“Unbelievable”

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The first, and only, single from Bob Dylan’s 1990 album Under the Red Sky, is “Unbelievable”. It’s a pretty decent song, certainly one of the best or even the best on an otherwise weak album. It rocks, it rolls, it could have been a Traveling Wilbury’s song.

The video, seen here in a YouTube clip that looks like it was filmed through gauze, is one of Dylan’s most interesting in years. He himself just sort of floats around in it in a limousine driver’s hat. The narrative is carried by some handsome young man (seriously, I don’t know who that is) and his affair with the sexy version of Molly Ringwald, no longer the John Hughes teen queen.

This is nearing the end of Ringwald’s run with fame. Her huge successes were from 1984 to 1986 with her John Hughes trilogy. By 1990 she was transitioning to “mature” roles and she went off the rails with films like Betsy’s Wedding. She did get to work with Jean-Luc Godard, though. Here she doesn’t work with Dylan, or at least they’re not on screen together. Molly is the femme fatale who steals the handsome hero’s money and car and drives away. I guess that’s supposed to be unbelievable.

The video would be accused of being a very direct inversion and rip-off of Thelma & Louise, where Brad Pitt sleeps with Geena Davis and then takes her money (but not the car), except that film came out a year later. Must have been something in the air for Dylan and Ridley Scott to be working the same side of the street.

This is probably the best Dylan music video to date – partly, I suppose, because he plays such a minor role. He’ll do similar things – handing off the heavy lifting in the videos – for a number of his other singles in the years to come.

Ringwald is now an author and a singer with her own albums. Maybe Dylan will be in one of her videos?

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