A music video is
defined as either a short film or video that is accompanied by
a complete piece of music or song. Today's Modern music videos
are made primarily and used to help market and promote the
sale of music recordings.
video's came into their own in the 1980s, when MTV based
their format around the medium and later with the launch of VH1 in the
The "music video" term first made popular in the
early 1980s. Before that time, works of this
kind were also known by various terms such
as "promotional or
promo clip", "filmed insert", or
"film clip". In China,
music videos were simply known as MTVs
because the American network was responsible for making music videos
popular there. Music videos are now known as MVs in Chinese
videos use a vast range of different styles of film making techniques,
including live footage filming, music documentaries
animated clips and also non-narrative approaches e.g. abstract film.
You will find that some music videos blend various styles, such
as live and animated action. Music video's can show another
example of creativity from the artist involved or they may not have any
involvement in the music video making process at all. Some music
video's that have been created may or may not have anything to do with
the lyrics that are written. This can make music video's less literal
than the listener may expect.
of the earliest performance clips in 1960's pop was promotional film
clip performed by English group
The Animals, for their Worldwide hit "The House Of
The Rising Sun". Filmed in a studio, this high-quality
colour clip was filmed in a specially-built set. The performance by the
group was lip-synched, as can be depicted through edited sequences of
the close-ups, longshots and tracking shots.
can view The Animals clip for "The
House Of The Rising Sun" below:
|THE BEGINNINGS OF MUSIC
first Music TV programmes shown in Australia were "Countdown" and "Sounds",
both of which premiered in 1974. They were significant in
developing and popularizing the music video genre in Australia and
other countries. They also establised the importance of music video
clips as a means of promoting both emerging acts and new releases by
need of material for the "Sounds"
show, Music DJ, Graham Webb
approached newsroom staffer Russell Mulcahy and
asked him to shoot film footage to accompany popular songs for which
there were no purpose-made clips. By applying this method, Webb and
assembled approximately clips for their show. Due to the
success of his early efforts, Webb encouraged Mulcahy to quit his TV
job and direct music video's full-time. From there,
Mulcahy made clips for several popular Australian acts
including Stylus, Marcia Hines, Hush
and rock band, AC/DC.
relocated to the UK in the mid-1970's, and made successful music videos
for several noted British pop acts. His landmark video for The Buggles "Video Killed The Radio Star" (below)
which was released in 1979,
became the first music video played on MTV in 1981.
partly based on the 1960's Australian pop music show "Kommotion". It was also
the BBC's "Top
of the Pops"
unlike its British counterpart,
"Countdown" was not
restricted in its use of music videos. The program was launched in late
1974, a few months after Sounds. In
January 1975, only a few weeks before color TV was officially launched
in Australia, it rapidly became one of the highest-rating shows on
Australian TV, thanks in large part to their 6pm Sunday timeslot and also the
ABC channel's nationwide reach,
long-running British TV show "Top
Of The Pops" began
playing music videos in the late 1970s. The BBC however placed
strict limits on the number of 'outsourced' videos that they could use.
So therefore, a good video would increase a song's sales, as viewers
to see it again on the show the following week.
1980, David Bowie
first UK number one in nearly a decade thanks to the eye catching promo
for "Ashes To Ashes"
(below), which was directed by David Mallet. Another
succeed by using the same process was Madness.
For their film clips, they shot them on 16 mm and
35 mm, which constructed their clips
as "micro-comedic" short films.
the band Queen ordered award
winning television director and producer, Bruce Gowers, to
make a promo video for their new single "Bohemian Rhapsody",
simply so they could have it shown on "Top Of The Pops".
This clip is also most notable for
being entirely shot and
edited on videotape.
alternative rock group Devo created
many self-produced music videos, which were included in the pioneering
compilation "The Truth About Devolution",
directed by Chuck Statler and
video cassette releases were arguably among the first true
long-form video productions.
Video Concert Hall
was created by Jerry Crowe and Charles
Henderson, was the first nationwide video music programming on American
television, predating MTV
by almost three years.
1980, New Zealand group Split
major success with the single "I
Got You" from their album "True Colours"
and later that year they joined
becoming one of the first bands in the world to produce a complete set
of promo clips for each song on the album (directed by their
percussionist, Noel Crombie).
They also marketed these on video
the first music videos were clips produced by ex-Monkee Michael
started making short musical films for U.S.
television sketch comedy and variety show , "Saturday Night Live".
In 1981, he released Elephant
Parts, the first winner of a Grammy Award for
music video, directed by William Dear.
In 1981, the U.S. video
channel MTV launched,
airing "Video Killed
The Radio Star" and beginning an era of
music on television. With this new outlet for material, the music video
would, by the mid-1980s, grow to play a central role in popular music
marketing. Many important acts of this period, most notably Adam and the Ants, Duran Duran
owed a great deal of their success to the skillful construction and
seductive appeal of their videos.
In 1983, the
most successful and influential music video of all time was released —
the nearly 14-minute-long video for Michael Jackson's
The video set new standards for production, having cost US$500,000 to
film.That video, along
with earlier videos by Jackson for his songs "Billie Jean" and "Beat It", was also
instrumental in getting music videos by African American artists
played on MTV.
However, such videos released prior to "Thriller" had been
rare. According to MTV,
this was because it initially conceived itself as a rock-music-oriented
channel, although musician
Rick James was
outspoken in his criticism of the cable channel. He claimed in 1983
refusal to air the music video for his song "Super Freak" and
clips by other African-American performers was "blatant racism".
The video for
the 1985 Dire Straits song
"Money For Nothing"
(video below) made pioneering use of computer
helped make the song an hit Internationally. Ironically, the song
was a wry comment on the music-video phenomenon, sung from the point of
view of an appliance deliveryman both drawn to and repelled by the
outlandish images and personalities that appeared on MTV.
In 1986, Peter Gabriel's
song "Sledgehammer" used
special effects and animation techniques developed by British
studio Aardman Animation.
The video for "Sledgehammer"
would go on to be a
phenomenal success and win
nine MTV Video Music
THE MOST EXPENSIVE VIDEO CLIPS OF
Two of the videos directed by Mark Romanek in 1995 are notable for
of the three most
expensive movies ever made.
Jackson's collaboration on "Scream"
heads the list and cost $7 million to produce, and Madonna's "Bedtime Story",
which cost $5 million. Madonna has had three out of the top four most
expensive music video clips ever made.
still remains the most expensive video of all time. For a list of more
expensive-made music video's, click here.