Tag Archives: robert palmer

The Art of the Music Video: Part I, 1980s

6 Dec

When I was home over Thanksgiving, my awesome stepdad shared with me some of his favorite music videos from a different time…from when music videos actually played on Music Video Television…from where there was no Internet to virally spread them around…oh, the 1980s.

These videos really resonated with me, and I’ve been trying to figure out why.

Besides the great songs, it’s how they look.

Like Chevy Chase lip syncing to Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al.” Knowing that the song’s about a man during a mid-life crisis, and the unbelievable bass solo is palindromic–the second half is the first half played backwards–conveys irony on so many levels. Tall and short, being funny about a serious emotional breakdown, Chevy stealing musical duties while Paul steals the comedy…it’s about opposites. I love it.

Next up is Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing”. Awarded the Music Video of the Year in 1986 for MTV’s 3rd Annual Video Music Awards, it was the second computer-generated video ever on the channel. It introduced a now classic riff, “I want my MTV.” There are men that look like Legos. There’s neon. There are videos within the video. It’s meta. It works.

Finally, a double header from Robert Palmer, whose identical pale-faced, red lipsticked-women in color blocked dresses could walk down the runways today in “Addicted to Love.”

And the ladies can sure shred in “Simply Irresistible.”

What are other favorite 1980s videos I should highlight in Part II? I have some personal favorites, but interested to see what people like…

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