This one deserves mentioning for many reasons as it is my all-time favorite song and I am a huge Springsteen fan! To me this is one of the greatest videos ever! After the super-hyped up era of Born In The USA...Springsteen answered that album with this! A look inward...and this song questioning one's own views/values/beliefs! The last line "God have mercy on the man who doubts what he's sure of" is haunting! So why this video? In appearance only it seems a bit boring: black and white, single camera shot, man sitting alone playing guitar and singing. The camera getting closer and closer and closer to focus on the man telling the story...which becomes a confession. That is why! The video fits the song and the lyrics in a perfect way! This video is perfection when it comes to matching these two worlds (song and video)!
Speaking of Rick, there was a Rick-Rolling pandemic at my son's high school last spring. So...he sends me the email with the link, and I can hear him snickering and giggling in the next room because he has zero poker face. I was just relieved it was nothing more than Rick. I guess it never gets old...
Next, we enter the Historic Context portion of our program — aka, “When is 500 gonna shut up?!"
Although these examples aren’t the sole contributors to MTV’s evolution, they provide a chunk of the big picture.
In 1977, Mike Nesmith (formerly of The Monkees) produced a video for his song “Rio” (no, not THAT Rio!) … The video (and song itself) isn't all that notable, but it inspired is idea for a music television network — Nesmith envisioned it something like “a radio station for videos.” That eventually spawned Nickelodeon's “PopClips,” considered to be a direct predecessor to MTV.
It’s little surprise Nesmith would sow seeds of the concept … seems like a natural extension of what was done a decade earlier with The Monkees. But first: the “Pre-Fab Four” and the TV show idea was built on the spirit of “A Hard Day’s Night.” Notable clip from the movie (colorized version)
Then came "The Monkees," which took AHDN from big screen to small screen. Half-hour sketch comedy that was popular enough to win an Emmy in its first season — but mainly it was a vehicle to showcase the group’s music and sell records. (Sounds a lot like … MTV!)
In '68, after the TV show fizzled, The Monkees headed back to the movies with “Head.” The film flopped (but became a cult classic). Most enduring part is the music-video segments. I’ve used “Porpoise Song” for other OTN themes, so I’ll choose “Circle Sky.” It contains the "fan hysteria" of A Hard Day's Night, but with some unsettling elements interwoven.