80s, Music, TV — May 16, 2013 11:26 am

6 Haunting 80s Music Videos

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Even though the music video format had been around for a while, there wasn’t a steady need for them.  All that, of course, changed when MTV hit the cable scene in 1980.  After that point, bands were pretty much required to make a music video if they wanted to stay relevant.  This led to a overwhelming amount of experimentation and strange visuals.  Personally, I haven’t been able to forget certain elements of music videos over the years.  Images contained within each promotional piece still linger with me to this day.

That said, here are six haunting 80s music videos.

6 – Ghostbusters

No music video is complete without a Chevy Chase cameo.

How could we have a list of haunting 80s music videos and not include Ghostbusters?  Whereas the movie is 80% comedy and 20% scary, the music video is the other way around.  Ray Parker Jr. seems to get off on creeping out a pajama clad woman in her house built of neon lights.  The special effects are cool, but the premise is a little on the awkward side.  I’ve never been able to shake the visual of Ray Parker Jr. doing his hand move while slowly walking down the stairs.

5 – When We Was Fab

One time I saw a violin this big.

I once saw a Pop-Up Video tidbit that claimed George Harrison didn’t like to move around much in his music videos.  As a solution, directors started making the world around him move.  George’s buddies Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, and even Elton John lend their appearance to this video with special effects beyond their time.  See if you can spot the John Lennon “cameo”.

4 – La Bamba

I wish county fairs were actually this exciting.

The video for “La Bamba” by Los Lobos was played in pretty heavy rotation when I was a kid.  I always interpreted the video as a dance party rave for ghosts.  Throughout the night, the band plays to a high energy crowd.  In the morning, clearly the band is only performing for the custodian.  Where did the audience go?  Ghosts.  That’s the only explanation you need.

3 – Take On Me

Which is better, this video or the end credits for Harry and the Hendersons?

Some videos get so artistic that it’s hard for me to decipher the message.  If I understand the video for “Take On Me” correctly, it’s about a woman who falls in love with a comic book character.  Later, he struggles to come to life to be with her while she has a mental breakdown.  So, it’s sort of like Cool World and The Little Mermaid?  Great song, strange video.

2 – Leave Me Alone

The teeth scene!!  Ahhh, the teeth scene!!!

Say what you will about Michael Jackson, you have to admit this video was a pretty gutsy way to acknowledge he knew the public thought he was weird.  Unfortunately, the weirdness of the video didn’t really help his case.  If some suppressed memories of chattering teeth tunnels and dog people surface while watching this video, you’re not alone.  There are plenty of creepy visuals throughout this four and a half minutes for everybody!

1 – Got My Mind Set On You

Birds can dance.  Who knew?

Leave it to George Harrison to end up with two videos on this list.  Once again, George preferred to sit this one out and let the world around out stage him.  I have memories of watching this on my floor model console television, immediately followed by an evening of nightmares.  The moving decorations on the wall feel like some mash-up of Applebee’s and Evil Dead 2.

Did we miss some of your favorite haunting 80s music videos?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

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