My name is Laura and I am a music video addict.
I remember that wonderful summer of 1981 well.
I stayed a few weeks in Pennsylvania with my Dad, even though Mom-ster hated when I stayed there with his family. She especially hated it when I walked down the driveway to visit “Auntie” in her mobile home.
I loved spending time with Auntie – she was funny and we would sit and watch game shows or her stories on TV. That day I visited her, Auntie let me watch TV while she went to take a bath and get dressed so we could go shopping. I never used a remote control for a TV before then, so it was fun for me, a kid only nine years old.
Flipping through the channels, I settled on a talk show, and that’s when I saw the commercial that would soon change my life forever.
“MTV – You’ll never look at music the same way again!”
A new cable channel, with nothing but music videos! This was truly revolutionary and I was ready to join the MTV army.
August 1 was only days away. When Auntie came back into the living room, I asked her if I could come over and watch MTV when it came on later that week. She agreed and said I could watch it during commercial breaks from her stories.
I was hooked from the first time I watched MTV. Cool video stories made to accompany music – what a genius new way to look at and appreciate music!
Yes, it is true, they played all music, all the time – it truly was Music Television.
No reality shows like The Real World or Road Rules, just hours of music and programs about music.
My all-time favorite MTV music show was 120 Minutes which aired on Sunday nights, with PostModern, Alternative Nation, Unplugged, and Headbangers Ball rounding out the top five.
Growing up in a home with no cable access, just antenna TV, made it difficult for me to get my MTV fix.
Unlike today, there was no YouTube to watch music videos. Because of my lack of access to cable, my older brother got tons of free babysitting from me, just so I could watch MTV and use his new VHS player to watch music documentaries like Duran Duran Sing Blue Silver.
Music was and still is my life; music videos have shaped me as a writer and an artist.
Ever notice how if you’re denied something as a child, like sugary fun cereals, that when you’re older you are drawn to them like moths to the flame? That is how I am with music videos.
With that being said, this is why all of my mixtape playlist posts have been YouTube playlists instead of playlists on Spotify. There’s just something more rewarding about watching a video to go with the music. Even those songs that didn’t have a video released, sometimes fans make videos, which expands the video genre even more and places it into the hands of the fans.
The following video playlist features some of my favorite New Wave videos from the heyday of MTV with groundbreaking videos from Duran Duran, fun videos from artists like Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club, The B-52’s, and ABC, and videos from iconic artists like David Bowie, Billy Idol, Peter Gabriel, Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, and Talking Heads.
What is your favorite music video from the early to mid 80’s?
- Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) – Eurythmics
- Rio – Duran Duran
- People Are People – Depeche Mode
- Rebel Yell – Billy Idol
- West End Girls – Pet Shop Boys
- Burning Down The House – Talking Heads
- Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
- Goody Two Shoes – Adam Ant
- Our House – Madness
- Rock Me Amadeus – Falco
- Weird Science – Oingo Boingo
- Doctor! Doctor! – Thompson Twins
- The Sun Always Shines One TV – a-ha
- Paranoimia – The Art of Noise with Max Headroom
- You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) – Dead or Alive
- The Reflex – Duran Duran
- Modern Love – David Bowie
- Wake Me Up Before You Go Go – Wham!
- Missionary Man – Eurythmics
- Dancing With Myself – Billy Idol
- It’s A Sin – Pet Shop Boys
- Send Me An Angel – Real Life
- Strip – Adam Ant
- 99 Luftballons – Nena
- Don’t You Want Me – The Human League
- Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? – Culture Club
- Rapture – Blondie
- Whip It – Devo
- Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper
- Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds
- Let’s Dance – David Bowie
- Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode
- Shock The Monkey – Peter Gabriel
- The Edge of Heaven – Wham!
- Take On Me – a-ha
- Turning Japanese – The Vapors
- Never Say Never – Romeo Void
- I Know What Boys Like – The Waitresses
- Love Plus One – Haircut 100
- Rip It Up – Orange Juice
- Obsession – Animotion
- Everything Counts – Depeche Mode
- China Girl – David Bowie
- I’ll Tumble 4 Ya – Culture Club
- New Moon On Monday – Duran Duran
- Relax – Frankie Goes to Hollywood
- Puttin’ on the Ritz – Taco
- I Ran – A Flock of Seagulls
- Something About You – Level 42
- Rock Lobster – The B-52’s
- Tainted Love – Soft Cell
- Pop Muzik – M
- Save A Prayer – Duran Duran
- Words – Missing Persons
- The Metro – Berlin
- Voices Carry – ‘Til Tuesday
- Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic – The Police
- Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Tears for Fears
- Wot – Captain Sensible
- The Look Of Love – ABC