Music Video of the Day: Breakaway by Tracey Ullman (1983, dir. Dave Robinson)

When I was a kid, all I knew about Tracey Ullman was that she did a show called Tracey Takes On… I’m pretty sure I didn’t even know that she did a show prior to that called The Tracey Ullman Show. So all I knew was that she was a comedian famous for impersonations. I most certainly didn’t know she ever did music. Much to my surprise, this video recently showed up in my YouTube feed.

Apparently, she had short-lived music career in the early-to-mid-80s that sprung out of a encounter with the wife of the head of Stiff Records, Dave Robinson. This was the first single off her debut album.

Dave Robinson himself appears to have directed this appropriately 1960s-inspired video for Ullman’s cover of the 1964 song originally performed by Irma Thomas.

It’s quite cheap. It appears to be best remembered for Ullman singing into a brush.

A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985, dir. Jack Sholder)

I want to know why there is a plane on top of the building (left) and what looks like a creepy clown head on the top shelf (right).

It’s still catchy, fun, and the editing does draw you in into the song, regardless of it having to use the white dimension several times.

From taking a quick glance at her next video for the song They Don’t Know, her videos got more impressive. But we can’t jump right to the video where we see the Rank Films gong-guy with a package, and Paul McCartney ending up with Ullman. We need to start with her first video.

Dave Robinson appears to have directed around 22 videos.

The video was produced by John Mills and prolific music video director Nigel Dick, who were also the art directors.


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