Music Video of the Day: Don’t Stand So Close To Me by The Police (1980, directed by Derek Burbidge)

Because Sting was famously a teacher before he became a rock star, it’s easy to assume that this song, about a teacher tempted to have an affair with a student, was autobiographical. Sting insists that it was not, beyond that it was somewhat inspired by the groupies who were, at that time, crazy about The Police.

This video was directed by Derek Burbidge, who also directed several videos for bands like AC/DC, Squeeze, Queen, Gary Numan, The Eurythmics, and Stray Cats. In the early 80s, if you were a successful band looking to get some extra exposure on MTV, it’s extremely probable that Burbidge would have ended up directing a video for you.


Music Video of the Day: Mediate by INXS (1987, directed by Richard Lowenstein)

INXS plays tribute to Bob Dylan in today’s music video of the day!

Some members of the band did a better job than other when it came to keeping up with the cards but they all still did a pretty good job considering that this is a 2 and a half minute music video with no visible edits. This video was originally included on the backend of the video for Need You Tonight. Richard Lowenstein directed both videos and it was a definitely a canny move to combine the two and basically get MTV to promote two songs for the price of one.


Music Video of the Day: Need You Tonight by INXS (1987, directed by Richard Lowenstein)

Need You Tonight was the first single released off of INXS’s sixth studio album, Kick. The video, which made use of several different types of animation, was extremely popular with MTV’s audience and, as a result, the song went on to become one of INXS’s biggest hits. The video went on to win 5 awards at the MTV Music Video Awards. This was back when those actually meant something.

Director Richard Lowenstein directed a total of 16 videos for INXS, including this one. He also directed a film called Dogs in Space, which was not about actual dogs in space but which was instead about the Australian post-punk scene. INXS’s lead singer Michael Hutchence played Sam, the leader of a band called Dogs in Space.


Music Video of the Day: Don’t Let Go The Coat by the Who (1981, directed by John Crome)

Don’t Let Go The Coat is thought to be a tribute to Pete Townshend’s spiritual guru, Mehr Baba, who often told his followers to “hang fast to the hem of my robe.” Just as Mehr Baba told his followers to not lose sight of his teachings, the song’s lyrics seem to reflect Townshend’s struggle to remain true to his beliefs even when he’s feeling depressed and struggling with his demons.

The video is a performance clip, directed by John Crome. Crome also directed the video for The Who’s You Better You Bet. The video features Kenney Jones on drums. Jones joined the band after Keith Moon’s tragic death. Roger Daltrey has often said that The Who became a different band after the death of Moon and that none of the drummers that they brought in could duplicate Moon’s frenetic approach. As was often the case when it came to anything Daltrey said, Pete Townshend disagreed. Jones played with The Who until the band’s first break-up in 1983.


Music Video of the Day: Shake That Thing by The Georgia Satellites (1990, directed by Bill Fishman)

This is the Georgia Satellites song that is not Keep Your Hands To Yourself.

This video finds the band in New Orleans and dropping in on Kitten Natividad, the famed dancer and adult film star who is best known for the films she made with Russ Meyer. (She starred in both Up! and Beyond the Valley of the Ultra Vixens.) Natividad is still alive and working, at the age of 73.

The Georgia Satellites released their last studio album in 1997, though the band is still apparently active, with guitarist Rick Richards as the last original member to still be with the group. Lead singer Dan Baird retired in 2019, saying on his website, “I won’t quit making music, but it’ll be in my basement, at my home, where I can walk my dog, go to the gym 4 times a week, shave on Friday and go to sleep with my sweetie beside me every night.” That sounds like the ideal retirement to me.


Music Video of the Day: Armegeddon It by Def Leppard (1988, directed by Wayne Isham)

The theme of this video seems to be that Def Leppard is the band that has fun onstage and off!

This footage for this video was shot over the course of two shows at McNichols Arena in Denver, Colorado. Originally, the footage was going to be used for a future concert film but, when Armageddon It was released as a single, the band’s record label said that they needed a music video to accompany it and they needed it immediately. Since the band didn’t want to do another “concept video” (and really didn’t have time to come up with a concept in the first place), the Denver footage was hastily edited together.

The end result was that Armageddon It went on to the become the band’s fourth top ten hit in the United States.


Music Video of the Day: Cambodia by Kim Wilde (1981, directed by Brian Grant)

Kim Wilde having Vietnam War flashbacks is not something you necessarily expect but that’s the concept behind the video for Cambodia and it worked well enough for the video to become an early success on MTV. It’s hard for me to watch this video without thinking about Martin Sheen tearing up his hotel room at the start of Apocalypse Now.

This video was directed by Brian Grant and it feels like a prequel to the video that he would direct, a year later, for Duran Duran’s Hungry Like The Wolf.


Music Video of the Day: It Hit Me Like A Hammer by Huey Lewis and the News (1991, directed by Nigel Dick)

Huey Lewis & the News were a band who epitomized the early to mid-80s and their music videos played a large part in MTV’s initial popularity. Unfortunately, by the time 1991 rolled around, the band and its style of music was being overshadowed by the growing popularity of both rap and grunge. It Hit Me Like A Hammer was the band’s final top 40 hit in the United States. One of the cool things about Huey Lewis and the News is that, in contrast to a lot of other bands trying to make the transition from the 80s to the 90s, they didn’t change their sound. Huey didn’t start trying to rap. The band didn’t start wearing flannel and covering the Pixies. Instead, they remained who they were, a rocking and unpretentious bar band who wrote songs for people looking to have a good time.

This video was directed by Nigel Dick, who is one of those music video directors who worked with everyone and who still works with everyone. At last count, he has directed over 500 videos.


Music Video of the Day: Modern Love by David Bowie (1983, directed by Jim Yukich)

This video for Modern Love is probably as straight forward as you can expect any music video from David Bowie to be. Filmed during the Serious Moonlight Tour to support Let’s Dance, the video features Bowie and his band performing an encore at Philadelphia’s Spectrum Theater.

This video was directed by Jim Yukich, who did videos from everyone from Iron Maiden to Debbie Gibson to Phil Collins.