Music videos are one of the best parts about the modern-day music industry. It is interesting to see two worlds collide creatively to create one unique piece of art with an audio and visual. Many may believe that music videos began when MTV first came about in the 1980s, but really, they started becoming a thing long before. They may have not been as eccentric, but they still existed. Though in comparison to all of history, music videos are a relatively new concept, and the industry continues to grow and impact society as we move through time.
Some of the first ever movies to go with music were in the 1920s when “talkies” became popular. This was largely popular because of Walt Disney making cartoons that went along with music. At this point, there was a new expectation for entertainment... people noticed that they did in fact enjoy music and video being a combined experience. As time passed, more artists started to catch on that people really enjoyed this. Groups and artists started to make performance videos to be aired on TV, so they did not have to travel around as much to promote their new music with a busy schedule.
Many people like to say that the first actual modern music video was Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody in 1975. It was something so visually different from what people saw before that it helped pave the way of what we think of when we hear music videos today. It is surprising to know that the effects used to create this video were not done in post-production. Personally, I have always wondered how they got these effects to work back then. The way they did it was by using different lenses to create the honeycomb effect. To create the effect used in the echo part, they used an “error” to get the look of images repeating itself. They had the camera in the feedback monitor to create the repeated look. Most looked at it as an error, but the guys of Queen saw it as something cool that they could use.
Following the drop of more videos like this, MTV sprouted in 1981. Funny enough, the first video that was aired on the channel was, “Video Killed the Radio Star,” by the Buggles. An iconic song that perfectly describes the shift in technology at the time. Young people were more interested in tuning in to the channel than listening to the songs on the radio. They would have a count down every week for top 20 music videos. Today, MTV is not really used for music videos anymore due to the internet and websites such as YouTube, where someone can look up a video whenever they would like. MTV has turned into something else. In the early 2000s it had a lot of reality TV shows on it and today they have game shows and other random shows as well.
As for the impact on society, music videos are able to show people how creative and interesting visuals can be. The sky is the limit when it comes to making music videos. Some are simple, but others go all out with interesting concepts and visuals. Many musical artists even direct their own videos and are able to voice in on what the video will look like. It is a very different type of media compared to movies and television shows. Music videos are a way to discover new talent both musically and in production. They can often be seen as “test runs'' for bigger projects in the future. Overall, music videos have come a long way in such a short period of time. And the videos only continue to do more every year as technology progresses and the new generation comes up with new ideas.