A brief history of music videos
Post on 11-Feb-2017
A brief history of music videos
A brief history of music videosEllis Rogers
What is a music video?A music video or song video is a short film integrating a song and imagery, produced for promotional or artistic purposesModern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of music recordings.
An early exampleBessie Smith St. Louis Blues.
Blues singer Bessie Smith featured one of her hit songs in the 2 reel short film called St. Louis Blues. It was shown in theatres until 1929.
Promos?Music videos are often called promotion videos or simply promos, due to the fact that they are usually promotional devices. Sometimes, music videos are termed short-form music videos to distinguish them from full length movies pertaining to music. In the 1980s, the term "rock video" was often used to describe this form of entertainment, although the term has fallen into disuse.
In 1940, Walt Disney released Fantasia, an animated film based around famous pieces of classical music.
1950s/60s development In 1956 Tony Bennett was filmed walking along The Serpentine in Hyde Park, London as his recording of "Stranger in Paradise" played; this film was distributed to and played by UK and US television stations, leading Bennett to later claim he made the first music video.Around 1960 a visual jukebox, was invented in France and short films were produced by many French artists to accompany their songs. Its use spread to other countries and similar machines such as the Cinebox in Italy and Colour-Sonic in the USA were patented.
The modern eraThe key innovation in the development of the modern music video was, of course, video recording and editing processes, along with the development of a number of related effects such as Chroma-key. The advent of high-quality colour videotape recorders and portable video cameras coincided with the DIY ethos of the New Wave era and this enabled many pop acts to produce promotional videos quickly and cheaply, in comparison to the relatively high costs of using film. However, as the genre developed music video directors increasingly turned to 35mm film as the preferred medium, while others mixed film and video. By the mid-1980s releasing a music video to accompany a new single had become standard, and acts like The Jackson's sought to gain a commercial edge by creating lavish music videos with million dollar budgets; most notable with the video for "Can You Feel It".
1890s MTV was launched in 1981, with the first music video aired to be The Buggles Video Killed The Radio StarDavid Bowie scored his first UK number one in nearly a decade thanks to director David Mallets' eye catching promo for "Ashes to Ashes" . In the early to mid 1980s, artists started to use more sophisticated effects in their videos, and added a storyline or plot to the music video. Michael Jackson was the first artist to create the concept of the short film. A short film is a music video that has a beginning, middle and end. He did this in a small way with Billie Jean, directed by Steve Barron, but it wasn't until the 1984 release of the Thriller short film that he took the music video format to another level.
MTVMusic video would, by the mid-1980s, grow to play a central role in popular music marketing.Madonna, owed a great deal of her success to the skilful construction and seductive appeal of her videos. Some academics have compared music video to silent film, and it is suggested that stars like Madonna have (often quite deliberately) constructed an image that in many ways echoes the image of the great stars of the silent era such as Greta Garbo. Although many see MTV as the start of a "golden era" of music videos and the unparalleled success of a new art form in popular culture, others see it as hastening the death of the true musical artist, because physical appeal is now critical to popularity to an unprecedented degree.