The Thrill isn't gone: Top 10 videos of the 80s

9

August

Video2Finally, our top 10 list of best music videos of the 80s. (Click here to see 11-20, 21-30, 31-40 and 41-50.) While there's no real drama behind our top pick, some of the other top 10 videos might surprise you. Feel free to share your darts and laurels in the comments area.

Best videos of the 80s:

10. True Faith, New Order (view): So very, very French. Cirque du Soleil-ish long before the weird theatre troope became a household image. Directed by Philippe Decouflé, who also produced the inauguration ceremonies of the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville.

9. Legs, ZZ Top (view): The best of the Texas band's "hot girls" videos also features the ultimate 80s movie theme: triumph of the nerds!

8. Money For Nothing, Dire Straits (view): The only No. 1 single for the British band; also the first video to be aired on MTV Europe. Video used then-new art form of computer animation. Sting's "I Want My MTV" crooning was an afterthought.

7. Eat It, Weird Al Yankovic (view): Weird Al probably deserves a half dozen spots on this list. However, we save his ultimate 80s parody for the top 10. Video featured many of the same actors as Michael Jackson's "Beat It" video.

6. Hungry Like The Wolf, Duran Duran (view): Filmed in Sri Lanka with one of the largest budgets at the time for a music video, this one made Duran Duran a household name.

5. Bastards of Young, The Replacements (view): The ultimate anti-MTV video. The network didn't appreciate the joke and rarely aired the video. But hardcore "music" fans, growing weary in the late 80s as MTV's cool factor started to disintegrate, consider this video their holy grail.

4. Rock It, Herbie Hancock (view): Godley & Creme, who have the #17 video, directed the video, featuring robots moving in time to the Hancock's only pop hit.

3. Take On Me, a-Ha (view): Incorporates rotoscoping special effects into dramatic storytelling; same effects revived again for the video "Sun Always Shines on TV," but the marriage of style and video is forever associated with "Take on Me."

2. Sledgehammer, Peter Gabriel (view): Swept the MTV Video Music Awards in 1987; using 3-D animation, it raised the bar for all videos that followed.

1. Thriller, Michael Jackson (view): The home video for "Making of Thriller" actually outsold the album "Thriller." Cherish it as a time capsule of the Michael Jackson in the early 80s ... before things went very, very wrong.

Sledgehammer Personal fave: I love every one of the top 10 -- with the possible exception of "Rock It," which gave me nightmares as a kid. But Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" is truly golden. You can watch it 100 times and see something new each time. So enjoy the memories, because I doubt any videos after 1989 can compete with these 50 pieces of high art.

 

[Video images; click to enlarge]

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:19pm]

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