I was blessed, as a pop starved teenager growing up in the 90s, to receive several copies of the Dance Mix USA series of compilations from well meaning but misguided relatives. The end result of receiving these caused me to grow into a twitchy and strange grownup with an unhealthy fascination with all the dance music of this era, as well as a nearly violent need to dance any time I hear Scatman John. One staple you may remember from the terrible late night television ads shilling the series was this video by Amber. Let’s just jump right to the chase with a rundown of exactly how many 90s cliches they jammed into one video with a running time of 3:43.
Words projected on dancers – check
Muscular man dancing in a localized rain storm – check
Bubbles – check
Terrible 90s pantsuit – check
Choreographed group dance scene with all dancers noticeably out of step – check
Pajamas in bed scene – check
Film Noir Inspired mirror scene – check
Terrible prints on clothing – check
Midriffs – check
more midriffs – check
That’s not too bad, just enough to exist clearly in the nineties, but not enough to be suicide inducing. The main saving grace here is the song itself, if you had set this video to any other song, it would be agony, but This is Your Night is one of Amber’s catchier tracks, infectiously catchy in fact. The entire reason I chose this video as the first entry in the series is because I heard a snippet of the song two days ago and have had it stuck on repeat in my brain since then. Rest assured that I am not writing this article to entertain you in any form, but purely as a form of symbolic exorcism.
The difference between viewing this video a decade ago and viewing it now is that in these hip and modern times I have come to question the duality of Amber herself. There may very well be two different Ambers, the first is the young pretty Amber that we see in all the water and mirror scenes. The second, is the older, severe, pantsuit wearing Amber that we see in all the dance and bedroom scenes, there could be at least 15 years of difference between the two. This leads me to the conclusion that due to budget constraints production halted part-way through this video sometime in the 80s when everything filmed was actually ahead of its time, and resumed some fifteen years later when they had a budget again.