Like yesterday’s music video of the day, today’s entry is an anti-war song from 1983. This time, it’s from Australia’s Men at Work and, as opposed to yesterday’s earnest video from Europe, the video for It’s A Mistake takes a darkly satirical approach to the song’s themes.
After starting out with toy soldiers and stop motion animation, the video segues into the members of the band portraying children who go from playing war to being invited into a tent by an American officer, where they discover a bunch of other officers having a party. War is all fun and games when you’re not the one doing the fighting. When the children grow up and all pursue different careers (businessman, activist, doctor, and road workers), they’re still drafted to serve in the military. Whilst the soldiers fight, the generals gather in an underground bunker and one of them accidentally launches the nukes while trying to stub out a cigar.
Despite or maybe because of it’s anti-American sentiments (even Ronald Reagan gets a satiric shout-out in the song), It’s A Mistake actually charted higher in the States than in the band’s native Australia. In Australia, it peaked at 34 while in the States, it hit 6.
The video was directed by Tony Stevens, whose entire directorial output pretty much consisted of music videos for Men at Work and Midnight Oil.