Paris’ charms stretch far and wide, even through the gates of stardom where celebrities seem just as enamored by Paris as the rest of us, often choosing its quaint, idyllic streets as the location to shoot their music videos. Whether it be vintage pop, sultry R&B, or chilled-out acoustic, Paris has provided the perfect backdrop to videos from some of the most famous faces of the music industry. We’ve rounded up some of the best to share with you below.
Adele – Someone Like You
Adele’s video, ‘Someone Like You’, although released just a few years ago in 2011, chose to play to the traditional romance that is associated with Paris. With her lonesome walk by the Seine in black and white, Paris sets the perfect scene for heartbreak. With the wind blowing chillingly through her vintage hairdo, Adele walks us over one of Paris’ most beautiful bridges, Pont Alexandre III, before a mysterious male in a Parisian café leaves her alone, staring somberly ahead.
Usher – Nice And Slow
Now a throwback dating from 1998, Usher’s ‘Nice and Slow’ is all about that cheesy ’90s glamor that seemed so cool at the time. Paris is shown as a place full of youthful excitement, romance, and also danger. With the kidnapping of Usher’s girlfriend as the main plot, plenty of fast cars, lavish apartments, a fight, and an explosion are thrown in for good measure – so incredibly 90s.
Taylor Swift – Begin Again
Taylor Swift’s ‘Begin Again’ – released in 2011 – proves that the Paris clichés will never get old. From her statement red lipstick and chic black-and-white outfit worn on the famous ‘Love-Lock Bridge’ to sipping on an espresso in a pussybow blouse in a Parisian café, this video elegantly embodies many of the things we associate with Paris. It’s quickly becoming apparent that Paris is the perfect setting for scenes of romance, and ‘Begin Again’ is no exception, with multiple shots over the charming city sublimely capturing the sweet naivety of the lyrics to this love song.
The Chemical Brothers – Go
Released just last year in 2015, the Chemical Brothers have, as usual, managed to capture our attention with not only a beat that’s sure to get you on your feet, but also a video to match. Both retro and modern, featuring a line of lovely ladies marching and making shapes, the clip recreates the movement of a train as they walk through a modern cityscape – that’s right, a modern cityscape. A far cry from the traditional side of Paris that we all know so well, ‘Go’ was shot with shopping center Beaugrenelle and its 1970s geometric architecture as a backdrop – a place so fabulously retro it doesn’t look like Paris at all. Long live the ’70s.
Wolfman – For Lovers
Despite only being shot some ten years ago in 2004, ‘For Lovers’ embodies a very convincing ’60s vibe, with poor camera quality, sepia tones and, of course, Wolfman and Pete Doherty’s vintage voices. Shots from all over town are included, from the steps of Montmartre, to a somber shot by the Seine. However, what is evident is the distinct lack of monuments, glitz, or glam – the video is simply a montage of Doherty’s day in the City of Lights. It’s modest, honest, and identifiable, making Paris seem more effortlessly romantic than ever.
Kylie Minogue – Come Into My World
A 2001 hit, ‘Come Into My World’ is a track that’s sure to scream of your youth if you were a nineties kid – or even if you weren’t, for that matter. Its joyful sound and lyrics are sure to make you feel young again and that anything is possible – moving to Paris, for example, and joining Kylie in her ‘world’. Shot on the streets of Paris, we watch her daily life on repeat; while a basic concept, it is made compelling due to conviviality found in the community of Paris.
Sam Smith – Leave Your Lover
What better location than Paris to film a music video full of romantic twists, complications, and uncertainty? Sam Smith’s ‘Leave Your Lover’ – released in 2014 – is sure to get you questioning as you watch him laugh his way around Paris accompanied by both a male and female friend, all of whom seem to share a close relationship. Watching them spend a night in a promiscuous bar, then a hotel, whether it’s him and her, her and him, or him and him becomes incessantly unclear until the very end, when we see Sam Smith, a look of dejection on his face as he passes the male in a Parisian café with a new guy.
Savage Garden – Truly Madly Deeply
Savage Garden sends us back to the ’90s again, with another massive hit released in 1997 that made girls all over the world weak-at-the-knees in its day. ‘Truly Madly Deeply’ is just as slushy as the name suggests, with Darren Hayes serenading us while showcasing some of Paris’ prime romantic locations, such as the Jardin de Tuileries, the Seine and Montmartre. Hayes appears in bursts between shots of a man waiting in a café and a lady who appears to be frantically lost in Paris; the video ends, rather blissfully, with their reunion in the City of Lights. Ahh, Happily Ever After.
One Republic – Say All I Need
The first thing that jumps out of you in One Republic’s 2008 release of ‘Say All I Need’ is not, wow, Paris is marvelous, but more, wow, that’s a lot of graffiti. Perhaps less glamorized than the other videos, the edgy area of Montmarte is the main location and shows us a rougher, more stripped-back perspective of the pristine Paris we are accustomed to seeing. Shots of the band playing in a former meat abattoir in Paris are incorporated, and we are shown a beautiful landscape view at the end, all of which results in a very artistic urban video and an entirely cool representative of Paris.
Mylène Farmer, Sting – Stolen Car
The most recent video to have been shot in Paris, released last year in 2015, and with a vibe that can only be described as James Bond-esque, ‘Stolen Car’ is sexy, seductive, and sultry. Fast cars, diamonds, and high-end hotels fill the video with Paris lavishness, as we watch Sting dream of what appears to be his ‘lost love’ Mylène Former in a car that he has stolen. With Mylène Former singing in French and Sting in English, the song has a mysterious and alluring vibe of a secret language between lovers.
Beyoncé – Partition
Beyoncé returned to one of the sexiest locations in 2013 Paris to shoot the music video to ‘Partition’: The Cabaret Club, Crazy Horse, where she had previously seen the girls dance and been inspired to do the same for her husband, Jay-Z. Showing off her post-baby body, Beyoncé confidently shows us her sensuality as she struts her stuff in this fabulous Parisian location. With a provocative section of the song in French thrown in for good measure, far from prim and proper, Partition presents Paris’ sultry alter-ego perfectly.