History of Music Videos

  • Origins

    Some of the early music videos originated from the invention of 'talkies', as very brief musicals, where dancers performed to the music, were used for marketing purposes, including 'Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend', sang by Marilyn Monroe. These are often considered the original 'music videos'.
  • First Ever Music Video

    The first music video produced for an official purpose was Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, released in 1975. This music video, which received mostly poor reviews from critics, was written by Freddie Mercury and features Progressive/Hard Rock genres
  • Controversies & Censorship

    Video Censorship, especially for Music Videos, began widely in the 1980's, starting with the Queen's hit, Body Language, which featured a lot of excess showing of skin and sweat (not enough for the audience at the time) and for homoerotic undertones was banned from MTV. Since then, there have been a lot of cancelled Music Video and ones that MTV, the biggest video broadcasting station, declined to air and the artist Madonna has come out on top with use of nudity, religious offence and racism.
  • MTV

    Music Television is a programme which plays music videos created by artists and displays charts that indicate which place artists received. Owned by Viacom Media Networks, it plays a range of videos mainly focused at teenagers and adolescents.
  • Notable Music Videos - "Thriller"

    One of the most notable music videos of all time is very likely to be Michael Jackson's "Thriller". Made on a budget of around half a million dollars, its main feature is when Jackson dances around other dancers dressed as zombies, dislaying several dance moves which later made it popular, along with the catchy song. It won a grammy for Best Video Album in 1984 and Best Video a year after. The 13 minute video and was notably outlined with horror themes, along with a B-movie-like start.
  • Pirate Sites - The Pirate Bay

    This is a slightly illegal way to download and listen to music. Reknown for its legal problems, but nevertheless given proxy sites which allow people to access it in other ways, TPB has always been the top pirate site. People may upload different content, featuring games, films and music, for other people to listen to for free, although 'Audio' only makes up 9% of all uploads.
  • Vimeo

    Like its fellow site YouTube, Vimeo is also one of the largest video-sharing sites on the World Wide Web and enables its users to instantly access and watch any video they want, including music videos. However, unlike YouTube, Vimeo has faced several counts of controversy due to its lack of censorship on themes like nudity in its videos.
  • You Tube

    You Tube was created by three former PayPal employees as a means for others to share and upload their videos onto a website. It instantly became a magnet for music videos - people could now watch the latest music video for free on the web. Every MV produced has been uploaded onto You Tube for the audience to view.
  • Spotify

    This site is often used by users to view digital rights management-restricted content from companies such as the BBC and Sony. This is an effective way to view videos and listen to music and podcasts. Although used less than video-sharing sites like Vimeo and YouTube, Spotify nevertheless offers its visitors paid subscriptions which remove adverts and offer premium features.
  • Narrative/Performative Music Videos

    There are two different types of Music Videos - Narratives and Performatives, or a bit of both. Narrative MV's are based around a story rather than singing and dancing. They are described as 'linear' and follow a storyline - the most popular are love stories. Performance stories are the opposite - they don't follow a story of any kind and are simply done by the actors dancing and singing. Over time, most of the Music Videos produced have focused on Performance rather than Narrative side.
  • Changes

    Over time, Music Videos have become more free in their attitude towards controversy in things which include religion and race.