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Video Killed the Radio Star

From Academic Kids

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Buggles.jpg
Frame from "Video Killed the Radio Star".

"Video Killed the Radio Star" is a song recorded by the Buggles. Its music video, directed by Russell Mulcahy, is noteworthy because it was the first video shown on MTV, when the channel debuted on August 1, 1981 (at 12:00 AM). The reason for this selection is clear. Both the lyrics of the song itself and imagery in the video (which includes exploding radios) explore themes of a popular recording artist losing popularity when they prove less appealing when actually seen performing in the video age. In addition the song was very popular and had been a substantial hit, and the video itself was inventive and enjoyable.

Written by Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes and Bruce Woolley, the song reached number one in the UK charts in 1979. It appears on the album The Age of Plastic. A different version was recorded by Woolley (with Thomas Dolby) for his album "Bruce Woolley And The Camera Club".

The phrase came to light again in 1983, when Duran Duran caused a minor uproar by releasing the "Union of the Snake" video (the first single from the Seven and the Ragged Tiger album) to MTV a week before releasing the single to radio. Radio stations feared this might become the wave of the future, with fans tuning into MTV for new music and ignoring radio. Coincidentally, this video was also directed by Mulcahy.

The song was covered by the Presidents of the United States of America in 1998 for the soundtrack to The Wedding Singer, by the Japanese all girl band Lolita No.18 in 1999, by Erasure in 2003 and by Ben Folds Five for the extended issue of their album "Whatever And Ever Amen" released in 2005.

It also appears in the GTA Vice City soundtrack on Flash FM radio station.

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