Growing up in the 1980’s was an absolutely magical experience, musically speaking of course.
Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am a huge 80’s music fan. The 80’s perfectly blended pop, rock, new wave and r&b on almost every station on the radio. I had no use back in those carefree days for the likes of 60’s-70’s classic, progressive or psychedelic rock.
It’s funny to now hear the songs of my youth played on the classic rock and oldies stations though, but that’s a topic for another time.
The 80’s saw greats such as Duran Duran and Madonna bursting onto the charts – and they remain chart toppers to this day! Prince and Michael Jackson got their original start in the mid-to-late 1970’s, but became musical powerhouses in the 80’s.
I’m almost certain that if Michael Jackson were alive today, he would still top the charts! His music was and still is timeless.
MTV showed videos back in those days – that’s right kids, the M really did mean music!
The only reality shows we cared about were American Bandstand, Dance Party USA and Soul Train. I often dreamed of being on American Bandstand, of course with Duran Duran as the guest band! For those who didn’t have the privilege of cable TV, we had to wait until Friday and watch Friday Night Videos, or watch MTV at a friend’s house.
I was an MTV addict. I didn’t have cable at home, but that didn’t matter. I was almost never home as a teenager – and my friends had cable. I loved watching music videos. I brought blank VHS tapes over and would record hours of MTV so I could experience it at home, when Mom-ster and dad weren’t around.
Music was my life.
One of my biggest dreams as a teen was to be a band photographer, since I couldn’t play guitar, bass, keys or drums. I wanted to be close to the heartbeat of a band and chronicle their travels and lives. Being a photographer would get me up close and personal with the bands. While I didn’t get to the “big time” with my dream, I am happy to say I have photographed bands – local cover bands mostly. I love it. It’s one of the joys of my adult life.
But I digress…
The 80’s were one of the most innovative times for music with the birth of MTV. Each video created a story to go along with the songs. Days, weeks and sometimes months worth of work would go in to creating the perfect 3-5 minute music video.
Some artists had characters who appeared in more than one video, creating almost a continuing story of sorts, like the 80’s metal hair band, Cinderella. They had two chicks wearing 80’s appropriate mini skirts with polka dots – I called them the evil polka dot step-sisters – who appeared in quite a few of their videos.
The list of bands who shaped and altered music videos could go on endlessly, however, I do believe that the following 4 bands/artists nailed it.
(unfortunately Prince doesn’t have any videos on YouTube, so you’ll have to click this link to see the video)
Here’s the fun part…
Out of these 4 bands/artists mentioned, which one do you think was the absolute BEST of the 80’s music video titans?
Cast your vote below in the comments!
I’m looking forward to seeing which band wins this Clash of the 80s Music Video Titans!