Rewind: 36 Outstanding 80s Music Videos for MTV Nostalgics

The 1980s marked a pivotal era in the history of popular music, as the emergence of MTV brought the magic of music videos into our living rooms. The decade witnessed a surge of creativity and innovation, producing an array of iconic 80s music videos that have become ingrained in our collective memory. 

The advent of MTV provided a platform for artists to showcase their creativity beyond the limitations of live performances. With the power of visual storytelling, 80s music videos transcended mere promotional tools, becoming an art form in their own right. They fused music with stunning visuals, captivating narratives, and imaginative concepts, creating an immersive experience that resonated with audiences worldwide.

One cannot discuss 80s music videos without acknowledging their influence on the medium itself. The unforgettable phrase “Video Killed the Radio Star” is true.

Music videos propelled certain songs and artists to new heights of popularity, making them inseparable from their visual counterparts. They transformed the way we consumed music, shaping our perceptions and establishing a deep connection between the artist and the audience.

Preserving these music videos in their original form has become essential for those who wish to relive the nostalgia of the 80s and celebrate the cultural impact of this transformative era. 

If you want to keep these remarkable 80s music videos within your personal collection or convert them for private listening, you can use YTD Downloader to make your life a little easier.

YTD Downloader allows you to download and save your favorite music videos from various platforms, ensuring that you can revisit and enjoy them whenever you want.

Best 80s music videos

1. Michael Jackson – Thriller (1983)

Genre: Pop, Dance, Horror

Directed by: John Landis

Michael Jackson is widely regarded as one of the greatest entertainers in the history of popular music. Jackson’s career began in the 1960s as a member of the Jackson 5, a family band formed with his brothers. In the 1980s, he achieved tremendous success as a solo artist with his album “Thriller” becoming the best-selling album of all time.

“Thriller” was released in 1983 and became a cultural phenomenon. It not only topped the charts worldwide but also broke racial barriers, with its music video being one of the first by a black artist to receive heavy rotation on MTV.

Michael Jackson’s dance move, the “moonwalk,” became one of his signature moves and a significant influence on future generations of dancers.

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2. A-ha – Take On Me (1985)

Genre: New wave, Synth-pop

Directed by: Steve Barron

A-ha gained international fame in the mid-1980s with their breakthrough hit “Take On Me” and became one of the most successful bands of the decade. Their unique blend of catchy pop melodies, synth-driven soundscapes, and Morten Harket’s distinctive vocals made them one of the most beloved bands from that time.

“Take On Me” was originally released in 1984 but only gained major success in 1985 after it was re-recorded and accompanied by a groundbreaking music video. The video played a significant role in propelling the song to the top of the charts and becoming an iconic ’80s anthem.

It showcased A-ha’s ability to blend pop music with innovative storytelling and visual aesthetics, solidifying their status as pioneers in the music video medium. “Take On Me” remains one of the most memorable and iconic 80s music videos, leaving a lasting impact on popular culture.

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3. Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer (1986)

Genre: Art rock, Pop, Funk

Directed by: Stephen R. Johnson

Gabriel embarked on a successful solo career in the late 1970s, exploring various musical styles and pushing boundaries, while being one of the most innovative artists of the decade.

Gabriel’s commitment to pushing creative boundaries extended beyond his music. He actively embraced the possibilities of music videos as an art form, collaborating with visionary directors and using innovative techniques to enhance the visual storytelling aspect of his songs.

Throughout the video, Gabriel interacts with a variety of quirky and surreal characters, transforming his face and body into different shapes and forms. The vibrant and imaginative visuals perfectly complement the infectious energy of the song, creating a visual feast for the viewers, especially if you are looking for that 80s music videos aesthetic.

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4. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (1981)

Genre: Progressive rock, Art rock

Directed by: Bruce Gowers

Known for their eclectic musical style, innovative songwriting, and theatrical performances, Queen became one of the most successful and influential bands in rock history. Their dynamic and flamboyant frontman, Freddie Mercury, captivated audiences with his powerful vocals and charismatic stage presence. Queen’s music traversed various genres, including rock, pop, opera, and even elements of heavy metal, making them a truly unique and groundbreaking band.

The song’s recording process was highly unconventional, because the band utilized multiple overdubs and tested innovative studio techniques. It was one of the first songs to feature a vocal harmonizer, which contributed to the distinctive layered sound.

The music video for Bohemian Rhapsody was a groundbreaking visual representation of a complex and ambitious song. The video perfectly complemented the intricate composition and showcased the band’s musical artistry.

Without a doubt, it played a significant role in popularizing the concept of music videos. It was an early example of how visual storytelling could enhance the impact and popularity of a song.

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5. Duran Duran – Rio (1982)

Genre: New wave, Synth-pop

Directed by: Russell Mulcahy

Duran Duran achieved massive success in the 1980s and became one of the most popular bands of the era. They were known for their catchy pop hooks, stylish fashion, and innovative music videos. Their sound blended elements of new wave, synth-pop, dance, and rock. It would become one of the most interesting combinations in the 1980s.

Throughout the video, vibrant and colorful images of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are interspersed with shots of the band performing on the yacht. The video captures the energy and excitement of the city, featuring iconic landmarks such as the Christ the Redeemer statue, Copacabana Beach, and the Sugarloaf Mountain. If you want the carnaval atmosphere and one of the best 80s music videos, this one is for you.

6. David Bowie – Ashes to Ashes (1980)

Genre: Art rock, New wave

Directed by: David Bowie and David Mallet

Bowie was a highly influential figure in the pop music world and is considered one of the most innovative and eclectic artists of the 20th century. His career spanned over five decades, during which he explored various musical genres, reinvented himself multiple times, and left an indelible impact on popular culture. 

The music video for “Ashes to Ashes” is often regarded as one of the most iconic and influential 80s music videos. It showcased Bowie’s visionary approach to visual storytelling and his willingness to embrace new technologies and artistic concepts.

The video utilized cutting-edge visual effects and technologies of the time and it pushed the boundaries of what was possible in music videos. The innovative use of chroma key compositing and other effects created a unique and visually stunning aesthetic.

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7. Madonna – Like a Prayer (1989)

Genre: Pop

Directed by: Mary Lambert

Often referred to as the “Queen of Pop,” Madonna’s career spans several decades, during which she continually pushed the boundaries of pop music. Madonna’s music incorporates various genres, including pop, dance, rock, and electronic, and she is known for her provocative lyrics, fashion choices, and one of the best 80s music videos.

“Like a Prayer” was released by Madonna in 1989 as the lead single from her fourth studio album of the same name. 

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8. Prince – When Doves Cry (1984)

Genre: Funk, Pop, Rock

Directed by: Prince

Simply put, Princes was a legend. His music encompassed a wide range of genres, including funk, pop, rock, and R&B. Throughout his career, he released numerous critically acclaimed albums and achieved worldwide success with hits like “Purple Rain,” “Kiss,” and “When Doves Cry.” Prince’s influence extended beyond his music, as he challenged societal norms, advocated for artistic freedom, and left an indelible mark on the music industry.

The video’s minimalist aesthetic perfectly complements the song’s stripped-down and innovative sound. This enhances the impact of the music, allowing the viewer to connect with the song on a deeper level, creating one of the best 80s music videos.

Furthermore, the video’s incorporation of narrative elements adds a layer of storytelling that enriches the song’s lyrical themes. It offers a glimpse into the complexities of human relationships and the emotional turmoil depicted in the lyrics.

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9. The Police – Every Breath You Take (1983)

Genre: New wave, Rock

Directed by: Godley & Creme

The Police’s music blended elements of rock, punk, reggae, and new wave, creating a distinct sound that garnered widespread acclaim. As a consequence, the band achieved numerous chart-topping hits and released five studio albums. However, it was a short life at the top: they disbanded in 1986.

The “Every Breath You Take” video is considered one of the best videos of the 80s for several reasons. Firstly, it complements the song’s lyrical content and musical mood, effectively conveying the themes of obsession and surveillance through its visual storytelling.

What’s more, the video’s use of split-screen and innovative editing techniques was ahead of its time and added a layer of visual sophistication. It demonstrated the directors’ artistic vision and their ability to push the boundaries of music video production.

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10. Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1983)

Genre: Pop, New Wave

Directed by: Edd Griles

You already know it. Before we had Single Ladies, there was Girls Just Want to Have Fun. The song was originally written and recorded by American musician Robert Hazard in 1979. However, it was Cyndi Lauper’s rendition that became an iconic hit. 

Lauper’s career has spanned several decades, and she has released numerous successful albums, earning her multiple Grammy Awards and induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

This happy and wonderful video perfectly captures the spirit of the song, as it celebrates individuality, female empowerment, and the freedom to have fun and express oneself.

The video showcased Cyndi Lauper’s charismatic and vibrant personality, and viewers were captivated by her energetic performance. Basically, girl power, 80s style. Her infectious energy and relatable persona made her an instant star and resonated with audiences, helping to establish her as a leading figure in the music industry. It is, for sure, one of the best music videos of the 80s.

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11. Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child o’ Mine (1987)

Genre: Hard Rock, Glam Metal

Directed by: Nigel Dick

Guns N’ Roses emerged as one of the leading acts of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Their debut album, “Appetite for Destruction” (1987), became a massive commercial success, propelled by hits like “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “Welcome to the Jungle,” and “Paradise City.” 

“Sweet Child O’ Mine” was released by Guns N’ Roses in 1988 as the third single from their debut album. The song became their first and only number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100, solidifying their place as one of the most influential rock bands of the era. It is, also, one of the best music videos of the 80s.

The video captures the essence of Guns N’ Roses’ rebellious spirit and their contribution to the rock music scene of the 1980s. It embodies the era’s rawness, energy, and attitude, making it a timeless representation of the band and the era in which they thrived.

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12. Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (1982)

Genre: Pop

Directed by: Steve Barron

There was no way Michael Jackson could have just one entry on this list, was it?

“Billie Jean” was released as the second single from his album “Thriller.” The song became a massive commercial success, topping charts worldwide and becoming one of Jackson’s signature songs. It also played a significant role in breaking down racial barriers on MTV, as the network initially had a limited playlist for Black artists but was forced to include “Billie Jean” due to its popularity.

Jackson’s talent and charisma forced the network to recognize the importance of his music and visual artistry, ultimately leading to increased visibility and airtime for Black artists on the channel. This is one of the iconic 80s music videos.

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13. Dire Straits – Money for Nothing (1985)

Genre: Rock, New Wave

Directed by: Steve Barron

Dire Straits was a British rock band formed in 1977 by brothers Mark and David Knopfler, along with John Illsley and Pick Withers.Their sound blended elements of rock, blues, and jazz, and their songs often featured introspective lyrics and intricate guitar work.

The music video for “Money for Nothing” combines animation and live-action footage to create a visually striking and innovative experience. It opens with an animated sequence featuring stylized characters that resemble workers in a hardware store. The animation is notable for its use of computer-generated imagery (CGI), which was groundbreaking at the time. The use of this technology makes it one of the iconic 80s music videos out there.

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14. George Michael – Faith (1987)

Genre: Pop, Rock

Directed by: Andy Morahan

Born on June 25, 1963, Michael rose to fame as a member of the duo Wham! in the 1980s, alongside Andrew Ridgeley. Wham! achieved widespread success with hits like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Careless Whisper.” In 1987, Michael embarked on a solo career and released his debut album, “Faith,” which catapulted him to even greater success. 

Throughout the video, Michael is seen performing the song in a variety of locations, including a studio, a barn, and an alley. His energetic dance moves, confident swagger, and expressive facial expressions contribute to the video’s dynamic and captivating nature.

The visual style of the video reflects the 1950s and 1960s rock ‘n’ roll era, paying homage to artists like Elvis Presley and James Dean. The black and white cinematography, combined with the retro aesthetic, creates a timeless and nostalgic atmosphere. It is one of the most unique music videos of the 80s.

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15. Billy Idol – White Wedding (1982)

Genre: Rock

Directed by: David Mallet

Idol first gained prominence as the lead vocalist of the punk rock band Generation X in the late 1970s. After the band disbanded, Idol embarked on a successful solo career, achieving widespread popularity in the 1980s. Known for his distinctive voice, rebellious image, and energetic performances, Billy Idol became an iconic figure in the punk and new wave movements.

The music video for “White Wedding” features a blend of dark and Gothic aesthetics, mirroring the song’s themes of love, desire, and rebellion. It opens with a shot of Billy Idol in a darkened room, surrounded by candles, setting the tone for the video’s moody atmosphere.

The video showcases a wedding ceremony intercut with scenes of Idol performing with his band. The wedding scenes depict a gothic-style wedding, with Idol playing multiple characters, including the groom, a preacher, and a rebellious guest. These different roles reflect the internal conflict and tension within the song’s narrative. You can clearly see why this is one of the most iconic 80s music videos.

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16. Tears for Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World (1985)

Tears for Fears is a British pop rock band formed in 1981 by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith. The duo gained international success with their debut album “The Hurting” (1983), which featured hits like “Mad World” and “Change.” 

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was released as the third single from the album “Songs from the Big Chair.” The song became one of Tears for Fears’ biggest hits, reaching the top of the charts in several countries.

Throughout the video, there are shots of the band performing the song against a backdrop of towering columns and arches, creating a grand and majestic atmosphere. The performance scenes are intercut with footage of people from various walks of life, symbolizing the desire for power and control that permeates society.

The visual style of the video is characterized by its cinematic quality, enhanced by the use of vivid colors and evocative imagery. It incorporates elements of surrealism and symbolism, giving the video a thought-provoking and artistic edge. The combination of the band’s intense performance and the visually captivating scenes makes for a visually engaging experience.

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17. Run-D.M.C. – Walk This Way ft. Aerosmith (1986)

Genre: Hip Hop, Rock

Directed by: Jon Small

You just had to know this one will make the cut. It is one of the most iconic features in the history of music. Rap and rock coming together for an epic song.

“Walk This Way” was originally released by Aerosmith in 1975 and became one of their signature songs. In 1986, Run-DMC collaborated with Aerosmith on a new version of the song, which brought both groups immense success and introduced hip hop to a wider audience.

The bands playfully interact, share the microphone, and perform together, symbolizing the bridging of genres and breaking down musical barriers.

The visual style of the video reflects the vibrant and gritty atmosphere of the 1980s New York City streets. It incorporates dynamic camera movements, energetic editing, and fast-paced performances, capturing the infectious energy of the song and the collaboration between Run-DMC and Aerosmith.

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18. Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime (1980)

Genre: New Wave, Art Rock

Directed by: Toni Basil and David Byrne

Talking Heads was an American rock band formed in 1975, known for their unique blend of new wave, punk, and art rock. They achieved critical and commercial success throughout the 1980s. Their innovative approach to music and thought-provoking lyrics made them one of the most influential bands of the era.

The song “Once in a Lifetime” was released in 1981 as part of Talking Heads’ fourth studio album, “Remain in Light.” It became one of their most popular and recognizable songs, known for its infectious rhythm and David Byrne’s distinctive vocal delivery.

The video employs a minimalistic set design, with Byrne dressed in a gray suit against a plain background. The lighting and camera angles create an otherworldly atmosphere, enhancing the surreal and introspective nature of the song. As the video progresses, Byrne’s movements become more erratic and exaggerated, portraying a sense of frustration and existential crisis.

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19. Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) (1987)

Born in 1963, Houston began her singing career in gospel music and later transitioned to pop and R&B. She quickly became one of the most successful and influential artists of her time, known for her powerful vocals, emotive performances, and a string of hit songs. Houston’s debut album, self-titled “Whitney Houston,” released in 1985, became the best-selling debut album by a female artist at that time. She continued to achieve great success throughout the 1980s and beyond, earning numerous awards and accolades for her music.

The music video for “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” is a vibrant and energetic visual feast that perfectly complements the song’s catchy and upbeat nature. The video features Whitney Houston in various settings, radiating joy and exuberance as she performs and interacts with dancers and extras.

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20. The Buggles – Video Killed the Radio Star (1979, but widely associated with the ’80s)

Genre: New Wave, Synth-pop

Directed by: Russell Mulcahy

Talk about historic moments. Video Killed the Radio Star holds the distinction of being the first music video ever played on MTV when the network launched on August 1, 1981. 

The Buggles were a British new wave band formed in 1977 by Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes. “Video Killed the Radio Star” was their debut single, released in 1979. The song became an instant hit, reaching the top of the charts in multiple countries and gaining significant attention for its innovative use of synthesizers and its commentary on the impact of technology on the music industry. 

The music video for “Video Killed the Radio Star” is a visually captivating and technologically innovative piece of art that complements the song’s themes of the changing landscape of the music industry. The video features Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes performing the song in a futuristic and surreal setting.

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21. Van Halen – Jump (1984)

Genre: Hard rock, Glam metal

Directed by: David Lee Roth

The band is known for their energetic and guitar-driven sound, catchy hooks, and charismatic performances. “Jump” is one of their most popular and successful songs, released in 1984 as the lead single from their album “1984.”

The video is characterized by its dynamic camera angles, quick cuts, and fast-paced editing, perfectly capturing the energetic nature of the song. The band’s performance is intercut with shots of the crowd dancing, jumping, and having a great time, reflecting the song’s exuberant and uplifting vibe.

The “Jump” video stands out as one of the best of the 1980s because it effectively captures the essence of Van Halen’s live performances, showcasing their electrifying stage presence and their ability to connect with the audience. The video reflects the band’s reputation as a high-energy live act and captures the excitement of their concerts.

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22. Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart (1983)

Genre: Pop, Power ballad

Directed by: Russell Mulcahy

The video opens with Bonnie Tyler standing in a dimly lit hallway, surrounded by schoolboys dressed in formal attire. As the song progresses, the video transitions between different scenes, featuring Tyler performing in a variety of settings. These scenes include a choir singing in a candlelit room, a ballet dancer, and Tyler standing on a balcony overlooking a stormy sky.

Throughout the video, there are recurring visual motifs, such as eclipses and symbolic imagery. The video incorporates dramatic lighting, slow-motion shots, and intense close-ups of Bonnie Tyler’s expressive face, capturing the emotional depth of the song.

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23. Beastie Boys – Sabotage (1984)

Genre: Hip hop, Alternative rock

Directed by: Spike Jonze

The Beastie Boys were an American hip hop group formed in 1981. Consisting of members Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, Michael “Mike D” Diamond, and the late Adam “MCA” Yauch, the Beastie Boys became pioneers in the fusion of hip hop and rock music. Known for their energetic and irreverent style, the group released several critically acclaimed albums and became one of the most influential acts of the 1980s and beyond.

The music video for “Sabotage” is a parody of 1970s crime drama television shows. It features the Beastie Boys themselves playing various characters, including police officers and villains, in a series of fictional scenes.

The video begins with a title card reminiscent of a 1970s TV show, introducing the Beastie Boys and their respective roles. From there, the video cuts to action-packed sequences, including car chases, foot pursuits, and dramatic confrontations. The fast-paced editing, gritty cinematography, and exaggerated performances create a sense of urgency and excitement.

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24. Michael Jackson – Beat It (1982)

Genre: Pop, Dance

Directed by: Bob Giraldi

The King of Pop is back again. 

The music video for “Beat It” takes place in a tough urban neighborhood and revolves around rival gangs. It begins with a dramatic introduction, setting the tone for the unfolding story. Michael Jackson, dressed in a red leather jacket, enters the scene as a unifying force, attempting to defuse the tension between the gangs through dance and music.

The video showcases intense choreography and dynamic dance sequences. Jackson’s iconic moves and his ability to tell a story through his performance are on full display. The choreography serves as a metaphorical representation of conflict resolution and promotes the message of unity.

The “Beat It” video is notable for its cinematic quality. It features a compelling narrative with elements of tension, action, and redemption. The gritty urban setting and the striking contrast between the dark alleys and vibrant dance sequences create a visually engaging experience.

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25. Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) (1983)

Genre: New wave, Synth-pop

Directed by: Chris Ashbrook and Marilyn Manson (remake)

The song “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” is performed by the British new wave duo Eurythmics, consisting of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart. The song was released in 1983 and became a breakthrough hit for the duo, propelling them to international fame.

The video showcases Lennox’s captivating presence and expressive performances. She delivers her vocals with intensity, often with close-up shots emphasizing her facial expressions. The stark and minimalist set design, combined with artistic lighting and visual effects, adds to the video’s atmospheric and otherworldly quality.

One of the reasons why the “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” video is regarded as one of the best of the 1980s is its innovative and boundary-pushing approach. The video’s surreal imagery and unconventional storytelling challenged the norms of traditional music videos at the time. It embraced a more artistic and visually striking style, which resonated with audiences and left a lasting impact.

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26. a-ha – The Sun Always Shines on T.V. (1985)

Genre: Synth-pop

Directed by: Steve Barron

The music video for “The Sun Always Shines on TV” features a visually stunning and emotionally evocative narrative. The video begins with Morten Harket standing in front of a grand piano in a dark room, surrounded by a sea of television sets. As the song progresses, Harket’s performance intensifies, and the video shifts between various scenes depicting emotional turmoil and solitude.

The video incorporates powerful imagery and symbolism to convey a sense of longing and vulnerability. The juxtaposition of Harket’s dramatic performance with the imagery of empty landscapes and crashing waves creates a haunting and introspective atmosphere. The use of lighting and shadows adds depth to the visuals, enhancing the emotional impact of the song.

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27. The Cure – Close to Me (1985)

Genre: Alternative rock, New wave

Directed by: Tim Pope

The Cure is an English rock band formed in 1976. Led by front man Robert Smith, the band gained popularity in the 1980s with their unique blend of post-punk, new wave, and alternative rock. Known for their introspective lyrics, atmospheric soundscapes, and distinctive visual style, The Cure became one of the most influential bands of the era. 

The music video for “Close to Me” by The Cure is a whimsical and surreal visual experience. Directed by Tim Pope, who has worked on several of The Cure’s iconic videos, it showcases the band’s trademark eccentricity and artistic sensibilities.

The video starts with Robert Smith trapped inside a large wardrobe. As the song progresses, the wardrobe spins, and Smith is thrown into various absurd and disorienting situations. He finds himself in a cramped elevator, surrounded by a claustrophobic crowd, and even submerged underwater in a bathtub. The video is filled with moments of physical comedy, including Smith’s exaggerated facial expressions and awkward dance moves.

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28. Paula Abdul – Straight Up (1988)

Genre: Pop, Dance-pop

Directed by: David Fincher

Paula Abdul is an American singer, dancer, choreographer, and television personality. She rose to fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s with a string of pop hits and her captivating dance moves. Before her successful music career, Abdul established herself as a highly sought-after choreographer, working with artists such as Janet Jackson and the Jacksons. 

The video primarily takes place in an urban warehouse setting, with various scenes featuring Abdul and her backup dancers performing intricate choreography. The camera moves fluidly around the set, capturing the high-energy dance routines and showcasing Abdul’s impressive dance moves. The video’s visual style is characterized by bold colors, fast cuts, and energetic editing, perfectly matching the infectious energy of the song.

Furthermore, the video’s production values and the seamless integration of visuals and music contribute to its excellence. The combination of Abdul’s magnetic stage presence, the well-executed dance routines, and the dynamic camera work creates a visually stunning and engaging experience. The video perfectly represents the vibrant and energetic spirit of the 1980s pop scene.

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29. Genesis – Land of Confusion (1986)

Genre: Progressive rock, Pop rock

Directed by: John Lloyd and Jim Yukich

Genesis is a British rock band formed in 1967. Originally known for their progressive rock sound, the band went through various lineup changes throughout their career. In the 1980s, Genesis achieved significant commercial success with a more accessible pop rock sound, led by frontman and keyboardist Phil Collins. 

The “Land of Confusion” video showcased Genesis’s ability to experiment with visual storytelling and push the boundaries of music video production. The combination of puppetry, animation, and live-action sequences created a visually engaging and thought-provoking narrative that captivated viewers.

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30. Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark (1984)

Genre: Rock

Directed by: Brian De Palma

Bruce Springsteen, also known as “The Boss,” is an American singer-songwriter and musician. He gained widespread recognition in the 1970s with his poetic lyrics, energetic live performances, and his ability to capture the struggles and dreams of working-class Americans.

The live performance footage captures the energy and excitement of a Springsteen concert, highlighting his ability to engage and connect with his fans. The inclusion of Courteney Cox’s spontaneous dance adds a touch of spontaneity and joy to the video, making it relatable and accessible to viewers.

Interestingly, the video’s simplicity and straightforwardness align with Springsteen’s working-class image and the universal themes of longing and escapism present in the song. The video showcases Springsteen’s charismatic stage presence and his genuine connection with his fans, reinforcing his status as a relatable and iconic figure in rock music.

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31. New Order – Blue Monday (1983)

Genre: Dance, Synthpop

Directed by: William Wegman

New Order is an English rock band formed in 1980. The band emerged from the ashes of the influential post-punk group Joy Division after the tragic death of lead singer Ian Curtis. New Order, consisting of Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, and Gillian Gilbert, combined elements of rock, electronic music, and dance to create their unique sound. They became pioneers of the synthpop genre and had a significant impact on the alternative music scene of the 1980s.

The video embraced the emerging computer graphics and stop-motion animation techniques of the time, creating a distinct and mesmerizing visual experience. The synchronization between the music and the visuals enhances the rhythmic nature of the song and adds an extra layer of creativity to the overall production.

Its unconventional and abstract visuals perfectly complement the electronic and futuristic sound of “Blue Monday.” It captures the essence of New Order’s innovative approach to music-making and their ability to push the boundaries of traditional rock and pop conventions.

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32. Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence (1990)

Genre: Synthpop, Alternative Rock

Directed by: Anton Corbijn

Depeche Mode rose to prominence in the 1980s with their unique blend of synthesizers, catchy melodies, and dark, introspective lyrics. They became pioneers of the electronic music genre and influenced countless artists with their innovative sound.

The music video for “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode is a visually stunning and symbolic production directed by Anton Corbijn. It features lead singer Dave Gahan in various picturesque locations, conveying a sense of solitude and introspection.

The visual imagery, combined with Gahan’s powerful and expressive performance, evokes a sense of longing and the search for meaning and peace. The video’s simplicity and the striking contrast between Gahan’s solitary figure and the vast landscapes add to its artistic impact.

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33. Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up (1987)

This song is used commonly to troll people online nowadays, but back then, this was a huge hit.

Rick Astley was born on February 6, 1966, in Newton-le-Willows, England. He began his music career as a drummer in various local bands before signing a record deal with RCA Records. Astley’s distinctive deep voice and soulful pop sound helped him achieve international success.

The video features Rick Astley performing the song in various settings, including a white room with columns, a dance floor, and a city street. The video begins with Astley leaning against a brick wall, dressed in a trench coat, and singing the opening lines. As the song progresses, he is seen walking and dancing with a group of backup dancers.

Its aesthetic is influenced by the 1980s with its bold colors, stylized lighting, and retro fashion. It showcases Astley’s charismatic presence and energetic dance moves, capturing the infectious spirit of the song. The video also includes quick cuts, close-ups, and dynamic camera angles, adding visual flair to the performance.

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34. Tina Turner – What’s Love Got to Do with It (1984)

Genre: Pop

Directed by: Mark Robinson

Tina Turner sadly passed away recently, but her legend lives on forever. 

She began her music career in the 1950s, initially as part of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. After a tumultuous personal and professional relationship with her former husband, Ike Turner, Tina embarked on a successful solo career.

One of the reasons why the “What’s Love Got to Do with It” video is considered one of the best of that era is its perfect match to Tina Turner’s reinvention as a solo artist. The video captures her magnetic charisma, showcasing her as a confident and empowered performer. It also reflects the spirit of the 1980s with its glamorous visuals and vibrant energy.

Furthermore, the video’s success contributed to Tina Turner’s resurgence as a pop icon and established her as a leading female artist of the 1980s. Her electrifying performance and the video’s polished production value helped solidify her status as a music legend and brought her widespread acclaim.

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35. Prince – Raspberry Beret (1985)

Genre: Pop/Rock

Directed by: Prince

The second entry for the icon Prince could not be any other song. “Raspberry Beret” was released in 1985 as the lead single from Prince and The Revolution’s album “Around the World in a Day.” The song became a commercial success, reaching the top ten on various music charts worldwide.

The music video for “Raspberry Beret” is set in a small town and follows Prince as he ventures into a colorful and whimsical world. The video begins with Prince riding a motorcycle through the streets, wearing his signature stylish attire and a raspberry beret. As he explores the town, he encounters various eccentric characters and engaging scenarios.

The video showcases Prince’s playful and charismatic personality, with moments of humor and surrealism. It features vibrant colors, quirky props, and a distinct visual style that perfectly complements the song’s upbeat and catchy nature.

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36. Billy Joel – We Didn’t Start the Fire (1989)

Genre: Pop/Rock

Directed by: Chris Blum

“We Didn’t Start the Fire” was released in 1989 as a single from Billy Joel’s album “Storm Front.” The song was a unique creation, featuring rapid-fire lyrics that reference various historical events and cultural figures from the mid-20th century. It became a chart-topping hit and one of Joel’s most iconic songs.

The video combines both serious and lighthearted elements, showcasing key moments from history, political figures, pop culture icons, and significant events. The use of visuals effectively reinforces the song’s message, illustrating the vast scope of events and individuals that Joel references in the lyrics. The video’s fast-paced editing and seamless integration of imagery contribute to its impact, creating a visually compelling representation of the song’s themes.

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Relive the magic of 80s music videos with YTD

In conclusion, the 80s was a truly remarkable decade for music videos, and we’ve explored some of the best ones in this article. From iconic dance moves to groundbreaking visual effects, these videos captured the essence of the era and left a lasting impact on popular culture.

If you’re feeling inspired and want to relive the magic of these 80s music videos, we encourage you to take advantage of YTD Downloader. You can easily download and save your favorite videos from the 80s and build your own personal collection.