Happy Canada Day!
What is that? I know what that is. That’s dialog.
I’m sorry, but MTV and VH1 have told me all my life that Love Is A Battlefield by Pat Benatar is the first music video to have dialog in it. I have a few theories about this.
The first is that while I don’t think anyone would say that Loverboy songs aren’t fun and catchy, they and their videos are what they are. I could see MTV wanting something impressive like Love Is A Battlefield to hold such a coveted crown.
Another reason is that they might have just forgotten this had dialog in it. That is the most probable theory I have. That dialog really doesn’t need to be there. It would have been taken care of by having the band introduce a video with a VJ. Based on the comments section on this video, I have a feeling they edited that out so much that people didn’t know it existed till at least 2011 when this video was posted on YouTube. It wasn’t unusual for MTV to edit videos for time. That’s why there are two versions of We’re Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister.
The last theory is that this was added in for the post. It isn’t impossible. A lot of bands have had their videos released on DVD. This could have been ripped from that DVD to post on YouTube. For example, the officially posted versions of a bunch of Golden Earring’s videos are from a compilation DVD called The Devil Made Us Do It. I don’t put much stock in this theory.
The dialog, while boring, leads into the song, which lends credence to my belief that this was meant to be the start of the video. If you look at some of the other videos that were shot at the same time–Turn Me Loose, Lucky Ones, Gangs In The Street–then you’ll notice that director Arnold Levine liked to stick something in there to spice it up, when in reality, they just filmed them performing on the same stage over and over again. Take a look at the videos. You’ll notice it’s the same stage without even having to read the quote below from lead singer Mike Reno taken from the book MTV Ruled The World:
We would play the song over and over again, and we’d bounce around like we normally did. Here’s what I thought was kind of interesting: The director would say, ‘OK, we’re going to shoot another song, now go get changed.’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘You have to put on a whole new outfit, and we’re going to change the lighting a bit.’ But it was the same stage! So basically, we just had to get some other clothes, fix your hair, take a break, and then jump back on stage and do the same thing over and over again. I really felt like I was being abused a bit, but that’s the nature of the beast.
Also, consider it to be a music video or not, he directed You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) by Meat Loaf that has dialog at the beginning. That was done in 1978. He also did the 1982 black-and-white version of I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts that ends with people chattering at a bar. It seems like something that was already a part of his repertoire.