The Top 10 Music Videos of 1984 as Found on YouTube

1984 was the first year of the MTV Video Awards and these ten are all award show quality. The increases in quality and production values from 1983 are huge. Watch and enjoy.

“Infatuation” Rod Stewart
An earlier, prettier version of Rod Stewart shaking his ass while spying on the considerably less pretty ass of the woman in the apartment opposite. The reverb on the chorus makes me eighties-nostalgic and his hair is the reason hair was invented. But why did he use that funny motion to shake the can of fish food while he looked through the binoculars? Was that symbolism?
I didn’t remember this one being in black and white so that was a nice surprise for my eyes. Did I mention how good looking ol’ Rod was?

Love is a Battlefield” Pat Benatar
This is the Queen of the Eighties at the height of her powers. A cautionary tale for runaway girls that holds up today, we learned by watching this video to beware the ambiguously gay muscle man on the subway escalator and to always take the bus. In the excitement of remembering the not-to-be-missed dance off at the end, I realize I’d forgotten all about the sub plot between the girl and her little brother back home. And as with all these early eighties videos, I would watch this one yearning for the day I would grow up and be able to dress like Ms Benatar. But by the time I grew up, alas, torn dresses paired with forty-five necklaces were passe.

“Eyes Without a Face” Billy Idol
Now the floating head of Billy Idol will treat us to a quiet storm slow jam. Now watching this as an adult I see the arm being wrapped to take some sort of injection and I realize this one must have an anti-drug message. Good for Billy’s head.
Wow, I forgot how great this song and video were. Love the hands slapping the butts in time with the drum machine. Putting on leather fingerless gloves is a matter of some gravity. And the guitarist’s hair deifies said gravity. Yes, I meant to type “deifies.”

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“Somebody’s Watching Me” Rockwell
Beginning with a flash of a nightmarish face, this ode to paranoia continues into the apartment where a man showers while the camera shows the vantage point of the stalker. Strange animals share the apartment. I remembered this only because MJ sang on it, but the video is nice and surreal looking at it now. On the walls are the wost looking stuffed animal heads ever and the thing wearing black rags and spinning outside the shower is just plain creepy. I’m betting that Rockwell’s decorator made a copy of the key and is the one watching him, because only a crazy person styled that place.

“Sunglasses at Night” Corey Hart
Why were all the videos in 1984 directed by paranoiacs? Corey Hart alternates between singing directly into the camera and being chased by secret police here, but he sure looks like an even more handsome David Duchovny. You’ve got it made with the guy in shades. The video makes more sense than the song. Was Hart wearing sunglasses to hide bloodshot pot eyes? Apparently he actually wrote all his songs, so that’s a point in his direction even though the symbolism here has always escaped me. This song and video were very popular.

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” Cyndi Lauper
This video actually makes some sense. The girl in the title, Cyndi Lauper, talks to her mother and father as in the song and then she and her friends dance around a lot. Cyndi’s hair and vintage clothes must be seen to be believed. Wrestling fans will enjoy Captain Lou Albano as Cyndi’s dad.

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Dancing in the Dark” Bruce Springsteen
This one is truly great. You’ve got Bruce looking so young and fierce. The E Street Band is dancing while they play and the whole act has so much charisma. There is what looks like a full stadium of fans. Courteney Cox-Arquette is the beautiful girl who Bruce pulls up onstage to dance with him. And then they break it down one time with the “white people dance” of which Eddie Murphy spoke in his concert film Raw. Yes, to the younger readers, white people in the early 80s did dance exactly like that. It looks so hokey now, but I think it was just the best we could do.

Owner of a Lonely Heart” Yes
This one drew attention in December 1983 for having more than one version out on MTV, but the single was number eight of 1984’s top 100 so I’ve included it here. At more than six minutes, it is more of a short subject film than a video, but then Yes is a prog rock band. Notable for the people turning into animals, the guy washing his face with worms and the accused man jumping off the skyscraper roof. Plus the song really rocks.

“Hello” Lionel Richie
A great ballad of 1984, the video features Lionel as a college professor stalking a blind female student. She is apparently stalking him too as she surprises him with a creepy sculpture of his head.

“Legs” ZZ Top
“Legs” won “Best Group Video” at the first annual Video Music Awards in 1984. It’s obvious as to why upon viewing. First of all, you have to love three hot chicks in a cool car who magically appear to kindle the spark of love between the two nerds who work at the shopping center. Still loving the scene in which the fat lady’s glasses go into her cake and a red pump steps on the snotty shoe salesman’s hand. The titular legs are a little skinny for today’s audience but the outfit Ms Nerdburger ends up in is cute as hell. Socks and pumps must make a comeback in 2007!