These Five Videos Killed the Radio Star: the Best Music Videos of the 80s

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MTV launched on August 1st 1981, and the world of music would never be the same. Suddenly, the ability to make a video to accompany a song became a marker of a song’s success. It melded two different art mediums in a way that hadn’t been significant in the realm of pop culture before. Of course, MTV proceeded to crash and burn once the world of reality TV took over, displacing music videos altogether. However the impact of MTV on the music world was here to stay. These five videos appeared during the soaring importance of music videos, and as such makes them all the more impressive.
These Five Videos Killed the Radio Star: the Best Music Videos of the 80s

4Walk This Way – Aerosmith & Run DMC

Not only did this music video break the barriers between music and visual art, it also broke barriers between white and black, and rock and hip hop. It crossed the great genre divide to create a piece of music and visual art that was easily accessible to a diverse audience. The video starts off with conflict – then, Steven Tyler literally breaks down the wall separating them, and they perform together. While the video has little to do with the lyrics of the song (which are more about young love and misfortune than breaking musical barriers), the video alone is ground breaking. Coupled with the beats and rap provided by Run DMC, the video and song combination is one of the most noteworthy moments of popular music history.

In the first decade of music videos existence, these five claim the top spots because they managed to meld both art forms in a way that was not only artistically interesting, but ground breaking in their own rights. Experimenting with different types of animation, and different ways of visually representing their songs, these musicians managed to craft videos that would change the face of their music, and all music videos to come.


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