80s Music Videos I Love

I was in high school during the early 80s and the birth of music video. We stayed up late to watch Friday Night Videos, Night Tracks, and, eventually MTV when it actually had something to do with music. We evaluated each video's meaning, talked about the songs and artists, and fell in love/lust with the women. These are some of my favorites.
  1. She Blinded Me With Science-Thomas Dolby
    Crazy inventions, eccentric characters, "Miss Yamamoto, you're beautiful!" Dolby is expressive and fun.
  2. Drive-The Cars
    The song itself sounds like a controlling guy describing the scary world if he leaves her. The video is actually sad and beautiful.
  3. Voices Carry-Til Tuesday
    Aimee Mann is amazing. This is an abusive and controlling relationship and she exposes him in as public a way as possible by literally breaking the silence.
  4. Keep Feeling (Fascination)-Human League
    There are more obvious Human League songs to choose, but the fun use of color, the wonderfully 80s makeup, and the "And so the conversation turned" verse make this one stand out.
  5. Time After Time-Cyndi Lauper
    When we heard "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" we thought we had Lauper pegged as a one hit wonder. Then she came out with haunting, beautiful songs like this, and we knew she was so much more than that.
  6. Sweet Dreams-Eurethmics
    I was a bit lost on what she was singing about, being a small town Indiana boy, but the cow in a music video got our attention. The main attraction was the intense woman with the beautiful face and voice with short red hair and a riding crop. This was something new. "Missionary Man" is another amazing video.
  7. Dear God-XTC
    A video with a serious, controversial message that uses a simple tree to demonstrate faith. Liking this video did not sit well with some of my friends, a quick way to find out what you believed (or didn't) in the 80s.
  8. New Frontier-Donald Fagan
    The story of the boy and girl slipping into a bomb shelter to make out is fun, but the animated work reflecting the 50s and the Cold War really made this special.
  9. Come Dancing-The Kinks
    Love the nostalgic storyline of a boy remembering his sister who loved to dance and her frustrated suitor. The older I get the more I understand missing a time lost forever in the past.
  10. Once in a Lifetime-Talking Heads
    We had no idea what David Byrne was doing with his body and video, but we would imitate him and sing "Same as it ever was". Again, growing older, you understand better. "My God, what have I Done!"
  11. One Night in Bangkok-Murray Head
    Early nerd power, I suppose. A chess player mocking those who don't get intellectual thrills was a totally new idea for us—as we sat around playing RISK.
  12. Hungry Like the Wolf-Duran Duran
    It all seemed pretty Indiana Jones matched with sexual stuff we didn't quite understand-so big win with us.
  13. Whip It-Devo
    We knew this was something unique and new. We assumed they were mocking the right people and making smart commentary, but it was completely strange and entertaining.
  14. Thriller-Michael Jacksn
    Jackson putting Vincent Price into a pop song is a wonderful thing, but this video/short movie changed music video and demanded it be seen as a serious art form.
  15. She's a Beauty-Tubes
    It felt inappropriate and sexual when we first saw it, so we kept watching.
  16. Obsession-Animotion
    I love the review of famous obsessive relationships in history with overly dramatic acting by the band. It's just strange.
  17. I Ran-Flock of Seagulls
    As a fan of Sci Fi, I liked the futuristic slant their videos took. I love "Wishing" too. This is low tech and cheap, but so very 80s.
  18. Holding Back the Years-Simply Red
    Beautiful song, beautiful voice, and a video that feels like a well made film.
  19. Der Kommissar-After the Fire
    Less goofy than Falco's version, the video has that film noir feel a lot of music videos went for.
  20. West End Girls-Pet Shop Boys
    The emotionally disengaged attitude, the stylish clothes and hair, great editing and a classic song.
  21. Like a Virgin-Madonna
    Like Lauper, we thought "Borderline" didn't suggest a long career for Madonna. This video is where we started to realize there was something big happening.
  22. Rock the Casbah-The Clash
    A seemingly positive message of universal acceptance and forgiveness through music was a big idea in the 80s. Wish it were more true today-that optimism.
  23. Never Say Never-Romeo Void
    The attitude here is great. We hadn't heard songs like this before in middle America, and the video is another film noir/spy film homage.
  24. I Know What Boys Like-The Waitresses
    Attitude again. Boys being mocked and teased by strong women who just didn't care. It may seem backwards now, but women were clearly taking control.
  25. Wrap It Up-Fabulous Thunderbirds
    Totally sexist, but so over the top and cartoonish, it was fun and funny.
  26. Sharp Dressed Man-ZZ Top
    So successful, ZZ Top stuck to the format for several more videos, including "Legs". Just a neat little story to follow in the length of a song. That simple.
  27. Walk Like an Egyptian-Bangles
    Susanna Hoffs eyes. Wow. The rest is goofy fun.
  28. Down Under-Men at Work
    I knew nothing about Australia in high school outside of kangaroos and Crocodile Dundee, but they sure seemed like great fun in this video.
  29. Our Lips are Sealed-Go Gos
    We all fell in love with a different Go Go (Jane Weidlin was my favorite) and loved speculating about rumored meanings behind the lyrics.
  30. Safety Dance-Men Without Hats
    WTF? If we had that shorthand phrase, we'd have used it the first time we saw it or "Pop Goes the World". It seemed like goofy fun until we heard it was about nuclear war. Oh yeah. Missile clips at the end. I see. I guess. (Shrug)
  31. Hold On-Fleetwood Mac
    Artistic and fascinating, like "Gypsy". Stevie Nicks at her most beautiful.
  32. Shock the Monkey-Peter Gabriel
    Before the stop animation of "Sledgehammer" and "Big Time", this was a visually powerful video that you couldn't stop watching.
  33. Look of Love-ABC
    Silly, fun, and filled with Benny Hill style sight gags, this is just a lot of fun. Recommend the more cinematic "Shoot that Poison Arrow".
  34. Rapture-Blondie
    First rap song I was aware of. It felt like something entirely new.
  35. Metro-Berlin
    Fell madly in love with Terri Nunn in this video, but again it had a strong visual story and surprise revelations done on a fairly cheap budget.
  36. What You Need-INXS
    The visual style of INXS videos was as new as their sound. The fact the whole band were the stars was something you noticed right away.
  37. With or Without You-U2
    I relate this song to a woman I fell in love with in college. It's a great video , but the personal connection makes it special.
  38. Groove is in the Heart-Dee Lite
    So wild and strange and fun. Great song and no one takes themselves too seriously.
  39. Putting on the Ritz-Taco
    I love music of all eras, so this remake of the 1930s hit was a happy surprise. The video is wild and slightly disturbing.
  40. Mexican Radio-Wall of Voodoo
    Weird. Just weird.
  41. Rock Me Amadeus-Falco
    I was caught up in Mozartmania after the movie Amadeus came out, so I got the rock star connection without understanding the lyrics. Falco was just fascinating to watch.
  42. Mad World-Tears for Fears
    Love this song, especially the Donnie Darko version, but this original version is still strong and the video moving.
  43. Let's Dance-David Bowie
    A video that is visually striking and has something important to say. It's Bowie, and just watching him sing "tremble like a flower" is enough.
  44. Russians-Sting
    Another message song with a powerful and haunting visual style. Fear of nuclear war was a real thing then, so the hopeful message had power.
  45. Nothing Compares 2 U-Sinead O'Conner
    That beautiful voice, beautiful face filled with emotion, and Prince's lyrics. Captivating.
  46. Total Eclipse of the Heart-Bonnie Tyler
    One of those Epic songs everyone loves to sing along to. Creepy video.
  47. Beds are Burning-Midnight Oil
    You knew it was about something important, but the indigenous art and powerful style held your attention.
  48. Luka-Suzanne Vega
    A song about child abuse is usually not a recipe for a hit video, but Vega's expressive face and fragile voice make the story impossible to ignore.
  49. Radio Ga Ga-Queen
    As a fan of the silent film Metropolis, watching Queen fly through Fritz Lang's city of tomorrow is a hoot. They have so many great videos, so this is a personal thing.
  50. Our House-Madness
    A great song but the video has the same crazy, fun feel of shows like The Young Ones.
  51. Pop Music-M
    Released in 1979, it got a lot of video Airplay in the early 80s, and it had much more to do with the style ahead.
  52. Video Killed the Radio Star-The Buggles
    First song played on MTV, and for good reason. Like silent actors adjusting to sound, video made new demands on musical artists, and not everyone survived.
  53. Pump Up The Volume-MARRS
    As a space nerd, all the old Mercury and Apollo footage was great, but it connected me to a new sound I loved.
  54. Eyes Without a Face-Billy Idol
    Billy Idol had so many hit videos, but this one suggested he could do more than snarl and pump his fist.
  55. Something About You-Level 42
    Absolute personal favorite. If you always felt second best in getting the girl and had guilty joy when the handsome jock screwed up, you'll relate.
  56. Fall on Me-R.E.M
    Visually uses words flashed on the screen, so it keeps the focus on the song not the band. First sign of things to come.
  57. Don't Come Around Here No More-Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
    Alice in Wonderland story is visually powerful and disturbing. Petty is a great one to end on. He pushed the visual envelope with his videos his whole career