The new era of music was greatly revolutionized during the 1980s, thanks to the birth of music videos.
The history of music video all began on August 1, 1981, at precisely 12:01 am ET. MTV, the first 24-hour video music channel, was launched into television sets. Just like that, ordinary lives were never the same again.
"Ladies and gentlemen, rock-and-roll" was the introduction of the original MTV host, John Lack, when it first aired. The video footage of the launch of the space shuttle Columbia led the countdown to the original MTV theme song. The American flag on the moon was then transformed into the iconic MTV logo. Lack then declared, "You will never look at music the same way again". Ironically, the very first music video to be played on the debut show was "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles. The British new wave band was unknown in the U.S., but the first MTV gave them momentary recognition.
A total of 116 unique videos were played when MTV was launched. Rod Stewart, The Who, Cliff Richard, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, and Phil Collins were some of the artists with music videos shown on that historic day.
Music dramatically shifted from the sound and voice aspect to the visual accompaniment that brought out a different level of entertainment.
A music video, as defined by Encyclopedia Britannica, is a promotional film for popular music, especially a rock song. The early '80s saw the advent of the music videos that were widely broadcasted over the television screen. Music videos over MTV were rotated 24 hours a day for seven days.
In 1982, the famous catchphrase, "I want my MTV!" was introduced as a promotional campaign. Musical artists were filmed uttering the phrase.
Enter 1983 - Michael Jackson created a massive impact on how a music video should be. The groundbreaking videos of "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" proved to be the game-changer due to the more-polished choreography and sophisticated effects.
Another spin that out shadowed the two hits was the 14-minute video of "Thriller". The production cost was at half a million dollars at that time. The success of the music video set the bar to a higher standard in the industry.