My Favorite Music Videos of the 80’s
They don’t make videos like they used to. Hell, they don’t ~play~ videos like they used to. Back in the day, they used to mean something. A group could be unknown, but if they had a good song and a good video, they could get played on MTV and they would get heard. I also heard someone say that in the 80s MTV days, everyone watched the same channel, listened to the same music, and saw the same videos. There was a wide range of music types that people saw and heard, and we liked it all.
- Talking Heads “Burning Down the House” – Great song and interesting video. The simplicity of it—the projection of David’s head onto the road—is nice.
- Michael Jackson “Thriller” – What a breakthrough video! 15 minutes long. For the first few days after it’s release, they played it every hour, on the hour. You couldn’t miss it. But I didn’t mind because it was good.
- Peter Gabriel “Shock the Monkey” – Way, way, way ahead of it’s time. A little bit creapy, but defiantly ground breaking. Or ground “sinking.”
- “Herbie Hancock” RockIt – You have to see it to believe it. Robotic arms, legs, heads, hands. Just about every part of the body but not a whole body. In sync with the music, it was innovative.
- Neil Young “Wandering” – Even Neil Young got into the game. Not very many people saw or remember this video. But me and my husband did, and just couldn’t get it out of our mind. Seeing a disheveled Neil Young wandering the streets being shown in a disjointed way made a lasting impression on me.
- The Cars “You Might Think” – Another innovative video. Mild to today’s standards, this video helped usher in computer animation.
- A-Ha “Take On Me” – Just see the video and you’ll know why I like it. Very cool concept and very interesting art.
- Duran Duran “Hungry Like A Wolf” – Okay, okay, not the most innovative, not the must interesting. But Duran Duran owe a lot to MTV and I used to love them a lot. So they are in this list. I chose Hungry Like A Wolf because of it’s edgy sexuality. But people who really know me would know that I like Rio!
- Dire Straits “Money for Nothing” - The first computer animated video. Today it looks like a bunch of colored boxes with moving lips, but it was still very cool.
- Genesis “Land of Confusion” – Who can resist a bunch of puppets parodying the group, Genesis, and famous world leaders like Ronald Reagan?
- Frankie Goes to Hollywood “Two Tribes” – Another appearance of Ronald Reagan. This time, in a wrestling match with Gorbachev from Russia. Great story and great message.
- Weird Al “Eat It” – Wonderful parody of Michael Jackson. We get to see how talented Weird Al is. I love seeing a music video making fun of a music video.
- Peter Gabriel “Sledgehammer” – The stop motion animation in this video is awesome. It didn’t surprise me when I learned that Nick Parks, the Wallace and Gromit guy, helped with this video. The elaborate set-ups make sure you never get tired of watching.
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