Derek Jarman's Music Videos

While is ridiculously easy to soak in Derek Jarman's work in the UK at the moment, it's nigh impossible to find anything programmed in the US. Fortunately, one of Jarman's most easily accessible bodies of work--music videos--is also one of his most readily available. For some reason, it's also one of his least recognized critically. [I hope someone will prove me wrong by sending links or references to a nice article or exhibition of Jarman's music videos.]

Cross referencing the incomplete list on Wikipedia with the partially obscured filmography in Rowland Wymer's 2005 critical essays collection, Derek Jarman, I think I've come up with a complete list. Then I searched them out on YouTube. Everyone knows The Smiths and the Pet Shop Boys, but did you know Jarman directed the video for Wang Chung's "Dance Hall Days"?

The Sex Pistols: "The Sex Pistols Number 1" (1976). Early live footage of the band, which was played before live performances:

Marianne Faithfull: "Broken English" (1979):

"Witches' Song" (1979): Not found

"The Ballad of Lucy Jordan" (1979):

Throbbing Gristle: TG Psychic Rally in Heaven (1981): Not found

Carmel: "Willow Weep for Me," (1983):

Wang Chung: "Dance Hall Days," (1983):

Billy Hyena: "Wide Boy Awake," (1984):

Jordi Vallis: "Catalan," (1983): Not found

Language: "Touch The Radio Dance" (1984) "notable because it was shown at the Museum of Modern Art" [heh]

Orange Juice: "What Presence?!" (1984):

Marc Almond: "Tenderness Is a Weakness" (1984): Not found.

Bryan Ferry: "Windswept," (1985):

The Smiths: "The Queen Is Dead," (1986), a short film incorporating "The Queen Is Dead", "Panic", and "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out":

"Panic" (1986):

"There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" (1986):

"Ask" (1986):

Easterhouse: "Whistling in the Dark," (1986): Embedding disabled for no apparent reason

"1969" (1986): Not found.

Matt Fretton: "Avatar" (1986): promo film for a mini-album/EP, was never released.

Mighty Lemon Drops: "Out of Hand," (1987):

Bob Geldof: "In the Pouring Rain," "I Cry Too," (both 1987): Not found.

Pet Shop Boys: "It's a Sin," (1987):

"Rent," (1987):

Jarman's music video magnum opus: eight backdrop films in super-8mm and 16mm which Jarman created for the Pet Shop Boys 1989 world tour. They're included in Jarman's 1990 video, "Highlights: Pet Shop Boys on Tour," which was shot at Wembley Stadium. They were also released separately as "Projections," (1993), on VHS. It included seven of the original eight backdrop videos [minus "Nothing Has Been Proven"]. Plus two PSB songs set to excerpts of Jarman's short films: Studio Bankside played to "Being Boring," and Garden In Luxor was accompanied by "Violence."

The video for "King's Cross" is here:

"Paninaro" live 1989 performance with projection:

"Heart" live 1989 performance with projection:

"Nothing Has Been Proved" Live at 1989 Tour, not much projection:

"Opportunities" Live at 1989 Tour with projection:

"It's a Sin" Live at 1989 Tour with projection:

"Domino Dancing" Live at 1989 Tour with projection:

"Always on my Mind" Live at 1989 Tour with projection:

Annie Lennox: "Every Time We Say Goodbye," from the AIDS fundraising album, Red Hot & Blue, it includes home movies shot by Jarman's father. Lennox also sang this in Edward II. This is absolutely my favorite version of this song, ever:

Patti Smith: "Memorial Tribute," listed by the first line of the lyrics, "Little Emerald Bird," (1993): a song dedicated to the memory of Smith's friend Robert Mapplethorpe. Not found.

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

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first published: March 4, 2008.

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From A Glimpse To A Panorama

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Derek Jarman's In The Shadow Of The Sun

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