The Most Influential Music Videos

January 6, 2019By

The Music Video changed the face of pop music in the 1980’s, until then there was only TV appearances of you favorite pop bands that were often merely miming to the song. But as an art form, the music video elevated pop music onto another platform.

MTV is not the force it used to be a few decades ago, but it was the chariot that spearheaded the music video revolution. In this blog we take a look at some of the most influential music videos that were shown on MTV and other channels.

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

Looking at the Bohemian Rhapsody video today it looks tired and dated, the effects are really not that great and the whole thing is rather garish. But at the time it was ground-braking, seeing Freddie Mercury and the rest of the band perform this legendary song as their heads spun around along with other camera tricks was OTT and perfectly complemented the music, which of course was all about excessiveness.

Ashes to Ashes – David Bowie

Directed by David Mallet in 1980, Ashes to Ashes was an avant-garde masterpiece. The song was one of Bowie’s most defining works as it formed a transition in his style of music. References of the past are all alluded to in the flamboyant video. It is still one of the most expensive pop videos ever made.

Thriller – Michael Jackson

The hype before the release of Thriller in 1983 was unprecedented, there was more world interest in this music video than a Hollywood movie. And that is because the Hollywood screen director, John Landis was drafted in to take control over the shooting.

Thriller is not just a music video it is a mini-movie, and although Michael Jackson was already a superstar this video put him into hyperspace and a total other galaxy to mere pop singers. There has never quite been a video before or after Thriller quite like it, and there probably never will.

Take On Me – A-Ha

Take On Me has to feature in our most influential music videos of all time as it was painstakingly made. Perfectly drawn line images morphed into members of the band in front of our very eyes, it was pure magic. The video also demonstrated the relatively new idiom of music videos as A-Ha had never been heard of before, but after Take On Me, Morten Harket and the rest of the band were household names.

Like a Prayer – Madonna

Madonna was the pop queen of the 1980’s and she fully understood the power of music videos and how to use them politically to enhance her reputation. She made her decision to leave her innocent and clean-cut image back in the 80’s and made Like a Prayer to herald in the 1990’s and a new Madonna.

In some quarters of society, the video caused outrage, especially by the Christian Church as it depicted Jesus and sex. Perhaps today there would not be such an outcry, but back in 1989 this video caused one mighty stir, but at the same time elevated Madonna’s persona to another level.These great videos are some of the most influential ever made, they were pioneers of this new art form and pop music will never the same again.

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