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Review of MMLC video…

Lew Bundles

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Bare It

Eric Carmen's "Make Me Lose Control" is weird on many, many levels, including being inexplicably stuck in my head. 

April 19, 2018

Standing in McDonald's yesterday morning, waiting to order, a song came on the sound system that I couldn't immediately identify but oddly knew by heart.

I started singing along and was shocked to discover I knew every single word.  

The song was Eric Carmen's "Make Me Lose Control." It was originally released in 1975 and then re-released following the success of Carmen's "Hungry Eyes" on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. Apparently the song rose to #3 on the billboard charts that year, but I honestly have no recollection of ever hearing this song, and yet I know every word of it.

It's crazy.

I was never an Eric Carmen fan.
I never owned an Eric Carmen album.
It probably hasn't been played on the radio since 1990. 

Isn't that strange... knowing stuff so completing that you didn't know you knew?

A similar thing happened to me a couple years ago when I discovered that I also knew Richard Marx's "Should've Known Better" on a drive with Elysha to New York. Had you asked me if I knew the song before it came on the radio, I would've said no, but there it was, trapped in my brain.

Every damn word. 

Realizing that I knew the song caused me to watch the video, of course, which turned out to be interesting, too. 

The video opens on a beach with a woman listening to the radio. We hear a radio disc jockey and Eric Carmen listening to the end of "Hungry Eyes" and talking about the song as the scene shifts from the beach to the actual radio station. The DJ plays "Make Me Lose Control." Carmen and the DJ shake hands, and Carmen leaves.

Then the scene shifts again. Now Carmen is now driving in a car in the 1950's, recreating a famous scene from American Graffiti when Richard Dreyfuss sees a beautiful woman in a T-Bird who mouths the words, "I love you" but they never meet.

This is odd because Carmen is singing about how much he loves Jennifer, the girl presumably sitting beside him in the car. In order to mitigate this problem, the director puts three people in the car. Carmen (who oddly isn't driving) alongside a woman and a man. Perhaps we're supposed to believe the mystery woman in the T-Bird is Jennifer, but he never meets this woman but sings about Jennifer as if they've been in love for a long time.

It makes no damn sense. 

Carmen is also wearing the same clothing in the 1950's version of himself as he's wearing in the 1980's.

Also makes no damn sense.  

Now for the serious question:

Near the end of the video, we oddly flashback to the radio station for a moment, where the DJ is now throwing darts at the photo of a man on a wall.

Who is this person? Why is he throwing darts at his face? What the hell is going on here? Please tell me. 

The video then shifts back to the 1950's before once again returning to the radio station, where the DJ closes the song with classic DJ speak,  and we then return to the beach, where we hear the final bars of the song as the girl picks up her radio and heads off into the sun. 

That is a lot for a music video. That's meta before meta was a thing. 

Listening to a song being performed by its musician in the 1980's who then introduces his next song so he can go back to the 1950's to pretend to be someone else from a movie in the 1970's about the 1950's before returning to the radio station in the 1980's (absent the musician now) and finally the beach. 


Someone thought all of that would make for an excellent music video. 

Matthew Dicks/ 2 Comments




I was 15 years old on 1988... got to see the video cause my neighbor's uncle had moved to the US and used to send them VHS with hours and hours of MTV recordings (had to watch them in black and white as a result of using different modes or systems or whatever it's called). I loved the song and thought the video was PERFECT!!!

Being 15 this was (and still is) my interpretation of it... by then I had not seen American Graffiti and don't think I was even aware of the movie but don't think it matters anyway.

So "the video opens on a beach with a woman listening to the radio"... yes, she lies down on the towel, turns the volume up, put on her sunglasses... and that's when all starts... from that point on it's all in her imagination, she is daydreaming... she makes herself the star of the "video" and all those details don't have to make sense cause she is just imagining it all...
She is not Jennifer (maybe she wishes she were) and neither the girl in the car (the girl in the car actually seems to be with the guy driving)... the blonde girl is the girl on the beach who you can guess is an Eric Carmen fan or has a crush on him.
In the video it is very clear that Eric Carmen is by himself (no female companion or interest in sight) with his friends (bandmates I guess)... believe me, I have watched this video hundreds of times and I'm not exaggerating, I have paid attention to all the details...
I also wondered who was the guy on the picture that the DJ is throwing darts at and was able to find out many years later thanks to the "world wide web"... it is not uncommon that bands include things on their videos that only they know the meaning... this could be one, we don't know why also this particular DJ was chosen to be on the video, maybe a big Eric Carmen promoter since both were from Cleveland, who knows... not at all relevant to me.

Could go on to explain why I think there's a mixture of 60's and 80's... (I could be mistaken but I think American Graffiti is set on the early 60's not 50's)... as Make Me Lose Control mentions 60's songs being on the radio such as Be My Baby, Back In My Arms Again, Stand by Me which make us believe it is happening in that time.

I still haven't find out who is the girl on the video in real life...


This post on ericcarmen.com indicates that the person that the DJ (Kid Leo) is throwing darts at is another DJ named Scott Shannon. http://ericcarmen.com/forums/index.php?/topic/11758-make-me-lose-control-video/

What I can't figure out is who the girl is. I know I've seen her in some TV series or movie or something, but I can't figure out what. Someone on the internet must know.

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I love how the commenter "gets" the video way more than the actual reviewer. I actually did a breakdown of the video in a college course I took and really like their idea of the whole narrative being from the perspective of the girl on the beach.

There's admittedly a lot going on in the video, and I'm not entirely sure even the director had a clear/concise story in mind, but it's a fantastic promo for a great song nonetheless. Had a great mix of '80s flair and '50s nostalgia, was highly visually stimulating, and complemented the song incredibly well.

I would not be surprised if the video had a lot to do with catapulting the song to number 3.

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