Saturday, January 29, 2011

Blast from the Past

I've been hunting down my favorite old music videos to share with my daughter (who has no idea how cool MTV used to be) and in the process I found one I haven't seen in at least twenty years or better:

I know, by today's standards it's pretty dorky, but I loved it. Back when music videos were in their infancy they often told little mini-stories like this. They fascinated me and no doubt influenced me in innumerable ways. The song is still a heartbreaker, too.

What are some of your favorite old (pre-2000) music videos that told stories?


  1. A-ha's "Take on Me" :)

  2. LOL, I do this with my daughter, too. I call it 'cultural education time'. ;o)

  3. I loved watching music videos back when they still really showed them on MTV and VH1 (one of them still shows them in the early hours of the morning).

    I know you said pre-2000, but I thought this video by Nickelback was actually pretty good. I don't usually get overly emotional about music videos, but this one got to me.

    An older video I always thought was weird was "Total Eclipse of the Heart." Here's the original:

    And here's a fan-made literal interpretation, which I find hilarious:

  4. Going back, but ultimately...

    MJ's "Thriller".
    No deep message, but is there anyone who doesn't know the words, & at least some of the steps?

  5. Andrew Mills11:49 AM

    Meghan got there before me with A-ha's Take on Me, which is an iconic video from 1985. They really made quite a fuss about it back in the day.

    There's also Dire Straits' "money for Nothing".

    And I believe "Video Killed The Radio Star", by The Buggles was possibly the first video played on MTV.

  6. Duran Duran's "Wild Boys." Oh my ears and whiskers, what a vid!

    Tina Arena's "Chains." Still one of my favourite songs.

    And how about Queen's "I want to Break Free"? Cracks me up every time.

  7. Oh, I loved the early days of MTV! There were so many great mini-movie videos. Joe Jackson's Real Men still stands out. Maybe because it's still so relevant today.

  8. A funny one: "Parents Just Don't Understand" by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. (If anyone had told me then that he'd end up a movie star, I'd have laughed SO hard.)

    Bon Jovi's "Living In Sin"... just love the song and the video.

    And Travis Tritt's "Foolish Pride" and the trio about Mac and Annie still make me cry. (Ok, so they're country. But they're pre-2000.)

    And Guns N'Roses' November Rain.

    Hm. Wonder what it says about me that I like the sad ones?

  9. Anonymous11:46 PM

    Great blast from the past post!

    For me it's Billy Idol's "Dancin' with myself" and just about anything by Def Leppard.



  10. Oh man, the 80s were *totally* my decade ...

    A-Ha, "Take On Me"
    Bryan Adams, "Summer of 69"
    Corey Hart, "Sunglasses at Night"
    Dexy's Midnight Runners, "C'mon Eileen"
    Eurythmics, "Sweet Dreams are Made of These"
    Foreigner, "I Want to Know What Love is"

    These were just off the top of my head, and unintentionally in alphabetical order. But every 80s video list in my head always starts with A-Ha, and it just naturally went from there. I have a whole shelf on my cd stand dedicated to the 80s. I used to stay up until midnight on Friday nights to watch the one & only video show playing in Canada (we didn't have cable), called "Good Rockin' Tonight". Sigh, happy memories!

    BTW, The Fixx ... awesome! I hugely adored any Brit band, and of course any Canadian one too as their vibe was very similar.

    — Bonz

  11. Oh, man! I have so many favorites, but I really love A-Ha's TAKE ON ME, and Meatloaf's I'D DO ANYTHING FOR LOVE, BUT I WON'T DO THAT...

  12. Been educating my girls on "classic" MTV, too! Definitely "Take on Me." Also:

    "Legs" by ZZ Top
    "Time after Time" by Cyndi Lauper
    "The Warrior" by Scandal (just weird!)
    "Land of Confusion" by Genesis (SOO weird!)
    "Say, Say, Say" by MJ and Paul McCartney
    "Mr. Roboto" by Styx
    "She's a Beauty" by The Tubes
    "Open your Heart" by Madonna

  13. I love Youtube for music videos, I no longer get any of the so-called music channels. Maybe if they actually played music videos I wouldn't have cut that from my budget! My favorite music videos that tell a story usually come from Weird Al, lol. The man is a genius. Who else can tell the story of an entire Star Wars movie to the tune of American Pie?

    I also love the literal version of 'I Would Do Anything For Love...' Makes me laugh every time!

  14. Another vote for A-ha's "Take on Me." I mocked my little sister for liking MTV until I saw that one and was sucked in.

  15. Anonymous3:15 PM

    Emotion in motion by the Cars
    Material Girl, Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Cherish, Papa Don't Preach, Vogue, by Madonna (she had great videos)(ok so Madonna had a LOT of videos on MTV in the 80's and I loved them all!)
    I also loved that A-ha video, I must have watched it a hundred times when it came out.
    So many more...I loved those 80's videos.
    This tells you how styxville where I lived was, but my brother and I did a whole "music video" for Mr. Roboto, singing and dancing for my parents and the only neighbors we had in a 30 mile radius. Too bad we had no video, I am sure I could get great material with which to blackmail my brother!

  16. It's funny, as a kid, I thought videos that didn't have a narrative were crap. Now you can see people making fun of the ones that did as some silly eighties thing. I still think they're the best, though.

    Nobody's mentioned Billy Joel yet, so I'll go ahead and throw him out there. Most of his videos had a plot-line, and I though they generally kicked butt. :)


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