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Origins Of The Music Video

jeremy | Thursday September 24, 2009

Categories: Music, Music Video, Other Topics


with thanks to the BBC website h2g2

The music video is generally considered to have been born on the BBC’s Top of the Pops in November 1975. Glamorous rock band Queen found they were unable to appear on Top of the Pops as they were on tour.

They worked over two days and spent the considerable sum at that time of £4,000 on recording their latest single, Bohemian Rhapsody, on the relatively new medium of video tape.

There were no home video reorders until the late 70s/early 80s, but broadcasters were recording TV programme on huge 2 inch video tapes.

In fact, Queen were not the first band to make a video or film recording to promote a song on television.

It was The Beatles who can be credited – as with so many things to do with pop music - as the real inventors of the music video as a promotional tool.

By 1965 The Beatles had achieved worldwide fame, and they could not physically appear on all the television shows throughout the world that wanted them.. They also found appearing on live TV and live performances in general, to be repetitive and mundane, interfering with the creativity and freedom they found with studio recordings.

As far back as November, 1965, they made a series of promotional films specifically designed for television companies throughout the world. Promotional films with iconoclastic humour and a sense of fun were made of the singles We Can Work It Out, Day Tripper, Help!, Ticket To Ride and I Feel Fine. Some of these short films emerged in more sophisticated forms in The Beatles’ film Help.

On 19 - 20 May, 1966, the group filmed further promotional films for Paperback Writer and the less well known song Rain. Each video was assembled in both colour and black-and-white edits, as while America had been enjoying colour TV since the late 1950s, most European channels were still in the very early stages of colour broadcasts (Britain’s first colour broadcast came with BBC2’s...

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