Thursday, December 3, 2009

Music Videos - Steve Barron/ a-ha Take on me

During the early 80's music video was still in it's embryonic stages with the advent of MTV. Some artists cottoned on to the fact that music video was just going to get bigger while others like Joe Jackson did one video and refused any more (a decision which he admits is one of the worst in his life).

Steve Barron was a director during the time who came up with concepts for music videos. His videos are some of the most iconic of that era and indeed of all time.

I was astounded when I went through the videos that Steve Barron directed.
Here is a sample:
Bryan Adams - "Cuts Like a Knife", "Heaven", "Summer of '69"
Joe Jackson - "Steppin' Out", "Real Men"
The Human League - "Don't You Want Me"
Michael Jackson - "Billie Jean"
Dire Straits - "Money for Nothing"
ZZ Top - "Rough Boy"
Culture Club - "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me", "Time (Clock of the Heart)", "Church of the Poison Mind", "Karma Chameleon", "It's a Miracle", "Miss Me Blind"
a-ha - "Take on Me", "Cry Wolf", "The Living Daylights", "The Sun Always Shines on T.V."
Tears for Fears - "Pale Shelter"
Toto - "Africa", "Rosanna"
Madonna - "Burning Up"
Thomas Dolby - "She Blinded Me with Science"

Today's clip is a-ha's "Take on me". Apparently there was quite a bit of money invested in the clip. The record execs knew it was hit material but it wasn't charting well with the first video. In comes Steve Barron with his idea to create a world within a comic book. a-ha were a bit dubious because they didn't want to be known as a cartoon band but they went along with it. I'm sure all that money they made softened the blow as well.

So many people consider a-ha to be a one hit wonder 80's band. Not so at all. They have only just broken up after 9 albums. If you ever want to watch some interesting footage showing the popularity of a-ha just type in "Rock in Rio a-ha" into You Tube and watch the "Hunting high and low" clip. Those mad Brazilians knew every single word and sung along. This was an event which had appearing: Billy Idol, INXS, Faith No More, and George Michael just to name a few..and who did they go nuts for..a-ha.

So here is the Steve Barron directed clip "Take on me"

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