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

5Wanna Be Sedated – The Ramones

Not what you might expect on a list of 80’s music videos, I Wanna Be Sedated is one of the most famous punk songs from the decade. And the video is visually stunning. Seeming, well, sedated, The Ramones are sitting at a dining room table eating cereal while slowly a circus like part unfolds around them. They do not interact with the chaos erupting around them, even when the various party goers attempt to interact with the band. What’s brilliant about the video is you keep watching, waiting for something to happen, waiting for something to erupt. The Ramones certainly can control their fingers and toes – they don’t do ANYTHING throughout the video. And then, more suddenly than they came, the masses disappear. Nothing really happens, but the song is so great, and the video manages to hold your attention so well, that it is truly the greatest moment for punk rock in the realm of music videos.

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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