80s Videos on YouTube:
When I was in junior high school, in the mid 1980s, I spent a lot of time glued to MTV, which, back in the day, actually played music videos. So I hope I'm not the only one who feels nostalgic watching some of these videos via the magic of Youtube: Mr. Mister's "Broken Wings", Michael Jackson's "Thriller" (long version), Human League's "Fascination", Journey's Steve Perry's "Separate Ways", Berlin's "No More Words", Duran Duran's "Save A Prayer", Aha's "Take on Me", Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder's "Ebony and Ivory", Styx's "Mr. Roboto", Tom Petty & The Heartbreaker's "You Got Lucky", and John Cougar's "Jack & Diane".

  Legal Disclaimer: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Volokh Corporation take no responsibility for your enjoyment or lack thereof of these short musical presentations (hereinafter, "videos"). An urge to drive a Delorean, to ask someone to describe the ruckus, or to wear your underwear on the outside may result from excessive viewing. Watch at your own risk.

  VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE: Readers remind me of this incredible video of perhaps the greatest moment in world history. Highly recommended.
I don't understand why you had to define "videos" in you legal disclaimer, when you did not use the defined term again. [/pedant]

That said, thanks for posting the videos! I feel like I owe you a beer.
9.26.2007 9:27pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
a decade whose bad music was second only to it's fashion sense...
9.26.2007 9:41pm
A.S., agreed: I think I owe you a beer, Orin. ;-) Watching those brings back memories.
9.26.2007 9:45pm
Jerry Mimsy (www):
I was just talking about eighties music videos at the record store this weekend. I picked up the Men Without Hats album Pop Goes the World, and the guy at the record store mentioned how much time our generation had spent watching music videos, and "wouldn't it be cool if" someone made a DVD with all the best videos. Some of them made otherwise bad songs memorable (A-Ha's Take On Me being a prime example).

There are a few collections on Amazon, but I don't know. Part of the appeal was the random nature of the whole thing, not knowing what was coming next. I did a lot of college homework to those things!

You could have an aeroplane flying if you bring your blue sky back!
9.26.2007 10:06pm
Waldensian (mail):
Recently I almost shed tears of nostalgia watching this one, from a hugely underrated album (CD?). They can't lip synch worth a tinkers damn, but these guys just plain rocked.
9.26.2007 10:09pm
Orin: JOURNEY's "Separate Ways." From the album "Frontiers." Perry's first solo album wasn't until the year after that.

Get your '80s straight, counselor. Let people find out you're weak and you could get Rickrolled.
9.26.2007 10:10pm
Caliban Darklock (www):
9.26.2007 10:12pm
Waldensian (mail):
I'm haunted by the possibility that "Separate Ways" was intended as a serious, rather than intentionally campy and hilarious, music video.

And Orin, TerencePhilip totally busted you as an 80s poser, dude. :)
9.26.2007 10:14pm
I fear the 'Separate Ways' video is in fact supposed to be cool.

But Perry redeems himself, a bit. The video for the single from his solo effort, Oh Sherrie, begins as a mildly amusing send-up of pretentious video-making.
9.26.2007 10:46pm
Stuart Buck (mail) (www):
9.26.2007 10:48pm
Jonathan H. Adler (mail) (www):
Big ups to Mr. Darklock for noting Robert Hazard (the Philly boy who wrote "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"). It's a shame Hazard's Philly contemporaries, The Hooters, never made any videos for "Amore" (as all their later stuff sucked).

Don't get me started on '80s music . . .

9.26.2007 10:51pm
Da Kid:
I love these videos. But you omitted one of my favorites: Gary Numan's Cars.

Video here:
9.27.2007 12:12am
Don't get me started on '80s music . . .

Me either. Actually I don't need YouTube for '80s music nostalgia though, when I have XM, whose '80s channel (along with their '70s one) has been running old episodes of Casey Kasem's American Top 40 radio show weekly for about a year now. If you really want to experience a genuine, hardcore, '80s music nostalgia high (and you can at least tolerate Kasem himself), just listen to the first hour of one of those shows, where mixed in with the obvious big hits you'll also be treated to songs you probably haven't heard since the '80s, that didn't get any higher than the 30s on the chart and have been all but forgotten by conventional radio.
9.27.2007 12:20am
Tim Sisk (mail):
Ah, remember those songs so well. Of the songs listed, I think the John Mellencamp song, "Jack &Diane" holds up the best, musically. The video is pretty good too. (Though modern videos would resist "shadow handclaps".) The Aha video was so ground breaking at the time and still looks unique and fresh today. "Take On Me" was such a great pop song and this video goes great with it.

I can't imagine how anyone in Journey could "air (enter instrument here)" with a straight face. Love the song but the song and video seem so dated now.

U2 rarely makes these video lists but their music from this time still sounds as cutting edge and contemporary today as it did back then.

Had to laugh at Orin being "Rick Rolled".
9.27.2007 12:29am
ScottyD (mail):
I'm more of a 120 Minutes fan -- anyone know where to get old shows of that?
9.27.2007 1:16am
JunkYardLawDog (mail):
Junior High in the 80's. You kids will be wanting DVD's of "Thirty Something" episodes next.

Says the "Dog"
9.27.2007 2:38am
Faceword (mail): I am guessing that Orin did not confirm that these videos have been posted on YouTube with the permission of the relevant the copyright holders.

Therefore, is Orin guilty of inducing infringement by encouraging his readers to view this? See MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., 545 U.S. 913 (2005).

Or contributory infringement? See Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 75 F. Supp. 2d 1290 (D. Utah 1999).

Could Styx send a DMCA take down notice to the ISP of The Volokh Conspiracy, and make the entire site disappear?

Ah the absurdity of copyright law in the internet age...
9.27.2007 3:12am
In addition to those listed above, there's this classic which simply must not be missed.
9.27.2007 3:15am

I did notice that some of the videos were actually posted by the relevant copyright holders. I gather they do not object. More broadly, my assumption was that it's so easy and obvious for copyright holders to do a take down notice on YouTube that if a video has been up for a while the copyright holder presumably does not object. That's been my working assumption, at least.
9.27.2007 3:16am
Homo economignoramus:
But how could you neglect to mention this 1982 Billy Joel MTV classic?
9.27.2007 5:52am
andy (mail) (www): was the last place i'd expect to get rickrolled.
9.27.2007 6:53am
9.27.2007 7:42am
Pete Freans (mail):
I had almost forgotten Rick Roll, but now that I have seen his video, I repeat the question that I posed many years ago: are you sure that voice belongs to that guy?
9.27.2007 8:29am
Another source for tons of '80s music videos.
9.27.2007 10:17am
This post is dangerous--it could easily start me on a Youtube binge that will occupy my entire morning. I agree with the posters who suggested Wham and especially "One Night in Bangkok."

I'll add one of my favorites: Billy Squier's "Rock me Tonight":

This should be a parody, but I don't think it is.

Thank you all for introducing me to the concept of "Rick Roll." I was laughing out loud.
9.27.2007 10:22am
fnook (mail):
Don't forget The Who - Eminence Front. Awesome mid 80's video.
9.27.2007 10:24am
Waldensian (mail):
It turns out that two of the five worst things ever put on film are 1980s music videos. I give you:

Outta Sight

9.27.2007 10:26am
Waldensian (mail):

Don't forget The Who - Eminence Front. Awesome mid 80's video.

I couldn't agree more completely. It's right here (with a few added titles).
9.27.2007 10:27am
I've just been rickrolled on ... orin i think you just divided by zero O SHI-
9.27.2007 10:29am
worst ever (mail):
This wasn't exactly popular in the 80's, nevertheless it deserves watching: The world's worst music video "I Wanna Love You Tender."
I think it's from Sweden.
9.27.2007 10:30am
Do you remember Rick Astley?
He had a big fat hit -- it was ghastly.

- Nick Lowe, "All Men Are Liars"
9.27.2007 11:16am
Cornellian (mail):
For a guy who looks like a 16 year old kid, Rick Astley actually had a really good voice. I wonder why he never managed to be more than a one-hit wonder.
9.27.2007 11:16am
The world is still waiting for a Haircut 100 compilation that puts their work in perspective.
9.27.2007 11:24am
Ex parte McCardle:
Goddammit--Rick Rolled again!
9.27.2007 11:48am


(great bob dylan cover)

susanna hoff!!
(another 80's cover)
9.27.2007 12:26pm
Coyote (mail) (www):
I can't believe I just got rick rolled
9.27.2007 12:37pm
Cornellian (mail):
It's not the 1980's without "99 Luft Balloons" (German version)!
9.27.2007 1:39pm
Cornellian, I prefer Nena's edgier work.
9.27.2007 4:14pm
I can't believe I forgot Yes's Owner of a Lonely Heart.
9.27.2007 6:19pm
Thanks Orin! (mail):
Wow! Great stuff! Thanks, Orin, this made my day. The 80's really were a special time period in music (for better and worse).
Owner of a Lonely Heart was one of my favorite songs (and 90125 was one of the best albums of the 80's). But I don't think I ever saw the video before.
Can anyone explain this video - why the song starts, stops, and then starts all over again with new footage?
9.27.2007 10:44pm
Thanks Orin!, you're welcome! Glad you got a kick out of it, too.

My vague recollection was that during this period a lot of bands were trying to come up with extra-theatrical videos to get more airtime on MTV. (The classic example being the long Thriller video, which was like a major event when it was played.) I wonder if they had a "long version" and a "short version" to draw attention to the video.
9.27.2007 11:05pm
Oh, and Wikipedia has some info on the song here.
9.27.2007 11:06pm
And remember this video for Leave It? Classic.
9.27.2007 11:08pm
Thanks Orin! (mail):
Leave It was indeed a classic. Thanks again!
Another omission to be rectified, Talking Heads' Burning Down the House:
9.28.2007 12:12am
JunkYardLawDog (mail):
Corenellian, you are definitely correct.

It's not the 1980's without "99 Luft Balloons" (German version)!

I still remember that little cutie from that video. What video's most personify with the largest audience over the widest range of ages 80's music/videos.

Luft Ballons would certainly be in the top 25. MJ's Thriller would probably be in top 5. I'm not sure what others I would put in there. For me personally I'll always remember Twice Bitten Once Shy Babe, by who was that "White Snake". They had this great looking groupie with a chrome studded bra that comes on at the end with some other groupies to sing background. Definite hottie. I remember that video more for that hottie that my wife and I can still share a private joke about than the song really. They were also the band that burned down that club in the 90's that killed 100 people or more in New Jersey.

I like music from any decade that has a great beat and is really good to dance to. There are even some rap songs (and I hate rap) that have great beats for dancing. You just have to ignore the words.

Says the "Dog"
9.28.2007 12:57am
Cornellian (mail):
I think you're confusing the bands White Snake and Great White.
9.28.2007 4:52am
How about the videos for Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" and "Simply Irrestible"? Definitely 80s classics.

And of course, BFS's "1985" :-)
9.28.2007 12:56pm
9.29.2007 5:31am