routemaster, tube scalators, a tube station (which?) and a black cab with voyeuristic driver.
Saint Etienne: He’s on the phone
Showing what looks like Piccadilly Circus and probably Charing Cross and its bookshops.
The Prodigy: Firestarter
Recorded in Strand/Aldwych tube station. This is a disused tube station!