The Buggles — Video Killed the Radio Star (1979)

“... At that time it seemed that the radio remained in the distant past, while the video marked the beginning of a new future! There has been a shift…”

The Buggles - Video Killed the Radio Star (1979): Song and Music Video Story!

The composition "Video Killed the Radio Star" was released at the beginning of the 80s, as sunny and bright as itself, ... It would seem that The Buggles wrote it specifically for the launch of MTV! But ... in fact, the hit was born long before that, when the trinity - Trevor Horn, Geoffrey Downes and Bruce Woolley - decided to launch their own project!

History of creation

The song was written back in 1978! At the same time, it took the trinity no more than an hour to create a future hit. Curiously, the demo was performed by Tina Charles, the singer Horne and Downes were accompanying at the time.

Single cover!
Single cover!

Horn was inspired by James Ballard's fantasy short story "The Sound Cleaner". The book tells the story of a boy who lives in a world where the usual music is completely absent ... Every day he explores abandoned buildings with a vacuum cleaner, thereby "cleaning" the sounds. And then one day in the ruins he meets an opera singer whose talent has been devalued with the advent of modern "ultrasonic music".

Unsurprisingly, "Video Killed the Radio Star" is full of really warm nostalgia and regret that new technologies are slowly taking over...

The Buggles were founded on an idea - the desire to show how artificial everything in this world is ... And music as well. The song has become a kind of irony: Horne sings in a robotic voice, the sound of all instruments has been deliberately processed to enhance the computerized feel ... "Video Killed the Radio Star" is a sad truth about the introduction of technology into every aspect of our lives.

Trevor Horn, music producer
Trevor Horn, music producer

In I Want My MTV, Horn said:

“... Then tape recorders only entered our lives ... However, this was already a signal that absolutely all technologies are on the verge of innovation! New technologies have radically changed people's lives, ideas about the familiar ... And we felt it on our own experience. We were excited about it and we started making videos... At that time, it seemed that the radio was left in the distant past, while the video marked the beginning of a new future! There has been a shift…”

Music video for Video Killed the Radio Star!

And now about the most interesting - about the video for Video Killed the Radio Star!

Filming took place in South London. An interesting girl from the video was a girlfriend of director Russell Mulcahy, who dreamed of conquering the cinema ... Well, she did a very good job with her role in the music video! True ... for the scene where she is lowered into a test tube, 30 takes were shot! As a result, it was the “defective” one that was used!

In commemoration of a new era - music television, which successfully replaced the radio air, the clip opened the debut broadcast of the MTV channel! The event was recorded in the history of music on August 1, 1981 at 00:01 at night.

Signature screensaver of the music channel!
Signature screensaver of the music channel!

Director Russell Mulcahy himself (the one who later gave us "Highlander", "The Scorpion King" and many other wonderful films) became the most successful music video director of the 1980s! His work has glorified such masters as Duran Duran, Billy Joel, Ultravox…

Two years later (in 1983) the song performed by Stars On 45 appeared in the vastness of the Soviet Union! It was published on a gramophone record of the Melodiya company - “The sun of a good day”, and was called “Television killed the radio star”!

"Good Day Sun" ("Melody")
"Good Day Sun" ("Melody")

By the way, this song can be heard in the Indian film "Disco Dancer"! Of course, she underwent a Bollywood treatment, and received a new name "Auva Auva Koi Yahan Nache".

Unfortunately, the group practically did not give live concerts, which is why their subsequent work was not crowned with success ... In 1981, The Buggles disbanded, although each of the participants subsequently built a rather successful musical and production career.

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