Though the group crafted a number of songs that entered the zeitgeist, including “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” “Everybody Hurts” and “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” they are perhaps best known for “Losing My Religion” from their 1991 album Out of Time.
The song became a cultural juggernaut despite the fact that it was built around a mandolin riff and featured lyrics that some misinterpreted as being a critique of organized religion (in fact, the phrase “I’m losing my religion” is a Southern expression whose meaning is akin to “I’m at the end of my rope” or “I’m at my wit’s end”). Regardless of the reasons behind the song becoming a hit, it would be impossible to separate the importance that the song’s video, directed by Art Center alumnus Tarsem Singh FILM ’90, had in propelling it into the stratosphere.
See the video after the break.
The video–filled with Caravaggio-inspired imagery that didn’t shy away from playing up possible religious interpretations of the song’s lyrics–won six trophies at the MTV Video Music Awards including “Video of the Year” and “Best Director,” set up a visual language that continues to be imitated by music video directors today and turned Singh into a much sought after director.
Singh went on to direct high profile commercials for clients like Nike, Levi’s and Pepsi and eventually transitioned into feature films, directing the Jennifer Lopez-starring The Cell (2000), The Fall (2006) and Immortals, which opens in theaters November 11.