Best music videos shot in the Hudson Valley

British actress/model Lily Cole portrays a promiscuous small-town woman who meets a terrible fate at the hands of a vigilante mob in the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ video “Sacrilege,” filmed in Rosendale.

The Hudson Valley is known for a great many things, among them its rolling hills and rock n’ roll. When the two come together, as they have in music videos since at least the 80s when the format first became wildly popular, the results are interesting. Here are four of the best videos shot in the Hudson Valley.

The B-52s: “Love Shack”

 Though formed in Athens, Georgia in the mid-‘70s, retro-futuristic pop outfit the B-52s had their greatest commercial success after coming to the Hudson Valley. Their breakthrough album Cosmic Thing, released in the summer of 1989, was partially cut with producer Don Was at Dreamland Recording Studios in Hurley. The album’s smash single “Love Shack” was rumored to be inspired by a cabin in Georgia, but the wild party scenes in the video were shot in the colorful Highland home and studio of ceramic artists Phillip Mayberry and Scott Walker. The video, reportedly the first media appearance of RuPaul, was a two-time winner at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards, taking home the trophy for Best Group Video and Best Art Direction in a Video.


Yeah Yeah Yeahs: “Sacrilege”

 New York City art-rock trio the Yeah Yeah Yeahs came up the Hudson (guitarist Nick Zinner studied photography at Bard) to film their Megaforce-directed video for “Sacrilege,” the lead single off their album, Mosquito. The chilling video is shot Memento-style with the plot unfolding in reverse, as British actress/model Lily Cole portrays a promiscuous small-town woman who meets a terrible fate at the hands of a vigilante mob. The action unfolds in a number of local spots, perhaps most notably on Main Street in Rosendale, where a mask-wearing man is chased and shot dead. 

Panic! at the Disco: “LA Devotee”

 Shot by director Rachel Diamond, the frightening clip for Panic! at the Disco’s 2015 song “LA Devotee” opens with a cult abduction of a girl in a local field before shifting the setting to a grim Newburgh warehouse. It’s there where a boy, played by actor Noah Schnapp of the Netflix series Stranger Things, is brainwashed while strapped to a chair, a hooded figure stalking the room while manic images, including the group’s singer Brendon Urie, are projected against a shimmering screen. Like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ clip, “LA Devotee” is less a sunny travelogue to the region than proof that cinematic major-label videos can be created outside of a traditional big-city soundstage.

Simple Minds: “Alive and Kicking”

 Glaswegian post-punk group Simple Minds’ 1985 single, “Don’t You (Forget about Me)” from the John Hughes film The Breakfast Club, propelled them to the top of the charts around the world. The group would maintain their popularity with their breakthrough album Once upon a Time, which saw Simple Minds become enamored with the Hudson Valley during its mixing at the former Bearsville Studios. The program for their worldwide tour featured photos of the band shot throughout the area, including Opus 40. And the video for “Alive and Kicking,” the lead single off Once upon a Time, was shot by Academy Award-winning director Zbigniew Rybczynski in the North/South Lake area of the Catskill Forest Preserve. Simple Minds are seen performing at the edge of a cliff with a vast tree-filled valley below them. Perhaps more than any other video shot in the Hudson Valley, “Alive and Kicking” brings the full impact of the region’s natural beauty to the small screen.


Film festivals remind us of the Hudson Valley’s distinctive beauty