#691: ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ – The Buggles

Firstly, did you know that The Buggles’ one and only brush with fame was actually a cover? A little known fact to many, but the original version of ‘Video Killed The Radio Star‘ was actually done by Bruce Wooley (and co-written with members of The Buggles), and surprisingly, released shortly after the cover version was released. I can think of one other example of this happening, but we’ll save that for later in the countdown…

Much of fame that came from The Buggles’ version of the song resulted due to the fact that this song was the very first song ever shown on MTV when it launched on August 1st, 1981. The strangely prophetic song became somewhat of an anthem of the ’80s due to its association with the rise of music media, and to this day is considered a throwback classic due to this.

Growing up, I managed to hear this song plenty because, if I haven’t mentioned it before, my mother was a terrible singer. She seemed to take pleasure in the idea of listening to songs such as this, from a time in which she was a teenager, and singing them as loudly as possible. I’m not sure whether her bad singing was intentional, but it was so prevalent in my childhood that I can’t listen to a song like this without being reminded of it.

Due to this, I look at this song in two ways. First, with the rosy sort of nostalgia that comes from sweet, musical memories that accompanied by upbringing, and secondly, due to the fact that this is actually a well-constructed song that deals with concerns and fears of modern technology.

While I would probably contend that The Presidents Of The United States Of America performed a better version of this in the ’90s, I still can’t go past the ‘classic’ version of this track, and the one which made an impact on the world of music and video in such a way.


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