For this “Things That Bring Back Memories” post, I am going to pick something in the topic of “Music”. My family is one that really loves music, and can think back to where we were when we heard a certain song, etc. I can’t play music for anything, but my husband is a bass guitar player, and our son plays the piano. Lucky I don’t have to do anything but listen, otherwise, we’d be in trouble. :/
So starting on this beautiful Monday of the week, I’ll give you a little look into my life and past with “Things That Brings Back Memories” for me. This The Buggles song Video Killed the Radio Star is one that almost all people my age remember. It will go down in history as the first ever video on MTV – that’s when they actually did play music videos, kids!! It really did happen back in the day. Have you ever heard of this song? Check it out here:
About the Video Killed the Radio Star Song:
Video Killed the Radio Star is a song written by Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes and Bruce Woolley in 1978. It was first recorded by Bruce Woolley and The Camera Club (with Thomas Dolby on keyboards) for their album English Garden, and later by British group the Buggles, consisting of Horn and Downes. The track was recorded and mixed in 1979, released as their debut single on 7 September 1979 by Island Records, and included on their first album The Age of Plastic. The backing track was recorded at Virgin’s Town House in West London, and mixing and vocal recording would later take place at Sarm East Studios.
Like all the other tracks from the LP, “Video”‘s theme was promotion of technology while worrying about its effects. This song relates to concerns about mixed attitudes towards 20th-century inventions and machines for the media arts. Musically, the song performs like an extended jingle and the composition plays in the key of D-flat major in common time at a tempo of 132 beats per minute. The track has been positively received, with reviewers praising its unusual musical pop elements. Although the song includes several common pop characteristics and six basic chords are used in its structure, Downes and writer Timothy Warner described the piece as musically complicated, due to its use of suspended and minor ninth chords for enhancement that gave the song a “slightly different feel.”
Commercially, “Video Killed the Radio Star” was also a success. The track topped sixteen international music charts, including the official singles charts of the group’s home country of the UK and other nations such as Australia, Austria, France, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, as well as the Japanese Oricon International Chart. It also peaked within the top 10 in Canada, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa, the top 20 in Belgium and the Netherlands, and barely in the top 40 in the United States.
The song’s music video was written, directed, and edited by Russell Mulcahy, and is well-remembered as the first music video shown on MTV in the United States at 12:01 a.m. on August 1, 1981, and the first video shown on MTV Classic in the United Kingdom on March 1, 2010. The song has received several critical accolades, such as being ranked number 40 on VH1’s 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the ’80s. It has been covered by many recording artists. Trevor Horn has done performances of the song, both at Buggles reunion performances and with The Producers, since 1998.
More About The Buggles:
The Buggles were an English new wave band formed in London in 1977 by singer and bassist Trevor Horn and keyboardist Geoffrey Downes. They are best known for their 1979 debut single “Video Killed the Radio Star” that topped the UK Singles Chart and reached number one in 15 other countries.
The duo released their first album, The Age of Plastic, in January 1980 with “Video Killed the Radio Star” as its lead single. Soon after the album’s release, Horn and Downes joined the progressive rock band Yes, recording and releasing Drama in the process. Following a tour to promote the album, Yes disbanded in 1981. That same year, on August 1, the music video for “Video Killed the Radio Star” became the first ever shown on MTV in the US.
The following year, the Buggles released a second album, Adventures in Modern Recording. Its lack of commercial success led to the break up of the group. Since 1998, Horn and Downes have occasionally performed the Buggles’ songs. In October 2011, The Buggles reunited to play at the British Music Experience at the O2 Arena in London. At the 2016 Progressive Music Awards, the Buggles won an “Outer Limit Award.”
Some Other Interesting Facts:
- Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes of the Buggles replaced Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson in Yes in 1980. The Buggles did record a second album in 1981. While recording the album Downes was invited to join the band Asia; Horn decided to finish the album with musicians from both Yes and The Camera Club.
- Trevor Horn said of this song in the book I Want My MTV: “It came from this idea that technology was on the verge of changing everything. Video recorders had just come along, which changed people’s lives. We’d seem people starting to make videos as well, and we were excited by that. It felt like radio was the past and video was the future. The was a shift coming.”
- Ever since its release, the Buggles’ version of “Video Killed the Radio Star” has been given a mostly positive reception from music critics. Originally, the song became a Billboard Top Single Pick on 3 November 1979, whom the publication found the chorus catchy and also highlighted the orchestral instruments supporting the backing singers.
- The video was shot in south London in a day. The girl who starred in the clip was a friend of director Russell Mulcahy who was trying to become an actress. For the scene where she is lowered into the test tube, about 30 takes were shot, and the wrong take was used – you can see the tube falling over, which wasn’t supposed to happen.
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