History of Music Videos

  • Early example of music video - Bessie Smith St.louis blues

    This is one of the earliest examples of music videos that we are familiar with today. It was a two reel short film featuring a dramatized performance of the song. It was shown in theatres up until 1932, in this time music videos were popular for longer and this was the only way in which you could view them.
  • Walt Disney

    Animation film was originally based around music (also called visual music). Fantasia was released and based around a famous piece of classical music.
  • Tony Bennett, Stranger in Paradise

    Tony's song "Stranger in paradise" was filmed in Hyde Park, London and was played across UK and US television stations. However, Bennett later claimed that his music video was the very first. This was the first example of using music videos on TV.
  • The Beatles, A hard day’s Night

    A major motion picture featuring the Beatles. The musical segments in the film ultimately set of the visual vocabulary of music videos today. Promotional films were then made for their tours, lifted from the films they made.
  • Invention of Top of the Pops

    Artists performed on the show and if they could not make it, dancers performed on stage to the song.
  • The Beatles, Strawberry Fields Forever

    This video uses techniques borrowed from underground film such as reversed film effects, dramatic light, unusual camera angles and rhythmic editing rather than just creating a film of an idealised performance. Made in the height of the psychedelic music period this is the first video to illustrate the song in an artful manner.
  • The Jackson Five, I want you back

    The 1970's saw the music video change with more emphasis on just the artist singing. This style lead to music videos to the "Cross-Cutting" stage where the song would portray a story that accompanied the lyrics and "cross-cuts" to the artist singing it. However the key to this innovation was the edting process, dealing with more professional techniques like "Chroma-Key
  • Queen, Bohemiam

    When Queen’s epic “Bohemian Rhapsody” made the number one spot in 1975, the band was on tour and unable to make it to the recording of Top of the Pops on BBC One. Instead, they recorded a special video for the occasion, featuring the band performing the beginning and end of the song on stage, and with a collection of stunning visual images using the latest video editing technology accompanying the middle “opera” section.
  • Modern Era

    It has become standard to release a music video with any new single. Bands aimed to have commercial edge by creating lavish music videos with huge budgets.
  • The invention of MTV!

    The first video aired was "Video killed the radio star", it featured high-budget techniques such as "Over-laying" editing. MTV was responsible for the success of artists like Madonna as it played a central role as marketing. Although some see this as the “golden era” of music videos and the success of an artist to perform in new culture; others see this as the start of the decline of true musical talent as now appearance is so important to a success artist.
  • 1983- Michael Jackson, Thriller

    This video was the pioneer of the 'Storyline' video which has a plot, almost like a 'mini' movie. It contains sophisticated visuals and it took the music industry to a place where music videos were really being seen as essential for promotion. “Thriller” has since been listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the “most successful music video,” and is the first music video added to the National Film Registry.
  • The most expensive music video ever made!

    Micheal Jackson ft Janet Jackson, Scream cost around $10,800,000 to produce. This music video featured incredible CGI (for the time) of Jackson and his sister in a space station, doing futuristic leisure activities whilst screaming and singing. This video won awards in the category of Best Short Form Music Video at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards.
  • Britney Spears, Hit me baby one more time

    This is a good example of how the music industry begins to sexualise and sell women rather than their music.
  • The invention of youtube

    Being able to upload videos online changed the music industry forever. This has allowed us nowadays to watch a music video anytime and anyplace. In today’s world this is now the main way that we view music videos.
  • The most watched video on youtube

    Psy Gangman Style is the most watched video on youtube with 2,422,887,803 views.