Bob & LBF in the Morning

Bob & LBF in the Morning

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 12: MTV Moonperson attends the 2023 Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on September 12, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for MTV)

The Great 8 Top Videos of All Time.

It’s hard to believe that MTV debuted over 42 years ago. It was launched nationwide on August 1, 1981 with the song, and it was not by accident, “Video Killed The Radio Star” by the Buggles. The message was clear. There was a new Big Kid on the block and it meant to be the dominant player in the music industry. MTV was a monster hit right out of the gate. Kids would rush home to turn on the channel and watch videos of their favorite songs.

Now you see them

It was the first time you could see your favorite artists perform without having to go to a concert or catch a live televised performance on late night tv or “”American Bandstand”. Sometimes artists were not comfortable with the camera or didn’t possess the “right look”. Before videos, you could listen to songs on the radio and wonder what the artist looked like. You would have to buy their albums or 45’s just to put a face to the voice and sound

MTV launched many careers

We are not saying that someone like Madonna would not have “made it” without MTV, but she certainly exploded on the scene because of it. That goes for groups like the Go-Go’s and Duran Duran and the Bangles. These artists looked great on camera and were rewarded by constantly being on hot rotation.

Videos were creative outlets for the stars

Bands like the Talking Heads, R.E.M. and the B-52’s along with artists like Michael Jackson, David Bowie  and Peter Gabriel used the new platform as another way of being artistic. Their videos were not just live versions of their songs or literal translations of the lyrics. They let their creative juices flow and out poured videos that were eye popping, engaging, confusing and most assuredly expensive. That was okay with record labels because MTV propelled the sales of albums, cassettes and eventually CD’s to stratospheric levels

Radio was not killed

We must point out that Video didn’t kill the Radio Stat after all. Radio is still very much alive and the irony is MTV no longer plays videos at all. VH1 doesn’t play many either. Radio continues to be the number one source of discovery of new artists and we hope that never changes .

The folks at AVClub.com put together a list of the greatest music videos of all time.

  • 8. "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)", Beyoncé (2008)

    The video features Beyonce and two very good backup dances striking moves in a white room for 3 minutes. The moves and the dancing are intense and it became a national obsession with folks trying mostly in vain to copy the moves of these super talented “Single Ladies”

  • 7. "Nothing Compares 2 U", Sinead O'Connor (1990)

    The late Sinead O’Conner’s video was meant to convey and explore the feelings of longing from an abandoned lover’s point of view. Her stark looks with her shorn hair and her haunting voice made this video and instant classic.

  • 6. "Hungry Like the Wolf", Duran Duran (1982)

    The video gave the band instant popularity. It didn’t take long for it to make into heavy rotation, meaning the video was in demand and mostly from teenage girls that went gaga over the band members good looks and exotic locations of the video. The song went onto become a major radio hit that is still played in great rotation on classic hit radio stations and the band is still together and continue to tour.

  • 5. "Take On Me", A-ha (1985)

    The Swedish group had released the song on the radio two times in Europe and it flopped both times. It wasn’t until the label brought in sketch artists to draw the video which took them six months to do, did the song soar all the way to being one of the most original and unforgettable videos of all time.

  • 4. "Sabotage", Beastie Boys (1994)

    The Beastie Boys originated in New York City in 1981 when the band was into hard core Punk Rock. They eventually turned their attention to Rap music and their careers took off. They are most remembered for their first and biggest hit “Fight For Your Right To Party” but the video “Sabotage” showed their incredible creative talents. The look of the video is both alarming and disarming. They look kooky in their 1970’s gangster garb during a robbery and police chase.

  • 3. "Thriller", Michael Jackson (1982)

    It was event that was heralded on MTV as a major milestone in video creation. Michael Jackson through himself into the making of the video and even got the horror movie star of stars Vincent Price to both star in the video and voice the narration part of the song. It is still a Halloween must to see and hear “Thriller”.

  • 2. Vogue", Madonna (1990)

    This song and video was all the range in 1990 when Madonna was at the peak of her career. She could do whatever she chose to do and she chose to capitalize on a New York City dance club crace called “voguing”. The song caught on but fortunately the dance didn’t. It remains one of the most original videos and features Madonna at the her greatest.

  • 1. Sledgehammer", Peter Gabriel (1986)

    Peter Gabriel is a very creative artist and this video shows him at his creative best. The song is derived from the philosopher Franz Kafka who said “a good book breaks through like an ax in a frozen sea”. Okay, so Peter changed it to a sledgehammer and made what many people feel is the most interesting video of all time. We still don’t know what “Fruit Cage” is, that is Mr. Gabriel’s secret to keep.

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