I am old enough to remember when MTV was not beamed into Singapore households. A dream channel a pop culture-deprived Singaporean individual could only fantasize about. All we had were grainy second or third generation videos of our favorite US or UK bands smuggled in video cassettes from overseas. Then, we would copy these videos and distribute them around to like-minded friends. What a difference almost thirty years makes! Now MTV focuses on reality TV shows, which is not surprising when you consider the amount of music videos floating around the internet nowadays. It’s not the same believe me. Music videos used to be so precious and valuable. Here’s why…
BUGGLES – VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR
The first music video played on MTV all those years ago was a #1 hit in the UK in 1979 and remains one of my favorite pop songs. There is nothing really special about the video itself, I guess it all about how fresh the idea of music video was back then. Singer Trevor Horn would go on to be a top producer while his partner Geoff Downes became a member of Asia. Hurm.
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MEN AT WORK – WHO CAN IT BE NOW?
This Aussie new wave band certainly knew how to exploit the new format. Highly influenced by the Police, this catchy song (and fun video) raced all the way to #1 in the USA. It’s follow-up Down Under also followed suit. Not bad for a new band eh? The band’s 2nd album did well too but internal strife and lack of momentum did not manage to sustain them beyond that.
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THE CARS – YOU MIGHT THINK
The Cars’ unique blend of power pop and synth pop styles already made them a very marketable band. Add in those imaginative videos and the combination is lethal. The band has been apart for decades but is reportedly recording a reunion album now. Where would Weezer be without The Cars, eh?
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DIRE STRAITS – MONEY FOR NOTHING
By 1985, MTV has became big enough for bands to feature it in hit songs. Case in point, one of the biggest 80s bands Dire Straits’ megahit Money For Nothing (feat Sting, as they say nowadays), with the famous “you play the guitar on the MTV” line and the music video highlighting the MTV logo. What a case of win-win for both the band and MTV.
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Ah the golden age of MTV you might say, never to return. PoPTV hopes to feature only the most intriguing videos here (instead of run of the mill promo videos) and so if you come across any of worth, please drop us a line at info(at)powerofpop(dot)com. We’ll be waiting…