Friday, February 20, 2015

Musical Interlude: Video Killed the Radio Star (1979)

This is the 1st video ever played on MTV, back in 1981. Thing is, it preceded the channel by 2 years.

The Buggles' "Video Killed The Radio Star", and its accompanying album, "The Age of Plastic", actually landed in stores in 1979, but most folks associate it with the dawn of MTV, and assume it was released in '81.

Can you say, 1-hit wonder? Thought you could.


magicdog said...

Love love love this tune!

The "Buggles" may have been one hit wonders but technically, they weren't so much a band as a couple of session musicians who took advantage of an opportunity.

Shortly after recording the first of two albums as The Buggles, the band, Yes, asked them to join them on their tour and they did. Not long afterwards, they were involved in music production for various bands of the era (including Yes) and Geoff Downes forming the band, Asia.

The song always had a dual meaning to me - it could work on two levels. The obvious one would be the song itself, which describes the radio era of entertainment, and how many VAs couldn't carry their radio characters to TV.

Another level is the era of MTV in its early years. Once upon a time, all you needed was enough airplay on the radio to get your song to sell records. Then MTV came along and one had to make videos, and there were some who didn't transfer very well to the MTV music video generation.

hobbyfan said...

Yes, I recall the names associated with the Buggles also involved with Yes, particularly on their 1983 album, 90125.

The old school microphone in the video does suggest a reference to old time radio. Good catch.