Saturday, August 2, 2008

80s music videos based on movies

The 80's often get criticized for lauding style over substance. Well, can you blame them, when music videos and MTV took over the world? They could make so many cool special effects and swirly neon thingies! Artists could rely on image and fashion over substantive lyrics to get their message across. And of course the disaster of Milli Vanilli wouldn't have been possible in a pre-television, pre-music video era.
Some 80s videos were just spectacular. Some were more like giant car crashes you couldn't look away from. Here are three music videos that hold both plot AND hairspray as equally valid forms of musical expression, paying homage to a diversion selection of films.

Human League - Love Action (The Graduate)
This is one of my favorite Human League songs of all time. The beat is fabulous! I have it on repeat these days. The male lead singer Phil Oakley plays Dustin Hoffman's character, but with way more sex appeal and eyeliner. Two of the bandmates are the would-be bride and groom.

Berlin - No More Words (Bonnie and Clyde)
Before Berlin, like, totally sold out for "Take My Breath Away" on the Top Gun soundtrack, they were a pretty edgy new wave group. Though lead singer Teri Nunn was sometimes dismissed as a Debbie Harry wannabe, her strong set of pipes distinguish her pretty well. She makes a pretty hot Bonnie, and I dig her two-toned dye job. It's nice that they've deviated from the movie's plot slightly; instead of ending in a bloody massacre, they have a Robin Hood-ish change of heart.

Paula Abdul - Rush Rush (Rebel Without a Cause)
I'm not a huge fan of Paula Abdul, but isn't it shocking to remember that she was a recording artist before she was an American Idol judge? She enlists the help of Keanu Reeves in this unabashed slice of 50s nostalgia. And yes it's technically a 90s video because it came out in 1991, but close enough for government work.

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