Today’s Reminder That the 80s Really Were Another Time Entirely

Thoughts:

1. Seriously, what the hell is even going on in this video.

2. They spent over a million dollars making this video. I’m not sure I’ve seen a music video from the last decade that cost (or at least looks like it cost) more than a thousand bucks. Maybe they give Lady Gaga that much to make a video these days? Everyone else, it’s like, here’s an iPhone, go make a video with that and then shove it up on YouTube.

3. I think there should be a series on VH1 that consists entirely of a split screen, one half of which is a video from the 80s, the other half of which is the artist today, watching the video for probably the first time in 25 years. The cringing would be spectacular. The first show should feature this video. And this one. And then the show would be canceled, out of pity for the artists.

124 thoughts on “Today’s Reminder That the 80s Really Were Another Time Entirely

  1. It has a very Mad Max vibe going on, which I’m always down for. And honestly, most of the 80’s in retrospect is rather “WTF” in general.

  2. I once heard a radio show talking about Duran Duran, and the claim was the guitarist and some other band member were in a bar, and they saw this guy, and they said “that’s him! that’s our vocalist!” and they asked him if he sang, and he said no, so they asked if he wanted to take lessons… I’d believe it.

  3. Thank you, John.

    A little hilariously cruel retrospective auteurism (izzat a word? It is now…) is JUST what I needed to start the week.

    I remember watching that one when it first came out on MTV.

    It was ART, yanno.

    “WTF izzat, Madge?”

    “Dunno, Bob…”

    “Must be art, then.”

  4. My life fades, the vision dims. All that remains are memories. I remember a time of chaos, ruined dreams, this wasted land. But most of all, I remember the 80s. To understand what it was we have to go back to that other time. When the world was powered by the black fuel, and the desert sprouted great cities of pipe and steel. Gone now, swept away. For reasons long forgotten two mighty warrior tribes went to war and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel they were nothing. They’d built a house of straw. The thundering machines sputtered and stopped. Their leaders talked and talked and talked, but nothing could stem the avalanche. Their world crumbled. Cities exploded. A whirlwind of looting, a firestorm of fear. Men began to feed on men.

    On the roads it was a white-line nightmare. Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice. And in this maelstrom of decay, ordinary people were battered and smashed. In the roar of an engine, we lost everything, and became shells of humanity. Burnt-out, desolate. People haunted by demons of our past. We wandered out into the wasteland. And it was here, in this blighted place, that we learned to live again.

    (with apologies…)

  5. “Okay, guys, we’ve got a bunch of talented dancers to do a funky choreographed number.”

    “I’m not sure we can fit them in between the windmill and the bald robot head.”

    “Just do some fast cuts.”

    “Doesn’t that make it impossible for anyone to appreciate the choreography?”

    “Do you want that tickertape parade, or not?”

  6. I always liked this video. Sure, by today’s standards it is subpar, but it reminds you that songs were story-telling devices, once upon a time.

  7. I would watch that show for hours! As Duran Duranie, I have to say that this probably isn’t even their strangest video.

  8. “Seriously, what the hell is even going on in this video.”

    In all seriousness, Wikipedia confirms my long-held understanding of what the hell is even going on:

    “The idea for the song came from longtime Duran Duran video director Russell Mulcahy, who wanted to make a full-length feature film based on the surreal and sexual 1971 novel ‘The Wild Boys: A Book Of The Dead’ by William S. Burroughs. He suggested that the band might create a modern soundtrack for the film in the same way that Queen would later provide a rock soundtrack for Mulcahy’s 1986 movie ‘Highlander’. Singer Simon Le Bon began writing some lyrics based on Mulcahy’s quick synopsis of the book, and the band created a harsh-sounding instrumental backdrop for them.”

    Now you know, and knowing is half the Mandatory Educational Content Segment (TM).

  9. Noel Gallagher did something close to what you’re suggesting on DVD of Oasis videos. All he did was comentary, but most of it consists of him pointing out what horrible pretentious wankers they all looked like (with occasional explanations of how drunk he was during filming). It’s available on youtube.

  10. If memory serves, I don’t think the boys in Duran Duran knew what was going on in that video either. Just that it was Russell Mulcahy’s usual overblown 80s output. Looking on Wikipedia, I’d forgotten that the song (and the video’s plot) were influenced by the William S Boroughs book of the same name.

  11. Watched the vid with sound muted; seemed appropriate somehow. Hey, conflict! The band wins and enjoys a victory tickertape parade. Simple enough. Never did buy any of this band’s work. That too still seems appropriate.

  12. Thoughts on the journey video:

    – I love how, in the chorus, everyone’s hair appears to be biologically independent organisms.

    – butt, legs, heels, repeat. Oh! A face!

    – I think I bought something illegal from their drummer in college.

    – the root cause of their waning popularity was Steve Perry’s inability to emote in ways other than closing his eyes or air-punch.

    – how did the keyboard end up on a wall?

  13. Two thoughts:

    1. As others mentioned — very much a post-apocalypse “Mad Max” feel to it.

    2. For an 80s Duran Duran video, a great lack of nearly-naked women.

  14. Meanwhile, I watched the It Takes Two video today (because DJ EZ passed away, and I was nostalgic for one of the soundtracks of my youth) and that was a fairly low-budget video. It was sort of disarmingly sweet, too–when they get to “Ladies love me, girls adore me,” one of the guys is being swarmed by ladies in a limo and then cracks himself up because you can tell he feels ridiculous.

    If they did the split-screen videos, only Janet Jackson would probably not be embarrassed by her mega-dance, mega-money videos from the 80s (and Michael, if he was still around).

    Yeah, I’ve thought about this way too much.

  15. Ahhh the 80’s. It was truly a magical time. And just to comment on the “it was cocaine!” – that would explain the behaviour of ADULTS in the 80’s… It doesn’t explain how we children of the 80’s thought that 80’s fashion was so awesome. My god… the day-glo. IT BURNS. But maybe we were just influenced by the coke-addled pop culture icons of the time, now that I think about it. That would make sense.

  16. C’mon, that Journey video isn’t even in the top ten of worst videos! And it doesn’t look like it cost all that much to shoot either. Just some glue for the keyboard!

    Duran Duran were certifiably nuts.

  17. Video killed the radio star! :)

    Seriously, I read somewhere that a decade is often a response/reaction/rejection to the decade before it. Were the 70s really that bad? I was there for all of them and while they weren’t great I’m not sure they merited a lot of the things we got in the 80s.

  18. Everyone is entitled to what they like or don’t like. Me — l Love this video. Loved it when it came out and love it now. Duran Duran Forever. I’d rather watch this video 20 times in a row than watch ONE Justin Beiber video.

  19. I would swear that robot was the same one who appeared as Zaphod Beeblebox’s second head in the BBC TV series of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

  20. Awww, Eric Cline! The Juice Newton video was totally hokey (you’ll get no argument from me there) but is right in line with the early days of music video. If you want preposterous, self-aggrandizing and yet, somehow, hokey, then travel back in time to the days of Def Leppard and “Rock of Ages”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=748IjOdrjwg I think this video gave the Spinal Tap movie an idea or two.

  21. Rebecca Black actually did exactly as you suggest not too long ago with the video that made her infamous. It’s fantastic and worth the watch, even if it does mean suffering through “Friday” again…

  22. “Were the 70s really that bad?”
    Well, let’s see…
    Punk.
    … nah., that’s all you need to know.

  23. @beyondpaisely — Shortly after I bought the Def Leppard “Rock of Ages” album, I discovered that I could play LPs on my parents’ stereo at 45 RPM, and recorded “Pyromania” that way, and listened to it almost exclusively that way. To this day, the original speed seems way too slow and boring to me!

  24. Maybe not the time but the people. The Bowie/Jagger Dancing In The Street came out in those years. Pretty sure that was not much money in production. As for change, watch ZZ Top Sharp Dressed Man from the 80s and then I Gotsta Get Paid from a couple of years ago.

    Cheers,
    Rod

  25. Once upon a time there were jobs writing scenarios for big-budget rock videos,. Seriously. Well-paid jobs. And there were jobs on television *introducing* the finished videos. As if the audience couldn’t read the bottom lefthand corner of the screen. The ’80s were a strange time

  26. Oh, I don’t know…I kinda miss the inventiveness, the experimentations, the stories, the thought involved. The videos didn’t always work, but they weren’t just filmed concerts; they told stories, suggested abstractions, illustrated where the song might take one (or not, of course).

    Austin Loomis: I wish more of the bands had documented their thought processes for videos. Obviously “Separate Ways” is a dream. (I found the use of color interesting, though, what with the blue building, blue sky, blue jeans, mostly earth tones, and then the white jacket on the young woman and the black with pink checkerboarding tank top. And then the building is yellow? It’s a dream.)

  27. The seventies were not remotely as bad as the eighties. The seventies gave us stuff like Bowie and Queen and The very best of the Rolling Stones (Sticky Fingers/Exiles on Main Street). What interests me, and what sets the eighties apart from all other times is how freaking DATED the music all is. You can listen to stuff from the sixties, seventies, nineties, post 2000s, and it will all hold up pretty well. But the eighties man? With everything drowned in gated reverb and cheesy synths? Embarrassing.

  28. The idea that you could turn around to your teenage daughter and go

    “Look, this is how weird my childhood was, at the time THIS made complete sense!”

    Now go tidy your room and stop telling me how complicated your life is :)

  29. I had such a crush on John Taylor. Still do. I can do an interpretive dance of this whole video. Don’t get me started.

  30. No John, this is not the 80’s: it’s because they are a British band. This video represents a totally realistic view of what life is still like over here: I think they filmed this in an afternoon on the streets of Stockport. Hope you’re looking forward to LonCon3…

  31. Romeo & Juliet, Dire Straits is far more mind boggling.. the aural excellence to visual crud leaves me disturbed and slightly violated.. Wild Boys is a fabulous blend of random in comparison. I would love to meet the person who shoved all those ideas in a blender and forgot to put the lid on.

  32. So, it’s study hall gone bad, and that poor clone of Jon Luc Picard not only had to mine stuff on the dark planet Remus, but his Romulan overlords also forced him to be in a Duran Duran video (just his head, anyway). STAR TREK: NEMESIS now makes some sense at least.

  33. And there were jobs on television *introducing* the finished videos. As if the audience couldn’t read the bottom lefthand corner of the screen. The ’80s were a strange time

    Radio had DJs; why not VJs for MTV? They were still figuring all of this out. Of course even with radios frequently displaying song and artist on their display screen, it still makes more sense to have a guy do that on a radio channel than it does for a video channel. One of the VJs, Kennedy, has a show on Fox Business, about libertarian politics, called The Independents.

    There are still several channels in our cable service that shows music videos at lest part of the time. The last time I tried to watch one, it just drove home how much handier it is to just point YouTube at the one you want to see.

    Ahhh the 80′s. It was truly a magical time. And just to comment on the “it was cocaine!” – that would explain the behaviour of ADULTS in the 80′s… It doesn’t explain how we children of the 80′s thought that 80′s fashion was so awesome. My god… the day-glo. IT BURNS. But maybe we were just influenced by the coke-addled pop culture icons of the time, now that I think about it. That would make sense.

    How do the known effects of cocaine cause one to make Duran-Duran videos? I can see how it might induce someone to drive a car into a pool.

    ’80s fashions might have seemed like a good idea after the ’70s.

  34. Oh, the big-budget batcrap crazy music videos didn’t die, guys! They just moved to India…. :)

    “Shano Shano” from YUVRAAJ
    “Dard-E-Disco” from OM SHANTI OM (this is especially popular in my household, where I’m the only guy sharing a home /workspace with my wife, our niece and her assistant!)
    “Tha Kar Ke” from GOLMAAL RETURNS (the most expensive musical number in Bollywood to date – and the movies are these crazy comedies…starring some of India’s best-known serious actors like Kareena Kapoor and Ajay Devgn!)

  35. The 70s had disco, but they also had Freddy Mercury, a stealth-gay, stealth-Asian pop star, and the only pop or rock vocalist I ever heard an opera singer say had a serious voice.

    They also had clothes that, dated as they are, showed off MEN’S bodies, the only decade of my life where that was true. If only we could have those skin-tight pants back, without them having to be canary-yellow polyester doubleknit bellbottoms (my coolest pants in 1976), and without having the horrible collars (open to show chest hair with too many gold chains and coke-spoon charms), hideous prints, and tacky sweater-vests! (Ah, my 8th-grade ensemble, topped with the sweater-vest with the countered chesspieces and chessboards!)

    The 80s went to the opposite extreme on clothing, to the point where “Is there actually a human body inside that pile of…what ARE those, anyway?” was a reasonable question. The 80s had a thing called New Wave, which was supposed to be hip and transgressive (or something) but was really just very danceable rock & roll. Last time you didn’t have to choose between rock & roll and dance music.*

    As for Duran Duran, when they were popular one (female) reviewer described them as “an employment project for guys who are prettier than their girlfriends.” They were very popular. Much eyerolling.

    *Yes, you can dance to any music, as I proved again and again when I was young and fit; try dancing to this† and you’ll see what I mean, and no, I don’t mean just the part that starts at about 8:30. That’s EASY (and Part 2 is even easier). But “dance music” is music built for dancing, to which practically anyone can dance, and that makes some people HAVE to dance.

    † Why yes, it does sound like the religious rituals of space insects made of rubberbands. So?

  36. Hey, it costs a lot to rent a Borg Cube. Not to mention reassembling the cast from the Broadway musical version of Thunderdome. And I wonder what Mick Jagger got for his cameo role as The Chicken.

  37. timeliebe: Oh, the big-budget batcrap crazy music videos didn’t die, guys! They just moved to India…. :)

    I think it would be more accurate to say they came from India. Freddy Mercury made some of the earliest music videos, and brought the Bollywood sensibility that he grew up with to them. When people say that Bollywood movies look like early music videos, the answer should always be “Yes, just as Donald Sutherland looks like Kiefer.”

  38. ’80s fashions might have seemed like a good idea after the ’70s.

    Which in turn, were much closer to sanity than the 60s. Although the “music videos” of the 60s were pretty primitive:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIVe-rZBcm4&feature=kp

    By the time Jackson’s Thriller came out, the “state of the art” had progressed quite a bit. I never did like Jackson, but there’s a reason this video won awards.

    There are some videos from back then that I really do wish I could get my hands on. Top of the list is one I saw on PBS of Tom Rush performing Joni Mitchell’s Urge for Going with visuals being a succession of stunning autumn scenery [1]. Right after that is a modern dance interpretation of Tuxedo Junction in black and white.

    Pretty small potatoes as regrets go, though.

    [1] Somewhat like Fly Away Home — still one of my favorite eye-candy movies.

  39. The 70s had disco, but they also had Freddy Mercury, a stealth-gay, stealth-Asian pop star, and the only pop or rock vocalist I ever heard an opera singer say had a serious voice.

    Queen was, and remains, in a league of its own. Excellent accompaniment to very good vocals performing amazingly sophisticated (and difficult) compositions. And then doing it all so far over the top you needed a telescope in live performances.

    I’m not sure it’s reasonable to suggest that Queen makes up for disco, but only because it would be unjust to give the credit for Queen to a decade that only got Queen by happenstance but chose disco.

    And if you qualify the “opera” comment by “male” I might agree, but on the XX side there’s Linda Ronstadt and a couple of other women I momentarily forget. Blame advancing age.

  40. I think you can blame a lot of the problems with the 80’s on “Miami Vice”. Anyone remember the Halloween episode that kept showing the lid to a jar of peanut butter? Everything is normal after that.

  41. Oh, lots of other singers have great voices. I don’t take the opinions of opera singers as definitive (not one of them could sing “My Favorite Things” as well as Julie Andrews, and when they try to sing Palestrina they sound baaaaad). Mercury was just the only one I know who had a big enough and operatic enough voice to make an opera singer take notice.

  42. I remember when the video for Hungry Like the Wolf came out, people were saying that it was inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark and this video then gave Spielberg and Lucas the idea to film Temple of Doom in Sri Lanka.

  43. Not that the 90s were free from bizarre videos. Meat Loaf’s “I’d do anything for love (but I won’t do that)” video is more like a 7-and-a-half minute beauty-and-the-beast movie.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOikQWAL8qc

    Total Eclipse of the Heart has a fantastically 80’s video. Bright Eyes really does have bright eyes.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcOxhH8N3Bo

    But nothing beats Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker, which spawned the greatest Sega Genesis game of all time. And, yes, you can turn into Mecha-Michael.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DQs5Uiyzfc

  44. I’m not sure it’s reasonable to suggest that Queen makes up for disco, but only because it would be unjust to give the credit for Queen to a decade that only got Queen by happenstance but chose disco.

    But then Queen chose to punish us in the ’80s with Hot Space though they did try to make up for it with Under Pressure.

    I think it was George Clinton who gave a TV interview where he said the basic problem with disco was that everything had to be disco. Disco wasn’t the problem, it was the Rolling Stones feeling the need to record disco songs that was the problem.

  45. “Mercury was just the only one I know who had a big enough and operatic enough voice to make an opera singer take notice”

    Rob Halford probably does, too

  46. I’ve always rather like the “I’d do anything for love (but I won’t do that)” video, and I think we should all encourage Michael Bay to return to what he’s actually good at: directing Meat Loaf videos.

  47. Xopher, I completely agree with you re men’s fashion in the 70s. The other aspect I miss is that fashion was a lot more fluid re gender identification, so there was a lot more experimentation and more acceptance for self-expression.

  48. I love the Meat Loaf video. The song’s good, too. But if we’re talking about videos that clearly had a million-plus dollar budget, as per point 2, it fits the bill.

    And you’re right, Drakhoran, Michael Bay can best serve humanity by making more Meat Loaf videos.

  49. They bitch about waterboarding terrorists, but here Hollywood was doing it to Simon Lebon 30 years ago.

  50. The key lies in the last sentence of the OP – “”And then the show would be canceled, out of pity for the artists.””

    Somehow a whole lot of rock & rollers were convinced by MTV etc. that they were now “artists”, which is a load of horse manure. So they hired a bunch of video “artists” (more equine excrement) and made “artsy” videos out of mediocre songs.

    Dudes, a) it’s only rock & roll and b) 2 x mediocrity = mediocrity. Not “Art.”

  51. Lol–as someone who was in her teens and early 20s in the 80s, well, um, what can I say? We liked them back then (a certain amount of alcohol and other mood-altering substances were involved). We didn’t have the internet yet, and video games were very rudimentary, so we were bored a lot. Watching TV and listening to music were still communal activities, not things we did on our own devices (well, there was the walkman). I think it’s because cable TV, and music videos, were relatively new things also. Whenever a new technology or form of media becomes available, there’s a period of wild experimentation, followed by conventionality.

  52. “The idea for the song came from longtime Duran Duran video director Russell Mulcahy, who wanted to make a full-length feature film based on the surreal and sexual 1971 novel ‘The Wild Boys: A Book Of The Dead’ by William S. Burroughs. He suggested that the band might create a modern soundtrack for the film in the same way that Queen would later provide a rock soundtrack for Mulcahy’s 1986 movie ‘Highlander’.

    Well, that explains why the “Wild Boys” video ties in with this video…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6p5Q6_JBes

  53. Wild Boys – it’s a Mad Max/Dune mashup. Plus a bit of prescience to that insane Tool video.(Not Sober. Stinkfist.) And hey, gotta admit, John writhing on the hood of a car? LOVED that as a wee tween. I am happy to admit that in public.

    Journey – from the back: “isn’t that the chick from Nightbreed?” From the front: “isn’t that the chick from Heathers?” (no disrespect to Kim Walker [RIP] or Anne Bobby.)

  54. I actually like Duran Druan. Even picked up a cover cassette (sadly yes) of a bunch of covers that they did called “Thank You”. They did a cool version of the song “White Lines” which caused me to search out the original, which I found in a Salvation Army thrift store as a 12 inch club mix.

    As for the overall 80’s music scene, I can truthfully say that being some 30+ years removed from it, it’s pretty much overhyped and overblown. Geezer rock I’m not into at all.

  55. My brother was once commissioned to handle a room party with an apocalyptic theme as a promotion for a science fiction convention. I was tasked with editing together video footage from various sources to play on the screen in the hotel suite. I snagged copies of Brazil and 1984 along with every episode of Max Headroom I could get my hands on and a few other things as well.

    I also added the video for “Wild Boys” from my own collection because I could (and it did fit the visual theme, after all.) When the party actually happened (did I mention that this thing was at a science fiction convention?) there were a couple of geeks who planted themselves in front of the television and made a game of identifying each bit of footage by naming the source out loud.

    When the video collage got to a bit of the Wild Boys footage, the Panel of Film Experts was stumped. I didn’t fill anybody in on what it was–I just took a secret delight in that moment of befuddlement.

    (Legend has it when Russell Mulcahy did Highlander II–The Quickening he put in all the ideas he had that were too over-the-top to use in “Wild Boys.”)

  56. @G. B. Miller

    As for the overall 80′s music scene, I can truthfully say that being some 30+ years removed from it, it’s pretty much overhyped and overblown. Geezer rock I’m not into at all.

    All rock music is of it’s time. I know that there is plenty of music that I love for the irrational reason that it was popular when I was young, and that the kids who keep walking on my lawn have their own music. I think the ’80s in particular fell victim to being the first era in which garage bands could afford digital synthesizers. Much of the ’80s was driven by the sound of the Yamaha DX-7 for better or worse. It took a while to get to the point where it was just another music-making tool. I’d say that the heavy use of auto-tune a few years ago was a similar phenomenon.

    Still, surely every time has a few gems that will be remembered.

    It would be a shame to write off Pink Floyd’s 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon as geezer rock just because it’s 40 years old. It was old the first time I heard it, but it didn’t spend 14 years on the Billboard album chart for nothing.

    Besides, the generation gap ain’t what it used to be. When I was a kid, 40-year-old music meant One O’clock Jump, not a different rock sound.

  57. A Journey video! I get to use my favorite Kevin Hearne quote (from “Tricked”):

    “There was a span of years in the 1980s during which I marveled at the almost supernatural powers of Steve Perry. While he sang for Journey, he made people believe in themselves, weep over long distance relationships, and inquire at transit stations about midnight trains. Together with his bandmates, he fully explored the hidden depths and nuances of the word whoa — teasing out shades of meaning and connotations that I would have been hard pressed to discover, even with two thousand years of attention to the problem — and I’m willing to bet that the pathos with which he imbued the syllable na shall never be equaled in the history of the human race.”

  58. Most recording artists used to have to finance music video production themselves (and still do, as far as I know.) Of course they received no payment for the airing of those videos.

    I expect one could find a strong correlation between the declining budgets for music videos with the declining revenue made by the music business.

  59. Ah Duran Duran. For the most part I loved their videos (except GoF), and I think The Chauffeur was totally underrated, and their best song ever. Also, I will go to my grave believing that JT was completely overlooked as the awesome bass player that he was.

  60. My go-to excuse for enjoying the music of the eighties is this: I was a teenager at the time, and therefore hormonally insane. But then again, as an Australian, I still had things like the majority of the back catalogue of Cold Chisel, the whole of Men at Work, Australian Crawl (complete with James Reyne’s incomprehensible vocals), Pseudo Echo (who actually took their name from a synth effect), the Angels and quite a few other classic groups from Aussie pub rock to keep me interested.

    GreyDuck: both “I Would Do Anything For Love… (etc)” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart” have one thing in common – they both have music and lyrics by Jim Steinman, the man who was responsible for such tunes as “You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth”, “Bat Out of Hell”, “(Making Love) Out Of Nothing At All”, and “It’s All Coming Back To Me”. His music and lyrics tend to make him sound like a latter-day reincarnation of Richard Wagner at the best of times (it’s why he tends to hand them to singers with a known good set of pipes, like Meatloaf and Celine Dion). But they do tend to lend themselves to videos which are, at best, pretentious bullshit, and at worst, incomprehensible pretentious bullshit, because generally the videos try to reflect the lyrics or atmosphere of the songs…

  61. I’m with FiercePassion: John Taylor is a vastly underrated bass player.

    Wild Boys is definitely weird, but there have been equally crazy videos in each decade since. Tool? Aphex Twin? Yeah.

  62. I danced more in the 80’s than any decade before or since. Vocalists could carry a tune, and for every over the top video by Duran Duran, you’d get an understated classic from k.d. lang or Sinead O’Connor. I think it helped that most of the groups were popular before they went to video. Now they cast the video and hope they can get the lead to sing…

  63. Back in the day when MTV actually broadcast music videos, there was “Headbanger’s Ball.” One night the show had two guest hosts from the band Queensryche — I think it was Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton. Anywho, one of the videos that got air time that episode was their own “Queen of the Reich.”

    I’ll let you Google that video. It’s pretty bad.

    Once the video was over, the camera goes back to the hosts, both of them with pained expressions on their faces.

    CD: “And that was … ‘Queen of the Reich.'”
    MW: “… Yeah.”
    CD: *blink blink* “Okay, moving on…”

  64. I think the Journey video (like the band itself) was IN the 80s, but not OF the 80s in the same way as Duran Duran. Also it could’ve easily been shot behind the loading dock on an iPhone had such things existed back in the day.

  65. dana1119 — You actually have Toni Basil to thank for the state that ’80s videos eventually reached.

    I was watching a retrospective about MTV and music videos and learned that this music video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E-Zrg9CB_Q floored record producers. Before “Mickey” came along, all the music videos were filmed live performances. The studio heads refused to believe anything else would sell music. Toni Basil managed to wrangle one hour of studio/camera time and filmed the video using a boom box (so she could lip sync), her friends, and cheerleader uniforms borrowed from a local high school.

    She spent the rest of the ’80s doing choreography for other musician’s videos. After “Mickey” shot to the top, narrative videos became the hot, new thing. Once MTV hit cable with 24/7 music video air play, a mini-movie cottage industry developed overnight to meet the need. Which is why “Wild Boys” could get a $1million production budget. It was played most during prime viewing time on MTV.

  66. John Taylor isn’t the only under appreciated bassist. John Deacon (Queen) is even less well known than JT, it sometimes seems…

  67. Geezer rock? That would be Carl Perkins, Elvis, & co. Maybe even Ike Turner and “Rocket 88.” Sheesh–short-timers.

    (signed)

    R. Letson, Visiting Geezer, Certified Grump

  68. 3. I think there should be a series on VH1 that consists entirely of a split screen, one half of which is a video from the 80s, the other half of which is the artist today, watching the video for probably the first time in 25 years. The cringing would be spectacular. The first show should feature this video. And this one. And then the show would be canceled, out of pity for the artists.

    It could be called “Tell me I didn’t!”

  69. @Beverly Melven YES!!! I’m glad someone finally posted True Faith. Of course, a lot of the weirdness is explained when you realize that Jean-Paul Gaultier designed the costumes.

    I’ve always been a little sad that I was too much of a little skate-punk in the eighties to realize at the time how good Duran Duran was. I think a lot of eighties excess like too much reverb and synths now just comes across as an artifact of its time; not a choice anyone would make if they recorded the song today, but easy enough to ignore, just like you ignore too much wah pedal in 1970s funk or how every classic old Motown track had to have a tambourine in it for some reason.

  70. Once we get to the fellow being strapped to the windmill, it all looks like an episode of that game show “Wipe Out”.

  71. If somebody accused me of having anything to do with the making of the Wild Boys video, I would burst with pride. It remains one of the best music videos of all time.

  72. Um, No 3 (the TV series that sits musicians and music video producers from the 80s down with their videos and asks them to tell us exactly *what* they thought they were doing) has been done; it’s called “Video Killed the Radio Star” and it’s playing now (well, ‘now’ as in ‘last night’, which is why I thought of it) on Australian TV. It was made in Britain and concentrates on British artists, but Duran Duran was British and they did feature one one of the episodes. IIRC, even they didn’t really have an explanation for ‘The Wild Boys’ other than, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” IMDB link: .

  73. I’ve Seen them several times, most recently in (think 2005…could be wrong) But they had a sense of humor that probably only reached “Queen” or “Rush” in proportion!

  74. If you have a hunger for new, visually high concept music videos of this nature, Korean pop is waiting for you with open arms and lots of choreography. :

    Most Wild Boys-esque in terms of scale:
    http://youtu.be/vLbfv-AAyvQ (Come Back Home by 2NE1)
    http://youtu.be/tdH1GwyZJuY (Sixth Sense by Brown Eyed Girls)

    merely utterly over the top:
    http://youtu.be/UslqIyPZsic (Tarantellagra by Xia, yes it is a Harry Potter reference)
    http://youtu.be/Med2XipHJJM and http://youtu.be/0Z9R57maGvc (Orange Caramel)
    http://youtu.be/AAbokV76tkU (Fantastic Baby by Big Bang)
    http://youtu.be/t3ULhmadHkg (Crayon by G-Dragon)

    (Maybe I should have just made a playlist…)

    I have to go listen to Seven and the Ragged Tiger now.

  75. They’re doing a re-make of Mad Max. While they have the sets still up and the costumes lying around they could drag the lads out of retirement to do a re-shoot. (I suspect that’s where they got the props from last time)

  76. I guess one of the reasons the videos don’t cost that much is the CGI is cheaper than sets. I’m sure they’ve blown a lot of cash on that animatronic face when it would be magnitudes cheaper doing something with face capture.

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