Jasper’s ‘They Live’ post got me thinking about the 1980’s and also after trawling the BUG website, the rise of the pop video genre.
The 80’s was an amazing creative period for pop video (see Peter Gabriel ‘Sledgehammer’, Michael Jackson ‘Billie Jean’, Dire Straits ‘Money for Nothing’) as MTV broke out across cable networks domestically and globally.
Videos were a genuinely powerful tool for making or breaking a band that were watched by millions of people. In the UK Top of the Pops had audiences of around 12million per week. Anyone interested in the golden age of the music video could start with “I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution”(2011) by Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks.
Take on Me has got to be one of the best of this era.
Catchy tune – check.
Cult director – check.
Existential exploration of Gibson-esque alternate reality – check.
Experimental rotoscoping sequences (referencing the adolescent tendency to sketch faces of heartthrob in fine shaded detail) – check
wait… 315 million Youtube views – check